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Song Stories

“We've Only Just Begun”

The Carpenters | 1970

This song, beautifuly sung by Karen Carpenter, was never intended to be a song at all. Written by veteran songwriters Paul Williams and Roger Nichols, it began as a TV jingle for a California bank, which caught Richard Carpenter’s ear. “I assumed that it would never, ever get cut again,” Williams told Rolling Stone. But when Carpenter asked if there was a full song attached to the jingle, Williams said yes, then rushed to actually finish the tune, which became one of the Carpenters' most enduring hits.

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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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