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Song Stories

“Sherry”

The Four Seasons | 1962

The Four Seasons' plea to "Sherry" to come out tonight rocketed to Number One when it gave the group their first hit in 1962, highlighted by Frankie Valli's stratospherically high and shrill falsetto vocals. Four Seasons keyboardist Bob Gaudio wrote it in just 15 minutes as he was leaving for a rehearsal. "I drove down to rehearsal humming it, trying to keep it in my mind," he remembered. "I had no intention of keeping the lyrics. To my surprise, everybody liked the lyrics, so we didn't change anything."

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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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