Music News

A jury trial is now set for a lawsuit that says members of Led Zeppelin plagiarized a key element of the best-selling song "Stairway to Heaven." The estate of Randy Wolfe, the late guitarist of the band Spirit, initially filed the federal lawsuit two years ago.

If there was a Mount Rushmore of the benchmark greats of American music, Merle Haggard would have to be on it. He was among the greatest of his or any generation of country performers. A true triple-threat, his prowess as a guitarist and fiddler could only be eclipsed by his greatness as a vocalist and songwriter. He was also a true entertainer with charisma and seemingly effortless stage presence.

In 2014, Sergei Roldugin told the New York Times, "I don't have millions."

This week in Dallas, a singular work of music is being performed in memory of Tyler Clementi: the 18-year-old college freshman who jumped off the George Washington Bridge in 2010, after his roommate at Rutgers secretly filmed him being intimate with another man and posted about it online.

Editor's note on April 4, 2016: You may have figured this out already — this story was an April Fools' joke. It's not real. We hope you enjoyed it.

You often don't think of opera at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem. Tonight that changes: Charlie Parker's Yardbird gets its New York premiere there. It's an opera about the jazz saxophonist on the very stage where Parker played in his lifetime.

The opera's Swiss-born composer Daniel Schnyder is a jazz saxophone player himself, who is also classically trained. He wants to combine his two favorite kinds of music.

Just before he died in 2009, Joe Castro sat down with his son James to listen to some tapes. The reel-to-reels were full of Castro's own decades-old recordings, in which the jazz pianist jammed with his contemporaries.

"It was kind of like a shock," James says, "because right when we put the first tape on, it sounded like it was recorded yesterday."

Father and son went through more than 40 hours of tape. James says he was used to hearing his dad back up other musicians.

  The 21st SILVER CITY BLUES & BIKES FESTIVAL is Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-29, at Gough Park in Silver City NM.  All events are FREE!  Info at http://mimbresarts.org/blues-festival-homepage/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SilverCityBluesFestival.

In 1955, jazz pianist Erroll Garner played a concert in Carmel, Calif. When his manager spotted a tape recorder rolling backstage, she grabbed the reels and decided to release them.

Over the past few years, pop songs have come to play so consistently in advertising that there are smartphone apps designed to listen and help you name that tune, and the word "sellout" has lost a lot of its bite.

Malik I. Taylor, the rapper known as Phife Dawg who was a founding member of the seminal group A Tribe Called Quest, died Tuesday at the age of 45.

His family said in a statement that Phife died as a result of complications from diabetes.

SXSW 2016 In 10 GIFs

Mar 23, 2016

If the SXSW music festival feels unwieldy, we've got you covered with our favorite

  LIVE BLUES AT LA VIÑA!

La Viña Winery presents its Spring Wine Festival. Saturday April 30  and Sunday May 1 from noon to 7 p.m. Over 20 wines will be available for tasting and purchase.  Adult admission to the festival is $20 and includes a souvenir glass and a choice of 9 wines or a glass of wine.  There is a $10 admission for 12-20 years of age and those under the age of 12 will be admitted free.

SATURDAY

Noon     Dusty Low

2:15        Austin Jimmy Murphy

4:30        24/7 Blues Band

SUNDAY

SXSW 2016: Photos Of The Week

Mar 21, 2016

Amid the mess of heat, rain and tacos, there was a rich gallery of motion and color at the SXSW music festival. Here are the most stunning images of the week from photographer Adam Kissick and our own Bob Boilen.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

"Y'all still read books, right?" Prince asked from the balcony of Manhattan's Avenue Club on Friday night, knowing what the jubilant response would be from the crowd of publishing folks, journalists and VIPs gathered below.

The evening's occasion was the announcement that Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of Random House publishing, had purchased the rights to the enigmatic 57-year-old music legend's memoir, which is expected sometime in 2017.

Now in its 30th year, Austin, Texas' South By Southwest music festival has grown from a sparsely attended local showcase to an internationally known juggernaut. These days, more than 2,000 acts — not to mention many thousand more fans — travel from around the world to convert Austin into one clamorous five-day concert experience.

The most meme-able moment of Michelle Obama's keynote event at yesterday's South by Southwest conference and festival came when she responded to a question from her friend Queen Latifah by crooning a few bars of the Motown weeper "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday." The novelty of a first lady si

SXSW 2016 Late-Night Dispatches: Wednesday

Mar 17, 2016

It was opening night of SXSW Music, and the NPR Music team had a show to put on.

Over the last week, Barack and Michelle Obama have been spending plenty of time mixing it up in the pop culture and music sphere. Last week, the President spoke at SXSW Interactive, giving a keynote that touched on the uses of technology in government, from Apple's conflict with the Dept.

If you drive down any interstate in the South, you can't miss the giant black-and-yellow signs beckoning: Waffle House.

These ubiquitous, yellow-roofed chain restaurants have been serving up not just waffles but all manner of Southern comfort foods 'round the clock for more than 60 years.

And for the past 30 years or so, Waffle House has also been working on a side project: making music.

Like this peppy number:

Prolific and multifaceted British composer and conductor Peter Maxwell Davies died Monday at age 81 at his home in the Orkney Islands, off the northern coast of Scotland. His death, from leukemia, was reported on the websites of both his publisher and his management company.

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