By Dave Beard, Boston.com
NASHUA, N.H. -- Before Barack Obama's rally at Nashua North High School, hundreds of people crammed into its gymnasium stayed upbeat by listening to the O'Jays, to Earth, Wind & Fire, to Michael McDonald and the Doobie Brothers.
That's Kenny Thompson's job. On this day, the Obama advance man has a 19-song warmup set on his Mac Book. "Mostly, they're songs I like,'' said Thompson, 27, a onetime middle-school saxophonist whose tastes owe a debt to his dad, a lover of 60s and 70s soul. "I've got hundreds of songs.''
At the rally when Obama was more than a half-hour late, Thompson, an Austin, Texas, native, had the responsibility to keep the crowd happy and anticipating. To help do that, he mixed in oldies with some newer choices by Natasha Bedingfield and India.aire, keeping the message close to Obama's themes of hope and possibility.
Here are the songs on the Obama playlist on Saturday:
1. Marvin Gaye, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough''
2. John Parr, "St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion)''
3. Tina Turner, "The Best''
4. The Doobie Brothers, "Takin' It To The Streets''
5. Earth, Wind & Fire, "Shining Star''
6. O'Jays, "Give The People What They Want''
7. Sam and Dave, "Hold On I'm Coming''
8. Kool & the Gang, "Celebration''
9. Natasha Bedingfield, "Unwritten''
10. The Isley Brothers, "Shout''
11. The Temptations, "Get Ready''
12. India.aire, "There's Hope''
13. McFadden and Whitehead, "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now''
14. Staples Singers, "I'll Take You There''
15. Orleans, "Still The One''
16. Sly and the Family Stone, "Everyday People''
17. The Doobie Bros., "Long Train Running''
18. Stevie Wonder, "Sir Duke''
19. John Fogarty, "Centerfield''
Also noted: Obama took the stage to U2's "City of Blinding Lights,'' and he departed to Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered.''
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