Stand by Your Man, the song that made the Tremont, Miss., native a superstar, received 59 percent of the votes cast during the past two weeks. Also competing were Mississippi by Bob Dylan, 21 percent; Feels Like Mississippi by J. Fred Knobloch and Jelly Roll Johnson, 12 percent; and Mr. V’s Vicious Shuffle by Vasti Jackson, 8 percent.
Wynette’s country classic — “Stand by your man, And show the world you love him” — joins Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis, Come Monday by Jimmy Buffett, Ode to Billie Joe by Bobbie Gentry, The Thrill is Gone by B.B. King and Cross Road Blues by Robert Johnson, which were selected in the first five rounds of voting. The Ultimate Mississippi Playlist salutes the significance of Mississippi music during our state’s bicentennial celebration.
Next up, four new nominees: Hello Darlin’ by Conway Twitty, Mississippi Goddam by Nina Simone, Jackson, Mississippi by Kid Rock and I’ll Take You There by the Staple Singers.
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 through the fall, a fresh ballot of four new nominees will be published.
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 7:
Hello Darlin’ by Conway Twitty. Conway Twitty often opened his concerts with his signature tune, Hello Darlin’. The country standard was written and recorded by the Coahoma County native in 1970. Record producer Owen Bradley suggested speaking the lines, “Hello darlin’, nice to see you.” That became the instantly recognizable hook. Hello Darlin’ was Twitty’s fourth No. 1 song, spending four weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart that summer. Eventually, Hello Darlin’ became the No. 1 song of 1970.
Mississippi Goddam by Nina Simone. In less than an hour, Nina Simone composed her response to the murder of Medgar Evers in Jackson and the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Ala., that killed four black children. Simone’s performance of Mississippi Goddam at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1964 was first released on her album Nina Simone in Concert. The song became an anthem during the Civil Rights movement. “You don’t have to live next to me,” Simone sings, “just give me my equality.”
I’ll Take You There by the Staple Singers. I’ll Take You There, written by Al Bell and originally performed by soul/gospel family band The Staple Singers, was released on Stax Records in February 1972. It spent 15 weeks on the charts and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Roebuck “Pops” Staples, born in Winona, was the patriarch of the family and formed the group with his children, Cleotha, Pervis and Mavis, after moving his family to Chicago. I’ll Take You There, which begins with lead singer Mavis inviting listeners to seek heaven, remains the most successful and recognizable single of the Staples’ half-century-long career.
Jackson, Mississippi by Kid Rock. Jackson, Mississippi, from Kid Rock’s 2003 self-titled album, peaked at No. 14 on the Mainstream Rock tracks that year. Not much is known about why Kid Rock, who calls Detroit home, wrote about the Capital City. His lyrics, which capture the story of a man dealing with addiction and the effects on a relationship, reference the Pearl River, which runs through Jackson.