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Ed Ward

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08:46

A Nostalgic — But Bumpy — Journey With The Beach Boys

In 2012, the band became another rock group that was celebrating its 50th anniversary. This year, it released Made in California, an eight-hour, six-disc retrospective of their career that, perhaps inadvertently, shows how this once-great force in American popular music faded from public view.

Review
08:22

Bumpy, Bikers And The Story Behind 'Leader Of The Pack'

When record producer and songwriter George "Shadow" Morton died on Valentine's Day this year, he left behind a legacy as murky as his nickname, which he got from disappearing on long benders. A new compilation collects Morton's hits for The Shangri-Las, Iron Butterfly and Janis Ian.

Review
08:13

The Dawn Of Sun Records: 15 Hours Of Blues

In 1950, a red-haired Alabama boy who'd learned about radio and electronics in the U.S. Army opened a recording studio to document the blues and country music he loved. A new box set compiles the beginnings of Sam Philipps'

Review
08:46

Fame Studios And The Road To Nashville Songwriting Glory

One of America's great songwriters, Dan Penn, has written dozens of soul classics, often with keyboardist Spooner Oldham. For a while, the two were on the staff of Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala. Ace Records has just released an entire CD of Penn's demos.

Review
08:08

Arctic Records: Drafting A Blueprint For The Philly Sound

Ed Ward takes a look at Philadelphia's long and complex history of black pop music. Specifically, he looks at small labels like Arctic, where several famous artists got their start -- and which has just released a set of CDs covering all 60 of its single releases.

Review
08:11

Jerry Lee Lewis: Live, Singing As If Life Depended On It.

In 1958, Lewis suffered a precipitous decline in popularity when people learned that his new wife was not only 13, but also his cousin. Nobody would touch his records. Then, in 1963, he signed a deal with Smash and it looked like things were getting better.

Commentary
07:46

The Moving Sidewalks: Where The British Invasion Met Texas Blues.

Before he became the guitarist for ZZ Top, Billy Gibbons was in a band called the Moving Sidewalks that just missed its shot at stardom. The album the Moving Sidewalks never released in the late 1960s was released in late 2012 and is very much a period piece, albeit a very well-made one.

Commentary
08:31

Aretha Franklin Before Atlantic: The Columbia Years

Franklin found her voice in songs such as "I Never Loved a Man" for Atlantic Records in the 1960s. Before Atlantic, however, Franklin recorded for Columbia, and in those early recordings you can hear the legend just beginning to emerge.

Commentary

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