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.
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.
Richard Adler, who co-wrote the musicals The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees with his partner, Jerry Ross, died Thursday at his home in Southampton, N.Y. He was 90. Fresh Air remembers the composer and lyricist with excerpts from a 1990 interview.
This interview was originally broadcast on Aug. 9, 1990.
Rhapsody in Blue, a 1945 film version of the life of George Gershwin, is out for the first time on DVD. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says it's a fascinating mixture of real facts, pure invention and memorable musical moments.
Stew's new album Making It is, in part, about his relationship with his ex-girlfriend and songwriting partner, Heidi Rodewald. The two musicians, who continue to work together professionally, also collaborated on the 2008 Tony-winning musical Passing Strange.
Songwriter Hugh Martin co-wrote the Christmas tune that Judy Garland made famous in the 1944 classic Meet Me in St. Louis. Martin, who recently released a memoir, explains how he came up with his famous lyrics.
Singer Margaret Whiting, who collaborated with lyricist Johnny Mercer and performed classic standards like "Moonlight in Vermont," died Monday. Fresh Air remembers Whiting with highlights from a 1988 interview, where she explained how Mercer taught her to read a lyric.
Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz recently attended the 2010 Musikfest Berlin's two-week long tribute to 85-year-old French conductor and composer Pierre Boulez. Schwartz says the musical tribute was "sonically ravishing, with endlessly inventive combinations of sound and texture."
Twenty-one songs Springsteen recorded for his 1978 album Darkness on the Edge of Town are now being released for the first time. Springsteen spoke to actor Ed Norton at the Toronto Film Festival about the making of Darkness.