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Song Stories

“Believe”

Cher | 1998

From singing backup vocals on Phil Spector’s glorious Wall of Sound productions as a teen to six decades of Number One hits in the pop, rock and dance spheres, Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPiere has always been at the forefront of musical trends. Add to those achievements her recording of “Believe,” the very song that introduced the Auto-Tune altered-vocal effect to pop music. And when it, too, reached Number One, Cher became the oldest female artist to top the U.S. singles charts, at age 52. When asked if she actually does believe in a life after love, the pop diva replied, “Definitely. I’ve experienced it. It’s been a long time; I’ve never been alone this long.”

Find out which Nineties rock icon’s death had a strong effect on Cher.
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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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