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Song Stories

“Tipitina”

Professor Longhair | 1972

The rhumba-style track "Tipitina" was first released as a single in 1953 and was re-released on Professor Longhair's classic 1972 album New Orleans Piano. The song provided the name for an iconic New Orleans nightclub and music venue when Tipitina's opened in 1977, and the album was named one of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of all time. "Tipitina" has become a quintessential New Orleans standard and has been covered by many artists, including fellow New Orleanian Dr. John. It was added to the National Recording Registry in 2011.

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Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

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