Live on Stage 60's, 70's & 80's Artists

Ray Charles - "Hit The Road Jack"



This was the second (and shortest, at an even two minutes) of Charles' three #1 hits.
The solo backing vocals were by Margie Hendricks, who was one of Ray's backup singers, The Raelettes. They were lovers for a time, but the song is not about their relationship. The continuing popularity of this song is evident by the many professional and semi-professional hockey teams playing the first few lines whenever a player is sent to the penalty box.

Fred, you can stay. Steve, you're OK. But Jack, you gotta go.
This kiss-off anthem was written by Ray's good friend Percy Mayfield, an R&B singer who was badly disfigured in a car accident soon after he started performing. Mayfield cut back his touring and made his mark as a prolific songwriter, with many of his compositions performed by Charles.
This was the winner of the 1961 Grammy for Best Male Rhythm and Blues Recording.

Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, & Mark Knopfler - "Abbey Road" Medley



Live 1997. Abbey Road is the eleventh studio album by English rock band the Beatles, released on 26 September 1969 by Apple Records. The recording sessions were the last in which all four Beatles participated. Let It Be was the final album that the Beatles completed and released before the band's dissolution in April 1970, but most of the album had been recorded before the Abbey Road sessions began.[1] The two-sided hit single from the album, "Something" backed with "Come Together", was released in October and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States.

 

Abbey Road incorporates genres such as blues, pop and progressive rock,[2] and makes prominent use of the Moog synthesizer and the Leslie speaker. Side two contains a medley of song fragments edited together to form a single piece. The album was recorded amid a more enjoyable atmosphere than the Get Back/Let It Be sessions earlier in the year, but there were still frequent disagreements within the band. John Lennon had privately left the group by the time that the album was released, and Paul McCartney publicly quit the following year.
 

Abbey Road was an immediate commercial success and reached number one in the UK and US, although it initially received mixed reviews, with some critics describing its music as inauthentic and bemoaning the production's artificial effects. Over time, the album became viewed as among the Beatles' best and many critics have ranked it as one of the greatest albums of all time. In particular, George Harrison's contributions in "Something" and "Here Comes the Sun" are considered to be among the best songs that he wrote for the group. The album's cover features the four band members walking across a zebra crossing outside Abbey Road Studios and has become one of the most famous and imitated images in popular music

The Beatles - "Let it Be"



Concert unknown. Paul McCartney wrote this song. It was inspired by his mother, Mary, who died when he was 14. Many people thought "Mother Mary" was a biblical reference when they heard it. Paul McCartney wrote this song. It was inspired by his mother, Mary, who died when he was 14. Many people thought "Mother Mary" was a biblical reference when they heard it.

Since Let It Be was The Beatles last album, it made an appropriate statement about leaving problems behind and moving on in life. The album was supposed to convey an entirely different message. It was going to be called "Get Back," and they were going to record it in front of an audience on live TV, with another TV special showing them practicing the songs in the studio. It was going to be The Beatles getting back to their roots and playing unadorned live music instead of struggling in the studio like they did for The White Album. When they started putting the album together, it became clear the project wouldn't work and George Harrison left the sessions. When he returned, they abandoned the live idea and decided to use the TV footage as their last movie. While the movie was being edited, The Beatles recorded and released Abbey Road, then broke up. Eventually, Phil Spector was given the tapes and asked to produce the album, which was released months after The Beatles broke up. By then, it was clear "Let It Be" would be a better name than "Get Back."

Stevie Wonder & Ray Charles - "Living for the City"



One of Wonder's social commentary songs, this tells of a young kid from Mississippi who moves to New York City. In Mississippi, he dealt with many hardships, but was surrounded by caring people. In New York City, he is quickly taken advantage of and is caught with drugs. His dreams are destroyed when he is sentenced to 10 years in jail.Reflecting on the messages in his songs, Wonder said: "I think the deepest I really got into how I feel about the way things are was in 'Living For The City.' I was able to show the hurt and the anger. You still have that same mother that scrubs the floors for many, she's still doing it. Now what is that about? And that father who works some days for 14 hours. That's still happening."

This won a 1974 Grammy Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Song. The album it came from Innervisions won the Grammy Award for the Album of the Year.  Wonder asked one of the janitors at the studio to say the "Get into that cell, ni--er" line. Public Enemy later sampled the line on "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" a track on their 1989 It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back album.

Eric Clapton - "Old Love"



Live 1999. Clapton wrote this song with Blues artist Robert Cray.
In 1988, after nine years of marriage to Pattie Boyd, Clapton divorced the model and photographer. This song documents the end of their relationship. Boyd told the Guardian newspaper December 13, 2008 that she was hurt that he should write a song about such a sensitive subject. She said: "The end of a relationship is a sad enough thing, but to then have Eric writing about it as well. It makes me more sad, I think, because I can't answer back."
Pattie Boyd has been the inspiration for several well-known songs. Her first husband, George Harrison, wrote "Something" about her, Eric Clapton's then unrequited love for the beautiful model was documented in "Layla" and after they'd moved in together, Clapton penned "Wonderful Tonight" for Boyd.

America - "Horse With No Name"



Live 1971. America was formed in England by sons of US servicemen who were stationed there. Lead singer Dewey Bunnell wrote this when he was 19. Although the song is commonly misinterpreted about being on drugs, it is not: Bunnell based the images in the lyrics on things he saw while visiting the US. This was originally titled "Desert Song," since Bunnell wrote it based on the desert scenery he encountered when his dad was stationed at an Air Force base in Santa Barbara County, California. Many people thought this was a Neil Young song when they heard it, and many rock critics pointed out the similarities. In a strange twist, "A Horse With No Name" replaced Young's "Heart of Gold" at #1 in the US.

The song tells a rather abstruse tale about a trip though the desert. While the landscape is unforgiving, the singer also finds comfort in that scenario. 

According to Dewey Bunnell, the "horse" represents a means of entering a place of tranquility, and this tranquil place was best represented by the desert, which sounded pretty good to him while he was stuck in rainy England.

As for why the horse had no name and why it went free after nine days, Bunnell doesn't have any answers - it seems the various listener interpretations are far more colorful than any meaning he assigned to it.

The group's self-titled debut album was released in the UK in late 1971, but didn't contain this song. When they were contemplating a single, they considered "I Need You," but decided to come up with a new song instead. The group went back to the studio and recorded "A Horse With No Name," which Bunnell had written.

Released as a single in the UK, it shot to #3 in January 1972, prompting the group's label, Warner Bros., to issue the single in the US and also release the album with the song included. On March 25, both the single and album hit #1 in the US; the song stayed at the top spot for three weeks, the album for five.

The album was recorded in London where the band was located. In February, when the song started climbing the charts in the US, the group embarked on a tour of the States, playing club shows before supporting the Everly Brothers as the opening act on their North American tour. 

"I Need You" was released as the follow-up single, reaching #9 US. The group would become one of the most successful acts of the '70s and score another US #1 hit with "Sister Golden Hair."

Songfacts.com

Grover Washington - "Just The Two Of Us"



Grover Washington was a very respected Jazz saxophone player who died of a heart attack in 1999. Bill Withers is a songwriter and vocalist responsible for songs like "Lean On Me" and "Ain't No Sunshine." Withers sang lead on this, but it was credited to Washington and appeared on his album. Withers was friends with Ralph McDonald, a writer and producer who wrote this with his partner Bill Salter. Says Withers, "I'm a little snobbish about words, so they sent me this song and said 'We want to do this with Grover, would you consider singing it?' I said, 'Yeah, if you'll let me go in and try to dress these words up a little bit.'  Everybody that knows me is kind of used to me that way. I probably threw in the stuff like the crystal raindrops. The 'Just The Two Of Us' thing was already written. It was trying to put a tuxedo on it. I didn't like what was said leading up to 'Just The Two Of Us.'"


When Withers went in to record his vocals, it was the first time he met Washington. They were rarely together when they recorded this, and they never got to know each other very well. Withers admired Washington because Grover did the first cover version of any song he'd written - an instrumental version of "Ain't No Sunshine" that appeared on his first album. Since then, hundreds of artists have covered Withers' songs. (Read our interview with Bill Withers.)

David Bowie & Queen - "Under Pressure"



Live at Wembley Stadium. 1985. A collaboration with David Bowie, this is credited to "Queen with David Bowie" because the B-side of the single is Queen's "Soul Brother." It was recorded at an impromptu session in Montreaux, Switzerland in the summer of 1981. A collaboration with David Bowie, this is credited to "Queen with David Bowie" because the B-side of the single is Queen's "Soul Brother." It was recorded at an impromptu session in Montreaux, Switzerland in the summer of 1981.

Deacon however did come up with the iconic two-note bass riff, although it came very close to vanishing: according to Roger Taylor in the Days of our Lives documentary, Deacon came up with the riff, then the band went for pizza before coming back to continue rehearsals. Upon returning, Deacon had completely forgotten his idea! Luckily, Taylor eventually remembered how the bassline went.

This was only the second UK #1 hit for Queen. They hit #2 with "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," "We Are The Champions," "Somebody To Love," and "Killer Queen," but their only previous #1 in England was "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Rod Stewart & Santana - "Have I Told You Lately"



Carlos Santana joins Rod Stewart on stage during his concert at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on May 6, 2014, for their first-ever performance together. The two embarked on a successful co-headline tour across America in the summer of 2014. Today, Rod Stewart performs his critically-acclaimed residency “Rod Stewart: The Hits.”  throughout 2015. The two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has packed an arena-sized concert into an intimate concert experience that’s exclusive to Las Vegas audiences - with no seat more than 120 feet from his majestic stage.  Stewart personally creates his ever-evolving set-list that’s always heavy on his most iconic hits including “Maggie May,” “You Wear it Well,” “Hot Legs,” “You’re in My Heart,” “Do You Think I’m Sexy,” “Some Guys Have All the Luck,” “Young Turks,” and “Forever Young,” and sprinkled with a few R&B favorites and new favorites.

Fleetwood Mac - "Dreams"



Live in the official music video. 1977.  This was Fleetwood Mac's only #1 hit in the US.During the sessions for Rumours, everyone in the band was going through a breakup (Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham with each other, John and Christine McVie with each other, Mick Fleetwood with his wife Jenny Boyd) and doing a lot of drugs. They were able to work together, but most of the songwriting was on an individual basis. Stevie Nicks wrote this in the studio next door, where Sly Stone was recording. He had a big, semicircular bed and red velvet all over the walls - a great vibe for a song about dreams.

The line, "Players only love you when they're playing," was directed at Lindsey Buckingham. Stevie Nicks was not pleased when he brought "Go Your Own Way" to the sessions, which was clearly about her. Stevie told Q magazine June 2009: "It was the fairy and the gnome. I was trying to be all philosophical. And he was just mad."

Toto - "Africa"



Live 1987. This is probably Toto's most famous song, but their guitarist Steve Lukather would like you to know that there is much more to the band: Toto were top studio musicians before forming the group, and known as some of the best in the business. Lukather told Rock's Backpages: "A lot of people categorize us as 'that 'Africa' or 'Rosanna' band,' and I hate that s--t. We have a lot more substance than that. Don't get me wrong - those songs have been great to us, but you really don't understand the depth of the band if that's all you know.This song tells the story of a man who comes to Africa and must make a decision about the girl who comes to see him. He is enamored with the country, but must leave if he is going to be with her.

 

Toto keyboard player David Paich wrote the song, and explained in the liner notes of Toto's Best Ballads compilation: "At the beginning of the '80s I watched a late night documentary on TV about all the terrible death and suffering of the people in Africa. It both moved and appalled me and the pictures just wouldn't leave my head. I tried to imagine how I'd feel about if I was there and what I'd do." Paich had never been to Africa when he wrote the song.

 

With introspective lyrics like, "I seek to cure what's deep inside, frightened of this thing that I've become," we wondered if this song involved a bit of personal reflection. Turned out, it did. In our interview with David Paich, he explained: "There's a little metaphor involved here, because I was at the age where I was so immersed in my work, 24/7, that at times I felt like I was becoming just a victim of my work. There was a little bit of autobiographical information in there: being consumed by my work, not having time to go out and pursue getting married and raising a family and doing all the things that other people do that were my age at the time."In an article in Time magazine, an unidentified group member said they were looking for a song just to close off the album and did not think "Africa" would do as well as it did. They also mentioned that if you listen closely during the lyrics "catch some waves," you can hear some of them singing "catch some rays."

 

songfacts.com

Tracy Chapman - "Fast Car"



Live from the Oakland Coliseum Arena, 1988. This won the Grammy Award in 1989 for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. When the then-unknown Tracy Chapman was booked to appear down the bill at the Nelson Mandela birthday concert at Wembley Stadium on June 11, 1988, little did she know her appearance would be the catalyst for a career breakthrough. After performing several songs from her self titled debut during the afternoon, Chapman thought she'd done her bit and could relax and enjoy the rest of the concert. However, later in the evening Stevie Wonder was delayed when the computer discs for his performance went missing, and Chapman was ushered back onto stage again. In front of a huge prime time audience she performed "Fast Car" alone with her acoustic guitar. Afterwards the song raced up the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Chapman (from Q magazine): "It's not really about a car at all... basically it's about a relationship that doesn't work out because it's starting from the wrong place."

Jeff Buckley - "Hallelujah"



Live in Chicago. Jeff Buckley heard the song in the early '90s and began performing it at his shows in and around New York City. He included it on his 1994 debut album Grace, but the song didn't gain widespread attention until after Buckley's death in 1997, which sparked renewed interest in his work. Many artists took note of "Hallelujah" and recorded their own versions of the song. Many of these covers found their way into movies and TV shows, popularizing the song across a wide audience.Arguably Buckley's most famous work, this was originally written and recorded by Leonard Cohen in 1984 on his album Various Positions. Cohen's rendition was released as a single in Spain and the Netherlands, but got little attention in the United States.

The song is about a love that has soured and gone stale. Cohen used a lot of religious imagery, including references to some of the more notorious women in the bible (all of whom are popular figures in songs). Here's some lyric analysis:

"You saw her bathing on the roof, her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you" - Bathsheba, whose husband was murdered by the king so he could have her.

"She tied you to her kitchen chair, she broke your throne and she cut your hair" - Delilah, who cut off Samson's locks that held his superhuman strength.

"But remember when I moved in you and the holy dove was moving too" - This could be a reference to the divine conception and Mary.

The lines referring to the immaculate conception can also be interpreted as having a sexual connotation: "And every breath we drew was hallelujah."

Marvin Gaye - "What's Going On"



Concert unknown. 1972. Until this song, Gaye rarely participated in the songwriting process. For this album, he took control of the production so he could make a statement as an artist. Motown management was skeptical, but Gaye was an established star and had enough power to pull it off, going so far as to use an orchestra on this track. Gaye's lyrics in this song were inspired by the stories his brother Frankie told him when he came back from the Vietnam War.

This was one of the first Motown songs to make a powerful political statement. Stevie Wonder and the Temptations were also recording more serious and challenging material, which was a radical departure from the Motown hits of the '60s. The song had a tremendous impact because listeners weren't used to hearing social commentary from Gaye. As Jackson Browne said in a 2008 interview with Rolling Stone: "No one was expecting an anti-war song from him. But it was a moment in time when people were willing to hear it from anybody, if it was heartfelt. And who better than the person who has talked to you about love and desire?" The What's Going On album takes on many issues, including the environment ("Mercy Mercy Me") and poverty ("Inner City Blues"). It was the first album Gaye released that sold a lot of copies. Until then, like most Motown artists, he had lots of hit singles but album sales were secondary.

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/marvin-gaye/whats-going-on 

Fleetwood Mac - "The Chain"



Concert unknown. 1979. Stevie Nicks wrote the song lyrics about Lindsey Buckingham as their relationship was falling apart. Buckingham and Nicks share lead vocals on the song. This song came to represent the resilience of Fleetwood Mac and the strength of their bond as they continued on for many years despite their personal and professional difficulties. It was often the first song they played in concert.
 

Mick Fleetwood: "'The Chain' basically came out of a jam. That song was put together as distinct from someone literally sitting down and writing a song. It was very much collectively a band composition. The riff is John McVie's contribution - a major contribution. Because that bassline is still being played on British TV in the car-racing series to this day. The Grand Prix thing. But it was really something that just came out of us playing in the studio. Originally we had no words to it. And it really only became a song when Stevie wrote some. She walked in one day and said, 'I've written some words that might be good for that thing you were doing in the studio the other day.' So it was put together. Lindsey arranged and made a song out of all the bits and pieces that we were putting down onto tape. And then once it was arranged and we knew what we were doing, we went in and recorded it. But it ultimately becomes a band thing anyway, because we all have so much of our own individual style, our own stamp that makes the sound of Fleetwood Mac. So it's not like you feel disconnected from the fact that maybe you haven't written one of the songs. Because what you do, and what you feel when we're all making music together, is what Fleetwood Mac ends up being, and that's the stuff you hear on the albums. Whether one likes it or not, this is, after all, a combined effort from different people playing music together." (Courtesy: lucky98fm.com.)

Donna Summer - "Love to Love You Baby"



Live 1976. This was Summer's first hit, and one of the first disco hits. Disco gained popularity in gay dance clubs where they used DJs instead of bands. Eventually, the music spread to mainstream clubs and made it's way onto radio stations and movies like Saturday Night Fever. Summer had many hits and became known as the "Queen of Disco," but before "Love To Love You Baby," she was more of a folk-pop artist, and before that, she performed in musicals and recorded show tunes. This was the song that set her on the path to disco divadom.

It was rumored that Summer sang her very convincing orgasmic-sounding vocals on the studio floor while simulating a sex act. The rumor was partly true - after trying to record her vocal the traditional way, her producer Giorgio Moroder had her sing on the studio floor while lying on her back with the lights out, since she didn't want the guys working on the album looking at her when she sang it. She explained that she was indeed touching herself during the vocal: she had her hand on her knee. Her boyfriend Peter served as her fantasy inspiration.

Donna Summer had had a Christian upbringing and was an unlikely writer of such a sexual song. She told Time magazine December 1975 that to write the lyrics, "I let go long enough to show all the things I've been told since childhood to keep secret." She added in an interview with the Telegraph Magazine: "I took on this character and eventually it just fitted me."

Donna had a hard time listening back to the song after she recorded it and was concerned about what the song did to her image, but she learned to embrace it and made it a centerpiece of her subsequent tour, putting on a stage show that Madonna would later crib, complete with dancers simulating sexual positions and Summer squatting over an array of guys.

Irene Cara - "Flashdance What A Feeling"



Live 1983. Irene Cara wrote the lyrics with the songwriter Keith Forsey; Giorgio Moroder composed the music and produced the track. Moroder and Forsey wrote many songs that became hits when they were used in '80s movies: Moroder wrote "Danger Zone" and "Take My Breath Away" for Top Gun, while Forsey wrote "Shakedown" for Beverly Hills Cop II and "Don't You (Forget About Me)" for The Breakfast Club. The word "Flashdance" never appears in the lyric, but the song still relates to the movie, as it's specifically about dancing. Irene Cara was an accomplished dancer who not only sang the title song to Fame, but also starred in the film as an aspiring dancer. Said Cara: "'What a feeling' was a metaphor about a dancer, how she's in control of her body when she dances and how she can be in control of her life."

Prince - "Purple Rain"



Live at the American Music Awards, 1985. After Prince released his 1999 album in 1982, he toured in many of the same cities Bob Seger did. Prince was amazed at how crowds connected with Seger's songs like "Night Moves" and "Mainstreet," which were slow songs that told stories to which people could relate. Prince decided to write a song in that style, and "Purple Rain" was the result. Prince admitted the success of the film and its music was overwhelming. "In some ways Purple Rain scared me," he noted in The Observer. "It's my albatross and it'll be hanging around my neck as long as I'm making music."
The album was actually the soundtrack to the first movie Prince made. He went on to make three more: Under The Cherry MoonSign O' The Times, and Graffiti BridgePurple Rain won Prince an Oscar for Best Original Song Score (not to be confused with the Best Original Score category, won that year by A Passage to India).

The song "Purple Rain" was the centerpiece of the film and a key plot point. In the movie, the female members in Prince's band, Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman, write a song that Prince ignores, prompting a tirade from Wendy ("Every time we give you a song you say you're going to use it but you never do. You're being paranoid as usual..."). At the end of the film, Prince's crew is in a heated rivalry with another band (The Time), who do a blistering set that Prince must follow. When Prince takes the stage, he introduces "Purple Rain" as being written by Wendy and Lisa, then tears down the house with it.

Wendy and Lisa were real members of Prince's band until 1987 when they left to record as a duo. This song, however, was composed solely by Prince. It's a love song, with Prince singing about his devotion to a girl, but it also serves as a catharsis, releasing the pent-up frustrations that had been building throughout the movie. The "Purple Rain" is a place to be free.

The Allman Brothers - "Midnight Rider"



Live 9/10/1973 - Grand Opera House. This was Gregg Allman's signature song, describing how he continued on in the face of obstacles. He wrote the song, but shared the songwriting credit with Kim Payne, a roadie for the band who came up with the classic line, "The road goes on forever." After he wrote this song, Gregg Allman wanted to start recording it right away, so with the help of Kim Payne, who was guarding their equipment, he broke into the band's Macon, Georgia recording studio in the middle of the night and went to work, figuring he should get some tracks down before he forgot them.

 

  • This first appeared on the second Allman Brothers album, Idlewild South, but it wasn't released as a single. The song became a live favorite and one very identifiable with Gregg, so when he recorded his first solo album, Laid Back, in 1973, he recorded a new version of this song and released it as a single. It became his biggest hit as a solo artist, charting at #19 US.

  • A 1976 reggae version by the Jamaican singer Paul Davidson reached #10 in the UK.

  • This song can be heard in the movie Unbreakable when Bruce Willis's character is lifting weights.

  • In 2013, this was used by Geico in a commercial for their motorcycle insurance. The spot, titled "Money Man," shows a rider literally made of money cruising while the song plays. The Allman Brothers are certainly popular with the biker crowd, but those familiar with the band found the ad in poor taste, as both Duane Allman and Berry Oakley died in motorcycle accidents.

  • On June 7, 2017, Jason Aldean, Darius Rucker, Derek Trucks and Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum paid tribute to Gregg Allman, who died on May 27, by opening the CMT Music Awards with a performance of this song.

    songfacts.com

David Bowie - "Let's Dance"



Filmed at Sydney, Entertainment Center, 7th and 9th November 1987. The title track to Bowie's 15th album, "Let's Dance," was produced by Nile Rodgers, who was responsible for the album's funky sound. Rodgers founded the disco band, Chic, and produced hits for Diana Ross, including "Upside Down" and "I'm Coming Out." He also produced Madonna's 1985 album Like a Virgin. On the surface, this song is about dancing with a lover, but according to Nile Rodgers, there's a deeper meaning. He told Mojo: "When David wrote those lyrics, he was talking about the dance that people do in life; the conceptual dance of not being honest. He sings, 'put on your red shoes and dance the blues.' Like you're pretending to be happy but you're sad."

 

  • This was Bowie's only transatlantic #1, a very upbeat song with mass appeal. He described it as "positive, emotional and uplifting." Said Bowie: "I tried to produce something that was warmer and more humanistic than anything I've done for a long time. Less emphasis on the nihilistic kind of statement."

  • The official video was directed by David Mallet. It was filmed in Australia and features an Aboriginal couple who are struggling against Western cultural imperialism. The video was described by Bowie as a "very simple, very direct" statement against racism.

    According to Mallet, they shot the bar scenes in the morning, which didn't go over well with the locals, who didn't appreciate Bowie and fashionable crew. Some of the patrons also resented the Aborigines who starred in the clip, and mocked them with their own dance moves. Mallet shot this on film and edited it into the video - the white people dancing in the bar were actually making fun of the couple.

Creedence Clearwater Revival | "Born On The Bayou"



Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty, who wrote the song, had never actually been to a bayou when he wrote the song - he researched it in encyclopedias and imagined a bayou childhood for the song's narrative. Fogerty, who is from the very unswamplike Berkeley, California, got his first look at a bayou courtesy of John Fred, the one-hit wonder who sang "Judy In Disguise (with Glasses)." Fred was from Louisiana, and when Creedence played a show in Baton Rouge in 1969, he met Fogerty at a rehearsal and offered to take him to a real bayou. They drove 15 minutes to Bayou Forche, where they ate some crabs and crayfish, giving Fogerty the idea for this song.

In Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitar Songs" issue, Fogerty explained that the song originated when Creedence Clearwater Revival were booked at San Francisco's Avalon Ballroom in 1968. Said Fogerty: "We were the #7 act on the bill, bottom of the totem pole. And as the first guys to go on, we were the last to soundcheck before they opened the doors. It was like, 'Here's the drums, boom, boom; here's the guitar, clank, clank.' I looked over at the guys and said, 'Hey, follow this!' Basically, it was the riff and the attitude of 'Born on the Bayou,' without the words." 

Drummer Doug Clifford remembers it happening in the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Fogerty says the song was inspired by gospel music and popular movies. He explained in Bad Moon Rising: The Unofficial History of Creedence Clearwater Revivial, "'Born on the Bayou' was... about a mythical childhood and a heat-filled time, the Fourth of July. I put it in the swamp where, of course, I had never lived. I was trying to be a pure writer, no guitar in hand, visualizing and looking at the bare walls of my apartment. 'Chasing down a hoodoo.' Hoodoo is a magical, mystical, spiritual, non-defined apparition, like a ghost or a shadow, not necessarily evil, but certainly otherworldly." 

Hoodoo was the name of a 1976 solo album by Fogerty that he never released. By his own account, it was terrible. A couple of singles leaked out, though. Unfortunately for Fogerty, at least one ("You've got the Magic") can be found on Youtube.

Bruce Springsteen and Melissa Etheridge - "Thunder Road"



This was the first track on Born To Run, a crucial album for Springsteen. His first two albums sold poorly, and he was in danger of losing his record deal if he did not produce a hit. With songs like this one about escaping to the open road, he connected with an audience that proved extremely loyal. He considered this song the "invitation" to the album, with the opening notes being the welcome. "Something is opening up," Springsteen said during his 2005 Storytellers appearance. "What I hoped it would be was the sense of a larger life, greater experience, sense of fun, the sense that your personal exploration and possibilities were all lying somewhere inside of you."

 

  • Springsteen took the title from a 1958 Robert Mitchum movie. He did not see the film, but got the idea from a poster for it in a theater lobby.

  • The vocal sound was inspired by Roy Orbison. Springsteen pays homage to him with the line: "The radio plays Roy Orbison singing for the lonely," a reference to Orbison's 1960 hit, "Only The Lonely."

  • The name of the girl mentioned at the beginning was changed several times. It had been Angelina and Chrissie before Springsteen settled on "Mary's dress waves."

  • The original title was "Wings For Wheels." It began as an outtake called "Glory Road."

songfacts.com 

John Denver - "Take Me Home Country Road"



"Take Me Home, Country Roads", also known as "Take Me Home" or "Country Roads", is a song written by Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert, and John Denver about West Virginia. It was released as a single performed by Denver on April 12, 1971, peaking at number 2 on Billboard's US Hot 100 singles for the week ending August 28, 1971. The song was a success on its initial release and was certified Gold by the RIAA on August 18, 1971, and Platinum on April 10, 2017.[2] The song became one of John Denver's most popular and beloved songs. It has continued to sell, with over 1.5 million digital copies sold in the United States.[3] It is considered to be Denver's signature song.

Elton John - "Your Song"



Live at Wembley, 1984. This was Elton's first single to chart. Before he hit it big, he worked as a songwriter and studio musician, and for a time was the warm-up act for Three Dog Night, who recorded this song on their 1970 album It Ain't Easy (they had previously recorded Elton's "Lady Samantha"). When it looked like Elton might finally make it in the States with his own version of "Your Song," Three Dog Night chose not to release it as a single in an effort to give this young upstart a chance to make it on his own. This was one of the first songs John wrote with Bernie Taupin. They met after a record company gave John some of Taupin's lyrics to work with. Eventually, they both moved into John's parents' house, where they started working together.

The song was written in 1967, when Bernie Taupin was 17 ("hence the extraordinarily virginal sentiments," he has said). Elton has said that this song is not about anyone in particular, so Taupin has refused to reveal the identity of the person - if such person exists - who inspired this song. He explained in a 1989 interview with Music Connection: "It's like the perennial ballad 'Your Song,' which has got to be one of the most naïve and childish lyrics in the entire repertoire of music, but I think the reason it still stands up is because it was real at the time. That was exactly what I was feeling. I was 17 years old and it was coming from someone whose outlook on love or experience with love was totally new and naïve.

Elton's version was released on his second album, but the single did not come out until seven months later, when it was released to promote his tour. Elton issued his third album, Tumbleweed Connection, before the single came out, and by this time he was established enough to have his own hit, thanks in large part to a triumphant run at the Troubadour in Los Angeles in August 1970.

Now I could never write that song again or emulate it because the songs I write now that talk about love coming from people my age usually deal with broken marriages and where the children go. You have to write from where you are at a particular point in time, and 'Your Song' is exactly where I was coming from back then."

Stevie Nicks - "Landslide"


Live 1975. Rare footage. This song is about a father-daughter relationship. Stevie wrote it on the guitar in about five minutes in Aspen, Colorado. She was surrounded by mountains and thinking, "Wow, all this snow could just come tumbling down around me and there is nothing I can do about it." When she feels like this she just goes to a room and writes her thoughts down so she can read it and ponder what she has written. Lindsey and Stevie were recording as a duo using the name Buckingham-Nicks before they were asked to join Fleetwood Mac. They had already released an album and were planning to include this on their next one. When Stevie wrote "Landslide" and "Rhiannon," Lindsey was on the road with the Everly Brothers backing them up on guitar.
Nicks said of this song: "My dad did have something to do with it, but he absolutely thinks that he was the whole complete reason it was ever written. I guess it was about September 1974, I was home at my dad and Mom's house in Phoenix, and my father said, 'You know, you really put a lot of time into this [her singing career], maybe you should give this six more months, and if you want to go back to school, we'll pay for it. Basically you can do whatever you want and we'll pay for it - I have wonderful parents, and I went, 'cool, I can do that.' Lindsey and I went up to Aspen, and we went to somebody's incredible house, and they had a piano, and I had my guitar with me, and I went into their living room, looking out over the incredible Aspen skyway, and I wrote 'Landslide.' Three months later, Mick Fleetwood called. On New Year's Eve, 1974, called and asked us to join Fleetwood Mac. So it was three months, I still had three more months to go to beat my six month goal that my dad gave me." 

On Air Now

Joyce Jefferson
8:00pm - 1:00am
Joyce Jefferson

Facebook

A big thank you to our station sponsors!

#ClassicHits: Music News & Stories



Star Featured Documentaries