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Rock Creek Park by the Blackbyrds – Greatest DC Song Ever Recorded?

by Prince Of Petworth — March 12, 2014 at 3:45 pm 27 Comments


Some folks are having a rough day – this will turn it around for ya. Thanks to a reader for sending this awesomeness:

“Here is a surprisingly good soul-jazz track by the blackbyrds named “Rock Creek Park””

I can’t decide if this now surpasses The Magnetic Fields – Washington, DC


  • Jen Jen

    Born and raised in Houston. I used to hear “Rock Creek Park” every morning on the R&B station as my uncle drove me to school. They played it at the same time EVERY morning. I didn’t know what they were singing about when I was 11, but I figured it out when I moved to DC. It’s a little repetitive, but what long, groovin’ funk song isn’t?

  • Phoebe

    Yes, yes it is the greatest! I believe the Blackbyrds were out of Howard University. The same group that brought us the sublime “Walking in Rhythm.”

    Oh yeah!! Oh yeah!!

    • Alan

      Donald Byrd is a Howard Law alum. The Blackbyrds are his group (they were Howard students). Byrd is also credited with “discovering” Herbie Hancock (who had his first appearance on wax on a Byrd release).

      Because Parliament’s “Chocolate City” isn’t entirely about DC, “Rock Creek Park” is indeed the best song about DC. I also highly recommend Omega Rhed’s “Chocolate City” and The Package’s “Dee Dot 1.5”.

  • Blithe

    Happy Music! “Rock Creek Park” def gets my vote. I’m having flashbacks. LOL

  • dittle

    Yes – great pick! Great song. Now, I could never exactly wrap my mind around what they “doing” in the park? 🙂

  • I’ve always been a fan of the DC shoutout in “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” by Good Charlotte, a band who became famous in the DC area.

    • Alan

      Good Charlotte is from Northern VA, no? I want to say Fairfax….

      Dave Grohl is from Northern VA too, I think.

  • Rich

    Nothing brings out the small time-ishness of DC like identifying it’s few relatively home grown pop culture folks.

    • Anonymous

      Da fuk? Plenty of influential cultural icons came out of DC and I say that as someone born & raised in Los Angeles. Just because you don’t identify with them (and I can probably guess why…) doesn’t negate their influence.

  • brightwooder

    we totally had this on our cocktail hour playlist at our wedding, great song!

    • brightwooder

      I meant we had “Rock Creek Park” on our playlist.

  • Miss Lu Lu Hogg

    I use to love hearing this song back in the day. I was a young woman in my 20’s.

  • sizzla2112

    I think Eric B. & Rakim sampled this for “The R” on Follow the Leader.

  • Anonymous

    Blends perfectly with Do It (‘Til You’re Satisfied) – B.T. Express

  • Anonymous

    How can I be the first to post “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight”?!?

    • Anonymous

      this one has my vote. great song!

  • This would make a great regular feature, PoP!

  • purpleflyingpiglets


  • kook47797
    • Anonymous

      Amazing. Even though GSH is from Chicago/NYC, this is a great nomination.

  • anon

    “Long Walk to DC” – The Staple Singers
    Holds up surprisingly well.

  • Anonymous

    magnetic fields “Washington dc” or Tuscadaro’s “mt. Pleasant”

  • Michael

    I just want to note that there’s also a whole ALBUM called Rock Creek Park that this DC-based hip hop producer Oddisee released a few years ago. I should also note that he’s not just a local dude, he tours internationally. It is a very good album of mostly instrumental/chill hip hop, a great soundtrack to driving Rock Creek Parkway on a sunny spring Sunday afternoon.

  • I love this album from Oddisee, inspired entirely by Rock Creek Park. The first song, “Still Doing It” mixes in Blackbyrd’s Rock Creek Park. It’s great! https://mellomusicgroup.bandcamp.com/album/rock-creek-park

    “Skipping Rocks” is my other favorite song on there.

  • Anonymous

    I like Elizabeth Cotten’s ‘Washington Blues.’
    Note the upside down guitar.

  • Alan

    I dig The Magnetic Fields, but The Blackbyrds have them beat in this contest.

    Shout out to that 69 song triple CD they put out, though.

  • +1.


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