Music News

Music News
5:32 am
Sat February 14, 2015

A Hero At Home, Deacon John Moore Is New Orleans' Best-Kept Secret

New Orleans bandleader John Moore chose his "Deacon" nickname at the suggestion of a mischievous drummer. At 73, he's one of the city's most beloved musicians.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun February 15, 2015 12:04 pm

Deacon John does it all. The veteran New Orleans bandleader plays weddings, birthdays, proms, debutante parties. He holds his own at Jazz Fest and at carnival balls. He'll play 1950s R&B, rock, jazz, gospel, soul and disco — whatever the people want to hear. But when it's up to him, he chooses the blues.

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Remembrances
3:00 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Singer Anita Darian Remembered For Genre-Spanning Career

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 4:26 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A moment now to remember a soprano whose voice was heard by millions of people who never who she was.

(SOUNDBITE OF UNIDENTIFIED SONG)

ANITA DARIAN: (Singing) How I wish we weren't...

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All Songs Considered
4:00 am
Thu February 12, 2015

The Tiny Desk Concert Contest Winner Is ...

Fantastic Negrito is the winner of the first-ever Tiny Desk Concert Contest.
Brian Gibel Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 9:22 am

Today we're thrilled to announce that the winner of the Tiny Desk Concert Contest is Fantastic Negrito.

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NPR Story
3:09 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Centuries-Old Cello Is Awakened; Smells Like The Maestro's Pipe

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 7:09 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Music News
3:12 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Tiny Desk Concert Judges To Announce Contest Winner

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 6:00 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Record
2:39 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

D'Angelo At The Apollo: We Were All Here Before

D'Angelo.
Gregory Harris Courtesy of RCA Records

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 3:24 pm

We were all here before. Rising up out of the subway onto 125th Street, it strikes me that I should come uptown to Harlem more often. The Popeye's on 125th and St. Nicholas Avenue is still there, offering the same crispy bird parts and sodium-heavy buttermilk biscuits; it's still the same bustling, up-til-3-a.m. refuge it always was. Vendors still hawk street literature, pamphlets and incense sticks on fold-up tables that line the sidewalks. It could just as easily be 1995. That's when I was restless and unsettled.

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Music News
2:48 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

One Of Sam Smith's Grammys A Win For Tom Petty, Too

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 4:27 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Sam Smith won four Grammy Awards last night. And that was good news for Tom Petty. Petty and another songwriter will get royalties from Smith's hit "Stay With Me" because it sounds a lot like one of their songs. NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports.

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Monkey See
12:10 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

A Grammy Wrap-Up, With Soft Music And Extra Beck

Actress Kristen Wiig participated in Sia's performance during the Grammy Awards.
Larry Busacca Getty Images for NARAS

On Sunday night, the big Grammy Award winners included Beck and Sam Smith, both of whom put out records that moved pretty slowly. As Stephen Thompson and I note in our wrap-up of the night, the ceremony was a little heavy also, despite some strong performances and a helpful infusion of social commentary.

Music News
3:14 am
Mon February 9, 2015

The Rise And Fall Of Marion 'Suge' Knight

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 5:38 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

I'm David Greene, and I want to remind you what commercial rap music sounded like in 1991.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GOOD VIBRATIONS")

MARKY MARK: (Singing) Yo, it's about that time to bring forth the rhythm and the rhyme.

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The Record
7:21 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

Sam Smith Wins 4 Grammy Awards, Including Song Of The Year

Michael Tran Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 12:48 pm

Sam Smith, the British singer whose debut album, In the Lonely Hour, was one of only two albums released in 2014 to go platinum, won four Grammys, including Record and Song of the Year, as well as Best New Artist.

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The Record
10:57 am
Sat February 7, 2015

Radio, Radio: How Formats Shaped, Splintered And Remade Pop Music

Colin Davey Getty Images

Music critics these days love to argue about "rockism," the unexamined prejudices we bring to our musical judgements, and "poptimism," an effort to celebrate commercial stuff that some think goes way too far. My book, Top 40 Democracy: The Rival Mainstreams of American Music, aims to get us out of that endless back and forth by focusing on the key place songs become pop: radio, which, beginning on AM with Top 40 in the 1950s and then moving to FM in the 1970s, gave music its deepest connection to Americans. Radio made new tunes and styles familiar, perennial, memories.

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Music Interviews
5:56 am
Sat February 7, 2015

Grammys Show Producer Explains The Origin Of Onstage Mashups

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 9:45 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Deceptive Cadence
3:47 am
Sat February 7, 2015

The Cold Wrath Of Nature, Given Operatic Voice

Kevin Burdette stars in Everest as Beck Weathers, a Dallas doctor who survived a deadly blizzard on the mountain in 1996.
Karen Almond The Dallas Opera

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 9:48 am

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The Record
3:49 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

On The Grammy Stage, Collaborations Will Rule

Nile Rodgers (left) and Pharrell Williams (right) on stage with Stevie Wonder during a performance of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" during the 2014 Grammy Awards.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 12:24 pm

The Grammy Awards, that moment when the music industry turns its collective eyes toward a single stage and pats itself on the back, will be presented on Sunday night. Musicians up for Album of the Year include Beck, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams and Beyoncé.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:15 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

A Friday Surprise: Alan Gilbert Will Leave The New York Philharmonic

Alan Gilbert, music director of the New York Philharmonic, has announced he will step down in 2017.
Chris Lee New York Philharmonic

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 5:45 pm

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Remembrances
2:37 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Prolific Songwriter Rose Marie McCoy Was Largely Unknown

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 7:40 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is "I Think It's Gonna Work Out Fine," performed by Ike and Tina Turner in 1961.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I THINK IT'S GONNA WORK OUT FINE")

TINA TURNER: (Singing) Darling.

IKE TURNER: Yes, Tina.

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The Record
9:34 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Unfinished Business

Frank Black (right) and Joey Santiago of the Pixies perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2004, the year the band reunited after more than a decade apart.
Tim Mosenfelder Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 11:54 am

One thing you can say for the improbable return of Olympia punk deities Sleater-Kinney: By the standards of a Greatest Indie Rock Band of Their Generation, it's off to a rousing start. Not just with critics and fans, but possibly also with people who've never bought a Sleater-Kinney album before.

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Music News
12:03 am
Tue February 3, 2015

To Promote A New Album, Bob Dylan Gave His Only Interview To ... The AARP?

"This music is almost sacred to him," Bob Love says of Bob Dylan's love for Frank Sinatra and the Great American Songbook.
Christopher Polk Polk/Getty Images for VH1

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 10:27 am

It turns out Bob Dylan is big Frank Sinatra fan. You just probably won't hear it from him. To promote Shadows In The Night, an album of songs Sinatra made famous, Dylan gave just one print interview — to the AARP.

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Music News
2:32 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

'We Need Her': At The Super Bowl, Missy Elliott's Incredible Return

Missy Elliott (left) joins Katy Perry during the 2015 Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Christopher Polk Getty Images Sport

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 9:39 am

Sunday night, in the middle of Katy Perry's flashy Super Bowl Halftime Show featuring dancing beach balls and sharks, rapper Missy Elliott and her dancers dropped in.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:45 am
Mon February 2, 2015

Aldo Ciccolini, An Italian Pianist With A French Soul, Dies At Age 89

Italian-born pianist Aldo Ciccolini was closely associated with French music. He died this weekend at age 89.
Sabine Weiss Courtesy of the artist

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Music News
5:38 am
Sun February 1, 2015

Court Awards Sly Stone $5 Million In Lost Royalties

Originally published on Sun February 1, 2015 9:39 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DANCE TO THE MUSIC")

SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE: (Singing) Dance to the music. Dance to the music. Dance to the music. All we need...

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Music News
5:37 am
Sat January 31, 2015

In A Few Fateful Years, One Record Label Blew Open The Blues

Charley Patton was the grandaddy of the Delta blues musicians, according to Jack White: "He's the one that all the other blues musicians looked up to. He's almost the beginning of the family tree."
Courtesy of the Revenant Archives

Originally published on Sat January 31, 2015 11:20 am

The story of Paramount Records is a story of contradictions. It was a record label founded by a furniture company, a commercial enterprise that became arguably the most comprehensive chronicler of African American music in the early 20th century. And yet, for Paramount's executives, music was an afterthought.

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Law
3:14 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

'Suge' Knight Charged With Murder After Fatal Hit-And-Run

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 4:29 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Two-Way
6:54 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Songwriter, Poet Rod McKuen Dies At 81

Ezio Petersen UPI /Landov

The obituary in The Los Angeles Times describes Rod McKuen as "prolific" and that may well be an understatement considering the many compositions he churned out.

McKuen is credited with more than 200 albums and more than 30 collections of poetry.

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The Record
2:15 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Pop's New Old Sound: Retro Without Rules

Bruno Mars (left) and Mark Ronson, whose song, "Uptown Funk!," has been the No. 1 song in the country for four weeks in a row.
Vevo Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 8:19 am

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Music News
2:37 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Buzz Bin: A Proper Look At Where Kazoos Come From

Everybody can play the kazoo, practically no skill required — but only two places in the U.S. make them.
Kazoobie Kazoos

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 12:10 pm

In case it's not marked on your calendar, Wednesday, Jan. 28, is National Kazoo Day.

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NPR Story
3:14 am
Wed January 28, 2015

First Listen: Israeli Singer Asaf Avidan

Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 4:41 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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The Record
10:53 am
Tue January 27, 2015

From The Isleys To Aaliyah To Frank Ocean, The Evolution Of 'Love'

Frank Ocean released an Aaliyah tribute, "At Your Best (You Are Love)," on the late R&B singer's birthday.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 9:16 am

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Deceptive Cadence
6:03 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Fifty Years Of Steve Reich's 'It's Gonna Rain'

Steve Reich, with a phase-shifting pulse gate, photographed in New York in 1969.
Nonesuch

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 5:14 pm

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Music News
4:07 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Punch Brothers May Look Like A Bluegrass Band But Their Sound Is Unique

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 9:27 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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