"Oakland" was a song written and performed by the Goodtime Washboard 3. a quirky local band. The song was even performed before the city council, and above the marquee at the Tribune building. The single got lots of radio airtime in 1963, and was released on the album Don't Blame PG&E, Pal released in 1964.

The band consisted of Peter Arnott on banjo, Wayne Pope on washboard and saw, and Bruce Bratton on washtub bass. Arnott was absent from the band in Japan for two years working his day job, and Dick Fagarstrom covered banjo. The song was written and first performed during this period, but Arnott was part of the performance from the Tribune building.

Lyrics to "Oakland"

We are sure that you're aware
of famous cities everywhere
the ones that are acclaimed in song and verse
There are songs about Chicago, Paris, London, and St. Paul,
Buffalo, Miami, and for goodness sake Beaver Falls

But Tin Pan Alley did us wrong
because they never wrote a song
about the greatest city of them all
Now don't go away, I hope you'll stay
and hear this song we wrote the other day:

Oakland's got the Tribune Tower
Oakland's got Lake Merritt, too
She's got Jack London Square
The Raiders come from there!
The Kaiser Center can be seen from anywhere!
Where did all the people go when 'Frisco burned?
They all went to Oakland and never returned

Right outside the city limits
scoots a freeway called the Nimitz
Of all the pretty cities, she's the leader
And don't forget the tube to Alameda...

She has pride, she has hope
And oh what a view
Oakland, we're for you
Oakland, we're for you!

Links and References

  • Oakland song on YouTube (played on KRFC)
  • Oakland song on YouTube
  • The Oakland Song: it has a good beat and you can dance to it Oakland Heritage Alliance Newsletter Winter 2013
  • Peter Arnott on Wikipedia