popular music

John Hammond: From Bessie Smith to Bruce Springsteen

About John Hammond

John Hammond was responsible for discovering Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Robert Johnson, Bessie Smith, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Pete Seeger, and Bruce Springsteen, among others. As a producer, writer, critic, and board member of the NAACP, he was credited as a major force in integrating the music business. An early inductee into the […]

Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind

Joni Mitchell’s Stylistic Journey

Tom Manoff, Classical Music Critic of NPR’s ALL THINGS CONSIDERED on Joni Mitchell Excerpts from his book Music: A Living Language (WW Norton and Co, 1982) I want the full hyphen: folk-rock-country-jazz-classical, so finally when you get all the hyphens in, maybe they’ll drop them all, and get down to just some American music. -Joni […]

Duke Ellington

About Duke Ellington

“It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.” Considered one of the greatest jazz composers of all time, Duke Ellington had an enormous impact on the popular music of the late 20th century. Among his more than two thousand songs are such hits as “In A Sentimental Mood,” “Sophisticated Lady,” “I Got […]

Willie Nelson: Still Is Still Moving

Still is Still Moving

by Turk Pipkin He is an American icon; his voice as comforting as the American landscape, his songs as familiar as the color of the sky, his face as worn as the Rocky Mountains. Perhaps that’s why Dan Rather suggested, “We should add his face to the cliffs of Mt. Rushmore and be done with […]