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From A Distance

From A Distance

| June 16, 2015 | 40 Comments

Julie Gold tells the story of writing the Grammy-winning song “From A Distance” while she was a still secretary at HBO, and how it changed her life.

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The Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand”

The Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand”

| October 21, 2014 | 2 Comments

On October 17, 1963, the Beatles were in Abbey Road studios to record “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” a song written by Lennon and McCartney in response to their manager, Brian Epstein, asking them to write something for the American market which they had yet to break into.

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I Love Lucy Theme Song

I Love Lucy Theme Song

| October 14, 2014 | 1 Comment

On October 15, 1951, the very first episode of the I Love Lucy show aired on CBS and became the most watched TV show in the U.S. for four of its seven-year run. Here’s the story behind the theme song.

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Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”

Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”

| September 9, 2014 | 11 Comments

Otis Redding had never seen anything so peaceful. The California sunlight sprinkling diamonds on the calm water of the bay, the seagulls circling overhead in an azure sky, the old fishermen hauling in their nets near the docks. While on the West Coast for an engagement at the Fillmore in June 1967, Redding and his […]

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Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America”

Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America”

| May 11, 2014 | 17 Comments

“I’d like to write a great peace song,” Irving Berlin told a journalist in 1938, “but it’s hard to do, because you have trouble dramatizing peace.” Years before John Lennon or Bob Dylan were even born, Berlin took up the challenge of penning an anthem that would inspire his fellow men to live in harmony. […]

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The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

| July 26, 2013 | 6 Comments

On May 7, 1965, Keith Richards woke up in the middle of the night with a melody in his head. He was in a room at the Gulf Motel in Clearwater, Florida. His guitar was on the bed beside him. Fumbling around in the dark, he found his portable cassette recorder on the nightstand. He […]

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Stevie Nicks’ “Landslide”

Stevie Nicks’ “Landslide”

| May 26, 2013 | 26 Comments

The story behind “Landslide” as told by Stevie Nicks: It was written in 1973 at a point where Lindsey [Buckingham] and I had driven to Aspen for him to rehearse for two weeks with Don Everly. Lindsey was going to take Phil’s place. So they rehearsed and left, and I made a choice to stay […]

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“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”

“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”

| May 12, 2013 | 2 Comments

By late 1969, Burt Bacharach and Hal David were kings of the pop songwriting game. With over 20 Top 40 singles by their vocal muse Dionne Warwick, cover versions of their songs by an A-Z of artists including Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones and Ella Fitzgerald, movie soundtracks, TV specials and a Broadway musical, they’d done […]

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Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”

| September 5, 2012 | 24 Comments

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is like a condensed version of the second side of Abbey Road, with makeup and tights. Six minutes of flamboyant patchwork pop—a capella intro, sentimental verses, faux-Italian chorale, a thundering glam-metal climax—it’s a testament to Freddie Mercury’s adeptness as a songwriter and Queen’s musicianship that the disparate parts add up to such a […]

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Jimmy Webb’s Story Behind “The Highwayman”

Jimmy Webb’s Story Behind “The Highwayman”

| August 15, 2012 | 11 Comments

I was in London, finishing an album, El Mirage, with [Beatles producer] George Martin. My friend Harry Nilsson was there, and we were doing some professional drinking. He left my apartment one night, and I went to sleep and had an incredibly vivid dream. I had an old brace of pistols in my belt and […]

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