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Song Stories

“Rainy Night in Georgia”

Brook Benton | 1970

This tale of what it feels like when the whole world is raining and there's no warm place to find became a smash for Brook Benton in 1970, eight years after Tony Jo White penned it. White’s inspiration? "I knew about rainy nights in Georgia because I drove a dump truck for the highway department," he said. In naming it one of the 500 Greatest Songs of all time, Rolling Stone praises "Benton's intimate baritone set over crying violins, crashing horns and dolorous organs and guitars."

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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