December 29, 2001 Lisa talks with members of the The Be Good Tanyas, three women who play traditional American music, often with a twist. Their debut album, Blue Horse, is rich with acoustic guitar, mandolin, and banjo; it was recorded in an old shack in the woods of Canada.
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December 28, 2001 Sarah Bardeen reviews the CD Bless You by The Court and Spark. It's on Absolutely Kosher Records or on the web at www.absolutelykosher.com.
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December 27, 2001 We continue our rebroadcast of our series on American Popular Song with a tribute to ragtime composer and performer Eubie Blake. He was born on Feb. 7, 1883, in Baltimore, Md. He wrote the songs for the Broadway hit Shuffle Along. African American ragtime musicians of the day sought out Eubie to write their songs. Two of Eubie Blake's best known songs are "I'm Just Wild About Harry" and "Love Will Find A Way." Just over 100 years after his life began, on Feb. 12, 1983, Eubie Blake died in Brooklyn, New York. We'll present a concert with singer Vernel Bagneris and pianist Dick Hyman and feature theater historian Robert Kimball. Singer Vernel Bagneris co-starred in the Broadway musical The Life. He also co-created and starred in a Jelly Roll Morton revue, and the New Orleans music revue One Mo' Time. Dick Hyman is an expert in piano styles of the teens, twenties and thirties. He has also composed music for several Woody Allen movies. Kimball rediscovered Blake in the the late '60s and co-authored the book Reminiscing with Sissle and Blake. Kimball is also the co-author of The Gershwins, and editor of The Complete Lyrics of Ira Gershwin and Cole Porter.
December 26, 2001 We continue our American Popular song series, with a program about composer Will Marion Cook. He was born in 1869 and was part of the first generation born after slavery. Cook was one of the innovators of ragtime song, and helped introduce ragtime to Broadway. Cook wrote In Dahomey the first full-length broadway musical written and performed by African Americans. It opened on Broadway in 1903. Some of Cook's songs reflect the racial stereotypes and dialect of the time. In this program we hear selections of his music performed by singers Vernel Bagneris and Terry Burrell, and pianist Dick Hyman. We also hear from Marva Carter who is writing a biography of Cook. She is the director of Graduate Studies at the School of Music at Georgia State University.
December 23, 2001 Lisa talks with photographer, musician and music collector John Cohen about his new CD called There Is No Eye: Music for Photographs. The CD includes 23 recordings of musicians Cohen has photographed since 1952. Cohen has recorded and photographed, among others, Doc Watson, Bob Dylan, Roscoe Holcomb and Alan Lomax. The Corcoran gallery in Washington D.C. is currently hosting an exhibition of his photographs that are also collected in a new book called, There Is No Eye. (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings)
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December 23, 2001 Liane Hansen talks to soprano Sumi Jo about her new CD, Sumi Jo: The Christmas Album (Erato Label). Critics say Sumi Jo, a Korean artist who moved to Italy to master opera, has been successful in "crossing over" to other types of music.
December 22, 2001 Scott talks with NPR's Vice President of Cultural Programming Murray Horwitz about one of the most beloved Christmas tunes, "The Christmas Song," (a.k.a. "Chesnuts roasting on an open fire....") which was written by Mel Torme.
December 21, 2001 NPR's Alex Chadwick talks with James Taylor about how an informal jam in the studio resulted in his new recording of the original version of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas."
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December 18, 2001 NPR Special Correspondent Susan Stamberg talks to biographer Peter Levinson about Nelson Riddle, the conductor, whose distinctive musical arrangements helped define the sounds of Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra. (8:05-9:39) (The book is September in the Rain: The Life of Nelson Riddle Watson-Guptill Publishers; ISBN: 0823076725) Music in Susan Stamberg's piece on Nelson Riddle in order of appearance: "Too Marvelous for Words" (from Songs for Swingin' Lovers); "Second Time Around" (from Frank Sinatra: the Reprise Collection); "Mona Lisa" (Nat King Cole's The Greatest Hits); "I've Got the World on a String" (The Capitol Years: The Best of Frank Sinatra); "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning" (The Capitol Years: The Best of Frank Sinatra); "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams" (from Swing Easy); "I've Got you Under My Skin" (from Songs for Swingin Lovers); "How About You" (from Songs for Swingin Lovers). The Capitol Years: The Best of Frank Sinatra is on Emd/Capitol; Classic Sinatra is on Emd/Capitol; Frank Sinatra: the Reprise Collection is on Wea/Warner Bros.; Frank Sinatra's Songs for Swingin Lovers is on the Emd/Capitol label; Songs for Young Lovers/Swing Easy is on Emd/Capitol; Nat King Cole, The Greatest Hits is on Emd/Capitol.
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December 16, 2001 Hilary Hahn, 22, talks with Weekend Edition Sunday host Liane Hansen about her new CD, life on the road, and her online journal. Brahms and Stravinsky, with Neville Marriner conducting the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields (Sony Classical SK 89649).
December 11, 2001 Host Susan Stamberg continues her discussion with singer/songwriter Billy Joel. The rock icon dedicated his song New York State of Mind to the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. (4:09-6:42) Billy Joel's latest CD is called Billy Joel: Fantasies & Delusions, Op. 1-10. It's released by Sony/Columbia.
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December 10, 2001 Billy Joel doesn't perform on his latest CD, a collection of classical pieces he composed. The 'piano man' explains why — and reveals what he's learned about his craft (6:58-7:45) Billy Joel: Fantasies & Delusions, Op. 1-10. Sony/Columbia.
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December 2, 2001 Pianist Bill Charlap, who has played the piano since early childhood, hails from a musical family. His mother, Sandy Stewart, was a popular singer of the 50s and 60s, and his father, Moose Charlap, composed most of the music for the 1954 musical Peter Pan. Liane talks with Charlap about his Blue Note Records release Written in the Stars. The CD features Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on drums.
December 2, 2001 Mark Mobley, Music Producer with NPR's Performance Today, offers his appreciation of ex-Beatle George Harrison, who died Thursday at the age of 58.
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December 1, 2001 This past week musicians from all over the world commemorated guitar great Django Reinhardt in New York City. Reinhardt died in 1953 but is reknowned for his fast, passionate guitar compositions. Lisa talks to Saxophonist James Carter who was there; his newest CD is called Chasin' the Gypsy, wherein he pays tribute to the "Hot Jazz" of 1920s and '30s Paris.
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