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African American singers

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Soul Singer Ray Charles' Country Side

Singer and pianist Ray Charles has a new four CD box-set out that captures his contribution to country music. "Ray Charles: The Complete Country and Western Recordings 1959-1986. (Rhino) Charles may be best known for his blues, R&B and soul music. He has won 12 Grammy Awards.


Legendary Singer Teddy Pendergrass

The soul musician has written his autobiography "Truly Blessed" (Putnam). Pendergrass was a popular soul singer in the group "Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes". He went solo in 1976. In 1982, he was paralyzed after a near fatal car accident in Philadelphia, his hometown. Since then he has returned to the studio and produced several albums.


Ben E. King: The Fresh Air Interview

The rhythm and blues singer turns 60 years old this week. He was a member of the Drifters in the late 50s. His smooth vocals graced such popular hits as "There Goes My Baby" and "Save The Last Dance for Me." His solo career has produced hits like "I (Who Have Nothing)," "Spanish Harlem" and, his best-known song, which enjoyed a revival three years ago, "Stand By Me." (REBROADCAST FROM 9/2/88)


Remembering Legendary Rhythm and Blues Singer Johnny Adams.

Adams died Monday at the age of 67. We present a rebradcast of an interview with Adams that took place in December of 1997. He was one of songwriter Doc Pomus' favorite singers. He recorded a collection of Doc Pomus songs, "Johnny Adams sings Doc Pomus: The Real Me." His most recent album is "Man of My Word," released in August (Rounder). Adams died of cancer. (Originally aired 12/12/97)


From the Archives: Blue Ballads with Charles Brown.

Songwriter and pianist Charles Brown. He turned 75 this year. Recently he was one of the recipients of the Heritage Fellowship Award given by the National Endowment for the Arts for excellence in the traditional arts. Charles Brown is one of the most original artists in blues history. He's credited with creating an expressive style of blues that blended rough Texas blues with the soft glamour of Hollywood. This approach was dubbed "Club Blues." Between 1946 and 1952, Brown recorded 20 hits, nine on his own, the rest as part of Johnny Moore's Blazers.


The Late, Great Singer and Songwriter Arthur Alexander

Alexander's songs were recorded on early records by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. This excerpt from his Fresh Air concert in 1993 was recorded just a few month before he died of a heart attack (Rebroadcast from 05/07/1993)


Soul and Blues Singer Wallace Johnson

Fifty-eight year old Johnson's new CD is "Whoever's Thrilling You." It's his first full-length album and marks his return to the music scene after a 20-year absence. He gave up his music career for steadier work as a longshoreman in 1972 in order to take care of his wife and five children. Friends convinced him to return to performing around the New Orleans area in 1993 and this year he appeared at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

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