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Song Stories

“Young Blood”

The Coasters | 1957

Doc Pomus gave a demo of his song to fellow songwriter Mike Stoller, thinking it might make a good A side for the Coasters. A few months later, Pomus heard "Young Blood" blaring out of a jukebox, though he hardly recognized it: Stoller and writing partner Jerry Leiber had adapted it to better suit the top of the charts. "I guess you must’ve heard it," said Atlantic's Jerry Wexler, answering the call from Pomus. "It's a smash." And at just the right time--Pomus was down to his last dime. The first of many hits, "Young Blood" pointed to Doc Pomus' bright future in the songwriting biz.

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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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