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Bud Scoppa

Reporter

  • Hickory Wind

    Roger McGuinn, who added Gram Parsons to the Byrds lineup for Sweetheart of the Rodeo, considered this haunting evocation of a Southern childhood — written by Parsons during a cross-country train trip from Florida to L.A. — to be his best song. Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers mainstay Chris Hillman concurred: "If Gram had never […]

    • Music
  • The Letter

    On the first run-through, 16-year-old Box Tops frontman Alex Chilton sang this soon-to-be Number One hit "really softly," he later recalled. "The producer came out and said, 'No, man, you gotta sing it hard. Don't be afraid of the microphone.'" Producer Dan Penn then demonstrated, belting out the song, and Chilton followed suit, nailing it. […]

    • Music
  • I'm Your Puppet

    Dan Penn originally recorded and released this song, composed with his songwriting partner Spooner Oldham, as "The Puppet," and it tanked. When Oldham subsequently brought the Purify Brothers (who were actually cousins James Purify and Bobby Dickey) to FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to cut some sides, they picked "The Puppet" out of the demo […]

    • Music
  • Hot Burrito #1 / Hot Burrito #2

    These companion pieces from The Gilded Palace of Sin were penned by Gram Parsons and Burritos bass player Chris Ethridge during a single writing session. According to band cofounder Chris Hillman, "#1" was inspired by Parsons' breakup with Nancy Parsons, nee Ross, who took his name though they never officially married. "I only heard two […]

    • Music
  • Young Americans

    “Over here, it’s bright young Americans,” Bowie said of his decision to cut an LP in the soul-music hotbed of Philadelphia. “In England, it’s a dirge.” Puerto Rican-born guitarist Carlos Alomar, who’d introduced the glam god to the vibrant U.S. club scene, assembled a multiracial American studio band for the recording. “It was only about […]

    • Music
  • Bad Moon Rising

    Legend has it that John Fogerty wrote “Bad Moon Rising” on the day Richard Nixon was elected as president, but he refuted the notion that the song was political in nature, repeatedly stating that it was inspired by the 1941 fantasy movie The Devil and Daniel Webster. “When you’re a very tuned-in young person, you’re […]

    • Music
  • That'll Be the Day

    Buddy Holly and drummer Jerry Allison started playing together as teenagers in a Lubbock, Texas, garage. "We weren’t interested in ball games or hot rods–we were interested in playing [music]," Allison recalled. "We thought if you could get a record out, you’d have a hit, you could buy a Cadillac." Their dream came true with […]

    • Music
  • Everything in Its Right Place

    Thom Yorke hit rock bottom the moment he walked offstage after a 1997 concert in Birmingham, England, which initially left him unable to speak and later led him to write the eerie, discombobulated “Everything.” “Lots of people say that song is gibberish,” he told Rolling Stone. “It’s not. It’s totally about that” – the mute […]

    • Music
  • Shining Through the Rain

    Shining Through the Rain shows that sixty-two-year-old Percy Sledge can still locate the emotional essence of a song, as he did so unforgettably on "When a Man Loves a Woman," his 1966 debut single. Producers Saul Davis and Barry Goldberg designed the album to mimic the soulful, laid-back vibe of Norala Studios in Sheffield, Alabama, […]

    • Album Reviews
  • Santana (Reissue)

    Santana's 1969 debut album followed close on the heels of the sextet's coming-out party at the Woodstock Festival, where the multiethnic, single-minded San Francisco band nearly stole the show from the likes of the Grateful Dead and Sly and the Family Stone. Santana was a nonstop thirty-seven-minute rhythmic onslaught: Hand percussionists Mike Carabello and Chepito […]

    • Album Reviews