In Your Ear: Sheryl Crow

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Nine-time Grammy award-winning singer Sheryl Crow talks about the music that's playing in her ear. Except for an amazing music career, Crow is also a mom, a political activist and a fervent environmentalist. We caught up with her recently to talk about her new album "100 Miles from Memphis" — a conversation that we plan to broadcast tomorrow, Oct. 28.

(Soundbite of music)


As you may know, this program occasionally ends with a segment we call In Your Ear, where guests talk about the music on their MP3 players or sometimes their old-fashioned stereos at home.

Today, nine-time Grammy award-winning singer Sheryl Crow. You'll hear her interview with Michel Martin tomorrow talking about, among other things, her new album, "100 Miles From Memphis." Beyond her musical career, Sheryl Crow is also a mother, a political activist and an environmentalist. Here, she shares some of her musical influence inspirations.

Ms. SHERYL CROW (Musician): Hey, this is Sheryl Crow, and my In Your Ear picks today consist of a Marvin Gaye song, which I've always loved, called "Inner City Blues."

(Soundbite of song, "Inner City Blues")

Mr. MARVIN GAYE (Musician): (Singing) Rockets, moon shots. Spend it on the have-nots. Money, we make it. 'Fore we see it, you'll take it.

Ms. CROW: The reason I love this song and I constantly play it is that Marvin Gaye to me was so masterful at writing great pop songs, and yet, being able to juxtapose a sociopolitical lyric against a pop track and make it sexy and vulnerable and yet be about something, so that's definitely in my, probably my top 10 songs of all time.

(Soundbite of song, "Inner City Blues")

Mr. GAYE: (Singing) Mother, mother, mother, mother, mother. Everybody thinks we're wrong. But mother, who are they to judge us, mother, mother, simply because we wear our hair long. Mother, mother. Ooh.

Ms. CROW: Another song I absolutely love and I always measure songwriting against is the song "Yesterday," by The Beatles.

(Soundbite of song, "Yesterday")

Mr. PAUL MCCARTNEY (Musician): (Singing) Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they're here to stay. Oh I believe in yesterday.

Ms. CROW: I've been writing songs since I was 13, and I always feel like my best work is ahead of me and that's why I keep writing. And that song to me is the perfect illustration of great, great songwriting. It has a simple melody that everybody can sing, and yet, the lyric is so poignant and everyone can relate to that feeling.

(Soundbite of song, "Yesterday")

Mr. MCCARTNEY: (Singing) Why she had to go I don't know, she wouldn't say. I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday.

Ms. CROW: My third pick for In Your Ear is a song that I love and every time I hear it on the radio or if it comes across in my shuffle in my iTouch, I always listen to it from top to bottom, and that is a song by "Squeeze" called "Tempted By the Fruit of Another."

(Soundbite of song, "Tempted By the Fruit of Another")

SQUEEZE (Musicians): (Singing) I bought a toothbrush, some toothpaste, a flannel for my face, pajamas, a hairbrush, new shoes and a case. I said to my reflection, let's get out of this place. Passed the church and the steeple...

Ms. CROW: It's just a great song, great R&B with a really clever lyric. And there you go.

(Soundbite of song, "Tempted By the Fruit of Another")

SQUEEZE: (Singing) Tempted by the fruit of another. Tempted but the truth is discovered. What's been going on and now that you have gone.

LYDEN: Singer and songwriter Sheryl Crow, telling us what's playing in her ear. Tune in tomorrow as Sheryl Crow tells us more about her new album, "100 Miles From Memphis," and whatever else is on her mind.

LYDEN: And that's the program for today. I'm Jacki Lyden and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News.

Michel Martin comes back to talk more tomorrow.

(Soundbite of song, "Tempted By the Fruit of Another")

SQUEEZE: (Singing) I'm at the car park, the airport, the baggage carousel. The people keep on grabbing, ain't wishing I was well. I said it's no occasion. It's no story I can tell.

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