Favorite

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

Republican

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

Republican

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

Democrat

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

Republican

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

Republican

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

Republican

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"

Any musical talent? Recorded three gospel solo albums a lifetime ago. Sing and play the piano.

Asa Hutchinson

Candidate for governor

Republican

Favorite artist/band: Johnny Cash

Favorite song: "I'll Fly Away"

Favorite concert experience: MC Hammer at Barton Coliseum. I went with my daughter Sarah.

Favorite song that makes reference to Arkansas: Stevie Wonder's "I Was Made To Love Her"

Any musical talent? Play the trumpet.

Mike Ross

Candidate for governor

Democrat

Favorite artist: Justin Moore

Favorite song: Justin Moore's "Small Town USA"

Favorite concert experience: It's a tie between being backstage with Collin Raye in De Queen (he went to high school with my wife, Holly) and backstage with Glen Campbell in Nashville, Ark.

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

Any any musical talent? I used to played tuba in the Hope High School Super Band and used to play piano — emphasis on "used to."

John Burkhalter

Candidate for lieutenant governor

Democrat

Favorite artist/band: Fleetwood Mac, but I do have to admit that there is an Adele CD in my car right now.

Favorite song: Mason Williams' "Classical Gas."

Favorite concert experience: Seeing the Commodores at the Pine Bluff Convention Center in 1978.

Favorite song that makes reference to Arkansas: It's probably cliche, but I really do love the state song, "Arkansas (You Run Deep In Me)."

Any musical talent? I started playing the saxophone and the drums in 7th grade. I have a Pearl concert drum kit at my house and I still show off for my wife every now and then. I do still have the sax, but I don't pull it out as much as I should.

Rep. Charlie Collins

Candidate for lieutenant governor

Republican

Favorite songs: Chris Tomlin's "God of this City" and David Frizzell's and Shelly West's "You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma."

Favorite concert experience: I've only been to like one concert in my life. Well, I've seen the Go-Go's and Barry Manilow. My wife dragged me to one of those.

Favorite song that mentions Arkansas: Grand Funk Railroad's "We're an American Band." I've always liked that song but I didn't know until the last couple years about Sweet Connie.

Rep. Andy Mayberry

Candidate for lieutenant governor

Republican

Favorite artist: Elvis Presley

Favorite band: Journey

Favorite song: Merle Haggard's "Walking on the Fightin' Side of Me"

Favorite concert experience: Billy Joel and Elton John at War Memorial

Favorite song that makes reference to Arkansas: Terry Rose's "Oh, Arkansas"

Any musical talent? I sing in the shower and marvel at those who can play any instrument.

Leslie Rutledge

Candidate for attorney general

Republican

Favorite artist: Loretta Lynn. I love the fact that she taught herself to play, sang her own songs and she and Doolittle just got in that car and made their own success. She wasn't "found"; she sacrificed and worked hard for that success.

Favorite song: Dottie West's "Country Sunshine"

Favorite concert experience: Alabama at Barnhill Arena

Favorite song that makes reference to Arkansas: Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart"

Any musical talent? Not if you ask my junior high band director! I attempted for years to play the trombone.

Rep. Nate Steel

Candidate for attorney general

Democrat

Favorite artist: Levon Helm.

Favorite song: Robert Earl Keen "Feeling Good Again"

Favorite concert experience: I don't know. I saw Zac Brown band a few years ago and that was a great experience.

Favorite Arkansas song: I have an entire playlist of these. I'd have to say "Arkansas, You Run Deep In Me" by Wayland Holyfield. "Good Lord Lorrie" by Turnpike Troubadors is a close second. It references Sevier County a couple of times.

Any musical talent? I play guitar, harmonica, and I've tried my hand at the fiddle but couldn't get anywhere with it.

James Lee Witt

Candidate for 4th District Congress

Democrat

Favorite artist: Vince Gill

Favorite song: Carrie Underwood's "Jesus Take the Wheel"

Favorite concert experience: My wife, Lea Ellen, and I were walking down the street in Toronto and noticed that Neil Diamond was playing. We walked up and got the last two tickets available. They were in the nose bleed section, but we had a great time. 

Favorite song that makes reference to Arkansas: Wayland Holyfield's "Arkansas (You Run Deep in Me)"

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