A total eclipse of the sun is an extraordinary event, and it will be visible in a band across the entire continental U.S. on Monday, August 21. According to Wikipedia, the last time a total solar eclipse was visible across the entire continental U.S. was almost a century ago, in 1918. Solar eclipses baffled and terrified humans in prehistory times who concluded it signaled the end of the world. I remember experiencing the May 1994 eclipse in Los Angeles and how strange it was to see the outlines of shadows on the ground become dim and the outdoor light fade. Los Angeles is not in the path of totality, but I’ll be out there tomorrow with my 8/21/17 eclipse glasses to view this natural wonder.
To help set the mood for this rare event, I’ve put together this unofficial Rhythm Planet eclipse playlist. Not surprisingly, the sun and moon have been popular topics with musicians. These are just a few of my favorites, and no, Bonnie Tyler is not among them. Hope you like it, and I wish you a safe eclipse viewing!
- “I Am the Black Gold of the Sun” by Samuel Yirga: A nice cover version, featuring an Ethiopian pianist and the Creole Choir of Cuba.
- “Sun is Shining” by Bob Marley: A classic from the reggae prophet.
- “Sun Showers” by Louis Armstrong: Satchmo weighs in.
- “When There Is No Sun” by Sun Ra: Gotta have Sun Ra in this playlist. He was one of a kind.
- “Darkness, Darkness” by The Youngbloods: This group also recorded “Get Together,” a 60’s anthem I featured on the latest Charlottesville-themed show.
- “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Ken Boothe: Reggae cover of the famous Bill Withers song.
- “Soleil de Minuit” (Midnight Sun) by Henri Salvador: “Midnight Sun” original version by the elegant French crooner.
- “Moon Ray” by Chris Connor: A 1960’s classic from a lesser-known but one of my favorite jazz singers.
- “Sister Moon” by Sting: Just one of the many hit songs from Sting’s 1987 album. Moody and a bit mysterious.
- “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles: People thought that Paul was dead because of the album cover art. (Hint: Paul wore no shoes crossing the street.)