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Preview: Music from Minnesota Public Radio

Music from Minnesota Public Radio

Minnesota Public Radio coverage of music

Last Build Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2018 14:19:06 -0600

Copyright: Copyright 2018 Minnesota Public Radio

'Candle in the Wind' topped charts 20 years ago

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 08:58:06 -0600

The original version of the song, which came out in the 1970s, was about Marilyn Monroe. Bernie Taupin rewrote the lyrics as a tribute to Princess Diana shortly after her death.(image)

Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan dead at 46

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 11:57:01 -0600

O'Riordan died in London, where she was recording, publicist Lindsey Holmes said. The cause of death wasn't immediately available.(image)

Lisa Lisa turns 51 years old

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 09:25:24 -0600

Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam turn 51 years old Monday. In 1987, they came out with their Billboard-topping hit "Lost in Emotion."(image)

Tune-Yards to debut new album at MicroShow

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 08:36:20 -0600

Tune-Yards has a new album called "I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life," which will be released next week.(image)

The first single from a blockbuster soundtrack

Thu, 11 Jan 2018 08:23:18 -0600

"How Deep is Your Love" by the Bee Gees was No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart 40 years ago.(image)

A cautionary tale about funeral planning

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 08:58:09 -0600

A song on Christine Lavin's latest album is about what happens when you don't let loved ones know what kind of funeral you want.(image)

Justin Timberlake releases single ahead of Super Bowl

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 08:45:12 -0600

Justin Timberlake has released a single called "Filthy" from his forthcoming album "Man of the Woods."(image)

Is 'The Star-Spangled Banner' racist?

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 08:57:32 -0600

In his inaugural address this week, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter suggested that one of the unfamiliar verses reveals that our national anthem is racist.(image)

When the Monkees became artists

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 09:49:55 -0600

"Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones" by the Monkees was No. 1 on the Billboard album chart 50 years ago.(image)

Singing about 'Minneap'lis, Minnesota'

Tue, 02 Jan 2018 10:27:01 -0600

In honor of Jacob Frey being sworn in as the new mayor of Minneapolis today, listen to an obscure song called "Minneap'lis, Minnesota" by Rufus Lumley.(image)

The Monkees' last No. 1 hit

Thu, 28 Dec 2017 08:27:53 -0600

"Daydream Believer" by the Monkees was No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart 50 years ago. It was the group's third and final chart topper.(image)

Mortimer's introduces live music

Wed, 27 Dec 2017 08:46:40 -0600

Mortimer's, which has a bit of a reputation as a dive bar, is looking to reinvent itself.(image)

Singer files sex assault complaint against former Trump aide

Wed, 27 Dec 2017 06:25:13 -0600

A singer and potential congressional candidate says she has filed a sexual assault complaint against Corey Lewandowski, President Trump's former campaign manager, for hitting her twice on her buttocks during a Washington gathering in November.(image)

Magical Mystery Tour film was a rare Beatles dud

Tue, 26 Dec 2017 10:40:46 -0600

"The Magical Mystery Tour" debuted on BBC television 50 years ago Tuesday.(image)

Swiss maestro accused of sexual misconduct at MN Orchestra, elsewhere

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 12:05:35 -0600

Three opera singers and a classical musician say that world-renowned conductor Charles Dutoit sexually assaulted them.(image)

When a Chinese conservatory turned to McNally Smith to teach hip-hop

Tue, 19 Dec 2017 10:40:35 -0600

McNally Smith had a unique partnership with a Chinese music conservatory that wanted to educate its students about hip-hop.(image)

When Sam Cooke went from gospel to secular music

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 08:56:03 -0600

Cooke's family name did not have an "e" on the end, but he added the extra letter in 1957 to signify a new start to his life. That's when he made the switch from gospel to secular music.(image)

Sister Rosetta Tharpe's Hall of Fame legacy

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:16:18 -0600

Sister Rosetta Tharpe will be entering the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year with the Award for Early Influence. Elvis Presley was a big fan of the way she played the guitar.(image)

A Hanukkah favorite, the latke

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:05:43 -0600

At 7 p.m. on Classical MPR you can hear a program celebrating the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights, which began Tuesday night.(image)

The marriage that derailed a career

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 10:23:27 -0600

Sixty years ago, Jerry Lee Lewis married Myra Gayle Brown in a private ceremony in rural Mississippi. He was 22 and it was his third marriage. She was 13 and it was her first.(image)

Celebrating the first night of Hanukkah

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:00:00 -0600

Tuesday marks the first night of Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish "festival of lights." For the occasion, MPR News Presents hosts two specials.(image)

Jim James celebrates crooner Al Bowlly

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 10:06:04 -0600

Al Bowlly has been called Britain's first pop star and is credited with inventing the singing style known as crooning.(image)

Otis Redding's last recording topped the charts

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 10:12:12 -0600

Otis Redding began writing "(Sittin' on the) Dock of the Bay" while he was living in a rented houseboat near the Golden Gate Bridge. While relaxing after a grueling tour, he was inspired by seeing the ships going in and out of San Francisco Bay.(image)

Smokey Robinson's new album celebrates the season

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 08:26:25 -0600

Smokey Robinson's first-ever solo holiday album "Christmas Everyday" came out last month. It features a fresh take on "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."(image)

The year's most popular tweets: Obama, Harvey donations -- and chicken nuggets

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 06:03:18 -0600

2017 was a busy year for Twitter, with records broken for most retweets and likes. Former President Barack Obama had several of the year's most popular tweets.(image)

Little Richard's hometown celebrates his birthday

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 11:08:03 -0600

The singer turns 85 Tuesday.(image)

Met suspends famed conductor accused of molesting teenager for years in the '80s

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 06:01:08 -0600

A man alleges that when he was 15, legendary conductor James Levine, then 41, began sexually abusing him. The Metropolitan Opera was reportedly aware of the allegations last year.(image)

Remembering Jim Nabors and his beautiful voice

Fri, 01 Dec 2017 09:55:09 -0600

Jim Nabors died Thursday at the age of 87. His beautiful baritone singing voice made him a popular attraction in Las Vegas, but he's best known for a character he played on television.(image)

Post-Weinstein, Lauer, Keillor: A reckoning for fans of fallen heroes

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 06:23:51 -0600

Accusers of politicians, actors, comedians, singers, producers, directors, other media powerhouses and assorted business moguls have taken the power and fans of the disgraced have largely stood with the wronged. But for some, giving up heroes isn't easy.(image)

Who is singing 'Incense and Peppermints'?

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 09:41:55 -0600

While recording "Incense and Peppermints," the Strawberry Alarm Clock band members didn't like their sound, so they asked 16-year-old Greg Munford to sing it, and that's the version they released.(image)

Jay-Z leads Grammy noms with 8 as rap, R&B take center stage

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:03:34 -0600

Jay-Z is the leader of the 2018 Grammy Award nominations in a year where the top four categories are heavily dominated by rap and R&B artists, giving the often overlooked genres a strong chance of winning big.(image)

When Tommy James covers dominated the charts

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 08:57:22 -0600

"Mony Mony" by Billy Idol was number one on the Billboard pop chart 30 years ago today. It was the second straight cover of a song first recorded by Tommy James and Shondells to top the charts. The previous week Tiffany had a number one hit with the Tommy James song "I Think We're Alone Now." Ritchie Cordell had a hand in writing both of them. He says the title for this one was inspired while he was in Manhattan and saw the Mutual of New York building. It was adorned with the company's initials: M-O-N-Y.(image)

Remembering David Cassidy

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 00:45:59 -0600

David Cassidy died Tuesday at the age of 67.(image)

A classics professor explains 'Why Bob Dylan Matters'

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 09:40:44 -0600

Harvard professor Richard F. Thomas teaches a popular class on the importance of Bob Dylan, and now he's turned it into a book, full of stories, personal history and the occasional comparison to Ovid.(image)

Wisconsin couple debuts album inspired by daughter's recovery from coma

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 05:00:00 -0600

Brittany Shermach's parents were inspired to compose an album about their experience based off the journal her mother kept in the hospital.(image)

Tiffany's 'I Think We're Alone Now' topped charts 30 years ago

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0600

She recorded the song, which had been a hit for Tommy James and the Shondells, when she was 15 years old.(image)

For this Tiny Tim, Christmas present is a Guthrie debut

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 14:00:00 -0600

Ten-year-old Sophie Jones joins the cast of "A Christmas Carol" in an iconic role.(image)

Black Violin performs at the Ordway

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:03:39 -0600

The duo is composed of violinist Kevin Sylvester and violist Wilner Baptiste. They met in a Fort Lauderdale high school and now combine hip-hop and classical influences into a distinct sound that's been called "classical boom."(image)

Brother Ali to perform at First Avenue

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 09:03:50 -0600

Brother Ali performs Thursday night at First Avenue in Minneapolis. His latest album is "All the Beauty in this Whole Life."(image)

Wilco plays sold-out shows in St. Paul

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 09:03:41 -0600

Thursday night's performance will be broadcast live on The Current.(image)

'Tunnel of Love' topped charts 30 years ago

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 09:04:10 -0600

It was created at a time when Springsteen was married to one woman and falling in love with another.(image)

Country music's new artist of the year comes to the Twin Cities

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 10:14:17 -0600

Jon Pardi will be performing Friday at the Myth Nightclub in Maplewood.(image)

Kamasi Washington to perform at First Avenue

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 09:25:43 -0600

It's an unusual venue for a jazz artist, but Washington has attracted a lot of mainstream hip-hop fans through his collaborations with artists like Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg.(image)

Joni Mitchell turns 74 years old

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 09:08:54 -0600

It's Joni Mitchell's birthday Tuesday. A new biography by David Yaffe came out earlier this year, "Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell."(image)

Kid Cudi to perform in Maplewood

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 09:00:03 -0600

Kid Cudi will be performing Monday night at the Myth nightclub in Maplewood.(image)

Turning the Who's Tommy into a bluegrass opry

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 11:37:05 -0500

Have you ever wondered how the songs from the Who's rock opera "Tommy" would sound if they were performed by a bluegrass band?(image)

An underappreciated part of Bob Dylan's career

Thu, 02 Nov 2017 08:57:53 -0500

Volume 13 covers Dylan's born-again Christian period from 1979 to 1981.(image)

The song Michael Jackson wanted to sing with Prince

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 08:57:00 -0500

"Bad" by Michael Jackson was number one on the Billboard pop chart 30 years ago today. It's the title track from the follow up to his enormously successful "Thriller" album.(image)

Bringing musical generations together

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 08:57:05 -0500

83-year-old Grammy Award winning singer Bobby Rush is one of the performers who will be at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis Tuesday night.(image)

3 Prince heirs ask judge to remove estate administrator

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 16:12:20 -0500

Three heirs of Prince are asking a judge to remove the company that is managing his estate.(image)

New podcast tells the story of Husker Du

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 08:57:46 -0500

The Current has a new podcast that tells the story of influential Twin Cities hardcore band Husker Du.(image)

Lizzo slows down her Little Red Corvette

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 10:42:25 -0500

This week Lizzo released her fresh take Prince's "Little Red Corvette."(image)

Happy birthday Bootsy!

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 08:56:28 -0500

He got his first break in 1970 when he was hired to play bass in James Brown's band. He went on to become a major figure in funk music as a member of Funkadelic and Parliament.(image)

What if Mavis Staples had married Bob Dylan?

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 09:50:41 -0500

This is the first time they've toured together but Staples and Dylan have known each other for a long time, and even dated for a while in the 1960s.(image)

Photographer's new book offers 'glimpse into the human side of Prince'

Tue, 24 Oct 2017 05:58:48 -0500

Afshin Shahidi was Prince's personal photographer from 2001 to 2011. "Prince: A Private View" is a collection of photographs and recollections from Shahidi.(image)

Andrea Swensson tells the story of the 'Minneapolis Sound' in first book

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 10:52:37 -0500

In her first book, The Local Show host Andrea Swensson tells the under-reported story of the Twin Cities funk, soul, and R&B music scene of the 1960s and 70s.(image)

How Bob Dylan's songs evolved over time

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 08:59:14 -0500

Bob Dylan and Mavis Staples will be playing at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Wednesday.(image)

A tragic anniversary for Lynyrd Skynyrd fans

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 09:22:42 -0500

Forty years ago, shortly after their "Street Survivors" album came out, three members of Lynyrd Skynyrd were killed and six others were severely injured in a plane crash.(image)

'Wake Up Little Susie' topped charts 60 years ago

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 09:06:47 -0500

It tells the story of a teenage couple on a date at the movies who fall asleep and don't wake up until 4 a.m., way past their curfew. Don Everly reported that the song had been banned in Boston when it first came out because it was considered sexually suggestive.(image)

Violent Femmes to play First Avenue

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 08:55:57 -0500

The Violent Femmes are playing a sold-out show Wednesday night at First Avenue in Minneapolis.(image)

Timberwolves tip off the season Wednesday night

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 08:44:16 -0500

The Minnesota Timberwolves begin a new season Wednesday night when they take on the Spurs in San Antonio.(image)

Whitesnake's 'Here I Go Again' topped charts 30 years ago

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 09:34:36 -0500

While it's often thought of as a song about facing your challenges head-on, Whitesnake leader David Coverdale actually wrote it to describe his feelings at the end of his first marriage.(image)

Robert Plant releases 11th album

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 09:23:32 -0500

Plant describes the album as "a little wild, a little bit crazy in concept."(image)

Aspen Ideas Festival: The creative genius of Leonardo da Vinci

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Best-selling biographer Walter Isaacson has written a new book about a man who he says takes the cake as the "world's most creative genius": Leonardo da Vinci. He says "we can't be Newton. We can't be Einstein. But we can try to be more like Leonardo."(image)

Paul Weller looks forward

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 09:53:55 -0500

The musician is performing Friday night at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis.(image)

With Brass Lassie, Laura MacKenzie brings muscle to her music

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 08:25:49 -0500

Adding a horn section to traditional arrangements fulfills a dream MacKenzie has had for decades.(image)

APM Reports: 'Historically Black' series

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0500

Selections from the APM Reports/Washington Post podcast series, "Historically Black."(image)

Prince tapes moved to California; 2 heirs angry

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 06:05:16 -0500

Prince's half-sisters say they are prepared to take legal action to bring the music back to Minnesota. The company running the estate, Comerica Bank & Trust, said the recordings are safe at a reputable storage company in Los Angeles.(image)

'Soul of a Woman' to be released next month

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 09:01:15 -0500

Sharon Jones, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, died last November.(image)

Chick Corea to perform at Dakota Jazz Club

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 08:59:15 -0500

The 22-time Grammy Award winner will be joined on this tour by drummer Steve Gadd, one of most highly-regarded session drummers around.(image)

King of Latin Pop comes to town

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 08:57:53 -0500

When he launched his career, Enrique Iglesias didn't want his father or his famous surname to advance his career. So at first he called himself Enrique Martinez and claimed he was an unknown singer from Guatemala.(image)

Replacements' 1986 concert gets the live album treatment

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 09:08:20 -0500

The Replacements' concert at Maxwell's in Hoboken, N.J., in 1986 has been made into a two-CD set that comes out Friday.(image)

Twins aim to feel welcome in New York

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 10:07:31 -0500

We will find out tonight how welcome the Twins feel in New York.(image)

Tom Petty, down-to-earth rock superstar, dies at 66

Tue, 03 Oct 2017 05:52:02 -0500

The rock superstar died Monday night at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles a day after he suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu, Calif., a spokesperson said.(image)

Should Jerry Lee Lewis be in the Country Music Hall of Fame?

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 10:03:54 -0500

Jerry Lee Lewis turns 82-years-old today. The "Killer" was in the first group inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but he spent much of his career performing country music.(image)

David Crosby rips Congress in new song

Thu, 28 Sep 2017 09:55:29 -0500

He told NPR, "We have the worst Congress we've ever had. They are bought, paid for, and they behave abysmally."(image)

When Michael Jackson had trouble finding a duet partner

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 09:00:58 -0500

Jackson initially asked Barbra Streisand and Whitney Houston to sing "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" with him but they declined.(image)

The inspiration for Buddy Holly's 'That'll Be the Day'

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 09:25:43 -0500

In 1956 Buddy Holly and his drummer Jerry Allison went to see a movie in their hometown of Lubbock, Texas. They saw "The Searchers" starring John Wayne.(image)

Rochester works to cultivate music scene in buttoned-up culture

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 04:00:00 -0500

Despite Rochester's reputation as something of a cultural backwater, the entrepreneurs are finding a strong music scene to spotlight.(image)

Los Lobos took 'La Bamba' to the top of the charts

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 08:57:00 -0500

It's the title track from a 1987 bio pic about Ritchie Valens, who died in a plane crash along with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper.(image)

Target flips on the background music. Will shoppers turn up the volume?

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 04:00:00 -0500

For years, the Minneapolis-based retail giant kept overhead background music out of most of its stores. But that's changing as it moves ahead with a massive store remodeling project and tries to revive flagging sales.(image)

90th anniversary of Royal Artillery Band at the Minnesota State Fair

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 09:02:51 -0500

John Phillip Sousa debuted the piece in front of 12,000 spectators.(image)

Lil Yachty plays Thursday night at the Myth

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 09:03:48 -0500

Since he started concentrating on music, Lil Yachty has collaborated with artists like Kayne West, Chance the Rapper and Macklemore. He describes his musical style as "bubblegum rap."(image)

Mixed Precipitation brings opera, and food, to the garden

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 04:00:00 -0500

The group makes a tasting menu part of the story, and brings bones for the dogs who may be part of the audience.(image)

Prince gets his own purple

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 17:40:18 -0500

Handlers for the estate of Prince have struck their newest deal.(image)

Irv Williams plays Dakota Jazz Club for 98th birthday

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 09:14:18 -0500

Williams grew up in Arkansas and Ohio, but moved to the Twin Cities after World War II. He taught in the St. Paul Public Schools for many years.(image)

Alex Williams' first album debuts Friday

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 08:59:21 -0500

Williams, 26 says his father was an '80s hair band fan. It was his grandfather who introduced him to the outlaw country music that became his musical inspiration.(image)

Glen Campbell's doctor reflects on singer's contribution to Alzheimer's awareness

Wed, 09 Aug 2017 08:29:28 -0500

The singer was diagnoses with the disease in late 2010.(image)

Pat Benatar to play at Minnesota Zoo

Tue, 08 Aug 2017 08:57:52 -0500

Benatar and Neil Giraldo will perform what she calls the "Holy 14" songs that her fans expect to hear at every concert.(image)

Sylvan Esso records with a full band

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 11:16:38 -0500

Sylvan Esso will play the second of two sold out shows Monday night at First Avenue in Minneapolis.(image)

Manilow's 'Looks Like We Made It' topped charts 40 years ago

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 08:55:11 -0500

The song was used in a TV ad during the 2012 Super Bowl. That was the year that some people believed the Mayans predicted the world would end.(image)

An orchestra fantasy comes true

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 04:00:00 -0500

For "accomplished amateurs," the chance to play with the Minnesota Orchestra is a treat, as well as a challenge.(image)

Spotify is accused of creating fake artists -- but what is a fake artist?

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 06:40:02 -0500

The streaming service has been at the center of a controversy regarding songs made by artists who don't appear to exist anywhere else on the web. If a song exists, can it be fake?(image)

Chance The Rapper: Tiny Desk concert

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 12:41:03 -0500

Chance The Rapper, fresh from a 23,000-strong, sold-out show the night before, brought a thoughtful and fresh take to his Tiny Desk concert.(image)

Jaedyn James takes on Basilica Block Party this weekend

Wed, 05 Jul 2017 06:32:05 -0500

James and her band The Hunger are making the most of their chance to play on a big stage.(image)

'Thunder thighs': The summer anthem that celebrates every woman

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 06:13:05 -0500

The song and its irrepressible video are the handiwork of Brooklyn multimedia artist Miss Eaves, who says she wanted to show women of all body types, races, sexualities and ages.(image)

Remembering soul singer Sonny Knight

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 11:51:47 -0500

Sonny Knight passed away on June 17 at the age of 69 after being diagnosed with lung cancer. His family moved to St. Paul when Knight was seven. He recorded his first single "Tears on My Pillow" as a teenager in the 1960s.(image)

U2 adds Minnesota date to 'Joshua Tree' tour

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 08:47:27 -0500

The band will play at U.S. Bank stadium Sept. 8. U2 is commemorating the 30th anniversary of its landmark album.(image)

Using music and rhythm to help kids with grammar and language

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 08:42:11 -0500

Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center are studying how music and rhythm activities could help children who struggle with grammar and language development.(image)

Chastity Brown gave her new album the time it needed

Tue, 30 May 2017 04:00:00 -0500

Much of "Silhouette of Sirens" was recorded three years ago, but it didn't feel right. Now it does.(image)