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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

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

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