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Behind The Song

Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”

Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”

In memory of Marvin Gaye who died on April 1, 1984—and whose 75th birthday would be April 2—here’s the story behind the enduring classic “What’s Going On.”

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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

Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole

On what would have been Nat King Cole’s 95th birthday, Performing Songwriter honors the man with one of the most influential pianists and memorable voices in American music.

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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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Recent News and Features

Marian Anderson’s April 9, 1939 Lincoln Memorial Performance

Marian Anderson’s April 9, 1939 Lincoln Memorial Performance

| April 9, 2014 | 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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Herb Alpert’s “Whipped Cream” Cover Girl

Herb Alpert’s “Whipped Cream” Cover Girl

| April 1, 2014 | 9 Comments

Forty-eight years ago this month Herb Alpert’s landmark ‘Whipped Cream & Other Delights’ was released with an iconic cover of a whipped cream-covered Dolores Erickson.

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Happy Birthday, Chaka Khan!

Happy Birthday, Chaka Khan!

| March 23, 2014 | 1 Comment

For the past 40+ years Chaka Khan has crossed and blurred the borders between rhythm and blues, jazz, pop, fusion and funk with ease, refusing to be categorized.

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Nancy Wilson’s Guitar Magic

Nancy Wilson’s Guitar Magic

| March 16, 2014 | 4 Comments

From the moment she saw the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, Nancy Wilson knew the guitar was the key to her future. A decade later she and her sister Ann stormed the stage as Heart and landed a blow for female equality in a rock and roll world.

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Happy Birthday, James Taylor!

Happy Birthday, James Taylor!

| March 12, 2014 | 3 Comments

We’re celebrating James Taylor’s birthday today with an interview that took place on his birthday in 2002, where he talks about the enduring role that music has played in his life.

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