On this week's edition of our news-inspired playlist, we're revisiting some of our sonic selections from the year gone by, so we kick it off with Nat King Cole's "Looking Back."
The easiest way to enjoy the playlist is to download Spotify, a free program. But even without it, you can still follow along. Here are the other selections for the week:
In January, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis faced fresh scrutiny over the way she presented her personal story during her campaign, prompting us to listen to Brandi Carlile's "The Story." In February, a federal judge in San Antonio ruled that Texas' ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, inspiring the addition of Willie Nelson's version of "Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly Fond of Each Other."
In March, when asked if he was considering another run for president, Gov. Rick Perry said, "America is a great place for second chances." So we added Gregory Alan Isakov's "Second Chances" to our playlist. And in April, we included Mavis Staples singing "Eyes On The Prize," since she had performed at a summit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act at the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum.
The next month saw the selection of "I'm Here To Get My Baby Out of Jail," as sung by Norah Jones and Billie Joe Armstrong, because murderer Bernie Tiede, the subject of Richard Linklater's film "Bernie," was released from prison on the condition that he live with the director.
By June, polls showed little change in Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott's lead over Davis, so we had Rod Stewart's "Still The Same." In July, University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers was pressured to submit his resignation, which he did (effective next June), so we heard Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Quittin' Time."
August gave us a chance to play Gary Clark Jr.'s "Travis County," since it was at a Travis County Courthouse that Perry was booked following an indictment relating to his dealings with the county district attorney's office. Then, in September, after he was censured by lawmakers, UT regent Wallace Hall said he was "comfortable" even though a case against him was bound for a grand jury, so we had "I'm Not Worried At All" by Moby.
October saw the onset of panic following the state's first-ever diagnosed case of Ebola, which inspired the addition of "Mystery Disease" by MGMT. And on Election Day in November, the Republicans running for statewide office were — as the title of the Scott Joplin song we had on the playlist put it — "The Easy Winners."
As the year came to a close in December, Perry made a concerted effort to prepare himself for a second bid for the presidency, which is why we chose "I'm Getting Ready" by Michael Kiwanuka. And finally, so we can end on a forward-looking note, we closed this week's playlist with Jamie Cullum's "Next Year Baby."