Song Stories

“Wipe Out”

The Surfaris | 1963

An instantly memorable guitar riff that rose and fell like ocean waves, as well as a dynamic drum solo punctuated by urgent chords, made "Wipe Out" a massive surf instrumental hit. Losing control of his right drumstick, Ron Wilson resorted to hitting the crash cymbal with his bare hand as the track ended. As for the sound effects and signature cackle at the song's beginning, rhythm guitarist Bob Berryhill said, "I went out and got a cement-soaked board from somewhere outside and just cracked it over the mike and Dale Smallin, who was our original manager, let out a laugh."

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Song Stories

“Wake Up Everybody”

John Legend and the Roots | 2010

A Number One record by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes in 1976 (a McFadden- and Whitehead-penned classic sung by Teddy Pendergrass) inspired the title and lead single from Wake Up!, John Legend's tribute album to message music. The more familiar strains of "Wake Up Everybody" also fit his agenda. "It basically sums up, in a very concise way, all the things we were thinking about when we were putting this record together in that it's about justice, doing the right thing and coming together to make the world a better place," he said. Vocalists Common and Melanie Fiona assist Legend on this mission to connect.

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