Ronstadt recently revealed that she has Parkinson's disease and can no longer sing. Her memoir, Simple Dreams, reflects on a long career. In this conversation with Fresh Air's Terry Gross, she offers frank insights on sex, drugs, and why "competition was for horse races."
This interview was originally broadcast on Sept. 17, 2013.
Ed Ward takes a look at Philadelphia's long and complex history of black pop music. Specifically, he looks at small labels like Arctic, where several famous artists got their start -- and which has just released a set of CDs covering all 60 of its single releases.
Hip-hop music grew from the streets of Harlem and the Bronx into a multi-billion-dollar industry. Dan Charnas chronicles how hip-hop producers and entrepreneurs changed the music industry and pop culture in The Big Payback.
A new Johnny Cash album, American Recordings VI: Ain't No Grave was released this week to coincide with what would have been Cash's 78th birthday. We remember the singer, songwriter and guitarist, who wrote more than 1,500 songs — and performed from the 1950s until just before his death in 2003.
While most record companies of the 1940s and 1950s made money in one genre, Cincinnati-based King Records spread the love to R & B, rockabilly, bluegrass, western swing and country. Jon Hartley Fox tells the story in his new book King of the Queen City.
Entrepreneur Seymour Stein got his start in the music industry as a teenager, when he worked with Syd Nathan at King Records in Cincinnati. Stein went on to co-found Sire Records, where he signed such artists as The Ramones, Talking Heads, The Pretenders, Madonna, Depeche Mode and The Smiths.
With his band the MGs, Booker T. Jones created the classic instrumental "Green Onions." But they were also the studio band for Stax Records, making music with soul artists such as Otis Redding, Ray Charles and Wilson Pickett. His new album, with the Drive-By Truckers as his backup band, is called Potato Hole.