Arkansas politicians' musical taste 

For this week's music issue, we surveyed candidates and presumptive candidates for U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Arkansas governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general on a few basic music-related questions. Not everyone responded to our poll, and some of those who did didn't answer all the questions. Key takeaways: There are enough pols who play some type of horn that we could work up a nice, bipartisan brass band. Tom Cotton's favorite song is "Battle Hymn of the Republic." "Classical Gas" is a really good song that we'd forgotten about.

U.S. Senator Mark Pryor

Favorite artist: Johnny Cash

Favorite song: The Band's "The Weight"

Favorite Concert: Ray Charles

Favorite song that makes reference to Arkansas: Ray Charles' "What'd I Say"

Any musical talent? It depends on your definition of "musical talent."

U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton

4th District U.S. Congress

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate

Favorite artist: Johnny Cash

Favorite song: "Battle Hymn of the Republic"

Favorite concert experience: Kid Rock

Favorite song that makes reference to Arkansas: Collin Raye's "Little Rock"

Any musical talent? None whatsoever.

U.S. Rep. Steve Womack

1st District U.S. Congress


Favorite song: Paul Anka's "My Way"

Favorite song that makes reference to Arkansas: The Gavins' "Back in Arkansas"

Any musical talent? Played the trombone through junior year in high school.

Rep. Ann Clemmer

Candidate for 2nd District U.S. Congress


Favorite songs: The Beatles' "In My Life," The Eagles "Wasted Time," Elton John "Funeral for a Friend" and Billy Joel "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant."

Favorite concert experience: Sixth row Billy Joel in Memphis circa 1993. He is a great showman and I could watch his fingers pound the keys.

Favorite song that makes reference to Arkansas: Buddy Jewell's "Sweet Southern Comfort."

Any musical talent? No

Pat Hays

Candidate for 2nd District U.S. Congress


Favorite artist/band AND concert: A tie. Jimmy Buffett. His keyboardist Mike Utley was a fraternity brother. ... I asked them to come to Verizon. Five years later, the band came and halfway through people asked me if I heard my name in one of the songs. Two weeks later I heard from Utley and he said, Did you hear Jimmy mention your name? Buffett worked my name into "Margaritaville." And The Rolling Stones. I saw them on my first date with my wife, Linda, at the Cotton Bowl ... and again on our silver anniversary at Verizon.

Favorite song that makes reference to Arkansas: "Arkansas (You Run Deep In Me)."

Col. Conrad Reynolds

Candidate for 2nd District U.S. Congress


Favorite artist: Bon Jovi

Favorite song: Toby Keith's "American Soldier"

Favorite concert experience: Aerosmith in Pine Bluff 1978.

Favorite song that makes reference to Arkansas: Collin Raye's "Little Rock." It's a song about personal choices and the effects that they have on others, not just yourself.

Rep. Bruce Westerman

Candidate for 4th District U.S. Congress


Favorite artist/band: I listen to lots of different music and have some favorite artists in different areas, including Toby Mac, Journey and Don Williams.

Favorite concert experience: Tie between Don Williams at the Arkansas State Fair and Alabama, late '80s, in Fayetteville.

Favorite song that makes reference to Arkansas: "Tennessee Stud."

Any musical talent? No musical talent. I tried guitar and piano lessons in elementary school, but I'm musically challenged. I like to sing in church when everyone else is singing.

Curtis Coleman

Candidate for governor


Favorite artist/band: Gaither Vocal Band

Favorite song: The hymn "Because He Lives"

Favorite concert experience: Attending the Gaither Homecoming at Verizon Arena, which I try to attend every year.

Favorite song that makes reference to Arkansas: Johnny Cash's "I've Been Everywhere"


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