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Song Stories

“A Nickel and a Nail”

O.V. Wright | 1971

Southern soul singer Overton Vertis Wright first sang gospel before switching to secular music in 1964. This is one of several songs Wright did with producer Willie Mitchell and his acclaimed Hi rhythm section, which recorded many of Al Green's biggest hits around the time this track was done. "When you gave O.V. Wright a song, the song belonged to him!" Mitchell would later point out about Wright, who died in 1980 at age 41 from a heart attack after years of drug abuse. "Nobody'd ever do it that way again! In fact, I think O.V. Wright was the greatest blues artist I've ever produced." 

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Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

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