NPR Music

Music
6:46 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Preserving American Roots Music Begins With Keeping The Lights On

For 20 years, the Music Maker Relief Foundation has been supporting indigent musicians like Boo Hanks (left), who recently released a collaborative album with fellow roots musician Dom Flemons.
Peter Breslow NPR

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 2:54 pm

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Commentary
6:42 am
Sat December 27, 2014

How Pete Seeger Revealed The Power Of Music To Me

Pete Seeger performs on stage during the Farm Aid 2013 concert at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Hans Pennink AP

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 10:10 am

Before he died this year at the age of 94, Pete Seeger influenced scores of musicians and millions of people — including me.

Growing up, my father would regularly drag me to folk festivals up and down New York's Hudson River Valley and across the Northeast, especially Pete Seeger's annual gathering called Clearwater's Great Hudson River Revival.

What were all these fiddles and banjos and acoustic guitars, I thought? I wanted snarling electric guitars. Feedback. To rock. And here, old people would break into three-part harmony in line for the bathroom.

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Music Interviews
5:22 am
Sat December 27, 2014

For Pieta Brown, Music Is A Father-Daughter Dance

"You guys know that road," Pieta Brown told a crowd in Des Moines earlier this month, describing how a row of Missouri warehouses selling fireworks inspired her song "I Don't Mind."
Clay Masters

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 10:10 am

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NPR's 'Jazz Profiles'
5:26 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Buddy DeFranco: The Clarinetist Who Swung To Bebop

Buddy DeFranco in 1947.
William Gottlieb Library Of Congress

Clarinetist Buddy DeFranco, a brilliant jazz improviser who devised many paths for his instrument following its peak popularity in the swing era, died Dec. 24, his website announced. He was 91.

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Animals
3:26 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Recordings That Made Waves: The Songs That Saved The Whales

By the 1960s, humpback whales and other whale species had been hunted extensively, sometimes to the point of near extinction. Then a recording of humpback whale songs helped shift public opinion on the hunting of all whale species.
Luis Robayo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 5:22 pm

In the mid-20th century, whale populations were dwindling. More than 50,000 whales were killed each year by commercial whalers.

But then in the 1960s, a song — or rather, many songs — sparked a movement.

It started with some underwater equipment that, for the first time, captured the sound of humpback whales.

Composer-Poets

At his home in Vermont, biologist Roger Payne plays the audio that was discovered back then. He points out themes in the whales' song, and how they evolve over time.

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