Take a Trip Through the States with Songs for Arizona—America’s Songbook

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Every state across the country has its own type of music that makes it what it is. In a multi-part series, American Songwriter will take a look at each of the 50 states and the music that emanates from each of the various and unique landscapes.

Next stop: Arizona

Where copper deserts touch turquoise skies, Arizona is the land of mystery, magic, and music. Melting with the unforgiving heat and echoing across the barren land, the diverse sounds of the state can be heard down deep in the canyons and from the highest plateaus.

Making up America’s Songbook, here is a playlist of songs for Arizona about the state and by the statesmen.

1. “Edge of Seventeen” – Stevie Nicks

The white witch of rock and roll was born in Phoenix. At a young age, frequent relocation took her away from her native Arizona to places across the West like Albuquerque, New Mexico, El Paso, Texas, Salt Lake City, Utah, and eventually to California.

“More than Oakland or San Jose, this actually is my home,” she once said to a crowd at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix when Fleetwood Mac toured the area.

The state still claims her as their own, as well, having long since inducted the rock legend into their very own Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame.

2. “Take it Easy” – Eagles

Jackson Browne and Eagles member Glenn Frey—two people who have no immediate ties to the state —wrote one of the most enduring lines for one of the most iconic rock standards.

Browne was reportedly having trouble finishing the song that would become the Eagles’ classic “Take It Easy.” He decided to show it to Frey, who was living in the same Los Angeles apartment building at the time. Browne played the unfinished verse: “Well, I’m a-standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona…,” and Frey added “Such a fine sight to see. It’s a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at me.” They decided to finish the song together.

To honor his songwriting contributions, a life-sized statue of Frey can be seen with a guitar in hand, standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona.

3. “Get Back” – The Beatles

Jojo left his home in Tucson, Arizona / For some California grass, plays a piece of the opening verse in “Get Back.” The state got a memorable mention from the Fab Four.

Arizona has become a song-worthy state for many an out-of-towner with English, Australian, and Canadian musicians giving the state a shout-out.

Playlist for Arizona

“Edge of Seventeen” – Stevie Nicks

“Get Back” – The Beatles

“Arizona” – Kings of Leon

“Havalina” – Pixies

“There Is No Arizona” – Jamie O’Neal

“Better Git It in Your Soul” – Charles Mingus

“In the End” – Linkin Park

“Take it Easy” – Eagles

“Arizona Skies” – Los Lobos

“By the Time I Get to Arizona” – Public Enemy

“Lady Pilot” – Neko Case 

“Different Drum” – Linda Ronstadt

“Big Iron” – Marty Robbins 

“If You Don’t, Don’t” – Jimmy Eat World

“Bobby in Phoenix” – Gorillaz

“Everywhere” – Michelle Branch

“I’m Eighteen” – Alice Cooper

“Summer Running” – Billy Idol

“She Is His Only Need” – Wynona Judd

“Drunk On A Plane” – Dierks Bentley

“Carefree Highway” – Gordon Lightfoot

“Arizona” – Scorpions

“Painted Desert” – Pat Benatar

“I’m Not Lisa” – Jessi Colter

“Trucker’s Atlas” – Modest Mouse

“Teenagers from Mars” – Misfits

”Lonesome Old River Blues” – Dom Flemons

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