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Song Stories

“The Wanderer”

Dion | 1961

Dion DiMucci, known professionally only by his first name, was given this song after Nino and the Ebbtides passed on it. But according to Dion, the tune, which is about a nomadic man who tattooed the names of his girlfriends on his arms, was a perfect fit for him. "You say to a chick, 'Stay away from that guy,'" he told Rolling Stone, "And she would say, 'What guy?' Chicks love a rebel."

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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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