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Song Stories

“Hanky Panky”

Tommy James and the Shondells | 1964

Tommy James' first hit was raw garage rock urging his baby to do the "Hanky Panky," accentuated by wavering raunchy guitar notes at the end of the choruses. Hit songwriting team Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich wrote it in 20 minutes for a 1963 B side by their studio group the Raindrops; James first heard it via a live version by a club band in South Bend, Indiana. "I really only remembered a few lines from the song, so when we went in to record it, I had to make up the rest," he confessed.

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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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