Erin Bode – St. Louis Song

As a singer comfortable moving between the jazz and folk worlds, Erin Bode has often been hailed as St. Louis’ answer to Norah Jones. Her talent has taken her far and wide, but on “St. Louis Song” she plants her feet in her hometown. The track, from Bode’s 2006 releaseOver and Over from the Webster Groves-based MAXJAZZ label, could be set in any city where two lovers part ways, but something about Bode’s lyrics fits our city like a glove. Her man wants to leave St. Louis, but she wants to stay, though she sounds confident that he’ll return home someday. Any outsider who has ever fallen in love with a Mound City native probably knows the feeling, and as Bode glides through the delicate guitar figure and sonorous bass runs, she tells of a love for her city that, at least this time, trumps romance.

From The 100 Greatest St. Louis Songs


Bottoms Up Blues Gang – South Broadway Blues

The Bottoms Up Blues Gang performs live at The Venice Cafe in St. Louis.

A good blues song needn’t have flashy solos or hellhounds on its trail; sometimes it can be simple celebration of where you come from and where you’ll always return. The acoustic-blues minimalists (at least when performing as a trio or even as the core duo of Kari Liston and Jeremy Segel-Moss) of Bottoms Up Blues Gang know that all roads lead back to the Arch and the stomping grounds of Benton Park and Soulard, where the legends before them — Tommy Bankhead and Oliver Sain, to mention just two named in this song — set the tone for sharing life-affirming music in small clubs you wouldn’t want to live without.

From The 100 Greatest St. Louis Songs


Bob Kuban and the In-Men – The Cheater

Local singles don’t get much bigger than this slice of horn-fueled blue-eyed soul. Bob Kuban led his In-Men from behind his drum kit, and this song of romantic philandering and karmic comeuppance would rise to No. 12 on the pop charts. Years later the song would earn Kuban a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…in the one-hit wonder exhibit. The In-Men had a few more moderately successful singles before splintering into different groups, though Kuban still leads his eponymous band to this day. Kuban’s marquee song would remain on local oldies stations for decades to come, though the epitaph to “The Cheater” is equal parts tragedy and irony: Singer Walter Scott was found murdered in 1983at the hands of James Williams, his wife’s lover; for her part, Scott’s wife JoAnn was found guilty of hindering the prosecution, giving a harrowing ring of truth to her former husband’s big hit. -CS

From The 100 Greatest St. Louis Songs