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Behind The Song

From A Distance

From A Distance

Julie Gold tells the story of writing the Grammy-winning song “From A Distance” while she was a still secretary at HBO, and how it changed her life.

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Graham Nash “Our House”

Graham Nash “Our House”

Here is the story—in Graham Nash’s own words—behind the classic “Our House,” one of the sweetest love songs ever written while he was living with Joni Mitchell.

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The Girl From Ipanema

The Girl From Ipanema

The story behind “The Girl From Ipanema,” the second-most recorded song in history by composer Antonio Carlos Jobim and the poet Vinícius de Moraes.

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Legends of Songwriting

Harold Arlen

Harold Arlen

The story of Harold Arlen, the great American songwriter who gave the world such classics at “That Old Black Magic,” “One For My Baby,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” and his crowning masterpiece “Over the Rainbow.”

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Felice and Boudleaux Bryant

Felice and Boudleaux Bryant

Behind the legendary songwriting duo of such classics as “Wake Up Little Susie,” “Bye Bye Love,” “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” “Love Hurts” and “Rocky Top.”

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Stephen Foster

Stephen Foster

He was America’s first professional songwriter. He was also the first songwriter to be unfairly exploited by music publishers. Although his songs never generated the fortune Stephen Foster deserved during his brief life span, many of them, such as “Oh! Susanna,” “Old Kentucky Home,” “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair” and “Old Folks at Home,” […]

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Recent News and Features

Remembering Les Paul

Remembering Les Paul

| June 9, 2015 | 0 Comments

On what would be Les Paul’s birthday, Performing Songwriter celebrates him with some entertaining and inspiring stories he told us in 2005, including ones about Bing Crosby, Django Reinhardt and W.C. Fields.

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Remembering Jeff Buckley

Remembering Jeff Buckley

| May 29, 2015 | 29 Comments

Buckley’s legacy is one of a beautiful free spirit who left his promise unfulfilled. As Bono from U2 said, “Jeff Buckley was a pure drop in an ocean of noise.”

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Marian Anderson’s April 9, 1939 Lincoln Memorial Performance

Marian Anderson’s April 9, 1939 Lincoln Memorial Performance

| April 9, 2015 | 1 Comment

On April 9, 1939, celebrated African-American contralto Marian Anderson performed for 75,000 people on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial after being denied use of a D.C. Hall over segregation rules.

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The Sgt. Pepper’s Album Cover: Faces in the Crowd

The Sgt. Pepper’s Album Cover: Faces in the Crowd

| March 29, 2015 | 15 Comments

As the definitive snapshot of ‘60s pop culture, artist Peter Blake’s Sgt. Pepper cover was unlike anything the world had ever seen—and almost half a century later it’s still iconic Beatles.

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John Lennon and the FBI

John Lennon and the FBI

| March 21, 2015 | 0 Comments

In March 1972 John Lennon’s visa was revoked and deportation proceedings were filed after President Nixon decided the most dangerous man in America was a singer-songwriter with bad eyesight and a British accent.

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