On this special Election Day episode of A Public Affair, host Cynthia Lin looked at how campaign music is employed to sway voters. Cynthia interviewed musicologist Benjamin Schoening and political scientist Eric Kasper about their book, Don’t Stop Thinking about the Music: The Politics of Songs and Musicians in Presidential Campaigns. This enthralling exploration into the power of campaign music will be featured at the Wisconsin Book Festival on Sunday, November 11th.
“In this insightful, erudite history of presidential campaign music, musicologist Benjamin Schoening and political scientist Eric Kasper explain how politicians use music in American presidential campaigns to convey a range of political messages. From Follow Washington to I Like Ike to I Got a Crush on Obama, they describe the ways that song use by and for presidential candidates has evolved, including the addition of lyrics to familiar songs, the current trend of using existing popular music to connect with voters, and the rapid change of music s relationship to presidential campaigns due to Internet sites like YouTube, JibJab, and Facebook. Readers are ultimately treated to an entertaining account of American political development through popular music and the complex, two-way relationship between music and presidential campaigns.” -Lexington Books
Read more about the Wisconsin Book Festival.
Read more about Don’t Stop Thinking about the Music.
Sample some of the music discussed:
- 2012 – Springsteen’s “We Take Care of Our Own“
- 2012 – Kid Rock’s “Born Free“
- 2008 – Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered“
- 2008 – Elvis’s “A Little Less Conversation“
- 1992 – Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop“
- 1992 – Patsy Cline’s “Crazy“
- 1984 – Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.”
- 1972 – Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge over Troubled Water“
- 1952 – “I Like Ike” (TV version commercial version)
- 1932 – Wardall’s “Happy Days Are Here Again”
- 1840 – “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too“
Listen to the show: