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.

"I'm Sensitive" by Jewel

Feb 10, 2014

Maya Litauer first heard Jewel's song as a young adult -- as a shy, self-conscious girl, she found affirmation from the song's message. It gave her the self confidence to feel comfortable in her own skin. 

For Hannah Lew of San Francisco, this song proved the perfect soundtrack to one of her favorite stories by Italo Calvino.  

Judith Seeger, from Mountain View, made mix tapes for almost 40 years, starting in the late '60s. She always filled the remaining few seconds of the cassettes with Jefferson Airplane's "Embryonic Journey." 

Raven Mahon, from the San Francisco band Grass Widow, has a special love for "Holiday Road." Her attachment to the Lindsey Buckingham tune began with a VHS from her childhood.

"That's the Way of the World" is the song that sends listener Mark Decena right back to the night of his first slow dance.

"Time" by Pink Floyd

Dec 29, 2013

For listener Justin Hill, Pink Floyd's track "Time" holds an emotional and physical weight. Not only are the lyrics impactful, but the guitar solo can make the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.

"What is Hip" is the type of song that reminds Don Reed to ask himself, "Are you being yourself? Are you being authentic?" Plus, he also digs its poppin' 70s horn section.

Do you know the recent movie, Alvin and the Chipmunks? When Tina Kwok looked up the actor (Jesse McCartney) who voiced the littlest chipmunk, Theodore, she found a song that inspires her to be herself. 

You may remember hearing Bunny Berigan's "I Can't Get Started" in the film, Chinatown. For listener Eric Sylvester, the song means more than just a killer addition to a soundtrack.   

Adele's ballad, "Someone Like You" means a lot to Julia Kernan-Woitalla. It was the first song she learned on the piano, and her mother just can't get enough. 

Ken Helman has listened to Sara Bareilles' "Gravity" over a thousand times, and the song's story keeps him coming back for more.

"Crystallize" by Lindsey Sterling

Oct 17, 2013

Lindsey Sterling's violin track, "Crystallize," inspires Alice Lu to research how water is connected to human consciousness and emotions.

"Try" by Pink

Oct 17, 2013

High school student Sherry Fong appreciates the message of Pink's "Try": If there's a fire, there's going to be a flame, but a little burn won't hurt you.  

"Fourth Piano Concerto" by Beethoven

Oct 9, 2013

Larry Latovski listens to Beethoven's "Fourth Piano Concerto" every chance he gets, no matter who's playing it.  

"Little Wonders" by Rob Thomas

Oct 9, 2013

Binh Huynh first heard his favorite song, "Ever Wonder" by Rob Thomas, at the end of a movie. It was the soundtrack to a particularly happy ending.

"Gold" by Britt Nicole

Oct 9, 2013

The Britt Nicole pop tune "Gold" motivates Christine Yan to do more of what she loves.

"Time" by Pink Floyd

Oct 9, 2013

The intricate guitar work in Justin Hill's favorite song "Time," makes the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.  

"I Scare Myself" by Dan Hicks

Oct 9, 2013

When Terry McGovern first heard Dan Hicks' "I Scare Myself," he was instantly blown away by the unstoppable, symphonic nature of the guitar-laden track.

"Do Like You" by Stevie Wonder

Oct 9, 2013

Kania Tucker's father played the entire Stevie Wonder album "Hotter Than July" during every summer camping trip, and she recalls the special connection she shared with a surprise skit at the end of his favorite song.

"Automatic" by Weezer and LA Riots

Oct 8, 2013

For Kelvin Chen, his love for this dancy Weezer track is tied to the excitement he feels when playing video games.

"Evening Star" by Robert Fripp and Brian Eno

Aug 26, 2013

Rob McCoun has been listening to Robert Fripp and Brian Eno's "Evening Star" for three decades and it still gives him the chills.  

"I'd Rather Go Blind" by Etta James

Aug 12, 2013

What makes this Etta James' classic so important to PJ Johnston? Well, it's not everyday you get to meet Ms James herself. Johnston did just that at a party thrown by (then) Mayor Willie Brown in 1997. 

"Dirty Laundry" by Don Henley

Aug 12, 2013

The value of good satire isn't lost on Michael Stoll. He adds Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry" to our ongoing My Mix Tape series.

"Piece of My Heart" by Janis Joplin

Aug 5, 2013

The first time Seth Rosenfeld heard Janis Joplin's voice he was sitting in his family's Chevy Impala, parked in the driveway, listening to the radio. 

Oakland pastor, Bob Jackson chose one of James Cleveland's gospel ballads as his favorite song. Pastor Jackson's reason why? "Because 'Jesus is the best thing that ever happened to me'".

Women in stunning gowns, men in black tie and tails... these are just a few images of the Art Deco party scene of yesteryear that Russell Piti imagines as he's listening to this tune from the Paul Whiteman Orchestra.  

Berkeley's Dan Huepel remembers the moment in high school when he realized just how much life was ahead of him, thanks to a soundtrack by The Eagles.

"Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" by Selena

Jul 17, 2013

Fatima Duran may have grown up, but she still holds on to one of her favorite songs from childhood -- and the memory of acting out her own Selena impersonations. Don't forget, you can pick up a hairbrush and play rockstar whenever you want.

"Bring it on Home to Me" by Sam Cooke

Jul 17, 2013

Devon Jorgensen gushes about "the best song ever written" and how the lyrics, composition, and Cooke's voice hit home during a big breakup.

"Swanee" by Al Jolson

Jun 24, 2013

Pool parties, BBQ's and other memories of growing up in the East Bay are what Lisa Davis thinks of each time she hears this favorite Al Jolson tune.