Houston Matters

Houston Matters Mix Tape Vol. 2: A Bill Withers Cover, And Songs About Telephone Road, And Self-Isolating

Listeners reached out to share their favorite songs with the rest of Houston.


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For more than a month now, we’ve talked about the need to be socially distant — but not emotionally distant. We’ve also talked about how music spurs the soul.

Recently, we melded those two thoughts into something we asked you and your neighbors to help develop: a Houston Matters Mix Tape made up of Houstonians’ favorite songs. And you responded.

We received many replies, and for this edition have chosen nine songs to highlight, all of which you can find on Spotify. SHARE YOUR SONG

The Houston Matters Mix Tape Vol. 2:

Volume 2 starts with a Luther Vandross and Busta Rhymes cover of the Bill Withers song, “Lovely Day.” Yolanda Brooks Brown sent this song as an example of how her family connects throughout the generations.

“When I was a little girl, my granny Madir used to play Bill Withers’ ‘Lovely Day’ loudly, and we danced while we were cleaning the house on Saturday mornings,” Brown said. “When cleaning up on Saturdays now with my 12-year-old daughter, we play our two favorite versions all the time — the Bill Withers version and the Luther Vandross and Busta Rhymes version. Mama Madir, who is now 95 years old, can’t believe my daughter’s version has rap in it, but she taps her foot and sings along with us anyway…This is the ultimate and timeless song about love and light.”

Withers recently passed away at age 81.

Pat Houlihan in Conroe shared his favorite song by local Houston artist Rodney Crowell. Telephone Road feels like a shout out to every quintessential H-Town experience by those who grew up in it.

Skiing in a bar ditch behind a moped
13 stitches on the corner of a sardine can
We were dirt poor Houston kids
Our whole family living on the skids
But we always had a nickel for the coming of the ice cream man

Mosquito truck blowing up DDT
Barefoot heathens running wild and free
Air raid buzzer at a noon-day scream
Living in a dream
On Telephone Road

Sarah Jenkins in The Woodlands chose Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance.”

“It just reminds me that — when it comes to my attitude — I have a choice,” Jenkins said. “I don’t necessarily have a choice of what’s going on around me, but I do have a choice about how I react to it.”

Skyline Sessions producer Troy Schulze included “Isolation,” a song by Terror Jr, who appeared on the series. The message of choosing to self-isolate as a way of empowering themselves.

“I think that’s an apropos message for these times,” Schulze said.

I always thought I needed someone else
I guess I really, really didn’t like myself
I’ve been in a competition with myself
I’m ’bout to take a vacation with myself
I’d rather be alone inside my room
Than always be alone when I’m next to you
I think it’s time I got down with no one else
I fell in love with isolation

Share The Songs That Matter To You:

If you want to add your own song to a future community mix tape, download the free Houston Public Media News app on the Apple or Google Play app stores.

Once you’re in the app, select “open mic” in the menu, press record, and you’ll have 60 seconds to tell us what the song is and why you love it.

Then press “send” and e-mail your comments to us. We’ll take care of the rest. Happy listening!