My Mix Tape

What's your favorite song? Or what's a song that holds meaning for you? KALW News has been asking these questions to every person interviewed, and here's what they've found.

My Mixtape: "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye

Jan 25, 2016

Roxanne Murray chose this track because it reminds her of coming of age in the Civil Rights era, with Vietnam, student activism, and Women's Liberation as a backdrop to the music.

Bobb Harris picked this song because it reminds him of how hard his father worked to support his family.


Gerard Koskovich tells us about a song that took on a whole new meaning during the height of the AIDS crisis in San Francisco's Castro district.


Alex Calder shares a song that reminds him how to escape the constant conflict in the world around us.


Mar 23, 2015

Chris Dogherty shares an American spiritual that he's heard in many different forms. Recently, he heard it played by a jazz trio on KALW. 

Chinaka Hodge shares a song that speaks directly to her heart.   

Richie Unterberger, from San Francisco's Inner Richmond District, shares a story about the very first record he ever bought. 

"En mi Viejo San Juan"

Feb 9, 2015

Musician John Santos shares a story about his grandmother's favorite song, and her journey to Puerto Rico.

"Fly" by Kyla La Grange

Feb 2, 2015

This song makes Deena Hammond want to hit the silk -- silk rope, that is. With its beats and hook, it's just right for aerial dancing.

"Baltimore" by Cex

Feb 2, 2015

Before Aladdin Collar moved to Oakland, he lived in Baltimore. The song "Baltimore," by the musician Cex, reminds Aladdin of the new freedom he felt when his friend back home in Baltimore received his driver's license.

Laura Fraser, of San Francisco, says that this X track is right in step with her leanings as a "friendly anarchist."

Every time Redwood City resident Pat Bernard visits pianist Larry Martin, without fail, he'll begin to play this song. 

When San Francisco resident Sebastian Walker arrived in Haiti, shortly after a devastating earthquake in 2010, this song was playing over and over on the car radio.

"Let Down" by Radiohead

Jan 5, 2015

Noah Arroyo's usual music selections are much angrier, but this slow, Radiohead jam really moves him.

"Carey" by Joni Mitchell

Dec 29, 2014

"The wind is in from Africa..." are lyrics that bring tears to the eyes of San Francisco resident Melissa Rodgers.

Rene de Guzman chose this Magnetic Fields' anthem because of its powerful lyrics, and the overall story it tells about not wanting to let go of a memory.

"Der er et yndigt land"

Dec 15, 2014

For Danish resident, Sonia Bistrup, the nation's anthem is her favorite "unfavorite" song.

Berkeley musician Lyrics Born shares a special moment he experienced on his wedding day, that this Curtis Mayfield track served as the soundtrack for.

This Big K.R.I.T. song resonates with Oakland's Aundray Rodgers, because it serves as a daily reminder of his inspirational grandmother.

This is one of Sheri Shuster's favorite songs, because "It just stirs something inside of me."

"It's the first time I fell in love with music," says singer Thao Nguyen of one this Smokey Robinson hit. "It was my first example of the juxtaposition, the really happy upbeat melody, with darker, sad material."  

For Safiya Martinez, this Jimi Hendrix ballad marked her transition into teenage-hood.

Anna Lamassonne has attended many Grateful Dead shows, and this is the one song she's hoping to hear the most.

This song is particularly special to Nick Bilogorskiy. "Revolution" sums up a lot of his thoughts on the current state of the world, but also, it was the first track he ever learned on guitar.

Susan Craig's favorite song at the moment is Ani DiFranco's "32 Flavors," because she really enjoys the empowering message at its core.

Author, and West Oakland resident, Novella Carpenter, recalls the song her father used to play for her, when she was a child.

Nina Pick was driving home, surrounded by an East Coast winter scene, when this song took on a particular weight and meaning.

San Francisco writer and poet Alejandro Murguía appreciates the way "Tiempo Pa' Matar" captures the beauty that can come when you're just killing time.

"Back in Black" by ACDC

Sep 8, 2014

Skipper Jimmy Spithill shares with us the song that summed up his race team for the 2013 America's Cup Finals the most.

Tracey Grose associates this Sinatra standard with a time of love and heartbreak that brought a lot of meaning to her life.