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American Popular Song Series: Hoagy Carmichael

We continue our rebroadcast of our series on American Popular Song with a tribute to composer Hoagy Carmichael. Carmichael wrote "Star Dust," "Heart and Soul," "The Nearness of You," "Skylark" and many more. We feature performances by singer Rebecca Kilgore and pianist Dave Frishberg. We'll also talk with Richard Sudhalter, who has written a forthcoming biography of Carmichael. And we talk with Carmichael's son, Hoagy Bix Carmichael who now manages his father's music catalogue.


American Popular Song Series Rebroadcast—Dorothy Fields

This Christmas week we rebroadcast our series on American popular song, and begin with the late lyricist Dorothy Fields. Born in 1905, she was the only woman in the pre-rock era to sustain major critical and popular acclaim as a songwriter. First, singer Becky Kilgore and pianist Dave Frishberg perform music by Dorothy Fields. Biographer Deborah Grace Winer talks about Fields life and music. Winer is author of On the Sunny Side of the Street: The Life and Lyrics of Dorothy Fields. Philip Furia talks specifically about the lyrics Dorothy Fields wrote.


Paul van Zyl

Program Director for the International Center for Transitional Justice, Paul van Zyl. As such he helps emerging democracies to reckon with the human rights abuses in their past. Van Zyl is from South Africa and was the executive secretary of South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The center is now working with the U.N. to design a justice policy for post-Taliban Afghanistan. The International Center for Transitional Justice is located in New York City.


Singer and songwriter Loudon Wainwright III

Singer and songwriter Loudon Wainwright III. He has a new CD, Last Man on Earth and a new role on the hit FOX TV series, Undeclared. He plays a dysfunctional father on the show. Loudon Wainwright III grew up in the town of Bedford in wealthy Westchester County north of New York City. He became a folk singer/songwriter in the late '60s, singing humorous and autobiographical songs. In 1972, on his Album III he scored the top-40 hit "Dead Skunk." Many of his songs have been featured on NPR Morning Edition.


Dan Zanes

Former lead singer of the indie-rock band the Del Fuegos, Dan Zanes. When he became a father he realized he couldn't stomach music for kids, so started writing his own. He also formed the Rocket Ship Revue, a touring band that performs dance-party shows for kids. His first CD Dan Zanes and Friends Rocket Ship Beach received a Parents Choice Award and the kids liked it too. It also featured Suzanne Vega and Sheryl Crow. Zanes' new CD is Family Dance.


Nick Lowe

Nick Lowe brings his guitar to the studio for music and conversation. The British singer-songwriter and producer has had a long and varied career. In the late sixties, he played bass and sang for the pop band Kippington Lodge. In the seventies, he produced albums for Graham Parker and the Rumour, The Damned, Dave Edmunds and Elvis Costello. Lowe co-founded Stiff Records, one of the premier labels for punk rock. Then, his own solo career took off with the release of the single "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass." He has continued to both produce and sing.


Lawyer and humanitarian aid worker John Sifton

Lawyer and humanitarian aid worker John Sifton. He was working in Pakistan and Afghanistan earlier this year. He returns to Pakistan soon. His story about what he observed as a humanitarian worker in Afghanistan is featured in this Sundays (Sept 30th) issue of the New York Times Sunday Magazine.


Dominic Chianese

Actor Dominic Chianese plays Uncle Junior on the hit HBO series The Sopranos. He been nominated for an Emmy. He had roles in TV shows such as Kojak, Law and Order, and films including Dog Day Afternoon, and The Godfather Part II. At the age of 70, he is now launching a singing career. His new album is called Hits (Madacy Entertainment Group). He brings his guitar to the studio.


Blues Singer Otis Taylor

Otis Taylor brings his banjo to the studio for a concert and conversation. We'll hear tracks from his new CD, White African. Taylor plays guitar and ukelele in addition to banjo. His music is often described as minimalist, and his lyrics are often stories of race and racism. He's been compared to John Lee Hooker.


Rufus Wainwright: 'Poses'

It's not not surprising that Rufus Wainwright would become a musician and singer. He is the son of singer-songwriters Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle (of the McGarrigle sisters). He has just released his second album, Poses.


Singer songwriter Ron Sexsmith

He brings his guitar to the studio. His new album is Blue Boy. Elvis Costello has been a big supporter of Sexsmith, praising his songwriting abilities and bring him on tour as an opening act. Sexsmith has recorded three other albums. He hails from Toronto, Canada.


Dion in Concert.

Singer Songwriter Dion. He’s just released a new record of doo-wop tunes “Deja Nu” (Collectables 2000). In the late 1950s, Dion and his band the Belmonts topped the chart with several pop hits, earning him the status of “teen idol”. Dion split amicably with the band in 1960 and continued to write Top 10 hits until the British Invasion changed the pop preference. Now, in his 50s, he continues to produce, write and sing new material. He lives in Boca Raton, Florida.


Preview of Tribute to Will Marion Cook.

Our guest pianist tomorrow will be Dick Hyman. One of our guest singers will be Vernel Bagneris who has explored this period in his own musical revues. To give you a preview, we asked him to sing a sing that he's performed on stage, which was originated by Bert Williams. It's called "Somebody Lied."


Singer, Writer, and Cult Figure Alex Chilton.

Singer/guitarist Alex Chilton has been playing music for decades. As a teenager he was a member of the Memphis Band Box Tops. He was 16 years old when they recorded their hit, the R&B song “The Letter.” Later with the band “Big Star” he became a underground hero. After dropping out of sight to kick an alcohol addiction, Chilton returned to performing. By then many younger bands, REM and The Bangles, considered him a legend. Chilton’s new release (as a part of a trio) “Set” (bar-none) was recorded on the spur of the moment, and without overdubbing.


Jazz Mandolinist Don Stiernberg Brings His Instrument to the Studio.

Jazz mandolinist Don Stiernberg (STEERN-berg). Stiernberg is a 20 year veteran of music and studied under the jazz mandolinist Jethro Berns. His new jazz mandolin album is called “About Time” and is the debut album on a new label. (Blue Night Records, P.O. Box 4951, Skokie, IL 60076-4951, e-mail: HYPERLINK "" Also available thru


Marshall Crenshaw Plays Songs from "No. 447."

Singer/Songwriter Marshall Crenshaw. He will talk about and sing songs from his new CD, “No. 447.” Crenshaw has been writing, recording and performing his songs for some 20 years. “No. 447” is his 10 th album. Singer/Songwriter Marshall Crenshaw. He will talk about and sing songs from his new CD, “No. 447.” Crenshaw has been writing, recording and performing his songs for some 20 years. “No. 447” is his 10 th album.


Songs of the Century with the Continental Drifters.

From the band the Continental Drifters: singer/songwriters Vicki Peterson (formerly of the Bangles), Peter Holsapple (of the dBs) and his wife Susan Cowsill (formerly of the Cowsills). They've just released their second album, "Vermillion" (Razor and Tie label). They performed earlier this month in New York at a concert called "The Songs of the Century." They play and talk about some of their picks for the greatest songs.

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