Mel Fisher Ostrowski played Don McLean's American Pie until she "learned every word." Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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'American Pie' And The Box Of Records A Father Left Behind

Don McLean's song helped a listener "bridge a gap between [her] long-deceased father and baby boy."

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Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine," a favorite song of listener Melanie Cowart's parents, became a fitting symbol for their relationship. Sasha/Getty Images hide caption

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Actress Rashida Jones says Steely Dan opened her young mind to "the mathematics of music." Vera Anderson/WireImage hide caption

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How Rashida Jones Found Her Inner Music Nerd

A child of Hollywood royalty explains how, in her childhood, one band opened her mind to "the mathematics of music."

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Little Darrin Wolsko spent a chunk of his childhood playing his father's copy of The Beatles self-titled album, best known as The White Album, over and over. Courtesy of the Wolsko family hide caption

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Nat King Cole (center) rehearses with his trio at the London Palladium in 1950. Ron Case/Getty Images hide caption

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Music Interviews

Leonard Pitts On Memories Of Laundry And Nat King Cole

The Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author says he'll never forget his mother's renditions of Nat King Cole songs.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda performs in his Tony-winning musical, In the Heights, in 2008 in New York City. Steven Henry/Getty Images hide caption

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Warren Zevon on the cover of Excitable Boy, the 1978 album which includes "Werewolves in London." Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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From Scorn For Zevon, A Father-Daughter Moment Is Born

A listener grew up hating her dad's musical taste, especially Warren Zevon's "Werewolves in London."

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Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane is the son of jazz icons John and Alice Coltrane. His new album Spirit Fiction was released June 19. Deborah Feingold/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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At Home With The Coltranes, Listening To Stravinsky

Saxophonist and composer Ravi Coltrane — son of John and Alice — says his mother's love of symphonic music provided a childhood soundtrack for him and his siblings.

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Glen Hansard's latest album is Rhythm and Repose. Conor Masterson hide caption

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Glen Hansard: Musical Comfort In A Troubled Home

The Irish singer-songwriter explains how a Pat Boone song helped his mother through a troubled marriage.

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Neil Diamond's "Coming To America" played an especially memorable part in one NPR listener's adolescence. Ethan Miller/Getty Images hide caption

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An Immigrant's Tale, With Neil Diamond's Siren Song

NPR listener John Keating recalls leaving South Africa for America during apartheid, and the patriotic tune that marked the experience.

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