‘The Thrill’ is here: The Ultimate Mississippi Playlist tunes up

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The thrill is far from gone for Mississippi music lovers.

B.B. King’s The Thrill is Gone is the overwhelming selection for The Ultimate Mississippi Playlist. The blues classic received 59.5 percent of the votes in Round 2 over The Heart of Dixie by Tricia Walker, Starkville City Jail by Johnny Cash and Ubangi Stomp by Warren Smith.

The Thrill is Gone joins Robert Johnson’s seminal Cross Road Blues on the playlist to salute the significance of Mississippi music during our state’s bicentennial celebration.

Next up, four new nominees: Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down, Ode to Billie Joe by Bobbie Gentry, Porcupine Meat by Bobby Rush and Tupelo by Crooked Lettaz.

You can listen to the new entries and vote for your favorite on mississippitoday.org. You also can vote on our Twitter account. Every two weeks, a fresh ballot of four new nominees will be published. The top vote-getters will be revealed on The Ultimate Mississippi Playlist in December.

To be nominated, songs must be about Mississippi or performed by Mississippi artists. All of the contenders were selected by Mississippi music experts, Mississippi Today and The ‘Sip magazine.

Contenders in Round 3:

• Kryptonite was written by 3 Doors Down drummer/vocalist Brad Arnold in a math class when he was 15. It is one of the first songs he ever wrote. The Mississippi Gulf Coast rockers originally released Kryptonite as a demo in 1996 for local play by 97.9 WCPR-FM in Biloxi. The song was later released on their debut album, The Better Life, in 2000 and peaked at No. 4 on the Adult Top 40 chart and No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 as the band’s highest-charting single. The album was the 11th-best-selling album of 2000 and was certified six-time platinum in the United States. The band has released five more studio albums since and had international success.

• Ode to Billie Joe was written and recorded by Chickasaw County native Bobbie Gentry in 1967. The single, released in late July, quickly became a pop-culture phenomenon, was a No. 1 hit in the United States and was ranked the No. 3 song by Billboard for 1967. The song is ranked No. 412 on Rolling Stone‘s list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” The recording of Ode to Billie Joe received eight Grammy nominations, resulting in three wins for Gentry. While she went on to record more hits on both country and pop charts, Gentry, who was born Roberta Lee Streeter, stopped recording music and slipped out of the limelight in 1982.

• Bobby Rush, a Louisiana native who earned the title “King of the Chitlin’ Circuit” after relocating to Jackson from Chicago in the early 1980s, has been a blues and soul performer for more than 60 years. His upbeat and often provocative live shows established him as a favorite among Southern soul and blues audiences and later brought him international acclaim. After several nominations, he won his first Grammy earlier this year for his album also named Porcupine Meat.

• Crooked Lettaz was an American hip-hop duo from Jackson that was formed in the 1990s by David Banner and “Kamikaze” Franklin. Crooked Lettaz’s full-length album, Grey Skies, was released on April 20, 1999, and peaked at No. 75 on the Billboard’s R&B chart. After the release of the album, Banner and Kamikaze each had successful solo careers and occasionally appeared on each other’s projects. Banner, who released the single Like a Pimp in 2000, became Mississippi’s first rapper to receive national attention.

 

  • Jeff

    When you repeatedly pit one smash hit against three never-heard-of songs, the results are hardly surprising or newsworthy.

    • I respect your personal opinion of the songs, but in fairness to the artists I must explain that Kryptonite rose to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the album was the 11th-best-selling album of 2000, certified six-time platinum in the United States. Hardly a never-heard-of-song. Also, Bobby Rush won a Grammy award this year for the album Porcupine Meat. A significant achievement. We seek to offer a variety of music genres each week. And while you may not be familiar with Tupelo by Crooked Lettaz, its creators played a significant role in the development of hip-hop in Mississippi.

      Thank you for reading.

    • Dennis Moore

      We certainly respect your personal opinion of the songs, but in fairness to the artists I must explain that Kryptonite rose to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the album was the 11th-best-selling album of 2000, certified six-time platinum in the United States. Hardly a never-heard-of-song. Also, Bobby Rush won a Grammy award this year for the album Porcupine Meat. A significant achievement. We seek to offer a variety of music genres each week. And while you may not be familiar with Tupelo by Crooked Lettaz, its creators played a significant role in the development of hip-hop in Mississippi.

      Thank you for reading. There is a lot more Mississippi music to come.

      • Jeff

        Thanks for the info. I keep a radio on about 18-20 hours a day, every day, and have for 40+ years, but have never heard those songs. So, I can’t say there’s much there. As for the Grammys, well that’s like winning the musical chairs game at preschool when your oversized held-back buddy is looking out for you. Doesn’t mean it’s bad, but also doesn’t represent any real accomplishment.

        • How about the current round of songs? Are “Come Monday” and “Black Water” more familiar? They’re currently leading the voting.