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Song Stories

“Ain't It a Shame”

Fats Domino | 1955

Fats Domino and his producer/collaborator Dave Bartholomew pioneered the big beat of rock with "Ain't That a Shame." Domino's original single bore the title "Ain't It a Shame," and it's alleged that Pat Boone tried to retitle the song 'Isn't It a Shame' when he cut his whitewashed cover version. (Personally, Domino was partial to Cheap Trick's big, fat, hard-rock version, a Top 40 hit in 1979 from their At Budokan set.) Regardless of what it was called, the kids preferred Domino’s New Orleans-flavored original and made it a Top 10 hit. Bartholomew, who initially had his doubts about the song, warmed up to the simplicity of Domino’s lyric: "'Ain't That a Shame' will never die," he said. "It will be here when the world comes to an end."

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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