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Song Stories

“That'll Be the Day”

Buddy Holly and the Crickets | 1957

Buddy Holly and drummer Jerry Allison started playing together as teenagers in a Lubbock, Texas, garage. "We weren’t interested in ball games or hot rods--we were interested in playing [music]," Allison recalled. "We thought if you could get a record out, you’d have a hit, you could buy a Cadillac." Their dream came true with this tough-talking twangfest, which Holly and Allison co-wrote after seeing the John Wayne western The Searchers, during which the Duke repeatedly uttered the title phrase. The song became the first of a string of hits that was tragically cut off when Holly died in a plane crash at age 22.

Watch elite rockers speak about Buddy Holly, behind the scenes of a tribute album.
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Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

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