NPR Music

The Summer of '63
5:10 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Bob Dylan's Tribute To Medgar Evers Took On The Big Picture

Bob Dylan performs at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963. His set included "Only a Pawn in Their Game," which he would also play at the 1963 March on Washington.
Eyeneer

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 6:20 pm

On this day 50 years ago — June 12, 1963 — Bob Dylan's career was just taking off when he heard the news that civil rights activist Medgar Evers had been assassinated. Dylan responded with a song that he eventually performed at the March on Washington and the Newport Folk Festival.

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Music Interviews
4:21 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

The National: 'We've Earned Our Stripes'

The National's new album is titled Trouble Will Find Me.
Deirdre O'Callaghan Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 4:16 pm

When a band called The National made its debut more than a decade ago, it was considered an underdog in a busy independent music scene. The lead singer's melancholy baritone and the lush instrumentation didn't always fit the irony-laden swagger of the aughts. The National has endured, and these days it has a hard-won following. It headlines big concert halls and late-night talk shows.

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Music Reviews
1:35 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Fame Studios And The Road To Nashville Songwriting Glory

Fame Studio

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 9:57 am

Wallace Daniel Pennington grew up singing. His father played guitar and his mother played piano, and by the age of 9, the young man had a guitar of his own. The family attended church on Sunday and Wednesday each week, and to this day, Dan Penn says he remembers the entire Methodist congregation belting out hymns.

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The Record
12:38 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Boards Of Canada Tap A Devout Following To Push New Album

Boards of Canada's new album is titled Tomorrow's Harvest.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 5:53 am

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Music
11:35 am
Tue June 11, 2013

NPR Music's 25 Favorite Albums Of The Year (So Far)

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 12:23 pm

Give or take a few weeks, 2013's midpoint is upon us. After almost six months of new music, it's that time of year when we pause to catch our breath, get our bearings and share our love for the albums that defined the first half of 2013.

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Music
11:33 am
Tue June 11, 2013

NPR Music's 50 Favorite Songs Of 2013 (So Far)

Daft Punk in the video for "Get Lucky," one of NPR Music's favorite songs of the year so far.

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 11:56 am

We made you a doozy of a mix — 50 of NPR Music's favorite songs from the first half of 2013, including hip-hop anthems, dudes with beards, avant-garde lullabies, dance-music stompers, tear-jerking ballads, funk odysseys and synth-pop singalongs.

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Music News
3:16 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Spotlighting Background Singers In 'Twenty Feet From Stardom'

Darlene Love, one of the background singers featured in Twenty Feet From Stardom, didn't receive credit for singing hits in the 1950s and '60s and says her career was derailed by legendary producer Phil Spector.
Radius/TWC

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 10:22 am

Twenty Feet from Stardom, filmmaker Morgan Neville's new documentary, is a reminder that most of pop music's catchiest hooks, riffs and refrains were sung by voices harmonizing in the background. Neville says he wanted to put backup singers — black, female and honed in church — front and center.

"I was really more interested in people who were voices for hire," he says, "who were able to walk into sessions never knowing what they had to do and could bring it."

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Tiny Desk Concerts
2:28 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

The National: Tiny Desk Concert

Hayley Bartels for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 10:43 am

The first thing you might notice about this video is the change in surroundings: NPR recently moved to a new building, and though we worked to make the Tiny Desk as visually similar as possible to the old space — a process we recently documented with the help of OK Go — the ceilings are higher, the square footage more generous and the surfaces lavishly unsullied.

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Music Reviews
1:06 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Arctic Records: Drafting A Blueprint For The Philly Sound

Barbara Mason had had one minor hit on Arctic by the time "Yes I'm Ready" came out in March 1965, and hit the Top 10 on both the R&B and pop charts.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 2:24 pm

Arctic Records opened for business late in 1964. The label was the brainchild of Jimmy Bishop, the program director of WDAS — at the time Philadelphia's No. 1 black radio station. If that sounds like a conflict of interest, you don't know much about the music business in Philadelphia back then. Besides, it didn't help Arctic's first single, "Happiest Girl in the World" by the Tiffanys, three local teenagers who sang backup in various studios.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:26 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

David Finckel On The Emerson Quartet's Changing Of The Guard

David Finckel is a longtime member of the Emerson String Quartet. Journeys: Tchaikovsky, Schoenberg is his last recording with the group.
Christian Steiner Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 12:09 pm

The Emerson String Quartet is one of the most acclaimed chamber groups in the world of classical music. Since their founding in 1976, the group has won nine Grammys for its recordings. Now, it has a new album out called Journeys: Tchaikovsky, Schoenberg — and it's the last recording with cellist David Finckel, one of the quartet's longtime members.

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