Song Stories

“Get Up, Stand Up”

Bob Marley and the Wailers | 1975

Drawing from personal belief and experience, Wailers Bob Marley and Peter Tosh penned "Get Up, Stand Up" as the opening salvo to their 1973 album Burnin'. Both singers would go on to claim it as a righteous theme during their respective solo careers, and decades later, the song still stands as a worldwide anthem against oppression in all forms. "Don't give up the fight," they sang. "That song say man can live," stated Marley, though "Get Up, Stand Up" would be his last song at the last concert he ever performed.

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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.”

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