April 30, 2001 McCartney has written some of the most famous song lyrics in pop history, including those for "When I'm 64," "Yesterday," "Fool on the Hill," "Paperback Writer" and many more. They're collected, along with his poems, in a new volume titled Blackbird Singing: Poems and Lyrics 1965-1999.
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April 26, 2001 Hes just written a new memoir called The Undiscovered Paul Robeson, the first of a two part series on his father, the famed actor, singer and athlete. He talks about his fathers rise in show business and what it was like growing up as the son of an icon. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
April 25, 2001 Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead continues with part three of his Avant-Garde Made Easy series. This time he considers composer, improviser and saxophonist Anthony Braxton.
April 22, 2001 Liane Hansen speaks with singer/songwriter Joe Jackson, who performs a selection from his new cd, Night and Day II (Sony Classical SK 89261) for us in NPR's Studio 4A. Jackson made a splash in 1979 with his seminal new wave album, Look Sharp! and soon branched out into jump blues, reggae, jazz and classical forms. His latest recording picks up where the 1982 album Night and Day left off, full of musical portraits of New York City eccentrics.
April 22, 2001 Joey Ramone, lead singer of the punk group the Ramones, died last week at age 49. Essayist Jane Krosby Braden remembers how her older sister introduced her to the music of the Ramones.
April 22, 2001 Don Covay wrote hit songs made famous by Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Wilson Pickett and others. Now nine years after a stroke, Covay talks to Liane about his new album Ad Lib on Cannonball Records http://www.cannonballrecords.com/. He's also nominated for a W.C. Handy Award in May.
April 18, 2001 We continue our "Avant-Garde Made Easy" series by jazz critic Kevin Whitehead with the music of trumpeter Lester Bowie.
April 17, 2001 the lead singer of the punk band The Ramones. He died on Sunday at the age of 49. He had lymphoma. From their start in 1974, the Ramones combined fast, deafening guitar with precise drumming to create a hurricane of sound. Their songs had titles like Beat on the Brat, Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment and Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue.
April 11, 2001 Classical pianist and conductor Murray Perahia. Hes been exploring the music of J.S. Bach in his recordings. His latest is Bachs Keyboard Concertos vol. 1 which he recorded and conducted with the St. Martin in the Fields ensemble. He also recorded the Goldberg Variations and Bachs complete English Suites. (All are on Sony Classical). In 1994 Perahia suffered a thumb injury that left him unable to play regularly for a year. He took up his first conducting post as Principal Guest conductor of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. They just completed a 10-city tour.
April 9, 2001 Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead begins a new six-part series we call Avant-Garde Made Easy, highlighting some of the important modern jazz mavericks of the so-called Avant Garde. We begin the series with pianist, composer, and band leader Sun Ra.
April 9, 2001 Host Bob Edwards takes a look at a new book about the singer and actor Paul Robeson. The Undiscovered Paul Robeson was written by his son, Paul Robeson Jr.
April 7, 2001 Scott talks to Martin Goldsmith, former host of NPR's Performance Today, about the career of violinist Jascha Heifetz. Naxos Records is celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth with a series of Heifetz's orchestral recordings from the 1930's and 40's. Heifetz died in 1987, but is still considered the greatest violinist of the 20th century.
April 5, 2001 David D'Arcy profiles Cristina Branco, a young Portuguese singer, who's helping revive the popularity of traditional Fado music. Fado ballads are usually sad, sung in minor keys, and accompanied by guitar. Branco says she became interested in singing Fado after hearing recordings made by Portugal's greatest Fado singer, Amalia Rodrigues. In a documentary film, Rodrigues refers to Fado as an 'eternal lament.'
April 1, 2001 Blues musician John Hammond has spent his entire career covering the works of great American songwriters like Chuck Berry, Willie Dixon and Mose Allison. For his latest project, Wicked Grin, Hammond selected twelve songs by Tom Waits. In an unconventional twist, he asked Waits himself to produce the record. Liane speaks with John Hammond about his friendship with Tom Waits and the recording sessions that yielded this CD.
March 26, 2001 The legendary alto sax player began playing saxophone at the age of 15 in native New York City. Schooled in bebop at the start of his career, McLean names Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young and Charlie Parker as influences. He's played with jazz greats pianist Bud Powell, Miles Davis and Charles Mingus. He continues to play and record today. He also teaches music at the University of Hartford.
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