The Late Movies: Songs About Baseball

Baseball season is the happiest time of the year. Home runs, hot dogs, and hot summer nights at the ballpark are touchstones for so many of us, from the most casual observer to the diehard fan. Here, we've rounded up some songs about America's pastime. Did we leave out your favorite? Tell us in the comments. (This Phillies fan had to resist the urge to include a popular song from the City of Brotherly Love.)

"Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen

The 1984 song uses baseball as the framework for a song about recapturing youth.

"Catfish" by Bob Dylan

This tune, based on the career of Catfish Hunter, who pitched for the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees, was unreleased until Dylan's 1991 box set The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3.

(Apologies for the cover. YouTube wasn't offering up anything better.)

"Joltin' Joe DiMaggio" by the Les Brown Orchestra

In 1941, Joe DiMaggio had a 56-game hitting streak and the Les Brown Orchestra got in on the action.

"Centerfield" by John Fogerty

According to Fogerty lore, the former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman wrote this song after watching the 1984 Major League Baseball All-Star Game from the bleachers at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

"Talkin' Softball" from The Simpsons

A parody of "Talkin' Baseball" by Terry Cashman, this song appeared in the third season of The Simpsons in an episode called "Homer at the Bat." Cashman admits that the song helped his fame and that he gets more requests for "Talkin' Softball" than his original tune.

"Say Hey" by the Treniers

Released in 1955, this song honoring Willie Mays featured dialogue from the Giants centerfielder himself.

"Cheap Seats" by Alabama

Written about a minor league team and the small town that loves them.

New AI-Driven Music System Analyzes Tracks for Perfect Playlists

Whether you're planning a bachelorette party or recovering from a breakup, a well-curated playlist makes all the difference. If you don't have time to pick the perfect songs manually, services that use the AI-driven system Sonic Style may be able to figure out exactly what you have in mind based on your request.

According to Fast Company, Sonic Style is the new music-categorizing service from the media and entertainment data provider Gracenote. There are plenty of music algorithms out there already, but Sonic Style works a little differently. Rather than listing the entire discography of a certain artist under a single genre, the AI analyzes individual tracks. It considers factors like the artist's typical genre and the era the song was recorded in, as well as qualities it can only learn through listening, like tempo and mood. Based on nearly 450 descriptors, it creates a super-accurate "style profile" of the track that makes it easier for listeners to find it when searching for the perfect song to fit an occasion.

Playlists that use data from Sonic Style feel like they were made by a person with a deep knowledge of music rather than a machine. That's thanks to the system's advanced neural network. It also recognizes artists that don't fit neatly into one genre, or that have evolved into a completely different music style over their careers. Any service—including music-streaming platforms and voice-activated assistants—that uses Gracenote's data will be able to take advantage of the new technology.

With AI at your disposal, all you have to do as the listener is decide on a style of music. Here are some ideas to get you started if you want a playlist for productivity.

[h/t Fast Company]

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