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John McCain Will Stop Playing Mellencamp Songs at Rallies

February 8, 2008 5:17 PM ET

Four days after John Mellencamp's reps asked John McCain to stop playing his songs "Our Country" and "Pink Houses" at his rallies, the Republican frontrunner's campaign spokesman announced today that Mellencamp's songs would no longer be played as McCain's rallying cry. Mellencamp, a noted liberal who was supporting John Edwards, took umbrage with McCain using his music as he traveled from primary state to primary state trying to prove to his party that he is a "true conservative." According to Mellencamp's publicist, "If you're such a true conservative, why are you playing songs that have a very populist pro-labor message written by a guy who would find no argument if you characterized him as left of center?" McCain's people agreed, and have ceased playing the songs.

Related Stories:
Mellencamp Asks McCain to Stop Using Tunes
John Mellencamp: "I Don't Know How Many Times I Quit the Business"
John Mellencamp Rocks a NYC Bookstore With Bluesy New Tracks, Classic Hits

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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.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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