Founded at Georgia College in 2015, Trax on the Trail is a website where scholars, educators, journalists, students, and the general public can learn about American presidential campaign music and gain insight into how sound participates in forming candidate identity.
Our interdisciplinary team includes academic experts from the fields of political science, musicology, sociology, history, communications, and ethnomusicology, as well as industry professionals and students.
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The latest from Trax on the Trail
- Footloose: Political Transformations of a Song and Its MeaningOn September 5th in Portland, Oregon, videographers on the scene captured footage of a protester inadvertently lighting his feet on fire as he set off a Molotov cocktail. In a state of panic and distress, the man runs awkwardly towards the crowd of protesters with his feet blazing, caught between getting out of the way ofContinue reading “Home”
- Just say “Song long to Kell” and that “Vlad Guy”: An Interview with SongBirdIn early October, the brilliant parodies of a 17-year-old singer who goes by the pseudonym “SongBird” came to the attention of Trax on the Trail. Following in the footsteps of her idol, Randy Rainbow, SongBird’s music showcases her acerbic wit and pitch perfect comedic timing. Her DIY videos have received over 500K hits and countingContinue reading “Home”
- Music and Politics, 1917–1920In unsettled times like our own, it is tempting to assume that the confluence of events is unprecedented: 2020 has already brought us an impeachment trial, a global pandemic, a sudden shift from prosperity to recession, a worldwide protest movement against racial injustice and police brutality, and a presidential primary unlike any other. But theContinue reading “Home”
- The Deep Cuts of a Randy Rainbow Song ParodySeptember 12, 2020 American comedian and musician Randy Rainbow has recently enjoyed YouTube success thanks to a group of people he apparently vehemently dislikes: President Donald Trump and his administration. One video alone has garnered as many as 6.5 million views. Although most of Rainbow’s videos start with splices of Donald Trump interviews with Rainbow as the interviewer,Continue reading “Home”
- Refractions of a Rainbow: Randy Rainbow’s Multi-Layered ParodiesAugust 17, 2020 In September 2019, I stood in a blocks-long line of excited fans in front of the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia. The attraction was neither the latest teen heartthrob nor a jazz luminary, but Randy Rainbow, the YouTube sensation whose timely parodies of show tunes and pop songs—their lyrics rewritten into comedic commentaries onContinue reading “Home”