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The Sound Made Flesh

15 hours ago

Aretha Franklin's Gospel Music Connection

15 hours ago

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And today we're remembering another wonder woman - Aretha Franklin.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AMAZING GRACE")

ARETHA FRANKLIN: (Singing) Amazing grace...

Aretha's Bridge

Aug 18, 2018

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Yo-Yo Ma opened his recent Tiny Desk concert with the gently rolling "Prelude" from J. S. Bach's Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1. It's music Ma has lived with nearly all of his life.

"Believe it or not, this was the very first piece of music I started on the cello when I was four years old," he told the crowd, tightly squeezed between the office furniture on NPR's fourth floor.

Today, we're featuring a mini-concert from an artist you might first know as an actor. Lera Lynn's turn on the second season of True Detective introduced her to a lot of America, including myself. But those in the know have recognized her voice, style and songwriting ability, shown on albums like Resistor or The Avenues.

Stefon Harris On Piano Jazz

Aug 17, 2018

Vibraphonist Stefon Harris is one of the most innovative and impressive artists in jazz, blazing new trails on vibraphone and marimba. While much of his music is on the cutting edge, he has a strong sense of tradition and his technical facility knows no bounds.

On this 2002 Piano Jazz, Harris shows off his fresh, clear sound on a number of duets with McPartland, including "Whisper Not," "Blue Monk," and "Bemsha Swing." McPartland solos on her own "Twilight World."

Aretha Franklin is dead and we still, 50 years after she made her artistic and commercial breakthrough, can scarcely comprehend the still-shocking power of her singing.

Janet Jackson knows exactly what she's doing. After finishing a summer of festival stops, the musical trendsetter has teamed up with Daddy Yankee for a new single to remind us all to take advantage of every last drop of summer fun imaginable.

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with NPR Music's Ann Powers and Lauren Onkey about the life and legacy of the Queen of Soul. Aretha Franklin passed away on Thursday at the age of 76. In this career-spanning conversation, we share the songs and stories behind one of the most influential artists of all time, from her earliest days singing gospel in her father's church, through her 1980s pop hits, later collaborations with artists like Lauryn Hill and much more.

The world is mourning the loss of Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul died August 16 at the age of 76 from pancreatic cancer. Though her influence was felt throughout music, a critical part of her legacy lies in gospel, where she got her start.

"I would stand like an ant in an arena crowd just to witness his magnetism," Mitski once wrote about Harry Styles, likening him to the popular boy at school, too distant and beautiful to pine after. In a review of Styles' self-titled album, she explored the process of projection, in which you elevate an object of adoration until their ideal supersedes the person.

Why did Laurence Olivier return so often to Shakespeare's Othello? Why did Ansel Adams keep photographing the Grand Canyon? Obsessed or awestruck, artists revisit great inspirations because they believe there is yet another story to tell – about life, about themselves.

New Music Friday returns from a two-week break with some of 2018's most anticipated releases, including Death Cab For Cutie's Thank You For Today, Mitski's Be The Cowboy, Ariana Grande's Sweetener and more. All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers, Lars Gotrich and Stephen Thompson to talk about these and other essential albums being released on Aug. 17.

Featured On This Episode:

  1. Death Cab For Cutie: Thank You For Today
    Featured Song: "Gold Rush"

Aretha Franklin was so Detroit. Bring her pocketbook onstage at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center and swing her fur coat behind her as she sits at the baby grand, Detroit. Pay Aretha in cash, Detroit. Stash that cash in her bra, Detroit. Unapologetic and black, Detroit. Lived in and represented Detroit till the day she died, Detroit.

It is overwhelming and profound to imagine just how many molecules and how many mountains Aretha Franklin has moved with her music. From the deeply personal, private moments of listening she has summoned in every individual listener, to the church choirs who have sung her arrangements, to the collectives that have raised their voices to the gospel of her songs, and stretching all the way up to the divine.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Today we are honoring and remembering this voice.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I NEVER LOVED A MAN (THE WAY I LOVE YOU)")

ARETHA FRANKLIN: (Singing) I tell you; I ain't never, I ain't never, no, no, loved a man the way that I love you.

Cattle raids, battles, betrayals and family loyalties are all commemorated in the ballads of the borderlands between Scotland and England, sometimes referred to as "the debatable lands." Join host Fiona Ritchie to explore this rich seam of music and song.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

I'm sure you've had this experience at some point: You hear the voice of an artist who was important to you at a particular time and all of a sudden, the sound of it sends you tumbling back through your own memory right to where you were – that college dorm room, those bleachers on that football field, that cross country road trip with your first love — the first time you heard that voice.

Curtis McMurtry On Mountain Stage

Aug 16, 2018

"The last time we were here, I told the audience I only play sad songs and mean songs," Curtis McMurtry noted while making his second appearance on Mountain Stage. "It's been three years since we were here and I'm happy to report that since that time, I've added melancholy, vindictive, and bleak to my emotional songwriting palate."

Just the mention of Aretha Franklin's name conjures up the memory of her undeniable voice. And with a career spanning more than five decades, touching gospel, R&B and pop, Franklin has earned her place in the history books and in the hearts of music fans.

Though the Detroit-raised powerhouse is known for chart-topping hits like "Respect," "Think" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," true fans know there's just as much beauty in the Franklin songs with a couple of fewer spins in the jukebox.

Though her career carried her from the Baptist churches of Detroit to a life of platinum plaques and diamond-drizzled furs, Aretha Franklin's voice never lost its flavor. Her ability to rouse emotion is a talent few other artists have ever been able to touch. And her piano-playing prowess, which she developed in church, was unmatched. It's the reason she earned the title of Queen of Soul in the 1960s.

Aretha Franklin: The 'Fresh Air' Interview

Aug 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin was more than a woman, more than a diva and more than an entertainer. Aretha Franklin was an American institution. Aretha Franklin died Thursday in her home city of Detroit after battling pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type. Her death was confirmed by her publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn. She was 76.

Image and fame are among pop music's chief obsessions. Artists have often chosen to take on these themes in surreal and stylized ways, even veering into performance art territory.

Just when we think we've atoned for our mistakes or healed from old wounds, the past always finds a way to resurface. Domenic Palermo knows this as much as anyone. As the guitarist, singer and songwriter of the Philadelphia rock band Nothing, Palermo has channeled a lifetime of tragedies into song, to the point where his backstory and his music are so enmeshed he can never quite escape.

Dee White's back story almost sounds like too good of a journalistic hook to be true. It goes like this: A teenager unassumingly cultivates sophisticated country music sensibilities in an unincorporated Alabama hamlet until his dad introduces him to a fellow Alabamian,who turns out to be none other than Harold Shedd, a producer and record executive whose work with the archetypal arena-rocking country band Alabama launched one of Nashville's most enviable streaks of success.

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