Late-Night TV Music (Mysterious Ways Edition) | June 9, 2021

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T he Late-Night TV Music gods work in mysterious ways.

Here’s the deal: I’ve been re-reading Gerald Posner’s 2001 book Motown: Music, Money, Sex, and Power. I just finished the bit about The Temptations‘ song Papa Was A Rolling Stone (which they apparently didn’t want to record and hated, at least until it became a giant hit). I thought nothing of it — until Migos showed up on Wednesday’s edition of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon with their new track Avalanche, which clearly contains elements from, yep, Papa Was A Rolling Stone. Now, either the Late-Night TV Music lords are monitoring my reading habits or — and hear me out on this — it’s just a totally random coincidence. Either way, good timing. And let’s face it, any revamp of a Motown classic beats the other two options that aired on Wednesday: A cowboy-hatted T-Pain & Kehlani performing I Like Dat on a surreal western set for Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Vampire Weekend refugee Rostam crooning From the Back of a Cab from the back of a garage on The Late Late Show With James Corden. Thankfully, I have not taken a taxi to or from a western-wear store, cowboy bar or dude ranch lately or I’d be totally freaked out.