How the Song Came to Be

The Crazy World of Arthur Brown’s Incendiary ‘Fire’

He took the title of his one hit seriously, even putting flaming items on his head while he performed. But he never made the charts again after his 1968 smash.

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Gerry Rafferty, ‘Baker Street,’ and That Sax Solo!

The smash hit was written while its author was hanging out in a flat in London, trying to escape from frustrating legal proceedings.

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Ray Charles’ ‘What’d I Say’: An Accidental Classic

A consummate, road-tested professional, Charles sat down at his Wurlitzer electric piano and improvised a blues-based boogie-woogie riff.

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ELO’s ‘Don’t Bring Me Down… Bruce!’

Most classic rock acts have a misheard lyric. It goes with the territory. So what did Jeff Lynne do when concert audiences started singing along to his big hit?

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Remember Nelson? Twin Brothers Now Well Into Their ’50s

Less than 5 years after the untimely death of their father, Ricky Nelson, Gunnar and Matthew were on top of the music world themselves

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The Doobie Brothers’ ‘What a Fool Believes’: Behind Their #1 Hit

The song almost didn’t happen. Michael McDonald’s sister told him it sounded like ‘circus music’ and to forget it. Good thing he didn’t listen to her!

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Barry McGuire vs. Barry Sadler: When the News Hit #1

One chart-topper listed complaints about the inequities and horrors of the day, while the other was a patriotic paean to the Army’s elite special forces.

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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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Grand Funk’s ‘We’re an American Band’ Backstory

The song’s author, GFR drummer Don Brewer, explains how the 1973 all-time classic rock hit came about while the band was on tour. Sweet, sweet Connie…

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The Glory of ‘Gloria’: Behind Van Morrison’s Most Resilient Rock ’n’ Roll Anthem

One of the most beloved and oft-covered songs in the garage-rock canon started life as a single’s B-side. We take a look at the wonders of ‘G-L-O-R-I-A.’

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