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Song Stories

“Please Forgive My Heart”

Bobby Womack | 2012

The soul-baring "Please Forgive My Heart" is the first taste off The Bravest Man in the Universe, Bobby Womack's return to the studio after a long absence from solo recording. Coaxed into the project by co-producers Damon Albarn and XL Recordings label head Richard Russell, Womack explained the session’s songwriting process: "Damon would start playing the melody and I would write to it, then sing it." The soul icon and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee has worked with Albarn before, having added vocals to the Gorillaz album Plastic Beach. Womack has given the Albarn/Russell team full credit for his comeback. "When I got to the studio, they were ready for me," he said. "They believed in me more than I believed in myself.”

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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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