Sloan and Barri were the songwriters behind "Eve of Destruction" and wrote hits for Herman's Hermits, The Mamas and the Papas and The Turtles. Critic Ed Ward examines their career and their many successful songs.
Jerry Bock, the composer of the score for shows like Fiddler on the Roof, Fiorello! and She Loves Me, died Nov. 3. He was 81. Fresh Air remembers the composer with highlights from a 2004 interview conducted with Bock and his writing partner, lyricist Sheldon Harnick.
Dutch composer, saxophonist, bass clarinetist and bandleader Willem Breuker died in Amsterdam last Friday. He was 65. Breuer led his own big band while also composing music for films, theater and classical ensembles. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead looks back at Breuker, who he says helped shape and define modern Dutch music.
The pop-dance-electronic group's founder tells Terry Gross why he stopped complaining about other bands and decided to start making his own music instead. LCD Soundsystem's latest album is called This Is Happening.
He's been at the forefront of contemporary music and conducting for more than half a century. Marking his 85th birthday this spring, a number of new Boulez CDs and DVDs have been released. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz reviews three of the latest.
Lehrer, whose topical songs include "Pollution" and "The Vatican Rag," is the subject of a new multimedia release called The Tom Lehrer Collection. David Bianculli reviews the two-disc set, which includes Lehrer's greatest hits and never-before-seen concert footage.
The New York Times calls Stephen Sondheim the "greatest and perhaps best-known artist in American musical theater." Sondheim composed the music and lyrics for, among others, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and Company. He joins Fresh Air to discuss his career in musical theater.
2010 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of composer Robert Schumann. One of the most interesting Schumann commemorative items is the DVD Twin Spirits, a British music-theater piece about the intense relationship between Schumann and his wife Clara, performed by Trudie Styler and Sting.
Composer, conductor and pianist Lukas Foss led several orchestras in his career, and took the Brooklyn Philharmonic from a community orchestra to a vital part of New York City's music scene. Foss died Feb. 1. He was 86.
Singer-composer Nick Cave composed the soundtrack for last year's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; he also wrote the screenplay and the soundtrack for The Proposition. Now, Cave has released a new CD with his band the Bad Seeds: Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
Musicians Stew and Heidi Rodewald speak with Fresh Air TV critic David Bianculli. They're the founders of a band they call The Negro Problem. Their new Broadway musical, Passing Strange, is an autobiographical look at Stew's journey through music.
Trumpeter, composer, and arranger Gerald Wilson turned 88 years old Monday. He grew up in Mississippi, and got his start playing with Jimmy Lunceford's band in New York City. He later worked with Benny Carter's band and formed his own. As a composer-arranger, he worked for the Count Basie and Dizzy Gillespie bands. And he accompanied Billie Holiday on her tour of the South in 1949. He's arranged music for Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughan, Bobby Darin, and Carmen McRae. His most recent CD was released last year, In My Time.
Dave Alvin is best known for his work in the Blasters and X, as well as his solo career. His new CD West of the West is a tribute to California songwriters, and features Alvin performing songs by Jerry Garcia, Tom Waits, Brian Wilson, Merle Haggard and others.
Leonard Cohen's poetry career began 50 years ago with the 1956 publication of Let Us Compare Mythologies. His new volume of poetry is called Book of Longing. Cohen, known better as the deep-voiced writer of songs that straddle the folk-rock fence, is also working on an upcoming album to be released later this year.
Lead singer and songwriter for The Kinks, Ray Davies started The Kinks in 1964 with his brother, Dave. They are said to be the pioneers of the rowdy garage band genre of rock music. Davies is now 61 and on tour for his first solo album, Other PeopleÂs Lives.
For his latest release, producer and troubadour Joe Henry worked with giants in soul music, from Allen Toussaint to Mavis Staples. It was quite a departure for Henry, whose songs include "Richard Pryor Addresses a Tearful Nation."
French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez. He turns 80 years old next month. In celebration of his birthday next month, the record label Deutsche Grammophon is issuing five new recordings of Boulez's work. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz has a review.
We feature an excerpt from the radio program Leonard Bernstein: An American Life. The 11-part documentary series is about the life and work of the preeminent American composer/conductor. It's produced by Steve Rowland, narrated by Susan Sarandon, and distributed by WFMT - Chicago.
He died July 21 at the age of 75. Since the 1950s he had composed scores for film and TV. He won an Academy Award in 1976 for his music for The Omen. His film scores include: Star Trek: The Motion Picture, The Sand Pebbles, Chinatown, and A Patch of Blue. His TV credits include The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Dr. Kildare, The Waltons, and Barnaby Jones. The CD collection of his music is The Film Music of Jerry Goldsmith (Rebroadcast from Jan. 7, 2002.)