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Song Stories

“My Sharona”

The Knack | 1979

It turns out that "My Sharona," one of the most iconic power pop tunes of its era and a Number One hit for the L.A.-based Knack, was inspired by the group's frontman, Doug Fieger, becoming smitten by a younger woman, who would eventually become his fiancée (alas, they never actually wed). As Fieger explained, "Sharona was 17. I was 25 when I wrote the song. But the song was written from the perspective of a 14-year-old boy. It's just an honest song about a 14-year-old boy."

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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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