The Late Movies: Happy Anniversary, Alaska!

Erica Palan

Today in 1959, the United States officially welcomed Alaska as the 49th state. Some Alaska fun facts: Alaska was purchased for $7.2 million in 1867. The state has a longer coastline than all the other U.S. states combined. The first big-box store, a Wal-Mart, opened in Alaska in 1993, which helped reduce the otherwise exorbitant cost of living. Happy anniversary, Alaska! Here are six songs about the biggest U.S. state.

"Anchorage" by Michelle Shocked

In this single from 1988's Short Sharp Shocked, the narrator writes to an old friend, who has moved from Texas to Anchorage.

"Alaska and Me" by John Denver

I see absolutely no good reason why this jaunty number isn't the state song of Alaska.

"Stephanie Says" by Velvet Underground

Though it was originally recorded in 1968, this tune wasn't released until 1985. You may recognize it from The Royal Tennenbaums.

"When It's Springtime in Alaska" by Johnny Horton

This 1959 single was the first of three number-one hits for famed country singer Johnny Horton.

"Road to Alaska" by the Bee Gees

A rock song off the "To Whom It May Concern" album from 1972, this song is about running to Alaska, "nowhere near Nebraska."

"The Prince William Sound" by David Dondero

This tune by American songwriter David Dondero romanticizes the "sound" of the Prince William Sound, located off the Gulf of Alaska.