There are a bunch of songs in the canon of Christmas songs, whose lyrics don't stand up to close examination. This week we look at several "Christmas" songs that don't really appear to be about Christmas.
John D Loudermilk wrote a song that's nearly devoid of actual facts. When it became a hit, a couple of interviews he did about that song turned out also to be mostly devoid of facts.
Neil Sedaka spent a bunch of time in the Top Ten, but this was his first trip to the Number One slot. And he took the song to the Top Ten again several years later with a vastly different arrangement.
Pink Floyd wasn't a band keen on releasing singles, since they viewed their albums as fully realized creations that needed to be taken as a whole. But a couple of tweaks to a song by an uncredited collaborator almost certainly was the impetus for turning it into a Number One hit worldwide.
No, that's not a typo; "massacree" is a real word, and it's part of the Arlo Guthrie song that has become a Thanksgiving tradition at radio stations nationwide.
Shel Silverstein was a poet, a cartoonist, a humorist and a songwriter who wrote more hits than most people would suspect.
The Isley Brothers' first charting hit from 1959 got its start not as a song, but as a bit they'd do to extend another song they were already singing in concert.
Ray Parker Jr wasn't the first person approached to come up with a pop song to support this film, but he was the last, and the best.
Lou Reed's signature song (he once joked that he knew his obituary would start with "doot, di-doot, di-doot...") has its origins in people he knew and worked with at Andy Warhol's studio, The Factory.
One fine evening in 1967, Judy Collins gets a call from Al Kooper and Joni Mitchell, and it turns into her first Top 40 hit.
Benny Mardones may be the only person to be a one-hit wonder twice, charting two times with the same version of the same song.
This hit from early 1966 isn't quite the spontaneous fun party it sounds like.
This week we take a look at a bunch of artists who made it into the higher tiers of the Hot 100 with songs that weren't recorded in English.
Alice Cooper's biggest hit was inspired by two things: Old movies and the last three minutes of the school day.
It's been a while since we took a look at a bunch of songs that you may not realize are covers of other artists' work.
Aretha Franklin died on August 16, 2018. This week's show takes a look back at the life and music career of the Queen of Soul.
Donovan struck lucky a couple of times with this song: first, it was the beginning of people looking into the deeper meaning behind absolutely every lyric. Second, the song got a weird boost from a practical joke being played by an underground newspaper out of Berkeley.
Disco was on its way out, to be replaced by Hip-Hop or New Wave, depending on the clubs you frequented. Blondie's last major hit in the US was a track that departed from their previous style and broke a few barriers along the way.
After a mishap during a Frank Zappa concert destroyed the space that Deep Purple was going to use for a recording space, the band had to scramble to find a new space. Once they'd found it, they wrote a song outlining the story of the accidental arson and the search for a new location. While they didn't have big hopes for the song, it became their first, and biggest, hit.
The Supremes were doing so poorly on the charts that people around Motown were calling them the "No-Hit Supremes". Then along came a song that nobody at the label wanted to record, and the Supremes, backed into a corner, recorded what turned out to be their first Number One hit.
In 1978, Gerry Rafferty was finally untangled from the legal squabbles created by the multiple breakups of Stealers Wheel. He took the experience and turned it into a monster hit, but there are a couple of intriguing controversies surrounding the song.
The song that cemented Eddie Cochran's place in the Rock and Roll firmament was written in about an hour by a 19 year old Cochran and his manager.
Murray Head is another one of those famous guys whose name is known to few. He had two hit singles in the US, 15 years apart and very different in style, tone and content, but which have something very peculiar in common.
One of The Drifters' bigger hits might have been a sequel to one of their earlier songs, but it was definitely a prequel to one of their later songs.
It's 1971 and Don McLean hadn't yet hit it big with "American Pie," so he was touring around and caught the attention of a singer-songwriter named Lori Lieberman, who was so touched by his performance that she wrote a poem which ultimately became a hit in multiple genres.