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"Shannon" was a song written about the passing of Beach Boy Carl Wilson's Irish Setter of the same name. The song went gold and became a worldwide hit. The second single, "Springtime Mama," sold just short of gold. This was Gross' first album and first hit on the new Lifesong Record label. (thanks, Randall - Chattanooga, TN)
This song was a hit in the US in 1976, but is perhaps best known for being the subject of a legendary, profanity-laced tirade by American Top 40 radio show host Casey Kasem while recording an episode of the show in 1985. A listener had requested the song as a "Long Distance Dedication" (a regular feature of the AT40 show) to his own recently-deceased dog. Kasem was upset that the show's producers had placed the dedication immediately following the Pointer Sisters' hit "Dare Me," an up-tempo song that Kasem considered a poor lead-in to a sad song like "Shannon" - and he let the producers know of his displeasure in no uncertain terms. In the end, the dedication, and the mismatched songs, were presented as scripted in spite of Kasem's objection, but the outtake of his rant eventually surfaced as a bootleg recording. The so-called "Snuggles tape" (named for the dog to whom the dedication was made) contradicted Kasem's normally straight-laced, easygoing on-air persona, and provided an amusing footnote to his 18-year-long run as the show's original host. (thanks, Joshua - Twin Cities, MN)
The falsetto vocals on "Shannon" were written because Gross was a big fan of Beach Boy member Brian Wilson and was influenced by his singing style. (thanks, Graham - Windsor, Australia)
Collaborating with T Bone Burnett, Leslie Phillips changed her name and left her Christian label behind. Robert Plant, who recorded one of her songs on Raising Sand
, is a fan.
They Might Be Giants
Who writes a song about a name they found in a phone book? That's just one of the everyday things these guys find to sing about. Anything in their field of vision or general scope of knowledge is fair game. If you cross paths with them, so are you.
Ville Valo of HIM
The lead singer for HIM shares some surprising insights about their songs, which he says can take years to complete.