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Documenting Popular Music

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United States

Language:

English


Episodes

Album Review: Paul Simon’s ‘In the Blue Light’

9/14/2018
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The songwriter who could easily be considered America’s unofficial poet laureate has a new album in which he revisits past composition with new recordings and new interpretations. Paul Simon has been writing the soundtrack to multiple generations’ lives since the 1960s, when he and childhood friend Art Garfunkel took folk-rock music to new heights of popularity. Simon’s subsequent solo career allowed him to continue growing as a writer, musician and performer who produced some of the most...

Duration:00:19:38

Things You Didn’t Know about Debby Boone – An Interview and Music-History Lesson, Part II

8/31/2018
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(This is Part II of the episode and runs about 20 minutes. Part I, which also runs about 20 minutes, is also available. The documentary is also available uncut in a 37 minute edition. Please check the menu for all episodes of ‘Documenting Popular Music,’ or visit http://documentingpopularmusic.libsyn.com or iTunes.) In the 1970s, the most popular song of the entire decade was Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life,” which spend 10 weeks at the top of Billboard’s singles chart in 1977....

Duration:00:20:26

Things You Didn’t Know about Debby Boone – An Interview and Music-History Lesson, Part I

8/31/2018
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(This is Part I of the episode and runs about 20 minutes. Part II, which also runs about 20 minutes, is also available. The documentary is also available uncut in a 37 minute edition. Please check the menu for all episodes of ‘Documenting Popular Music,’ or visit http://documentingpopularmusic.libsyn.com or iTunes.) In the 1970s, the most popular song of the decade was Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life,” which spend 10 weeks at the top of Billboard’s singles chart in 1977. While the...

Duration:00:20:51

Things You Didn’t Know about Debby Boone – An Interview and Music-History Lesson

8/31/2018
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(This version of the episode is presented in its entirety and runs about 37 minutes; however, for listeners who prefer shorter episodes, the program is also available in Part I and Part II editions, which each run about 20 minutes. Please check the menu for all episodes of ‘Documenting Popular Music,’ or visit http://documentingpopularmusic.libsyn.com or iTunes.) In the 1970s, the most popular song of the decade was Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life,” which spend 10 weeks at the top of...

Duration:00:37:10

Album Review: Rita Coolidge's 'Safe in the Arms of Time'

8/10/2018
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Rita Coolidge was one of the staples of Top 40 and Adult Contemporary radio in the 1970s and early 1980s. She’s back with a new album entitled 'Safe in the Arms of Time,' which takes a unique look at love, life and relationships. The songs on the album reflect the maturity of someone who has already gone through the highs and lows of love and is now experiencing what the emotion is like at this stage of her life. Coolidge gives voice to the realization that relationships and romance don’t...

Duration:00:16:52

Smooth Rock Sounds of the 80s are Back, Courtesy of Young Gun Silver Fox

7/13/2018
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That unmistakable sound of West Coast smooth rock was all over the radio in the late 1970s and early 1980s with groups such as Hall&Oates, Player, Steely Dan, the Little River Band, Boz Scaggs, the Michael McDonald lead version of the Doobie Bros and many others. The genre, which incorporated elements of smooth jazz and soul, is making a comeback, and a group helping to make the past current is Young Gun Silver Fox. The band is made up of Andy Platts and Shawn Lee, who are not recording...

Duration:00:20:39

An Historic Writing Partnership – Legendary Songwriters Neil Diamond and Gilbert Bécaud Come Together to Write Songs for The Jazz Singer Movie

5/19/2018
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In the late 1970s, when Neil Diamond was asked to star in the movie the Jazz Singer, his career was at the peak of popularity, and he had not only established himself as an elite performer, but also an accomplished songwriter. Similarly, Gilbert Bécaud, who had reached stardom more than a decade before Diamond, was also revered as a top performer and songwriter in France and other European countries. These two men came together in the late 1970s for a writing partnership that would...

Duration:00:22:53

TBT – Album Review: James Taylor’s ‘Before this World’ from 2015

2/22/2018
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For this ‘Throwback Thursday’ (TBT) episode of Documenting Popular Music, we are replaying our 2015 review of James Taylor’s ‘Before this World' album. To date, it is the last studio album Taylor has released, and he has been performing songs from the album on his current concert tour. ‘Before this World’ was produced by one of Taylor’s long-time collaborators, Dave O’Donnell, and the core musicians who perform on the album have also been part of Taylor's inner circle for a long time....

Duration:00:17:55

Hey, Hey It’s the Monkees, Part II – A Look at the Individual Careers of the Monkees in the 70s and 80s

1/20/2018
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The Monkees TV show debuted in September of 1966 and ran until March of 1968. During that time, the band saturated the music charts and radio stations with songs such as “I’m a Believer,” “Daydream Believer,” “Last Train to Clarksville,” “Valleri,” “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” “I’m Not Your Stepping Stone” and many others. The group consisted for Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork, and the four had been assembled by producers at...

Duration:00:18:03

Hey, Hey It’s the Monkees, Part I – A Look at the Individual Careers of the Monkees in the 70s and 80s

1/20/2018
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The Monkees TV show debuted in September of 1966 and ran until March of 1968. During that time, the band saturated the music charts and radio stations with songs such as “I’m a Believer,” “Daydream Believer,” “Last Train to Clarksville,” “Valleri,” “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” “I’m Not Your Stepping Stone” and many others. The group consisted for Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, and the four had been assembled by producers at...

Duration:00:20:21

Album Review -- The Eagles, Donna Summer, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Randy Owen and Many Others Pay Tribute to Dan Fogelberg

12/15/2017
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Dan Fogelberg passed away 10 years ago this month. His memory has been kept alive this year by a number of events, including the release of two new albums, ‘Live At Carnegie Hall’ (a previously unheard performance from 1979) and a tribute album that features a long list of musicians that loved Fogelberg’s music. This episode of Documenting Popular Music takes a look at the tribute album and artist such as Garth Brooks, who performs “Phoenix” with Trisha Yearwood providing background...

Duration:00:14:27

The Making of a Classic – The Story of How One of Barry Manilow’s Most Beloved Songs Finally Became a Hit

11/20/2017
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It was 1971, and a 25-year-old Barry Manilow was still a struggling musician and commercial jingles writer when he came up with a melody he felt was very special. That melody would become the song “Could It Be Magic,” which featured a chorus based on the chord changes in Chopin’s Prelude in C Minor. “Could It Be Magic” had several early incarnations, including a version produced by a well-intending Tony Orlando that Manilow says thankfully didn’t become a hit. The behind the scenes...

Duration:00:12:47

Janis Ian Gets a Jazz Treatment – Sarah Partridge Talks about Her Tribute Album to the Folk Singer

10/28/2017
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About two years ago, Sarah Partridge began working on a project to bring new life to Janis Ian’s songs by presenting them with fresh jazz interpretations. Ian, who debuted during the folk scene of the 1960s, rose to fame with her hits “Society’s Child” (1967) and “At Seventeen” (1975), and she’s written numerous songs – some of which were previously unrecorded – that deal with social, political and relationship issues. Partridge and her arrangers – Allen Farnham and Tim Horner – have...

Duration:00:24:42

From the Heart of Alabama (Part II) - Former 'Split the Dark' Member Scott McDavid Talks about His Journey as a Musician

10/22/2017
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Documenting Popular Music puts a spotlight on the thriving musical scene in Alabama and the city of Birmingham, where musician Scott McDavid was born and raised. McDavid’s journey is representative of numerous other musicians who work under some anonymity, but who have been vital to the creation, maintenance and spread of popular music in America. McDavid’s career began in his hometown, where he played with a number of local bands, including KD Ryzer, a very popular regional group. He...

Duration:00:25:11

From the Heart of Alabama (Part I) - Former 'Split the Dark' Member Scott McDavid Talks about His Journey as a Musician

10/22/2017
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Documenting Popular Music puts a spotlight on the thriving musical scene in Alabama and the city of Birmingham, where musician Scott McDavid was born and raised. McDavid’s journey is representative of numerous other musicians who work under some anonymity, but who have been vital to the creation, maintenance and spread of popular music in America. McDavid’s career began in his hometown, where he played with a number of local bands, including KD Ryzer, a very popular regional group. He...

Duration:00:25:07

TBT - Neil Diamond's Melody Road Album Review from 2014

9/28/2017
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For this ‘Throwback Thursday’ (TBT) episode of Documenting Popular Music, we are replaying our 2014 review of Neil Diamond’s Melody Road album. To date, it is the last studio album of all new songs Diamond has delivered, and he is currently out of the country with his concert tour, celebrating 50 years in music. The TBT replay of the album review is a small way to satisfy Diamond’s legion of fans during his absence. The episode also offers some Neil Diamond history and takes a close-up...

Duration:00:19:58

Rusty Young - The Leader of Poco Talks in-depth about His First Solo Album and Joyfully Reminisces about the Past

9/13/2017
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After more than 50 years in music, Rusty Young, the leader of the group Poco, has recorded his first solo album. The new set is entitled ‘Waitin’ for the Sun,’ (Blue Élan Records) and it features 10 songs that not only give you a peek into Young’s life, but also into his emotions, as the “Crazy Love” singer/songwriter is unabashedly sentimental. In an interview with veteran journalist Robert Neil, Young tells the stories behind the songs, and when he gets to the track “My Friend,”...

Duration:00:25:27

Leader of the Band: Remembering Dan Fogelberg with Stories and Insights from His Record Producer

8/19/2017
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Dan Fogelberg’s talent was apparent from an early age, and by the time he was 19, he had a recording contract with a major record label. The man who would produce this young talent was Norbert Putnam, who was only about nine years Fogelberg’s senior. Together, these two worked on three of Fogelberg’s albums, which would turn out to be some of the most important records in his career. In an exclusive interview for this radio documentary, veteran journalist Robert Neil speaks with Putnam...

Duration:00:47:51

New Music – A Review of Herb Alpert’s New Album, Music Vol. 1

8/1/2017
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A living legend is back with his sixth album in the past seven years. Herb Alpert, the famed trumpeter and former record company executive, works with producer Jochem van der Saag on the new album Music Vol. 1. The combination of these two talents is masterful and satisfying, and it produces a collection that will please several generations of fans. The album features primarily cover songs with new treatments that emphasize rhythms and backbeats, and this review not only takes a look at...

Duration:00:14:08

Lessons in Rock and Roll and Jazz Music – Guitarist Doug Jackson of Ambrosia Talks about His Craft

7/20/2017
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Doug Jackson is the guitarist for the progressive rock group Ambrosia, which hit the singles and albums charts in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. The bands biggest hits include “How Much I Feel” from the 1978 album Life Beyond L.A., and “Biggest Part of Me” and “You’re the Only Woman (You and I)” from the 1980 album One Eighty. Jackson permanently joined the group in 2000 after founding member David Pack had left to work on other projects. In this conversation, Jackson talks about his...

Duration:00:20:19