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Citizen Staff Writer

This week’s question: Which song by one of your favorite performers is an undiscovered gem, and why?

Arts writer

Chuck Graham

Here’s a rare one. Back in the 1970s, when half the people in Tucson wanted to become rock stars, local singer-songwriter Fred Knipe wrote and recorded a song called “Roses and Stones.” It was haunting and unforgettable. Fred went on to write songs recorded by Don Williams and other stars, but so far as I know nobody famous has ever recorded “Roses and Stones.” If they ever did, it would be a hit. For sure.

Metromix editor Polly Higgins

I’ll pick The Cure, because so many of the band’s good songs never got radio play, at least on this side of the pond. “10:15 Saturday Night” (off 1979′s “Three Imaginary Boys”) sums up what I like about Robert Smith – creative production (the guitar solo is so loud! I love it), vocal lines (Smith’s drip-drip-drip-drip-drip of a sink tap) and guitar work. It’s off and it’s pop at the same time.

Book reviewer Larry Cox

One of my favorite LPs is “The Nancy Wilson Show,” which was recorded in 1965 onstage at the Hotel Ambassador’s Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles. On this incredible album is “Guess Who I Saw Today,” which – even after more than 40 years – still packs quite an emotional punch. This forgotten performance featuring one of the most ironic songs ever written deserves another listen. If you’ve ever had your heart kicked over the goalpost of life, this cut is for you.

Calendar editor Rogelio Yubeta Olivas

On her 1989 CD “Foreign Affair,” sultry Tina Turner shows that she can sing more than just rock and pop. She is cool and sexy in the sizzlin’ “Undercover Agent for the Blues,” and proves that she can keep up with even the best blues musicians.

Another favorite is Sade’s smooth, jazzy instrumental “Punch Drunk” from the 1985 CD “Promise.” The track showcases the talents of her amazing band, who are true collaborators with the exotic singer – not just backing props.

Reader Rhonda Wilkie

My nomination for undiscovered gem is the song “Banana Wind” by Jimmy Buffett. It’s the most beautiful instrumental that only the most die-hard parrot head knows. When listening to it you can smell the salt air and feel a warm breeze flow past. My Prince Charming and I were married to this song six years ago this month in Nassau. The song is very special to us.

Reader Chuck Wilkie

While not totally undiscovered, the Ramones song “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg” was a protest song that got no airplay. (Not that any Ramone song did.) It was also arguably the Ramones at their best lyrically and musically.

Just Because: undiscovered music gems


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