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Song Stories

“Let's Go Trippin'”

Dick Dale | 1961

Though other surf songs would be more commercially successful, this track -- considered the first surf instrumental -- was actually inspired by the waves, as Dick Dale sought to parlay the feeling he had surfing onto tape. Yet Dale, who has bragged of causing 48 amps to explode, said the recording could never match his blistering live version. "When I heard 'Let's Go Trippin,' and all of those songs, I smashed the record against the wall," he said. "I never would play it at home because it wasn't the way I sound on stage."

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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