Song Stories

“Baby, Baby”

Amy Grant | 1991

Even when she was selling millions of albums in the Christian music genre, Grant had her sights on the mainstream charts. "I realize I'm potentially confronting a whole new audience," she told Rolling Stone. The worldwide success of "Baby, Baby," the first single from her first secular album, proved she could make the transition. Although the song — written about her 2-year-old daughter, Millie — helped Grant make the crossover, she insisted she didn't forget her spiritual side. "It wasn't a case of my falling off the deep end or losing my faith; I just wanted to try new things."

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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