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Taylor Swift Reveals Her First-Ever Performance Was in Drag on "E True Hollywood Story"

December 19, 2008 2:20 PM ET

How did making up stories about the animals that expired on her driveway inspire Taylor Swift to write songs? That's just one of many questions answered on tonight's E True Hollywood Story focusing on young Hollywood (tune in at 8 p.m.). Click above to watch the country-crossover star discuss her musical debut (a turn in drag when she was in second grade) and early days on her parents' Christmas tree farm.

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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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