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Behind The Song

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

The story behind Bob Mays’ beloved Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a story written to comfort his daughter and was turned into a best-selling Christmas song.

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Merle Haggard’s “Okie from Muskogee”

Merle Haggard’s “Okie from Muskogee”

Merle Haggard often gets name-checked in contemporary country songs. It’s a quick way to tip a hat to tradition and add a helping of honky-tonk cred. Haggard’s 41 No. 1 country hits and place in country’s Mount Rushmore aside, his name personifies the hard life that was once synonymous with the genre. Prison sentences, multiple […]

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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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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

Happy Birthday, Randy Newman

Happy Birthday, Randy Newman

| November 28, 2016 | 0 Comments

An Interview with Randy Newman on his approach to songwriting and the stories behind his songs Political Science, Redneck, Short People, God’s Song, and more.

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Beatles’ White Album Turns 48

Beatles’ White Album Turns 48

| November 22, 2016 | 2 Comments

On Nov. 22, 1968 the Beatles released their 9th official album, the 2-record, 30-song masterpiece known as the White Album.

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Happy Birthday, Neil Young!

Happy Birthday, Neil Young!

| November 12, 2016 | 4 Comments

Neil Young’s interview with Performing Songwriter magazine accompanied by classic photos by Henry Diltz and the stories behind them.

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Behind the Songs of John Prine

Behind the Songs of John Prine

| October 10, 2016 | 56 Comments

Legendary songwriter John Prine tells the stories behind such classics as “Sam Stone,” Hello In There,” “Paradise,” “Dear Abby,” and more.

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

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

| June 1, 2016 | 16 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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