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Song Stories

“In the Still of the Night”

The Five Satins | 1956

Not a smash hit upon first release -- it was actually a B side -- this doo-wop staple by a vocal group from New Haven, Connecticut, went on to become one of the style’s most iconic tunes. In fact, its nonsense refrain (“doo wop, doo wah”) is often cited as the origin of the term “doo-wop” itself. Written by lead singer Fred Parris while on Army guard duty, and recorded on the cheap in the basement of a hometown church, complete with a muffled rhythm section and off-key backing vocals, the song nevertheless went on to top New York oldies station WCBS’ countdown of all-time oldies favorites year in and year out.

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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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