U2, Carly Simon, Joanna Newsom, Brian Wilson and Fiona Apple have all gone to Van Dyke Parks to make their songs exceptional.
Gary Lewis and the Playboys had seven Top 10 hits despite competition from The Beatles. Gary talks about the hits, his famous father, and getting drafted.
"How much does it cost? I'll buy it?" Another songwriter told Jonathan to change these lyrics. Good thing he ignored this advice.
Revisit the awesome glory of Night Ranger and Damn Yankees: cheesily-acted videos, catchy guitar licks, long hair, and lyrics that are just plain relatable.
The former Metallica bassist talks about his first time writing a song with James Hetfield, and how a hand-me-down iPad has changed his songwriting.
The revered singer-songwriter talks inspiration and explains why she put a mahout in "Drop the Pilot."
"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" was supposed to be titled "In The Garden Of Eden," but someone in the studio wrote down the title phonetically, and it stuck.
"White "Christmas" was so popular that Bing had to re-record the song five years after the original 1942 recording because the original masters had been worn out from all the pressings. This is the version that became a holiday tradition.
Jay-Z's version of "99 Problems" is a cover of a 1993 song by Ice-T with the lyrics changed to be about Jay's rise to fame.
"Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" is based on billboards John Lennon and Yoko Ono posted two years earlier declaring "War Is Over! If You Want It."
Mike Campbell from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers played the slide guitar on "Sixth Avenue Heartache." There is a connection here - Wallflowers lead singer Jakob's dad, Bob Dylan, played with Tom Petty in The Traveling Wilburys.
Madonna's "Justify My Love" was co-written by Lenny Kravitz.