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The NPR 100

Throughout the year 2000, NPR presented the stories behind 100 of the most important American musical works of the 20th century, across all styles and genres.

Recent The NPR 100

John Coltrane.

October 23, 2000 This work was Coltrane's spiritual declaration that his faith and musical devotion was intertwined.


Seminal American blues singer and songwriter Muddy Waters.

April 3, 2000 Muddy Waters' chart-topping 1954 classic stands today as a keystone of rock 'n' roll.


Earl Scruggs performs at the Stagecoach Music Festival in 2007.

April 1, 2000 Earl Scruggs's song may have been the first to introduce audiences to bluegrass music.


Legendary American jazz pianist and singer Fats Domino.

May 1, 2000 This enduring hit showcases Domino's individual talents, and the early power of New Orleans music.

Woody Guthrie.

July 3, 2000 Folklorist Nick Spitzer tells the story of Woody Guthrie's leftist national anthem.


American country music singer and guitarist Loretta Lynn performs on stage at the Grand Ole Opry, 1960s.

April 16, 2000 Loretta Lynn's classic 1970 song tells the autobiographical story of her life in Butcher Hollow, Ky.


Al Green, from the cover of his Greatest Hits album, first released in 1975.

June 4, 2000 Al Green showed a different side of soul on his 1971 hit. Hear the story of the legendary song.


Kurt Cobain performs with Nirvana at a taping of the television program 'MTV Unplugged' in New York City, Novemeber 18, 1993.

May 15, 2000 Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" announced the dominance of grunge over the music of the time.



February 13, 2000 At age 25, George Gershwin took only three weeks to compose his most identifiable masterpiece.


Songwriter and guitarist Bruce Springsteen.

October 9, 2000 Bruce Springsteen's album Born to Run came out in 1975 to critical and popular acclaim.


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