Songs about Dayton, mentioning Dayton

Somedude suggested a thread about songs about Dayton- or mentioning Dayton.

I know it’s a cheap thrill to watch the trailer for the new JJ Abrams movie Super 8 that mentions Dayton,

I also loved that the book “My losing season” by Pat Conroy begins with an anecdote in Books and Company, where Pat Conroy is signing books- and sees one of his old team mates- a DeBrosse (related to the DDN writer). Great book btw.

So, besides Randy Newman’s Dayton Ohio– (Mentioned by Melissa) I’m leaving this thread to my readers to come up with references to songs about Dayton, mentioning Dayton-

Have fun. And no- Google doesn’t answer this question…. so LMGTFY doesn’t work (Josh).

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25 Comments on "Songs about Dayton, mentioning Dayton"

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Elaine Hoven

Auburndale has a song about Dayton Called Alive In A Dying City…..Go to the youtube link


Guided by Voices, “Dayton, Ohio, 19 something and 5”

found via Google search. ;-b

mike mcmillon
mike mcmillon

“Dayton, Ohio 1903” by Harry Nilsson – written in 1970



Search results for songs: dayton, Ohio (~3 results)

Randy Newman
   Dayton, Ohio – 1903 [Early Version][#][*] lyrics

King’s Singers
   Dayton, Ohio 1903 lyrics

Mathilde Santing
   Dayton, Ohio-1903 lyrics

There is also a band called the Dayton Family I saw in my research … But the song in my head with Dayton I think is by Bob Seger; I have a friend who might know.  Also thinking it might be Van Halen or the Eagles … In the lyrics they are traveling through Dayton…

David Sparks
David Sparks

drexel, East Dayton Saturday Night:

David Sparks
David Sparks

The Altered Statesman, Viola Street (My favorite Dayton song).


My friend says there is a pop Johnny Cash song where he mentions Dayton; and the rock song I’m thinking of he thinks could be a song by Boston where they criticize Dayton for not liking them, or giving them a poor reception.


Telford to North Main, Flying Pizza..or any number of additional Swearing at Motorists songs.


Here are a few:
“Sweet Lil’ Sister”- Bad Company

“Gravestones”- Hawthorne Heights

“We Can’t Make It Here Anymore”- James McMurtry (a very interesting song)

“I’ve Been Everywhere”- Johnny Cash

Jeff Dziwulski
Jeff Dziwulski

Ive been Evereywhere name checks a lot of places….and I do mean A LOT. 

As for Dayton, Ohio, 1903, me and a buddy were at the SP Tavern on Thursday listening to some music and drinking some beer and started kicking around the idea of making up some bumper stickers or stickies using that.  Using some old typefaces liked you’d see from a Hatch Show Print poster.   We thought it might be more postive than “Dayton Sucks” (our other idea), as well as flashing at various levels (including the pop culture/pop music one).

There’s a Cafe Press store in a mall down in Louisville and I might just gin one up as a mock-up to see what it would look like next time I’m down there. 


Theres a song by Shrug that mentions Jackson Street in the Oregon. “Jackson Street up to the moon” or something like that.

I think Joel Andrel also has a song about Dayton. 


Thanks Bill, that was the Bad Co. song I was thinking of, and the Johnny Cash … I’ll look for that Boston song; but, seeing two good bands listed here from Dayton: GBV and Shrug, I can certainly name a few better bands from Dayton IMO: Dale Walton, Natti Bumpo, The Slugs, Low Rent Blues, and on and on …

Ice Bandit bout some old-time fiddle and banjer pickin?….


There are many Guided by Voices and Robert Pollard songs that reference Dayton. Dayton, Ohio 19-something-and-five being the most direct. The more you dig into the catalog the more you find . . .

Pat Offenberger
Pat Offenberger

Johnny Cash’s version of “I’ve Been Everywhere” was a later cover of the song Hank Snow had a #1 hit with in 1962. It was reworked with American city names from the original Geoff Mack song written in 1959, and recorded by Lucky Starr, using names of Australian cities. Johnny’s version was the best cover of the original Hank Snow recording I’ve heard.

David Sparks
David Sparks

The Osborne Brothers have an album titled “Dayton to Knoxville”:
Lots of their songs are peppered with references to Dayton, working in the factories of Urbana, and more.

David Sparks
David Sparks

Akillis Green (a great Dayton country music musician): 75 to 35:


There are no Boston songs referencing Dayton, it was the Bad Co. song … Hey, where did my last comment go, David?  [it was deleted for libel] I must’ve gotten off track or it didn’t go through … oh well.  The post was not about Dayton songs but Dayton bands, oops!
[redacted comment about Bob Pollard] there were many great Dayton bands, but that would be a longer post than this one I’m afraid … The Troutman Brothers did well to represent Dayton in their songs, like California with the talk box!

David Sparks
David Sparks

Uh, no, Robert Pollard continues to release album after album to a legion of fans across the globe maybe even more dedicated to his music than Grateful Dead fans were to their favorite tie-die band. What is the nickname for GBV hardcore fans BTW?


I’ll guess VoiceHeads!  I apologize for condemning Mr. Pollard, I was out of line …


I fixed my name, too, it was doubled, sorry.

John Fredland

Electric Six’s “Escape From Ohio” does not mention Dayton specifically, but it includes the line “except for GBV and Devo/nothing seems to redeem Ohio…”  This fan video includes a couple of classic GBV clips:
<iframe width=”560″ height=”349″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>


The Breeders also have some Dayton peppered in their songs. The Amps, another Kim Deal band does “Tipp City” on their album.

I think Bob Pollard is Dayton’s finest artistic export. He still lives here north of Dayton and puts out about 4-6 excellent albums a year. Also, he is a collage artist. Whenever I’m out of town and mention I’m from Dayton, I rarely get asked about the Wrights but often asked if I’m a GBV fan.

If the GBV tour continues for a while and is back in town, or more likely in Cinci or Columbus/Cleveland it is totally worth it to see them play.

we want action

Joe Anderl (the 1984 nfl draft) – Dayton, OH –

Jeff Dziwulski
Jeff Dziwulski

Re the Osborn Brothers, yeah that is a good early works one. 

I guess though we all might not agree on much we can agree that this town and the area around has a great popular music tradition, of various sorts.   Another country/bluegrass guy from the area is Larry Cordel, whos had some hits as a songwriter.  Bluegrass and pre-bluegrass was how I came to know Dayton, as this local scene was well known to fans in California, to the point of hearing Dayton-area artists on the various bluegrass/folk shows in Northern Califronia.  

I’m aoff topic but a cheer or two for one of the things that makes Dayton liveable; the local live music scene.

Jeff Dziwulski
Jeff Dziwulski

Whenever I’m out of town and mention I’m from Dayton, I rarely get asked about the Wrights but often asked if I’m a GBV fan.

….Same here.  Or if not asked, told that, if I hadn’t heard of them, that  theres a great band out of Dayton called GBV. 

I was skeptical ’till I saw them play.