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Each day, Rich Terfry and Radio 2 Drive wraps up your day with music and stories about the interesting things going on in the world. 

RICH'S PICK: Sun Kil Moon's "Truck Driver"


The truth about standing in front of a microwave while it's cooking:

Play-by-play of a cat's meal time:

Ten amazing bets you'll always win:


Every week, Rich Terfry looks back in our Rear-view Mirror at a great song from the good ol’ days. This week, R.E.M. with "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?"

One of REM's biggest hits was inspired by legendary newscaster Dan Ratherand an incredibly bizarre crime.



Listen to Rich tell you the incredible story behind "What's The Frequency, Kenneth?"

Dan Rather was the host of the CBS Evening News for 24 years. It was during those years that he was attacked on the streets of New York City. He was walking home to his apartment one night when he was seized upon by a man who started to punch and kick him. As the attack took place, the assailant asked Rather the same strange question, over and over again: "What's the frequency, Kenneth?"

If you're thinking it sounds like a scene out of a David Lynch movie, you're not alone. The mystery of the crime wasn't solved for years and it lead some to question the veracity of Rather's account. However, a doorman who was stationed nearby saw the whole thing and always backed up Rather's story.

With Dan Rather being a high-profile public figure, the story was big news. When the guys from REM heard it, they were struck by its strangeness and were inspired to write the song, "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" Rather's attacker was finally caught in 1997 and was thrown in jail for his role in that and other crimes. But a few years before he was arrested, Rather performed the song on stage at Madison Square Garden with REM!

In September of 1994, REM's song became the first to debut at the number one position on Billboard magazine's Modern Rock Tracks chart. Here it is, "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" by R.E.M. on Rear View Mirror.

Here are some other great editions of Rear-view Mirror:

Tom Waits/Jockey Full of Bourbon

Neil Diamond/Sweet Caroline

The Who/Pinball Wizard

Buffalo Springfield/For What It's Worth

Five Man Electrical Band/Signs

Band Aid/Do They Know It's Christmas

John Lennon/Imagine

The Ugly Ducklings/Nothin

Bob Dylan/Tangled Up In Blue

The Beatles/Norwegian Wood

The Pursuit of Happiness/I'm An Adult Now

Bruce Springsteen/Born To Run

Arcade Fire/Wake Up

Gnarls Barkley/Crazy

Big Joe Turner/Shake Rattle and Roll

Martha and the Muffins/Echo Beach

Wilson Pickett/In The Midnight Hour

The Band/The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

Fleetwood Mac/Go Your Own Way

The Animals/House of the Rising Sun

Ian and Sylvia/Four Strong Winds

James Brown/Please Please Please

John Cougar Mellencamp, 'Pink Houses'

Leonard Cohen/Suzanne

The Ramones/I Wanna Be Sedated

Blue Rodeo/Try

The Guess Who/American Woman

U2/I Still Have't Found What I'm Looking For

Janis Joplin/Me and Bobby McGee

Gordon Lightfoot "If You Could Read My Mind"

The Byrds "Eight Miles High"

Simon and Garfunkel "The Sound of Silence"

Bill Haley and his Comets "Rock Around The Clock"

The Velvet Underground "I'm Waiting For The Man"

Johnny Cash "Folsom Prison Blues"

Bobby Fuller "I Fought The Law"

Big Star "September Gurls"

The Hollies "Bus Stop"

Joy Division "Love Will Tear Us Apart"

Booker T and the MGs "Green Onions"

Jimi Hendrix "Hey Joe"

Neil Young "Rockin' in the Free World"

Dolly Parton "Jolene"

The Left Banke "Walk Away Renee"

Lou Reed "Walk On The Wild Side"

James Taylor "Fire And Rain"

The Clash "Should I Stay or Should I Go"

Marvin Gaye "Sexual Healing"

Radiohead "Paranoid Android"

M.I.A. "Paper Planes"

The Animals "We Gotta Get Out of this Place"

Dusty Springfield "Son of a Preacher Man"

Screamin' Jay Hawkins "I Put A Spell On You"

Cheap Trick "Surrender"

Mott The Hoople "All the Young Dudes"

Beach Boys "Sloop John B"

Amy Winehouse "Rehab"

New York Dolls "Personality Crisis"

Modern Lovers "Roadrunner"

George Jones "He Stopped Loving Her Today"

Bruce Springsteen "Born in the USA"

The Beatles "With A Little Help From My Friends"

Rolling Stones 'Miss You'

The Coasters 'Run Red Run'

Elvis Costello, 'Alison'

James Brown, 'Hot (I Need to be loved loved loved)'

Inner Circle, 'Tenement Yard'

Ray Charles, 'I Don't Need No Doctor'

Curtis Mayfield, 'Freddy's Dead'

Gang Starr, 'Beyond Comprehension'

Bo Diddley, 'Bo Diddley'

Aretha Franklin, 'Rocksteady'

CCR, 'Have You Ever Seen the Rain'

Howlin' Wolf, 'Smokestack Lightning'

Bobby Womack, 'Across 110th Street'

Roy Orbison, 'In Dreams'

Foggy Hogtown Boys, 'Man of Constant Sorrow'

Pink Floyd, 'Wish You Were Here'

Neil Young, 'Cortez The Killer'

Bob Dylan, 'Subterranean Homesick Blues'

Little Eva, 'Loco-Motion'

Elvis Costello, 'Watching the Detectives'

Jimmy Cliff, 'The Harder They Come'

The Verve, 'Bittersweet Symphony'

Roberta Flack, 'Killing Me Softly with his Song'

R.E.M., 'Radio Free Europe'

Radiohead, 'No Surprises'

Led Zeppelin, 'Ramble On'

Rolling Stones, 'Beast of Burden'

Glen Campbell, 'Wichita Lineman'

posted by Alex Redekop at 8:14 AM
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