Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thoughts on the Top 100 Countdown

It really is pretty amazing that year after year, no matter how much our audience grows, many of the same artists continue to show up time and time again on our annual Top 100 list.

Comparing this year’s Top 100 list with the one from five years ago in 2006, both Bob Dylan and Cheryl Wheeler have a strong command of the #1 and #2 positions.  In the top ten of both lists are artists like Nanci Griffith, Joni Mitchell and John Prine.  There were also strong increases with Brooks Williams, Cliff Eberhardt, Eva Cassidy, James Taylor, Mark Knopfler and Red Molly.

Eight names show up on the list this year for the very first time: Amy Black, Brendan Hogan, Brother Sun, Danielle Miraglia, Mumford & Sons, The Civil Wars, The Decemberists and The Head & The Heart.  Those who seem to have dropped off the list completely include: Ani DiFranco, Great Big Sea, Girlyman, Lyle Lovett, Maura O’Connell, Pierce Pettis, The Neilds, The Wailin’ Jennies and the Weepies.

One of our listeners remarked he couldn’t believe The Beatles only came in at #120.  And another – Bill – wrote, “I was disappointed that there was nary a mention of Jack Hardy, who, as you probably know, passed away this year.  Jack contributed to the contemporary folk scene(s) in so many ways.  He nourished the careers of a number of people on the list – Cliff Eberhardt, Lucy Kaplansky, Shawn Colvin and Christine Lavin immediately come to mind.  There were more.  Jack's Fast Folk project also recorded a number of other people on the list.  More importantly, at least to me, and what people seem to not appreciate, Jack was a great, great songwriter.  I find it sad that so few seem to have noticed, particularly in this the year of his passing.  I realize that the list was chosen via audience participation, so you WUMB’ers have little to do with the contents.  But I felt compelled to bring up Jack's name, as it would be nice if someone, somewhere in the folk community would some day give Jack his due.”  Here’s a tip of the hat to Jack Hardy!

What are your thoughts on the WUMB Top 100 list from 2011, which you can find at:

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