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Rocking The Vote

In 2000, one of the presidential debates took place at Wake Forest University, in Winston-Salem, N.C., some 80 miles west of Chapel Hill, N.C., where I grew up. Although we didn't have tickets to the event itself, two friends and I scored invitations to Al Gore's post-debate party at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum Theater. If I remember correctly, we used our press credentials, as reporters and editors for the East Chapel Hill Observer, our [venerable] high-school newspaper. (I think we laminated them ourselves).

Although my memory of the debate, which we watched on a giant screen, is hazy, I do recall -- with real fondness -- the Saturday Night Live parody that followed:

I digress. When the debate ended, we waited an eternity for Al Gore to appear. "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet," Gore's campaign theme song, played over and over again. The crowd grew restless -- and tired of Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Indeed, we hadn't seen nothin' -- or anyone. And c'mon, the band is Canadian!

As my colleague, Sarah Handel, pointed out, repetition is the hallmark of the campaign mix tape. On the show today, Carrie Brownstein, of Sleater-Kinney and NPR Music, will talk to us about campaign theme songs. (She mused on them here). Do you have a favorite? Or a suggestion? No BTO! We'll pull the best ones, to play on the show.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

David Gura
Based in New York, David Gura is a correspondent on NPR's business desk. His stories are broadcast on NPR's newsmagazines, All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition, and he regularly guest hosts 1A, a co-production of NPR and WAMU.