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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Let's say good-bye next to 21 musicians, composers and producers we lost in 2011, from Clarence Clemons to Phoebe Snow, Milton Babbitt to Sylvia Robinson, Charlie Louvin to George Shearing.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSICAL MONTAGE)

WERTHEIMER: You can find more music, plus interviews and remembrances of more musicians we lost in 2011 at NPRMusic.org.

And here's a nod to Jerry Leiber who, along with Mike Stoller, wrote some of the biggest hits of the 20th century, including this one.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "STAND BY ME")

BEN E. KING: (Singing) So, darling, darling stand by me. Oh-oh, stand by me...

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

You know, it's tempting to say what a snake-bit year this was; a year when American troops were lost abroad, a year of economic struggle and cynical politics - that's all true. But it was also a year when troops came home and people started new jobs, and more.

The other day, I saw one of those children's Christmas pageants acting out a Nativity scene. The actors included a baby carried on stage by her parents, a baby born in 2011. It's really too soon to judge this year when we set so much in motion. We don't know what that kid will grow up to be. For all we know, this will be remembered as the year she was born.

We'll be with you next year on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

WERTHEIMER: And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

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