Thunder Hits the Road

Here we are, 20 years into coming up with themes for Thunder over Louisville, and organizers are just now using “Thunder Road” for the first time. Today the Derby Festival announced its theme would be built around road trips in Americana, and all sorts of road trip songs will be included.

Of course, the finale will have to feature the Springsteen classic, considered one of the top rock and roll songs of all time. I know you’re already humming lines from it, like — “You ain’t a beauty but hey you’re alright.”  It’s one of those songs that you can hear over and over and never get tired of it.

Thunder #20 isn’t immune to the economic crisis, though, and organizers say that they’re reducing the cost of production by about 10 percent, which they say won’t be noticed by the general public. Sponsor sales are flat, though McDonald’s, UPS Airlines, Horseshoe Casino, E.ON US and Meijer are back on board.

And in media news — the merry-go-round of getting the rights to produce the spectacle on TV falls to WHAS-TV, after being on WDRB-TV the last two years. We’ll find out for you what plans the station has for the show, which has been produced at considerable expense in HD by Fox41. The exclusive radio partner is 106.9 WVEZ.

Thunder is April 18.  So anyone want to help Wayne Hettinger and the gang out? Submit your favorite road songs in the comments section.

8 thoughts on “Thunder Hits the Road

  1. Running on Empty by Jackson Browne – “Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels”………. almost as good an opening line as “The screen door slams, Mary’s dress sways”

  2. 4 songs off the top of my head:

    1. Jim Morrison: “Roadhouse Blues”
    2. America: “Ventura Highway”
    3. Beatles: “The Long and Winding Road”
    4. Big Youth: “Hit the Road Jack “

  3. Haven’t they said for the last 10 years they are cutting back on Thunder, and it winds up being bigger than the previous year? I moved up here about 10 years ago, and the first couple of Thunders were alright. But after that, it got to be the same ole, same ole.

    Walking around the waterfront with a million other people to watch a fireworks show? Pass.

  4. I got a little too excited on this one:
    The Road I’m On – 3 Doors Down
    Roll On Eighteen Wheeler – Alabama
    Highway Junkie – Gary Allen
    Voodoo Highway – Badlands
    Not very appropriate but “Why Dont we do it in the road? -Beatles
    No Particular Place to Go – Chuck Berry
    Highway Man – Johnny Cash
    Hit the Road, Jack – Ray Charles
    Sweet Hitchhiker – CCR
    Every Day is a Winding Road – Cheryl Crow
    Take me Home Country Roads – John Denver
    Life in the fast lane – Eagles
    Follow the Yellow Brick Road – Judy Garland
    Truckin’ – Grateful Dead
    Me and Bobby McGhee – Joplin
    Danger Zone – Kenny Loggins
    Kentucky Rain – Elvis
    Bless the Broken Road – Rascal Flats
    Turn the Page – Bob Seger
    One-Way Rider – Ricky Skaggs
    Country Road-James Taylor
    Where the Streets have no Name – U2
    Jesus, Take the Wheel – Carrie Underwood
    The Silk Road – Phil Sawyer
    Only One Road – Celine Dion
    Drop Me off in New Orleans – Kermit Ruffins
    Are you Gonna Go My way – Lenny Kravitz
    Always on the Run – Kravitz
    This Land is you Land – various artists or PP&M
    Wayfaring Stranger – Jack White/Cold Mountain
    Come On Back to Me – Third Day
    Bright Side of the Road – Van Morrison
    There Goes My Baby – Drifters
    Okay, I’m done….but there are plenty of choices

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