May 12, 2002

Many people don't know this ...

The late, great Sam Cooke is probably best remembered for his song 'Stand By Me'. This was not, however, the song's first title.

Originally, the song was called 'Stand On The Sidewalk'. But a year before the song really hit big Sam was at a gig in a small club outside of Detroit. After the show an auto worker, Bob Percy, who had seen the show, went up to Sam.

"Love the song, Sam," he said. "But you've got to change the title. 'Stand On The Sidewalk' just doesn't scan. And it really doesn't make a lot of sense to sing, 'No, I won't be afraid; no, I won't shed a tear just as long as you stand on the sidewalk.' What the hell is that?

"How about 'Stand By Me'? Wouldn't that work better?"

Well, the lights went on for Sam. He changed the words and the rest is music history.

Just think ... Would you have gone to see a Stephen King story turned into a movie if it had been called 'Stand On The Sidewalk'?

I don't think so.

(This story was first told to me by Crabs the Clown.)

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