May 31, 2000 Tex Beneke died yesterday. He was a saxophonist and singer with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. His voice became familiar on such hits as "Chattanooga Choo Choo," "I Got a Girl in Kalamazoo" and "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree." We remember him and hear a brief selection of his work.
May 29, 2000 Host Bob Edwards talks with Jan Swafford, a composer and author of "Charles Ives: A Life with Music" about Ives' 1910 orchestral work "Decoration Day." Swafford says the piece was inspired by a visionary experience when Ives was a little boy. The composer was watching his father's band marching down the street on Decoration Day...the precursor of Memorial Day. In Ives' hometown of Danbury, Connecticut, the occassion was celebrated much like a New Orleans funeral...with a mournful tune to the cemetary, and a lively march on the return to town.
May 21, 2000 Contemporary folk artist Gilbert talks with Lisa Simeone about how his identity drives his music. Gilbert is an African-American guitarist, singer and songwriter in a field dominated by whites. But he finds his music cuts across racial and ethnic lines. Excerpts from his latest CD Somerville Live (Disismye 003) recorded in his home state, Massachusetts.
May 19, 2000 Elizabeth Blair profiles singer and songwriter Elliott Smith, who was made famous by the Oscar-nominated song he wrote for the movie Good Will Hunting. Recently, Smith released another critically acclaimed album Figure 8.
May 9, 2000 The British rock band Supergrass produces music rooted in the "British invasion" pop of the 1960s. The band started out as teen pop sensations in the UK and Europe. Eventually, critics warmed to the sound. Supergrass has just released its third album and the band is on tour in the US. NPR's Guy Raz has a profile.
April 29, 2000 Don Gonyea talks with music writer Paul Trynka about blues singer and guitarist Guitar Slim. Trynka is the editor of the London-based music magazine, Mojo (www.mojomagazine.com), and recently wrote about Slim ("Wild Thing" by Paul Trynka/March 2000). Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones made a musical name for himself in New Orleans in the 1950s, and had a million seller with The Things That I Used To Do. But due to alcohol and fast-living, his career - and life - was short. His musical descendants include Ray Charles, James Brown, and Jimi Hendrix. The music in this interview is from the recording, Guitar Slim: Sufferin' Mind (Specialty Records, Inc./ SPCD-7007-2)
April 21, 2000 Tape & Copy, Handel's Music: Musicologist Christopher Hogwood talks about how he's tried to restore Handel's "Messiah" to the way it may have sounded during the composer's time. Hogwood is Founder and Director of the Academy of Ancient Music in Cambridge, England, and Artistic Director of the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston.
American country music singer and guitarist Loretta Lynn performs on stage at the Grand Ole Opry, 1960s.
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April 16, 2000 Loretta Lynn's classic song "Coal Miner's Daughter" tells an autobiographical story about growing up in poverty in Butcher Hollow, Ky. Her first recording, 1960's "Honky Tonk Girl," catapulted Lynn to fame.
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April 9, 2000 A larger than life presence on both stage and screen during 4 decades, a daughter of show business royalty, she was told she would never sing again. Now in Minnelli on Minnelli, Liza returns to the stage paying tribute to her father's movies and singing, for the first time, songs made famous by her mother. She talks with Liane Hansen, with excerpts from Minnelli on Minnelli.
April 3, 2000 NPR's Rick Karr visits with Georgia Hubley and Ira Kaplan, two members of the New Jersey-based rock band, Yo La Tengo. In a time when the definition of "independent rock" has lost much of its meaning, this Hoboken trio can still be called independent. On their latest CD "AND THEN NOTHING TURNED ITSELF INSIDE-OUT" the band continues their extensive use of guitar feedback-laced instrumentals combined with quieter, more contemplative songs — a combination that has won the band favor among both music critics and fans.
April 2, 2000 John Dowland, born around 1563, was a lute player and composer in Renissance England. A new recording of his music is titled, In Darkness Let Me Dwell (ECM New Series 1697/Produced by Manfred Eicher/www.ecmrecords.com). John Potter (Tenor) and Stephen Stubbs (Lute) talk with Jacki about the sadness in Dowland's life and music, and about the decision to include instruments on this recording that did not exist in Dowland's time. The other musicians on the recording are: John Surman (Soprano Saxophone and Bass Clarinet), Maya Homburger (Baroque Violin), and Barry Guy (Double-Bass).
March 26, 2000 Clarinetist Don Byron loves to marry the traditional to the unorthodox. Forays into funk and Klezmer have brightened his unique take on jazz music. Korva speaks with Byron about his new CD, Romance With the Unseen. Romance With the Unseen is available through Blue Note Records, catalog #99545.
Composer Irving Berlin, circa 1918.
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March 20, 2000 "Alexander's Ragtime Band" was the revolutionary tune that launched the phenomenon known as American popular song. Called "the musical sensation of the decade" and a "public menace," Irving Berlin's hit was also, as Berlin's daughter notes, the "theme song of a generation."
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March 19, 2000 Julian Crandall Hollick remembers Indian music teacher Santidev Ghose, who died last year at the age of 90. Ghose was one of the last living links to one of the great cultural icons of the 20th century - Rabindranath Tagore.
March 18, 2000 Jazz singer Kurt Elling is only 32-years-old but he's already causing quite a stir in the jazz world. Elling has been called one of the most innovative jazz vocalists of the country. He has collaborated with jazz masters Jon Hendricks and Mark Murphy. His new CD is called Live in Chicago and was recorded at Chicago's Green Mill Lounge on Blue Note (1999). (15:30) Check out Kurt Elling's website at www.kurtelling.com
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