May 28, 2024

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US state capitals in the top 40 titles: Sacramento

US state capitals in the top 40 titles: Sacramento

After our series on US states, we'll continue another week with hits on US state capitals. And we have good reason for that. Dasha's Austin Alarm disc on Qmusix this week. Suppose Austin is the capital of Texas.

There aren't many hits about US state capitals. This has to do with the fact that the largest city of a state is not always the capital. And that's the case of the success that takes center stage today: Sacramento. It is the capital of California. There are six major cities in the state, some of which really capture the imagination. Think Los Angeles and San Francisco.

For this overview, we have not included hits that contain the state capital but do not specify it in any way. I will give an example of this. It's the state capital of Wyoming, but in Jason Derulo's hit Cheyenne, he clearly doesn't refer to that city, but to a woman with the same name. We also left Lincoln County by Dave Davis. Lincoln is the capital of Nebraska, but if we visit the English Wikipedia page for Lincoln County, Nebraska, we immediately read “not to be confused with Lincoln, Nebraska.” So the eastern city of Lincoln is slightly different from the western county of the same name.

We've given the benefit of the doubt to hits for which we don't know exactly which city. Eventually we'll get 5 Top 40 hits titled US State Capital, and of course we'll start with the biggest hit…

1. Middle of the Road – Sacramento (1972)
527 points; Achieved the highest level: 1

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In our series on US states in the top 40 topics, we started with California. Katy Perry's California Gurls had a huge hit with an American state. We're starting this series back in California, because Sacramento is the only US state capital (capital of a US state) that has ever topped the top 40.

Despite hailing from middle-of-the-road Scotland, the group has had two No. 1s with a song about America. Sacramento was their second No. 1 hit and the biggest hit of their career. The successor to that success is The Dog of All the USA. Sacramento has a population of about 525,000, making the city smaller than The Hague.

In their music for California's capital, Middle of the Road sings about the balmy weather there, which according to singer Sally Carr, they call 'Sacramento's Indian Spring'. We've heard of an 'Indian summer' – a North American weather phenomenon in which a very warm period begins after a cold spell in autumn – but we're more familiar with an 'Indian spring'. Anyone visiting Sacramento should ask there. They had never heard of this victory in Sacramento itself. Middle of the Road was never successful in America.

By the way, you can't see anything of Sacramento in the video clip below. These films were recorded in Amsterdam. Judging by the bare trees and the suffocation, it must have been very cold that day. It doesn't come close to that 'Indian spring' they sing about.

(19/03/2024)