.

Song Stories

“Bad to the Bone”

George Thorogood | 1982

Although George Thorogood was noted for his takes on old blues tunes, he penned this one himself (though obviously influenced by songs like Bo Diddley's "I'm a Man" and the Muddy Waters tune "Mannish Boy.") In movies, this guitar-heavy song about a heart-breaking alpha male is often played in scenes where someone is preparing to kick butt. But Thorogood insisted the song's character was pure fiction. "Let's face it: Nobody's bad to the bone, except for maybe Errol Flynn, James Bond -- fantasy people that Hollywood created -- and that's what that thing is all about," he said.

prev
Song Stories Main Next

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 »
www.expandtheroom.com