ANNOUNCER: Welcome to THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English. Lots of people
have a favorite city. Maybe it is the city where they were born, or the place of
their happiest memories. Or maybe it is just a place they would like to call
home. Today, we present some songs about favorite American cities. Your travel
guides are Shirley Griffith and Rich Kleinfeldt.
New York. New York. More songs have been written about America's biggest city
than about any other city. More than eight million people live in New York. Many
others dream about leaving their small towns to go there. They want to become
rich and famous. Frank Sinatra sings about this dream in the most popular song
written about New York.
Almost three million people live in the middle western city of Chicago,
Illinois. It is now America's third largest city. It used to be the second
largest city. So, of course, it needed its own song. Judy Garland sings the
song, "Chicago, Chicago. "
Near Chicago is the small industrial city of Gary, Indiana. This city was
made famous by a song in a musical play called "The Music Man." The play opened
on Broadway in New York in 1957. In the musical, a young boy sings about his
hometown. Here, Eddie Hodges sings "Gary, Indiana."
Right in the middle of America is the city of Kansas City. It is the largest
city in the state of Missouri. In the 1960s, songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike
Stoller wrote about going to Kansas City. Why? Because they said it was filled
with many wonderful women. James Brown sings the song "Kansas City."
Americans love cities near the ocean. One of the most popular is Miami,
Florida. Visitors go there all year because the weather is warm. This song about
Miami was written in 1935. The Hot Mustard Jazz Band sings "Moon Over Miami."
One of America's most exciting cities is Las Vegas, Nevada. There you can
play games of chance all night long. The city's entertainment centers are open
all night, too. In 1964, Elvis Presley starred in a movie called "Viva Las
Vegas." Here is the song from that movie. It is sung by the group ZZ Top.
One of the most beautiful cities in America is San Francisco, California. It
is between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay in the northern part of the
state. The most popular song about the city is called "I Left My Heart in San
Francisco." Tony Bennett recorded it in 1962. It sold more than three million
Many people love Los Angeles, California. It is now America's second largest
city. More than three million people live there. Los Angeles is popular because
the weather is warm and the sun shines almost all the time. Randy Newman sings
about his feelings for the city in the song "I Love L.A."
Not everyone, however, loves Los Angeles. Some people do not like all the big
roads around the city. They call Los Angeles "a great big freeway." They like
living in a smaller place. A place like San Jose, California. Dionne Warwick
sings about going back to this city. The song is "Do You Know The Way To San
Today's program was written by Shelley Gollust. It was produced and directed
by Lawan Davis. I'm Rich Kleinfeldt.
And I'm Shirley Griffith. Join us again next week for another report about
life in the United States on the VOA Special English program, THIS IS AMERICA.