Ray Charles' gritty voice takes a trifle of a tune and transforms "Isn't It Wonderful" into an intimate and enticing lover's plea. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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'Isn't It Wonderful' by Ray Charles

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La Lupe in New York, 1967. Courtesy of Richie Viera's Archive/Fania Records hide caption

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La Lupe: A Performer Ruled By Instinct, Ecstasy

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Yuck's "Rubber" fuses the DNA of grunge, shoegaze and fuzzy garage pop into a sound that has the '90s in its blood. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Yuck

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Los Ginkas courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Listen to Los Ginkas' "Linda Manz"

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Nastiness and cynicism often take precedence over melody in Colin Newman's singing, but not in Wire's "Smash." Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Smash

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The young Hawaiian ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro infuses a rock staple with a moment of tropical island Zen. Danny Clinch/Courtesy of Shore Fire Media hide caption

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Bohemian Rhapsody

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Country Joe at Woodstock. Bear Family Records hide caption

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'Next Stop Is Vietnam': The War In Music

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In "Free," Erik Wunder of Man's Gin exudes a certain rough sweetness even as he damns everything around him. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Smiling Dogs

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James Carr. Courtesy of Ace Records hide caption

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Goldwax Records: A History Of '60s Memphis Soul

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John Vanderslice's "The Piano Lesson" is imbued with a playfully cinematic quality, without becoming overly precious or saccharine. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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White Wilderness

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In "Brand New Swamp Thing," Giant Sand shares a roadside love story about a woman unafraid to make the first move. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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'Brand New Swamp Thing' by Giant Sand

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From left to right: percussionist Sara Lund, vocalist Corin Tucker and producer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Seth Lorinczi. John Clark hide caption

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Corin Tucker: '1,000 Years' Of Emotional Longing

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"I Want to Thank You" shows off the heavenly exuberance that helped make Billy Preston a star in the late '60s. Apple Corps Ltd. hide caption

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I Want to Thank You

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In the modern folk gem "My Father’s Son," Anthony D'Amato's protagonist struggles with inherited vices. Diamond D Photography hide caption

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'My Father's Son' by Anthony D'Amato

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