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Song Stories

“Red Solo Cup”

Toby Keith | 2011

When Toby Keith first heard this song, conceived two years earlier by songwriter Jim Beavers, he said, "That is the dumbest thing I've heard in my life." A song about plastic cups. Yet, not just any plastic cups, Beavers said — red Solo brand cups. "Everywhere I went, at football games and parties, I saw people using them," he said. "It struck me it could be a song, and I wrote down the title." Keith initially laughed off the novelty song, but the melody stuck in his head. So he decided to record it. The video — with its numerous cameos by showbiz and sports figures — went viral.

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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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