Dion has just released a CD of new songs, covers and new versions of his old hits. It's called New Masters (Collectables, 2003). In the late 1950s, Dion and his band the Belmonts topped the charts with several pop hits, earning him the status of teen idol. His best known songs include "I Wonder Why," "A Teenager in Love," "The Wanderer," and "Runaround Sue." This interview first aired Oct. 17, 2000.
Producer, composer and arranger Thom Bell was one of the prime originators of the Sound of Philadelphia, creating hits with the Delfonics such as "La La La Means I Love You" and "Didn't I Blow Your Mind." Bell was born in Jamaica and moved to Philadelphia at age 5. He planned to become a classical conductor, but in his early 20s, he was signed by Cameo Records to create a Philadelphia version of Motown.
The New York Times calls Stephen Sondheim the "greatest and perhaps best-known artists in American musical theater." Sondheim composed the music and lyrics for, among others, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and Company. In 2010 he joined Fresh Air to discuss his career in musical theater.
HBO's new TV special is part biography, part music-appreciation lesson and part performance piece. Critic David Bianculli says it's a superbly compiled work, overseen by two of the people most intimately familiar with the composer himself.
Carter lived one of the most fulfilled lives any artist could wish for. What's sad about his death Monday at 103 isn't just that a whole era in music has come to an end, but that Carter was still composing, and on the highest level.