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Song Stories

“It's Too Late”

Carole King | 1970

Underpinned by rumbling piano riffs suggesting the end is near, Carole King's warning that a relationship is too late to salvage gave her a Number One hit in 1971, solidified by a chorus as jubilant as it is relieved that the game is over. King co-wrote the song with Toni Stern, who said she did her part "very fast, in a day." "I won't say who 'It's Too Late' is about," Stern added. "I don't kiss and tell."

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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