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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Out There!: "My Town" by Michael Stanley Band

Have you ever heard of the Michael Stanley Band? They were a heartland rock band for the working class people in the 70's and 80's from Cleveland led by Michael Stanley. No relation to the legendary Paul Stanley from KISS. The band formed in 1974 and went through a variety of personnel changes up until 1982 when they evolved into a seven piece band. Although they ruled the Cleveland area during the 70's, The Michael Stanley band would reach their peak nationwide in the early 80's with two big songs. One was a tune called "He Can't Love You" which peaked at #33 on the Billboard U.S. charts and was the 45th music video to air on MTV. But it was their second big hit that really made an impression on me. That song was My Town from 1983.

Although I watched MTV religiously as a child in the early 80s, I didn't know much about the Michael Stanley Band. A few years ago, a friend of mine at work named Marco introduced me to them. He was interested in my music knowledge and had a the same love of melodic rock that I did. He browsed through my collection, and found some nuggets that I didn't have including the two songs from The Michael Stanley Band. Since my goal is to own every song that ever charted in the U.S. and always want to find those awesome songs that people forgot about, I had him put them on a flash drive for me. Again while listening to a random shuffle of my tunes, My Town came up and blew me away. It's just a great song with a hook that draws you in. My Town was released in 1983 and peaked at #39 on the U.S. Billboard Charts. Because of the Michael Stanley Band's popularity in Cleveland, The Ohio State marching band uses it as one of their signature tunes. So if you are watching an Ohio State Big 10 game on ESPN, you might hear snippets of it. Makes sense since the song is a real uplifter! My Town unfortunately would be Michael Stanley's last hit song. They did continue to have success in their hometown and released a few more albums before Michael Stanley left to pursue different projects. He appeared appear on an episode of Drew Carey as himself in the 90s, and is now a AM disc jockey on a classic rock station in Cleveland. Since I first heard My Town, it has been become an anthem for me and I'm happy to include in on my Top 500 Songs. And of course introduce it to you!!

Ladies and gentlemen... The Michael Stanley Band and My Town

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