Song Stories

“Lonely Weekends”

Charlie Rich | 1960

"Lonely Weekends" might have an easygoing rockabilly-pop bounce and cheerful background vocals, but it can't hide Charlie Rich's despair at enduring another loveless weekend after gritting his way from Monday through Friday. J.M. Van Eaton's kick drum pattern was first heard on Rich's previous single, the spiritual "Big Man." As Van Eaton told it in the liner notes to The Complete Singles Plus: The Sun Years 1958-1963, Sun Records producer Sam Phillips "told Charlie, 'Now, man, if you can write a song with that same feel, then I think we'll have something!' That's when he wrote 'Lonely Weekends.'"

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Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

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