‘Knock on Wood,’ Nellie McKay at ‘American Songbook at NJPAC’ series

Nellie McKay with bandmates Tivon Pennicott, left, and Kenneth Salters, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark on Sunday.

NJTV

Nellie McKay with bandmates Tivon Pennicott, left, and Kenneth Salters, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark in September, at her ‘American Songbook at NJPAC’ taping.

Nelly McKay has interesting tastes when it comes to covers. In 2009, she released a album paying tribute to Doris Day,Normal As Blueberry Pie,and her upcoming albums of ’60s pop and rock covers, My Weekly Reader, ranges from the familiar (The Beatles’ “If I Fell,” The Kinks’ “Sunny Afternoon”) to much more obscure stuff (Richard Fariña’s “Bold Marauder,” Country Joe and the Fish’s “Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine”).

Her September taping of an episode of NJTV’s “American Songbook at NJPAC” series contained lots of surprises, too, including “Knock on Wood,” a jovial novelty song best known for being sung by Sam (played by Dooley Wilson) in the classic film, “Casablanca.” An embeddable video is not available, but you can checkouther performances of this song by clicking here.

This wasthe third installment in the second season of “American Songbook at NJPAC,” which is devoted to preserving classic American songwriting (though some participants, including McKay, blend in more recent material, both covers and originals, as well).

New Jersey celebratedits 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we markedthe occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both.To see the entire list, clickhere.

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