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 check out her performances of this song by clicking here.
This was the 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 celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the 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, click here.