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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

Dylan Plugs In: July 25, 1965

Dylan Plugs In: July 25, 1965

| July 25, 2015 | 3 Comments

Bob Dylan stepped on stage July 25, 1965 at the Newport Folk Festival with an electric band in tow, which many folk purists in the crowd considered a heresy.

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Bono’s Defining Moment at Live Aid, July 13, 1985

Bono’s Defining Moment at Live Aid, July 13, 1985

| July 13, 2015 | 2 Comments

The 1985 Live Aid event is the perfect example of how U2 frontman Bono masterfully understands the emotional heft that can be communicated by just the right gesture.

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Remembering Les Paul

Remembering Les Paul

| June 9, 2015 | 1 Comment

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 | 30 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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