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Song Stories

“Boom Boom Pow”

Black Eyed Peas | 2009

"Boom Boom Pow" was not a typical lead-off single for the Black-Eyed Peas, but it resonated so strongly with their fans that it became the group's first Number One hit. Filled with digital effects and an electro feel, the song served its purpose well, according to will.i.am. "We could've been like, 'We haven't been out for a while, I just got finished doing this Obama thing -- we need to hit 'em with a little "Where’s the Love,"'" he told Rolling Stone. "But I think we’re supposed to give people an escape instead. Something to make them excited about life and forget the things that haunt them."

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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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