creative workshop ad
creative workshop

Behind The Song

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 […]

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.”

Continue Reading

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.”

Continue Reading

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,” […]

Continue Reading

Recent News and Features

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

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

| June 1, 2016 | 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.

Continue Reading

Farewell, Merle Haggard

Farewell, Merle Haggard

| April 7, 2016 | 0 Comments

On April 6, 2016, his 79th birthday, Merle Haggard left this earth. To honor him, here is an interview from 2007 where he chatted with us about Johnny Cash, jail and wild nights with George Jones. Farewell, Hag. Thank you for a lifetime of music and memories.

Continue Reading

Happy Birthday, James Taylor!

Happy Birthday, James Taylor!

| March 12, 2016 | 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.

Continue Reading

The Story Behind “Strawberry Fields Forever” & “Penny Lane”

The Story Behind “Strawberry Fields Forever” & “Penny Lane”

| February 18, 2016 | 5 Comments

In Feb. 1967 the Beatles released a double-A side single of “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” which opened the doors to the wonders of Sgt. Pepper. Here’s the story.

Continue Reading

The Story Behind “Mardi Gras Mambo” and “Iko Iko”

The Story Behind “Mardi Gras Mambo” and “Iko Iko”

| February 1, 2016 | 0 Comments

Mardi Gras and music go together like red beans and rice and coffee and beignets. Here’s the story behind two songs that are Fat Tuesday favorites: “Iko Iko” and “Mardi Gras Mambo.”

Continue Reading