The songs of LA are like the city itself, quirky sometimes beautiful and a little exaggerated

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. - For a city that has argued for decades over what its official song ought to be, Los Angeles has never lacked for serious contenders.

Anyone who has spent time here knows the city already has at least one unofficial tune: Randy Newman's "I Love LA" is played after every home game the Los Angeles Lakers or Dodgers win.

There are nearly 200 songs that promote, mystify, glamorize and often exaggerate the value of living in Los Angeles and its scores of suburbs.

Pop music historian Josh Kun came across them while combing through the archives of the Los Angeles Public Library. The result is "Songs in the Key of LA," an ambitious summer-long project that kicked off this month with the publication of a colorful, coffee-table book.

Organizations: Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Public Library

Geographic location: Los Angeles

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