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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

“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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