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Rock on TV Preview: They Might Be Giants Play Grown-Up Music on 'Fallon'

Also: Anna Calvi on 'Letterman' and Vanessa Carlton on 'Leno'

July 27, 2011 3:35 PM ET
They Might Be Giants
They Might Be Giants
Andy Kropa/Getty Images

Cult rockers They Might Be Giants will swing by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tonight to promote the latest record Join Us. The new disc is their first non-children's album since 2007, so the group are likely to let out years of pent-up adult angst and sexuality in a blast of anguished vulgarity. Just kidding! They will almost certainly play a song that is adorable, cerebral and catchy because that is what They Might Be Giants do. But you know, maybe not! Tune in to find out.

Anna Calvi - Late Show with David Letterman, CBS 11:35 p.m.

Vanessa Carlton - Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC 11:35 p.m.

Chris Young - Jimmy Kimmel Live, ABC 12:00 a.m.

Austin Brown - Lopez Tonight, TBS 12:00 a.m.

They Might Be Giants - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, 12:35 a.m.

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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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