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Song Stories

“Oh Sherrie”

Steve Perry | 1984

Steve Perry's girlfriend Sherrie Swafford was actually in the studio when Perry began writing this song--his lone Top Ten hit as a solo act--with two co-writers. The trio began at midnight one night with just "Oh, Sherrie!" and "hold on, hold on." Three hours later, they had a complete song. Swafford, however, had to wait until the next day to hear it. "Sherrie actually got tired and went to bed," Perry said. She also appeared in the video, but their relationship did not hold on for long.

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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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