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Song Stories

“Take It Easy”

Eagles | 1972

During a break in the recording his first album, Jackson Browne took a road trip across the Southwest, getting a start on "Take It Easy" along the way. When he got back to L.A., Browne played it for Glenn Frey, who asked if his new band the Eagles could record it when it was done. "I said, 'Just finish it,' and he wrote the last verse and turned it into a real song," Browne recalled. "It was their first single, and what those guys did with it was incredible," said Browne. Frey's verse contained the indelible line, "I was standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona," words that helped revitalize that small town, which lost commerce when historic Route 66 was supplanted by Interstate 40, by encouraging tourists to mimic the song's protagonist.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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