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Song Stories

“Love Child”

Diana Ross and the Supremes | 1968

One of Motown's first hits with a socially conscious theme, "Love Child," dressed in a catchy melody and carefully orchestrated arrangement, told the story of a young woman stigmatized after getting born out of wedlock. It was written over the course of a weekend by British lyricist Pam Sawyer, guitarist Deke Richards, singer R. Dean Taylor and Frank Wilson at Detroit's Pontchartrain Hotel. "Every idea was thrown out until we came up with that one," remembered Wilson. "Sometime on Saturday we came up with the idea. [Motown chief] Berry Gordy came by, loved the idea."

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Song Stories

“Wake Up Everybody”

John Legend and the Roots | 2010

A Number One record by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes in 1976 (a McFadden- and Whitehead-penned classic sung by Teddy Pendergrass) inspired the title and lead single from Wake Up!, John Legend's tribute album to message music. The more familiar strains of "Wake Up Everybody" also fit his agenda. "It basically sums up, in a very concise way, all the things we were thinking about when we were putting this record together in that it's about justice, doing the right thing and coming together to make the world a better place," he said. Vocalists Common and Melanie Fiona assist Legend on this mission to connect.

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