350 Jersey Songs at halfway point: The Top 10 posts

Carole King's 2012 compilation, "The Legendary Demos," included her original recording of "Pleasant Valley Sunday."

Carole King’s 2012 album, “The Legendary Demos,” included her original recording of “Pleasant Valley Sunday.”

Last week, I posted No. 175 in the 350 daily installments in the 350 Jersey Songs series — the halfway point! — so I decided to take a look back and find out which songs of the 175 were the most popular, in terms of page views.

Here’s what I found out.

1. “Pleasant Valley Sunday” demo, Carole King

Everyone knows the Monkees’ hit version of this song, of course, but people really liked hearing King’s original take on this tale of West Orange ennui, included on her 2012 compilation, The Legendary Demos. This has been the most popular 350 Jersey Songs post, by far.

2. “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus,” Bernie Brausewetter

I was a bit surprised to find Brausewetter here, in front of so many bigger names, but that just goes to show how much New Jerseyans miss the late guitarist and singer (who died in 2007) and enjoyed watching this clip of him.

3. “Behind the Wall of Sleep,” The Smithereens with Graham Parker

One of the great things about this series, for me at least, has been the opportunity to find rare clips on YouTube and share them with people. This was one of the best: a collaboration from the second MTV “Unplugged” show, ever.

4. “Ariel,” Dean Friedman

People clearly have fond memories of this sweet and slightly goofy 1977 pop hit, set in the Paramus Park mall.

5. “A Change Is Gonna Come,” Bettye LaVette and Jon Bon Jovi

Two New Jerseyans team up to sing a sublime version of Sam Cooke’s Civil Rights Era anthem at President Obama’s first inauguration.

6. “This Time It’s for Real,” Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny, Jon Bon Jovi and Steven Van Zandt.

Four of the Shore rock scene’s all-time greats, on stage together at Asbury Park’s Convention Hall in 2001.

7. “State Trooper,” Bruce Springsteen

The Boss’ dark masterpiece about driving the Turnpike, late at night.

8. “Light of Day,” Joan Jett and Bruce Springsteen

A thrilling concert collaboration from a 2001 benefit concert.

9. “Johnny B. Goode,” Dave Edmunds and Friends

Another real find: A 1984 jam featuring Edmunds, Link Wray, Steve Cropper of Booker T. & the MG’s, Johnny Winter, David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, Dickey Betts of The Allman Brothers Band, Brian Setzer and Neal Schon of Journey, from a taping of MTV’s “Rock Influences” show at the Capitol Theater in Passaic.

10. “Jersey Girl,” Bruce Springsteen with Clarence Clemons and the Red Bank Rockers

A surprise 1993 Springsteen appearance with Clemons and his Red Bank Rockers at Tradewinds in Sea Bright.

For all the songs, visit NJArts.net/350-new-jersey-songs.


Since launching in September 2014, NJArts.net, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to NJArts.net via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to NJArts.net to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.


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