100 songs Long Islanders should know

As we prepare for the upcoming Long Island Music Hall of Fame Induction Gala on Oct. 18 at the Paramount in Huntington, we wanted to pull together a list of the songs that should be a source of civic pride.
These are the 100 songs every Long Islander should know -- songs by people from here, about here, and written and recorded here, that also have changed the world of music. And by here, we go along with the LIHoF's definition of Long Island: Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk.


1. "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant," Billy Joel

One thing the Hicksville native rarely gets credit for is his ambition. "Italian Restaurant," however, is pure ambition, a seven-minute-plus epic, marked by moments of musical mastery on piano and saxophone, about what happens when ambitions dry up for a pair of Long Islanders. Joel fills the song with images from his Long Island childhood -- the Parkway Diner in Hicksville, "hanging out at the Village Green" refers to the West Village Green in Hicksville -- and populates it with traits from various people he knew in those days to create Brenda and Eddie. (The "Italian Restaurant" from the title is a combination of Il Cortile in Little Italy and Fontana Di Trevi in midtown Manhattan, near where the song was recorded.) It was never released as a single from 1977's "The Stranger," but it became one of Joel's most important songs, so important that it formed the basis of the Tony-winning Twyla Tharp musical "Movin' Out" in 2002.

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