How the Song Came to Be

‘Billy Jack’: One Tin Soldier Rides Away

The movie, directed, written and starring Tom Laughlin, had a long journey on its way to the screen. Its memorable song was recorded – and charted – multiple times

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When Motown Went to ‘War’—Edwin Starr’s #1 Hit

When Motown’s chief was reluctant to release an antiwar song by the Temptations as a single, another singer stepped in to re-record it. It went to #1.

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The Ides of March and the Story of ‘Vehicle’

They took their band name from a Shakespeare classic, their biggest hit from a real-life incident, and they drove their way up the charts in the year 1970.

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Mark Lindsay, Hal Blaine and the Raiders’ #1 Hit, ‘Indian Reservation’

Our interview with the star about the legendary drummer who made magic happen at the recording session and the single’s unusual path to success

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The Jaggerz’ ‘The Rapper’: You Know What He’s After

“The song was something that I wrote watching people in nightclubs. You’d see these dudes go over and start rapping to chicks,” said the band’s Donnie Iris.

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Creedence’s ‘Green River’: Admit It, You Don’t Know the Lyrics

John Fogerty’s lyrics have a creative imagery and he has a unique way of pronouncing them. You’ve sung along dozens of times but do you know the words?

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Deliverance’s ‘Dueling Banjos’: An Unlikely Hit

The song, featured prominently in the 1972 thriller, was used without the permission of its composer. There’s actually only one banjo used

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Sonny & Cher’s ‘The Beat Goes On’ (& On & On)…

A breakdown of the way things used to be vs. the inevitable winds of change, it gave them their third major hit. But some things, it seemed, never changed.

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Johnny Cash’s ‘A Boy Named Sue’: The Story Behind the Song

“That’s the most cleverly written song I’ve ever heard,” Cash told the song’s composer, Shel Silverstein. It became Cash’s biggest hit single.

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Queen’s Homage to Space Exploration: ’39’

The band’s guitarist, Brian May, can do many things well, one of which is to write songs. This one, about time travel, presaged his PhD in astrophysics

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