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Song Stories

“Nick of Time”

Bonnie Raitt | 1989

The title song of Bonnie Raitt's huge hit 1989 album sympathetically details the pain many women feel of running out of time for both having children and finding love. Though it wasn't a huge hit single, the track won a Grammy award for Raitt as the best female vocal pop performance of the year. When it was cited in a Rolling Stone interview as a song that made a big impact and asked why she didn't write more, Raitt responded, "It's a combination of a lack of confidence, lack of trying and having really high standards."

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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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