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Happy Birthday, Randy Newman

Happy Birthday, Randy Newman

| November 28, 2015 | 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 46

Beatles’ White Album Turns 46

| November 22, 2015 | 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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Behind the Songs of John Prine

Behind the Songs of John Prine

| October 10, 2015 | 50 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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Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee”

Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee”

| September 25, 2015 | 57 Comments

Inspired by a Fellini film, Kris Kristofferson wrote a classic road story that became a chart-topper for Janis Joplin, who recorded it days before her death.

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Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein

| September 25, 2015 | 2 Comments

Performing Songwriter looks back at the creative life of Shel Silverstein, a beloved poet, author, artist and songwriter.

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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 | 3 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 | 37 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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