Music News

The Record
1:29 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Why Al Walser Got A Grammy Nomination And Justin Bieber Didn't

Justin Bieber on stage in December. Bieber's 2012 album Believe, despite selling over 1,000,000 copies, wasn't nominated for a single Grammy Award.
Michael Kovac Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 2:49 pm

Among the hundreds of musicians vying for Grammy Awards this year is Al Walser, a Los Angeles-based disc jockey and singer whose song "I Can't Live Without You" is nominated in the best dance single category. Walser is not a widely known name — many Grammy nominees aren't — but he's competing in a category against some of pop music's heaviest hitters.

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Music News
2:19 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

The 'Ancient Vibration' Of Parlor Music, Revived By Two Generations

Lena Hughes recorded one album of Southern parlor music before her death in 1998.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 7:29 am

Sometime in the mid-1960s — no one's really sure when — Lena Hughes walked into a recording studio, probably in Arkansas. What we do know is that she recorded 11 tunes on the guitar.

"It's kind of like listening to 1880," folklorist Howard Marshall says. "You kind of get a wonderful, ancient vibration."

Marshall wrote a book about traditional music in Missouri, called Play Me Something Quick and Devilish.

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The Record
2:48 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Reg Presley, The Voice Of 'Wild Thing,' Dies

Reg Presley in Hamburg, circa 1965.
Petra Niemeier — K & K Redferns

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:36 pm

Reg Presley, the founder and lead singer of The Troggs, the rock group best known for the performing the original version of the song "Wild Thing," has died. Presley was 71. He died of lung cancer yesterday at his home in England.

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Reg Presley, Who Sang 'Wild Thing' With The Troggs, Dies

Reg Presley of The Troggs in 1967.
PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 12:07 pm

  • From the NPR Newscast: A little 'Wild Thing' and Neda Ulaby's report on Reg Presley

Grab a guitar, hit those three chords (A, D, E) and take three minutes to pay your respects:

Reg Presley, who sang Wild Thing with The Troggs in 1966, is dead. He was 71 and had suffered a series of strokes recently.

The band's website says Presley "died peacefully" on Monday, "surrounded by all of his family."

NPR's Neda Ulaby tells our Newscast Desk that:

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Music News
2:09 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Remembering Karen Carpenter, 30 Years Later

Karen Carpenter, of The Carpenters, performs in London in 1974.
Tim Graham Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 2:38 pm

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The Record
8:41 am
Mon February 4, 2013

The Roots Of Beyonce's Super Bowl Spectacular

Beyonce performs during the Super Bowl halftime show Sunday night.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 10:38 am

One of the Twitter hashtags devised by rabid Beyonce fans before last night's Super Bowl halftime show was religious in nature: #praisebeysus. Praise Beysus! This bit of hyperventilating resonated in interesting ways. Strutting into the very center of America's biggest television spectacle, the 31-year-old superstar intended to secure her place in the musical pantheon next to recent Super Bowl-approved legends Madonna, The Who, Bruce Springsteen and Prince.

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The Record
6:28 am
Sun February 3, 2013

A Small-Time Wordsmith Hits It Big In Nashville

Once a poet and an English teacher, Jim McCormick has become a powerhouse Nashville songwriter.
Scott Saltzman Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 4:21 pm

In March, country music star Jason Aldean is playing Madison Square Garden. Tickets sold out in 10 minutes. Fans want to hear his latest No. 1 song, "Take a Little Ride."

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Afghanistan
3:21 am
Sun February 3, 2013

From A Land Where Music Was Banned — To Carnegie Hall

Afghanistan's youth orchestra performs in Kabul on Jan. 31. The orchestra is coming to the U.S. and will appear at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 1:49 pm

In Afghanistan, there was no sound of music when the Taliban ruled from 1996 to 2001. The Islamist militants destroyed music CDs and instruments and even jailed musicians.

Today, there are music schools and young Afghans playing in public. And, this weekend, 48 Afghan boys and girls are traveling to the U.S. to perform at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:03 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

  • Hugely good news for all you wandering minstrels: After years of pressure from groups like the American Federation of Musicians, the FAA has just passed a bill that (finally!) allows musicians to carry their instruments as carry-on luggage or, for larger instruments, to buy an extra seat. However, the federal agency has a year to implement the new standards.
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The Two-Way
1:58 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Beyoncé On Lip-Syncing: 'I Did Not Feel Comfortable Taking A Risk'

Pat Benic DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 3:34 pm

The Grammy-award winning singer Beyoncé has finally put an end to all the talk surrounding her performance during President Obama's second inauguration.

And she did it in diva fashion, during a press conference to preview her Super Bowl performance.

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The Record
6:03 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Patty Andrews, Leader Of The Andrews Sisters, Dies

The Andrews Sisters (from left, Maxene, Patty and LaVerne) in the 1940s. Patty was the star of the sibling act.
GAB Archive/Redferns Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 11:40 am

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Music News
3:51 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Remembering Butch Morris, The Man Who Conducted Improvisation

Butch Morris leads a conduction at the 2007 Skopje Jazz Festival in Macedonia.
Samir Ljuma for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 4:18 pm

The jazz musician Butch Morris was beloved by his fellow musicians and acclaimed by critics and fans for his ability to conduct improvisation. While that may sound like a contradiction, Morris pulled it off — with jazz musicians and symphony orchestras around the world.

A resident of New York City, he died yesterday in a Brooklyn hospital of cancer. He was 65 years old.

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The Record
8:59 am
Wed January 30, 2013

All The Singular Ladies: 6 Women At The Cutting Edge Of R&B

The cover of Dawn Richard's Goldenheart.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 4:30 pm

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A Blog Supreme
4:41 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Butch Morris, Jazz Bandleader And Conductor, Dies

Butch Morris in Amsterdam in 1986.
Frans Schellekens Redferns

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 8:20 am

Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris, an improvising musician who pioneered a system of ensemble interaction he called Conduction, has died at a hospital in New York City, his publicist confirmed. He had lung cancer, which was diagnosed last August. He was 65.

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The Record
1:40 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Rising Postal Rates Squeeze Small Record Labels

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 8:51 am

Prices on mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service increased this week — the price of a first-class stamp now costs 46 cents, up a penny. But for small businesses that ship products overseas, like many independent record labels, the costs could be much larger.

Brian Lowit, who has worked at Washington, D.C.'s Dischord Records for 10 years, says that while a postage rate hike is a familiar bump in the road, "I've never seen one this drastic."

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Theater
4:55 am
Sun January 27, 2013

25 Years Strong, 'Phantom Of The Opera' Kills And Kills Again

Hugh Panaro is The Phantom and Sierra Boggess is Christine in the 25th anniversary cast of The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 11:31 am

The longest-running Broadway musical ever, Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, celebrated Saturday another milestone: its 25th anniversary.

When it all started Jan. 26, 1988, Ronald Reagan was president of the United States, a gallon of gas cost about 90 cents and a ticket to The Phantom of the Opera was a whopping $50. It was the hottest ticket in town.

Times have changed, prices have changed, but that disfigured, tortured genius who haunts the Paris Opera House, creating havoc and causing the chandelier to fall, has endured.

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Music News
12:03 am
Sat January 26, 2013

The Composer Who Tested Fighter Planes And Partied With Sinatra

Jimmy Van Heusen with Frank Sinatra in the 1950s. Van Heusen wrote dozens of songs for the crooner and became Sinatra's close friend and confidant.
Courtesy of Burns Media Productions

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 3:36 pm

You've never heard of Jimmy Van Heusen? Well, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers has. You certainly know many of his songs, says Brook Babcock, Van Heusen's grandnephew and president of his publishing company.

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Music
12:42 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

New Opera Gets Benefit Of The 'Doubt'

In the operatic version of Doubt, Father Flynn (Matthew Worth) must defend his name after a suspicious Sister Aloysius (Christine Brewer) accuses him of sexually abusing an altar boy.
Michal Daniel Minnesota Opera

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 5:25 pm

As a play, Doubt won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award. As a movie, it secured Oscar nominations for Meryl Streep, Viola Davis, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams. This weekend, Doubt gets its world premiere as an opera — which, according to the work's original playwright, provides the story's fullest telling.

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Europe
9:58 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Honoring 'Our Will To Live': The Lost Music Of The Holocaust

The Nazis imprisoned Czech composer Rudolf Karel (shown here in a sketch from 1945) for helping the resistance in Prague. He wrote his compositions down on toilet paper.
Courtesy of Francesco Lotoro

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 7:56 am

For the past two decades, in a small town in southern Italy, a pianist and music teacher has been hunting for and resurrecting the music of the dead.

Francesco Lotoro has found thousands of songs, symphonies and operas written in concentration, labor and POW camps in Germany and elsewhere before and during World War II.

By rescuing compositions written in imprisonment, Lotoro wants to fill the hole left in Europe's musical history and show how even the horrors of the Holocaust could not suppress artistic inspiration.

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Deceptive Cadence
7:03 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

Anne Akiko Meyers, holding the "Vieuxtemps" Guarneri del Gesu violin, which reportedly sold for a record price. She says the anonymous buyer has offered her use of the instrument for life.
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 1:20 pm

  • Anne Akiko Meyers — the violinist who made news a year ago for an album recorded on her two Stradivarius instruments, including the then record price-breaking "Molitor" Strad, which she purchased for $3.6 million — announced yesterday that she's been given lifetime use of the 1741 "Vieuxtemps" Guarne
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The Record
9:12 am
Thu January 24, 2013

How Music Transforms The Silver Screen

On her new album, Petra Goes To The Movies, Petra Haden recreates movie themes using densely layered arrangements of her own voice.
Steven Perilloux Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 11:47 am

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Deceptive Cadence
12:55 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Back Off The Bach To Drive Safely

A new study claims that listening to classical music makes for unsafe driving.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 10:54 am

Researchers in London claim that listening to classical music makes for unsafe driving — in fact, that it caused more erratic driving than hip-hop, heavy metal or not listening to music at all.

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Beyonce May Have Been Live And Pre-recorded

Pat Benic DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 9:47 am

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Beyonce's National Anthem Was Pre-Recorded, Marine Band Says

Pat Benic DPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 12:02 pm

Update at 6:14 p.m. ET. Backing Off?

Capt. Eric Flanagan, a spokesman for the United States Marine Corps, sent us a statement that seems to back off a bit from their earlier statements saying Beyoncé lip-synced her way through the National Anthem during President Obama's inauguration, yesterday.

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The Record
3:03 am
Tue January 22, 2013

'The Chronic' 20 Years Later: An Audio Document Of The L.A. Riots

Dr. Dre (right) with Snoop Dogg, who played a starring role on Dre's The Chronic. Here they pose after a 1993 performance in Chicago.
Raymond Boyd Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 12:25 pm

Advisory: The videos on this page contain profanity.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Rapper Lupe Fiasco Booted Off Inaugural Party Stage After Criticizing Obama

Recording Artist Lupe Fiasco performs in September 2012.
Donald Bowers Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 12:49 pm

The rapper Lupe Fiasco was escorted off the stage at an unofficial inaugural ball in Washington, last night.

As Politico reports, the Grammy-nominated rapper stayed on the anti-war song "Words I Never Said" for 30 minutes. Video posted by Now This News shows Fiasco dropping lines critical of President Obama, before the lights go off and men in black suits escort him off the stage.

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Music News
4:02 am
Sun January 20, 2013

A High School Salsa Band In The Inaugural Parade? 'Of Course!'

The young musicians of Seguro Que Si will perform in this weekend's Inaugural Parade. Left to right: Daniel Chico (bass), Kevin Arguelles (piano), Maxwell Frost (timbales), Christopher Muriel (congas), Niyah Lowell (bongos), Annette Rodriguez (vocal), Sean Fernandez (trumpet), Robby Cruz (trumpet).
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 10:13 am

In the Inaugural Parade following the president's swearing-in on Monday, regimental and high school marching bands will appear alongside groups showcasing the nation's diversity. These include a float representing South Carolina and Georgia's Gullah-Geechee culture, plus Native American groups and a mariachi band from Texas. Bringing the salsa is Seguro Que Si, a high school band from Kissimmee, Fla.

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Music News
12:03 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Jin, 'The Chinese Kid Who Raps,' Grows Up

After a failed career at home in the U.S., the Chinese-American rapper Jin found an unexpected second chance at stardom on the other side of the world.
Louis Trinh Courtesy of artist

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 5:25 pm

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Music News
10:13 am
Fri January 18, 2013

FOCUS ON CAMPUS: Southwest Flute Fest


Louie talks with Melissa Colgin-Abeln, Associate Professor of Music at UTEP; and flutist Mary Kerr, who is a graduate of El Paso High School, the University of Southern California, and the Manhattan School of Music.  Colgin-Ablen and Kerr talk about the Southwest Flute Fest, which takes place January 18 & 19 at the UTEP Music Department.  Kerr also talks about her early interest in the flute and about the unique aspects of the instrument.  http://marykerrflute.com


Information on the Southwest Flute Fest: www.epflute.com, 915-747-7798.


Aired Jan. 18, 2013.  

Deceptive Cadence
8:28 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

Conductor Andres Orozco-Estrada, who has just been named as the next music director of the Houston Symphony.
Martin Sigmund courtesy of the artist
  • After a five-year search that encompassed some 50 contenders, the Houston Symphony has announced its new music director: Andrés Orozco-Estrada. The 35-year-old Colombian trained in Vienna and will take over from the retiring Hans Graf, who is departing at the end of this season.
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