NPR Music

Music Reviews
1:28 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Aretha Franklin Before Atlantic: The Columbia Years

Aretha Franklin became a star on the Atlantic record label after leaving Columbia.
Express Newspapers Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 6:01 pm

Aretha Franklin made her first record when she was 14, singing some gospel standards in the church of her father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, an easygoing Detroit pastor who was friends with Martin Luther King and just about every gospel singer you could name. One of the stars who visited a lot was Sam Cooke, who convinced Aretha that she could be a hit singing popular music.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:18 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Benedict And Beethoven: The Outgoing Pope's Musical Life

Pope Benedict XVI addresses the audience at Milan's La Scala opera house where he heard a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 conducted by Daniel Barenboim.
Daniel Dal Zennaro AFP/Getty Images

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Music News
2:03 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Exiled From Iran, A Singer Makes The Case For Beauty

Strict laws made it impossible for the Iranian singer Hani to pursue her dream in her home country.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 9:03 pm

A petite woman prances across the stage at Kurdistan TV in Erbil, northern Iraq, with her long, brown hair bouncing behind her.

A band begins to play, the studio audience falls quiet, and the woman starts to sing. Her voice is powerful and her message is personal: It's about fleeing to a foreign land to find freedom.

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The Record
4:25 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

A Tiny Bit Of Good News For The Record Industry

Stacking coins, not paper.
istockphoto.com

There's reason to be optimistic about the market for recorded music around the world, according to a new report released by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. For the first time since 1999, the report says, the global trade value for the recorded music industry (a slightly vague/confusing term for record sales) went up last year by about 0.3 percent.

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Music News
3:25 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Women Of Grunge Reclaim Rock History In 'These Streets'

Ron Nine, Mitch Ebert, Eden Schwartz, Fiia McGann and Gretta Harley perform in These Streets, a new play based on a series of interviews with Seattle musicians.
Courtesy of These Streets

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:05 pm

Gretta Harley arrived in Seattle in 1990, when grunge was redefining the city. Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were turning Seattle into the epicenter of the music world. Harley was a punk rock guitarist searching for her tribe, and in Seattle's thriving music scene, she found it.

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All Songs Considered
9:49 am
Tue February 26, 2013

David Bowie's New Song Is...

Cover art for David Bowie's single, "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)."
Courtesy of the artist

There's another new song from David Bowie and it's called "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)." This is the second Bowie song in the past few months after a dry spell that lasted ten years. You can hear the song and watch the video, which contains some nudity.

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Music Interviews
5:01 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Lady Lamb The Beekeeper Emerges From Behind The Counter

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper's debut album is titled Ripely Pine.
Shervin Lainez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 3:31 pm

When Aly Spaltro began writing music, she was literally the girl next door. After recording 12 solo songs with her 8-track, she left a stack of free CDs on the counter of the local record store next to the DVD rental shop where she worked in Brunswick, Maine. Nervous about the public's reaction to her music, she chose to remain anonymous and only put her email address on the label.

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Music Interviews
5:38 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

Johnny Marr On Quitting School, Moving To Portland And Wearing Capes

Johnny Marr's new solo album is called The Messenger.
Jon Shard Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 9:20 am

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The Record
11:06 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Clive Davis: A Life With A 'Soundtrack'

Clive Davis poses with Whitney Houston, then a rising star, shortly after Houston signed a contract with Arista Records in 1983.
AP

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 11:55 am

If Columbia Records hadn't signed Bruce Springsteen in the early 1970s, there's a chance The Boss could have just been a small-stakes act, playing gigs around Asbury Park.

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The Record
7:03 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Music, The Food Of 'Amour'

Emmanuelle Riva in Michael Haneke's Amour.
Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 11:31 am

Film scores are, by and large, manipulative. They do their work at the periphery of the senses, signaling danger, heralding victory, prodding us toward fear and joy in time with the unfolding story. Crucially, they are also empathic, letting us in on what the actors' words or faces may not convey. And when things get unpleasant, the score can step in as an emotional buffer — a layer of unreality between us and the action that lets us know we're safe. Sunday night at the Oscars, Hollywood will honor a film whose music manages to get all these things right.

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