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

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Taj Mahal: Still Cooking Up 'Heirloom Music' His Own Way

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

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Bittersweet At No. 1: How A Japanese Song Topped The Charts In 1963

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

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Remembering The Multidimensional Music Of Bobby 'Blue' Bland

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Bobby "Blue" Bland at the 2011 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Rick Diamond/Getty Images hide caption

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LISTEN: A bit of 'Turn on Your Love Light'

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

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Waxahatchee: A Lonesome Voice, Raised In Basements

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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

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Shake, Rattle And Rally: Code Songs Spurred Activism In Birmingham

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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

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The Beatles' Defining Moment (Hint: It's Not 'Sgt. Pepper')

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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

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Pandora Buys A Radio Station, Songwriters' Group Calls It A 'Stunt'

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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

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Playing Mozart — On Mozart's Violin

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

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The cover image of The Complete Roost Johnny Smith Small Group Sessions, a 2002 box set of work from across the jazz guitarist's career. Album cover hide caption

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Johnny Smith, Revered Guitar Player, Has Died

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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

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Bob Dylan's Tribute To Medgar Evers Took On The Big Picture

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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

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A Loaded Bible Story, Tweaked For The Opera Stage

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