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The Official Song of Los Angeles County

Song Sheet for Seventy-Six Cities, 1965

Song sheet for "Seventy-Six Cities." Image from County of Los Angeles.

Also see: Official Song of Los Angeles International Airport.

Yes, Los Angeles County has an official song.

It is “Seventy-Six Cities,” written and composed by Steve and Paul Colwell, two of the Colwell Brothers trio. The song was adopted as the official song of Los Angeles County by the County Board of Supervisors on September 14, 1965.

“Seventy-Six Cities” was written on a train from Chicago in September 1965, as the Colwell brothers were headed to Los Angeles with the musical troupe “Sing-Out ’65” (later known as “Up with People”*) to perform at the Hollywood Bowl and Jordan High School in Watts. Only a month earlier, Los Angeles suffered its deadliest and most destructive race riot up to that time in Watts. Sing Out ’65, known for its clean-cut, feel-good, perky musical performances, had come to Los Angeles with its pseudo-religious/social message of hope, peace and “a better way.” The Colwell brothers were themselves from San Marino in Los Angeles County, where their family lived and where they began their music career.

Colwell Brothers and Sing-Out '65 at the Hollywood Bowl, 1965

Colwell Brothers and Sing-Out '65, 1965. Photo courtesy of Pace Magazine.

As part of their visit to Los Angeles, Sing Out ’65 was also invited to perform at the Board of Supervisors meeting on September 14, 1965. It was there that the troupe first played “Seventy-Six Cities.” The board was so impressed by the new song about Los Angeles County that they unanimously adopted it as the county’s official song at that meeting.

Hear the official song of Los Angeles County.

Since “Seventy-Six Cities” became the county’s official song, Los Angeles County has grown from 76 cities and 7 million people to 88 cities and 10 million people.

Lyrics to "Seventy-Six Cities

Courtesy of County of Los Angeles

Verse 1:

God made the world and then He looked around
To find Him a county and this is what He found.
A land of sea and mountain and desert wilderness.;
And he made an earthly paradise He called Los Angeles


Seventy-six cities. Plenty room for more.
Seven million people. Open is the door.
Angels we are none, but Angelinos nonetheless.
For we come from the county they call Los Angeles.

Verse 2:

It grew and grew and grew and grew and grew and grew and grew and grew.
The oranges did blossom and the mighty aircraft flew.
If its growth continues in this most astounding way
New York City soon will be a suburb of L.A.!

Verse 3:

Your seventy-six cities, seventy-six mayors
Seven million people, seven million cares.
Well it could be Los Angeles that shows humanity
How to live and work together like a family.

Verse 4:

Whether it's an earthquake, a fire, or a flood
Angelinos rise above it with that spirit in their blood.
This world that's torn asunder with prehistoric hate
Needs the County of the Angels to bring it up to date.