The title track to Gaslight Anthem's 2008 breakthrough album, "The '59 Sound" is a tribute to a dead friend, hooked to the Jersey band's signature Springsteen-goes-hardcore sound. Nostalgia courses through the lyrics, which are stuffed with references to radios and favorite songs, and the title comes from singer Brian Fallon's love for classic rock and soul. "I once built a 1959 Fender Bassman amp – the same kind that Carl Perkins used, that Elvis' guitar player used. Springsteen used one in the younger days," Fallon told Rolling Stone. "So [the title] was a reference to both that amplifier and that music."
Steve Perry's girlfriend Sherrie Swafford was actually in the studio when Perry began writing this song--his lone Top Ten hit as a solo act--with two co-writers. The trio began at midnight one night with just "Oh, Sherrie!" and "hold on, hold on." Three hours later, they had a complete song. Swafford, however, had to wait until the next day to hear it. "Sherrie actually got tired and went to bed," Perry said. She also appeared in the video, but their relationship did not hold on for long.