What's Cool?


September 5th, 2001 ~ American Routes poses the question: "What is cool?" A style, a state of mind, the perfect horn riff, just chillin'? Some guests from the past year offer their answers, including Merle Haggard, Yo La Tengo, McCoy Tyner, T-Bone Burnett and Ray Charles. All backed up, of course, by our "cool" music mix (depicted: clarinet player Don Byron and Yale art historian of "coolness" Robert Farris Thompson).

Listen To Hour 1 Listen To Hour 2

Hour One   Hour Two  
  • Open Bed: Fever The Three Suns
    Cocktail Mix, Vol.1: Bachelor's Guide To The Galaxy, Rhino
  • But I Was Cool Oscar Brown Jr.
    Sin & Soul… And Then Some, Sony
  • SEGMENT: What's Cool? : Mose Allison
  • The 7th Son Mose Allison
    Alison Wonderland: The Mose Allison Anthology, Rhino
  • I'm a Woman Peggy Lee
    The Best of Miss Peggy Lee, Capitol
  • SEGMENT: What's Cool? – listener Bruce Hirsch
  • Rocket 69 Todd Rhodes & Orchestra
    Risque Rhythm Nasty ‘50s R&B, Rhino
  • Cool, Cool Ways (Sexy Ways) Jerry Lee Lewis
    Classic, Bear Family
  • SEGMENT: What's Cool? - Merle Haggard
  • The Bottle Let Me Down Merle Haggard
    The Lonesome Fugitive: The Merle Haggard Anthology 1963-1977, Razor & Tie
  • Instrumental: Movin' Bill Black's Combo
    The Best of Bill Black's Combo: The Hi Years, Hi
  • SEGMENT: What's Cool? - Jack Johnson
  • Have Mercy Baby Jelly Roll Kings
    Rockin' the Juke Joint Down, Earwig
  • Til The Money Runs Out John Hammond Jr.
    Wicked Grin, PointBlank
  • Instrumental: You Name It Memphis Slim
    The Folkway Years 1959-1973, Folkways
  • SEGMENT: What's Cool? - John Hammond Jr.
  • Hit That Jive Jack King Cole Trio
    An Introduction to Nat King Cole 1936-1947, Best of Jazz
  • SEGMENT: What's Cool? - Don Byron & John Sinclair
  • All Blues Miles Davis
    Kind of Blue, Columbia
  • SEGMENT: What's Cool? -Ray Charles
  • Catch a Falling Star Perry Como
    Pure Gold, RCA
  • This Little Girl of Mine Ray Charles
    Genius & Soul, Rhino
  • Sit Down Servant The Original Five Blind Boys of Alabama
    The Sermon, Specialty
  • SEGMENT: What's Cool? –The Blind Boys of Alabama
  • Run On The Blind Boys of Alabama
    Spirit of the Century, RealWorld
  • Open Bed: Hansel and Pretzel Henri Rene & His Orchestra
    Cocktail Mix, Vol.1: Bachelor's Guide To The Galaxy, Rhino
  • Cool Jerk The Capitols
    Beg, Scream & Shout! The Big Ol' Box of ‘60s Soul, Rhino
  • Cool Del Close & John Brent
    Beat Generation, Rhino
  • Reaching Into In Ken Nordine
    The Best of Word Jazz, Vol.1, Rhino
  • SEGMENT: What's Cool? -Yo La Tengo
  • One PM Again Yo La Tengo
    And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out, Matador
  • On the Sunny Side of the Street Willie Nelson
    Stardust, Sony
  • SEGMENT: What's Cool? -Willie Nelson
  • But Not for Me Chet Baker
    Best of Chet Baker Sings, Capitol
  • Instrumental: Gentlemen Fela Kuti
    The Best Best of,
  • SEGMENT: Robert Farris Thompson, Yale professor of African and African-American Art History
  • Que Lindo el Mambo Tito Puente
    Mambo Cubano: The Golden Age of Cuban Music 1940-1960, Proper
  • SEGMENT: What's Cool? -Jim Jarmusch
  • He's Funny That Way Lester Young w/ Billie Holiday
    Ken Burns Jazz: Lester Young, Verve
  • SEGMENT: What's Cool? -McCoy Tyner
  • Blues Back McCoy Tyner
    Reaching Fourth, Impulse
  • Instrumental: Splat James Taylor Quartet
    Message From The Godfather, Ubiquity
  • SEGMENT: What's Cool? - Bob Moog
  • Boogie On Reggae Woman Stevie Wonder
    Original Musiquarium, Motown
  • I've Got Love if You Want It Slim Harpo
    The Best Of, Hip-O
  • Hip Shake Rolling Stones
    Exile On Main St., Virgin
  • SEGMENT: What's Cool? – listener Don Johnson
  • SEGMENT: What's Cool? –T Bone Burnett
  • I'll Fly Away Gillian Welch & Alison Krauss
    Down From The Mountain, Lost Highway
  • End Bed: The Wondering Texan Biller & Wakefield
    The Hot Guitars of Biller & Wakefield, High Tone