Taj Mahal is credited with helping popularize American blues over the course of his five-decade career. Jay Blakesberg/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Jay Blakesberg/Courtesy of the artist

Underlying the sweetness of Kyu Sakamoto's unexpected hit song "Sukiyaki" was a story of sadness and loss. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist

Bobby "Blue" Bland performs on stage at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans, in 1989. David Redfern/Redferns hide caption

itoggle caption David Redfern/Redferns

Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee relaxes in the west Philadelphia house where her second album, Cerulean Salt, was recorded. Will Figg for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Will Figg for NPR

When played on the radio in 1963, songs like Big Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle and Roll" were code to Birmingham youths, telling them to assemble. Jan Persson/Redferns hide caption

itoggle caption Jan Persson/Redferns

The Beatles pose in Liverpool's Derby Square in February 1963 — the year, according to author Colin Fleming, that yielded the band's most definitive work. Michael Ward/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Ward/Getty Images

Blake Morgan's songs were played some 28,000 times over a 90-day period on Pandora, earning $1.62 in royalties. Jim Herrington/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Jim Herrington/Courtesy of the artist

Violinist Amandine Beyer holds Mozart's own violin backstage at Boston's Jordan Hall on Monday. Kathy Wittman/Courtesy of the Boston Early Music Festival hide caption

itoggle caption Kathy Wittman/Courtesy of the Boston Early Music Festival

Marc Cary's new album is titled For the Love of Abbey. Rebecca Meek/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Rebecca Meek/Courtesy of the artist

Bob Dylan performs at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963. His set included "Only a Pawn in Their Game," which he would also play at the 1963 March on Washington. Eyeneer hide caption

itoggle caption Eyeneer

Nathan Gunn and Sasha Cooke star in the new opera The Gospel of Mary Magdalene as Yeshua (the Hebrew name of Jesus) and the title character. San Francisco Opera hide caption

itoggle caption San Francisco Opera