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Song Stories

“I Say a Little Prayer”

Dionne Warwick | 1967

The wistful verses in which Dionne Warwick asks for a blessing for someone close to her glide into a jubilant chorus pledging eternal love on this 1967 hit. Warwick later revealed in the liner notes to The Look of Love: The Burt Bacharach Collection that she "approached the song from the point of view that it was written, that we were sending a message to our kids in Vietnam." Burt Bacharach, who co-wrote "I Say a Little Prayer" with Hal David, worried, "I thought I blew it. The tempo seemed too fast."

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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