Rochester Radio Chorus of the Air

The other evening I was walking down Park Avenue, it was warm, windows were down in cars going by. Some loud inspired singing broke through the night air, crept up from behind and stopped at the adjacent corner’s red light.

Two young women completely committed to the moment and the song.

The half public, half private world inside a moving automobile has hosted probably more spirited renditions of popular song than any location outside your shower.

What songs inspire you to sing along?

Outside the guitarist on the corner or a birthday gathering, public singing is fairly rare.

Once upon a time there were groups of guys in baseball locker rooms who did accapella versions of top ten hits from the radio, back when the radio was a bit more of a communal experience. Nearly everyone knew the hit songs of the day, and could probably sing them, or fake it pretty well.

Do you even know the hit songs this week? Ask a friend. If either of you come up with a couple, are they the same, and could you sing them?

Don’t really know what went on in the girl’s locker rooms.

There was one point in doing the radio show where I found myself singing along in the studio (don't tell anyone). I wondered who else was out there singing. Picturing millions of people driving in cars, sitting at desks, or on the ladder while painting a house, it seemed obvious to organize this particiation into a chorus. Maybe you were working on the roads in Brighton, or on the Erie Canal. You were all singing, right? Thus the Rochester Radio Chorus of the Air was born.

Just so I wouldn't be singing alone....

The Rochester Radio Chorus of the Air doesn’t necessarily do the hits. Previously our repertoire included the subtle timing challenge of “Will You Miss Me?” from Kieran Kane off the “No Depression” cd, Old Crow Medicine Show with the catchy chorus of “Wagon Wheel”, and Mike Doughty’s “Fort Hood” from his “Golden Delicious” recording. (That one included because of the use of “Let the Sunshine In” throughout the song.)

Singing in cars is spontaneous and inspired. Got a song that made you feel that way? Send it along to Open Tunings. Either comment here (can be anonymous) or email me at [email protected] .

The summer’s coming, got to keep those gals singing on Park Avenue.

“Baby, baby, where did our love go …”




Oh yeah, "Wagon Wheel" had me in its grips for a couple of weeks; fortunately it was winter so the windows were up and people were spared my singing along. Made my throat sore one day from doing it too loudly, too many times.

Lately it's "Lovin' Arms" by the Wood Brothers. Again, a little above my vocal range but that's not stopping me....


Have to get "Lovin' Arms" into the repertoire. Put it right next to "Wagon Wheel" and see how you voice holds up.