For better or verse, two more Akron songs


Mark J. Price

We always sing the praises of Akron.

Last week’s column about a proposal to create an official song for the city’s bicentenary celebration in 2025 elicited some interesting responses.

An anonymous reader wrote, “The first ‘official’ Akron song was written in 1919. A third Akron song, also well known to Akronites, was popular in the 1930s. But since I came to despise your far-left liberal crap paper, I’ll leave it up to you to find out about those other two songs.

Oh, a mystery. Thanks for the advice, loyal reader.

Perhaps this is a reference to Adele Melita Miller’s 1919 composition “Summit’s Glory”, whose lines include:

AKRON spells Akron,

Proud and just city;

Shining in the golden light of the sun,

Floating life is here.

Green forests in their splendour,

Shimmering white lakes,

The temples of nature, all around,

The pleasure of every heart.

Chorus: Hail to Akron, the glory of Summit;

Always cultivate your fame.

May we long in song and history,

Proclaim all your worth.

In the brotherhood of service,

The hand of friendship is strong.

The white light of education burns,

Strive to right the wrong.

Proudly sounds the bugle whistle;

Thousands answer the call,

While the accelerated steps of progress

Forward for all.

Chorus: Hail to Akron, the glory of Summit;

Always cultivate your fame.

May we long in song and history,

Proclaim all your worth.

Here the voice of many races,

Joins our song.

Nobody in our beloved city,

Is a long time stranger.

So where work and worship mingle,

Pure pleasures will reign,

Man of swelling sweet contentment,

Do not live in vain.

As for a song that was popular in the 1930s, we are admittedly puzzled. Several tracks might fit, including “Hail to Akron”, “All Come Back to Akron”, “For the Fame of Akron”, and “Marching Through Akron”.

While we think about it, let’s move forward in time.

Tale of two cities

Reader Brian Graham wanted to know if we had ever heard of “The Akron-Canton Hometown Song”. He was on the jukebox in the 1990s at the Taj Mahal bar on South Main Street, he said.

Oh gosh, that’s awesome. Akron radio station WHLO 640-AM recorded the promotional song in 1962 and gave out hundreds of copies at teen dances.

The 45 RPM label credits the WHLO Sensational Six with Terry Lee as vocalist and the WHLO Hometowners as the background band. Here are the lyrics:

Let me tell you where I live

Here in Buckeye State.

The wind is blowing cool and the air is clear

And the stay is really great.

Big and busy, that’s why I say:

Akron, Canton… they sure are OK.

Canton, Akron… that’s where I’ll be staying.

The whole world is just rolling

On the tires, we send their way.

We feel like steel bars

We go out every day.

Derby Downs, Stadium Park

That’s why I say:

Akron, Canton… they sure are OK.

Canton, Akron… that’s where I’ll be staying.

Massillon, Cuyahoga Falls, Barberton and Stow.

Kent and Alliance lakes and Portage

And Hello Radio.

They are recommended for life

Or just a day.

Akron, Canton… they sure are OK.

Canton, Akron…that’s where I’m going staaaaaay.

This song is of course OK. The singer has a hard time pronouncing Massillon and Cuyahoga, it’s kind of a deception to credit Akron and Canton as one hometown, and we’re a little skeptical of that cool wind and clear air in 1962, but it’s is always a hep, energetic number.

You convinced us, WHLO. This is where we will stay.

Mark J. Price can be reached at [email protected]

Flashback from Akron:For the first time in generations, the official city song unveiled

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