How the Song Came to Be

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’

[caption id="attachment_76383" align="alignleft" width="342"] Mark Lindsay, on the cover of his 1970 solo LP[/caption] Following the March 11 death of recording session legend Hal Blaine, many of the artists who made recordings with the Los Angeles-based session musicians known as

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Harry Chapin’s Inspiration for ‘Taxi’

‘Cat’s in the Cradle’ may have been Harry Chapin’s biggest hit, but ‘Taxi’ resonated with listeners, perhaps due to its real-life connection.

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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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‘In the Year 2525’: The Gloomiest #1?

It was, to be sure, one of the bleakest songs ever to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. And then Zager and Evans never charted again.

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Gordon Lightfoot’s Tale of a Ship’s Crew and Its Captain

The singer-songwriter had a string of big hits including 1976’s “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” based on a true story of a doomed freighter

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Dion’s Moving ‘Abraham, Martin and John’

Tension was in the air in 1968 and rock music reflected the turmoil. Then came a voice from the past, gently singing of non-violence and hope.

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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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Carly Simon’s Breakthrough: ‘You’re So Vain’

Watch the singer-songwriter perform a previously unheard verse of her huge 1972 hit from a ‘Carly Simon No Secrets’ classic albums special

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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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