Music News

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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Music Articles
11:04 am
Mon January 26, 2015

From Prog-Rock Pioneer To Kitsch King: Remembering Demis Roussos

International pop star Demis Roussos hams it up for the camera at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1975. Roussos died in Athens Sunday at age 68.
Ralph Gatti AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 11:09 am

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Music News
6:42 am
Sat January 24, 2015

In Modern Klezmer, 'The Oldest Old Guy' Is The King Of The Scene

Pete Sokolow (center) and his bandmates in Tarras Band, a group of younger musicians inspired by the work of 20th-century clarinetist Dave Tarras.
Michael Macioce Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 9:26 pm

During the the 1980s, when the traditional dance music of East European Jews known as klezmer was enjoying a revival, Pete Sokolow was called "the youngest of the old guys."

"Now I'm the oldest old guy," Sokolow says. "Most of the old guys are gone. Pincus is gone. Dave. Sidney is gone. All my old friends. I miss them."

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Around the Nation
2:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Virginia Searches For A New State Song

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 4:43 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Virginia has a rich history, which is a source of great pride. But one thing it does not have is a state song. It used to, but the song was retired in 1997.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "CARRY ME BACK TO OLD VIRGINNY")

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Music News
12:03 am
Tue January 20, 2015

Sleater-Kinney's Deleted Scenes

Sleater-Kinney's new album, its first since 2005, is No Cities to Love. Left to right: drummer Janet Weiss, singer-guitarist Corin Tucker, singer-guitarist Carrie Brownstein.
Brigitte Sire Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat February 14, 2015 7:24 pm

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The Record
10:43 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Kim Fowley, Producer And Rock Svengali, Dies

Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 18, 2015 10:57 am

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All Songs Considered
9:11 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Tiny Desk Contest Entries Just Keep Coming

Our search to find the next great unknown musician to play at the Tiny Desk ends Monday.
NPR

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 11:33 am

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All Songs Considered
1:04 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

All Songs At 15: How To Get The Greatest Job In The World

Robin's redesign demo for All Songs Considered from 2000. (Don't laugh, this looked pretty cool 15 years ago).
Robin Hilton

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 1:34 pm

Every Thursday this year we're celebrating All Songs Considered's 15th birthday with personal memories and highlights from the show's decade and a half online and on the air. If you have a personal memory about the show you'd like to share, drop us an email: allsongs@npr.org.

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The Record
8:59 am
Thu January 15, 2015

How One Of Gospel's Essential Songs Gave 'Selma' Its Soul

David Oyelowo (left) as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King in Selma.
Atsushi Nishijima Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 6:10 am

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Jazz Night In America
1:30 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

'Everything Is Cyclical': Christian McBride Looks At 2015 In Jazz

Christian McBride is the host of NPR's Jazz Night In America.
Anna Webber Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 3:55 pm

Christian McBride likely doesn't need much of an introduction. He's a bassist who's worked with everyone from McCoy Tyner to Diana Krall to Paul McCartney.

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