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Song Stories

“Great Balls of Fire”

Jerry Lee Lewis | 1957

Despite the fact that "Great Balls of Fire" is now considered one of rock 'n' roll's early landmark tunes, Jerry Lee Lewis was spooked by the song when it came time to record it. "At one of these sessions, everyone in the studio got to drinking," Lewis biographer Nick Tosches explained. "Jerry Lee became filled with the Holy Ghost, and he decided that the song 'Great Balls of Fire' was of the devil and that to sing it was to sin." Eventually, Lewis reconsidered, and sung the tune, written by Otis Blackwell and Jack Hammer -- with Blackwell also enjoying success penning hits for Elvis Presley ("Don't Be Cruel," "All Shook Up" and "Return to Sender").

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Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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