NPR Music

Remembrances
10:46 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Woody Guthrie's Indelible Mark On American Culture

Woody Guthrie singing aboard a New York City subway train.
Eric Schaal Life Pictures/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 8:51 am

The summer of 2012 marks the centennial of the birth of American folk icon Woody Guthrie, on July 14, 1912. A poet of the people, Guthrie wrote some of America's most important songs, including "This Land Is Your Land." He penned ballads that captured the heart of hard economic times and war.

While Guthrie left a lasting mark on music, culture and politics, he struggled with family poverty, tragedies and personal demons.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:42 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Tanglewood, My Family's Transcendental Homeland

Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood.
Steve Rosenthal courtesy of the Boston Symphony Orchestra

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 4:02 pm

The barn reeked of mildew, wet wood in 90 degrees, an odious perfume with which I was familiar from a childhood in a Long Island canal town peppered with planked houses. I opened my instrument's case to see the hygrometer's needle stuck on the highest humidity level: assurance that my first professional-grade violin would not crack, or, to the great aural pleasure of Katja, my radiant Austrian stand partner with superb pitch, remain in tune.

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Dead Stop
2:13 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Beyond The Music In St. Louis Cemetery No. 2

Ernie K-Doe poses outside his Mother-In-Law Lounge during Jazz Fest in New Orleans in 2001. He died a few months later and was buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 2.
Pat Jolly AP

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 9:25 pm

There's so much water in, around and underneath New Orleans, that the dead spend eternity in tombs above ground.

Most of the tombs now have a similar design: On top, there's space for a wooden coffin or two, and at the bottom lies a potpourri of decanted family remains. Sooner or later, whoever is up high must vacate and settle lower, making room for the newly dead. That's how families stay together — in a desiccated jumble of grandpas, grandmas, siblings and cousins.

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Music
3:03 pm
Wed July 4, 2012

Aboriginal Musicians 'Band' Together To Expose Oppression

Singers Deline Briscoe, Shellie Morris and Lou Bennett (pictured left to right) perform with Australia's Black Arm Band Company.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 5:34 pm

A black arm band is a gesture of mourning around the world. But for aboriginals in Australia it has come to mean something else.

The "black arm band view of history" is a version of history that takes a critical — some would say militant — analysis of Anglo-Australia's mistreatment of indigenous people. Much like American Indians, indigenous Australians — who've lived on their continent for at least 40,000 years — have had their land stolen, treaties broken, and children taken away.

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World Cafe
12:45 pm
Wed July 4, 2012

Neil Young On World Cafe

Neil Young.
Danny Clinch

Neil Young's dozens of albums and myriad side projects showcase his incredible range and stylistic flexibility. His music has gone from the soft folk of Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young to the loud, raucous rock of Crazy Horse.

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