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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

Elton John’s American Debut: August 25, 1970

Elton John’s American Debut: August 25, 1970

| August 25, 2015 | 0 Comments

On August 25, 1970, Elton John made his U.S. debut in a legendary six-night sold-out run at West Hollywood’s Troubadour. John’s eponymous first album—which was released in the states on July 22—had landed on the Troubadour owner Doug Weston’s desk with a request for the undiscovered pianist to play a date as his club. Weston, […]

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Alan Freed and the Radio Payola Scandal

Alan Freed and the Radio Payola Scandal

| August 20, 2015 | 5 Comments

On Nov. 20, 1959, DJ Alan Freed was fired from WABC radio when the pay-for-play scandal erupted. Here’s the story behind that era of pay-for-play, when the ’50s music scene was the convergence of a number of seismic factors.

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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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The Mysterious Death of Jim Morrison

The Mysterious Death of Jim Morrison

| July 8, 2015 | 31 Comments

Paris. July 2, 1971, early evening. Jim Morrison and his girlfriend Pamela Courson went to the cinema to see Pursued, a western starring Robert Mitchum. At another theater, Jim Morrison sat alone, watching a documentary called Death Valley. Across town, at the Rock ’n’ Roll Circus nightclub, Jim Morrison scored some heroin and OD’d in […]

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