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The song of Los Angeles carries many tunes. Just listen ...

Lopez song

All you need is a guitar, a few chords and a camera, and you can make it here.

Steve Lopez

By here, I mean latimes.com.

By make it, I mean there’s a good chance we’ll post your ode to Los Angeles if you send us a music video link.

It seems that while Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” is the widely accepted local anthem, the search for a truly official song -- along the lines of standard pop tributes to San Francisco, Chicago and New York -- has gone on for decades.

VIDEOS: Songs for Los Angeles

Bernard Barrett, a retired L.A. city budget analyst, recalls a local identity crisis in 1962 when Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” became a monster hit.

“Therefore,” wrote Barrett, “the City Council asked the Bureau of Music … to seek out such an identifying song for L.A. (My own personal suggestion at the time was 'I Left My Liver In The L.A. River' but that didn't seem to get much traction.)”

Nothing came of the search, but the idea resurfaced almost 20 years later. Bernie Weinberg said he wrote a song called “I Love L.A.” in 1980 for the "Ken and Bob Show," which was running a song contest on KABC.

“I’ll take L.A.,” Weinberg wrote, “Chinatown to the tip of the bay, USC versus UCLA.”

And now we have Justin Chart, a local musician whose “Los Angeles The Song” was the subject of my Wednesday column. The challenge to match Chart, or top him, has brought efforts from across the city and across the musical spectrum.

I kind of like the simplicity of Kristy Hanson’s “Welcome Me Home West Hollywood” and the crooning of Greg Johnson, “Sun beats down no matter what you do, skid row surfer up in Malibu,” on the ballad “Los Angeles Belongs to You.”

And we’ve even got a garage-band entry, “Ole L.A.,” from two youngsters who aren’t old enough to drive.

It’s not too late to be a part of it. Throw your music video up on You Tube and send us a link.

-- Steve Lopez

 
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