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Great White Reach Settlement In Nightclub Fire Case

September 3, 2008 9:11 AM ET

Great White have reached a settlement with the families of victims and survivors of the 2003 Station nightclub fire that claimed 100 lives. The band agreed to pay a combined $1,000,000 to the more than 300 defendants. As part of the settlement, the band deny any wrong doing in the February 2003 fire, which was the fourth-deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history and took the life of guitartist Ty Longley when pyrotechnics ignited cheap soundproofing foam. While band members were never charged with any crimes, Great White manager Daniel Biechele served half of a four-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to 100 counts of involuntary manslaughter. The state of Rhode Island and town of Warwick also settled with defendants last month for $10 million. Chris Fontaine, whose son was killed in the fire, said she thought the band was "getting off easy" with the $1 million settlement and said the band faced a much steeper verdict had the case gone to trial. No settlement money has been distributed yet, with a Duke University law professor placed in charge of deciding how to properly dole out the money to each defendant.

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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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