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Bruce Springsteen Will Headline Super Bowl Halftime Show

September 29, 2008 10:48 AM ET

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band are set to perform during Super Bowl XLIII's halftime show on February 1st, 2009, in Tampa, Florida. Springsteen will be the fifth veteran act in a row at the Super Bowl. Since Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake's disastrous 2004 performance, the NFL has booked Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Prince and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The show has become the highest-profile gig in music — Petty and Prince both saw big sales bumps for their back catalogs after their hit-filled performances.

No plans have been announced, but the Super Bowl gig suggests an active 2009 for Springsteen and the E Street Band, who completed a world tour behind his Magic album in August. Producer Brendan O'Brien has said that unreleased songs remain from the Magic sessions, which could provide material for another album.

Related Stories:
Bruce Springsteen Kicks Harley Davidson Fest Into High Gear
Bruce Springsteen Takes Requests at Magic Tour's Jersey Stand
Bruce Springsteen Releases Live Charity EP

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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