Category Archives: music

Two by Randy Travis

I’ve now finished watching to Ken Burns’s fabulous eight-part television series (sixteen hours), “Country Music”.  Don’t miss it! There are a lot of wonderful songs, and one thing I realized about country music, which hadn’t hit me before, is that the tenor of country songs is far more personal than in, say, rock or pop […]

Paul McCartney on how he wrote some of his hits

As usual, YouTube is a black hole, for when I watch one video, a bunch of other ones “recommended for you” pop up on the right side. And how well they know me! Yesterday this 27-minute video of Paul McCartney appeared, and I had no choice but to click on it. It’s a fascinating soliloquy […]

“Here You Come Again”

If you’re not watching Ken Burns’s PBS series, “Country Music,” you’re making a mistake: almost every reader who’s seen it, including those (like me) who aren’t huge fans of country, have found it mesmerizing.  And you can see all the episodes free online. When I was exercising this afternoon, and listening to my iPod Nano […]

Ken Burns’s new documentary, “Country Music”

Even if you’re not a fan of country music (I like some of it but not a lot of it), you will want to watch Ken Burns’s latest documentary, “Country Music” (the website is here). This was done in collaboration with two producers, Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey. There are eight two-hour episodes, making it […]

“The Weight”: A multicultural rendition

Reader Michael called my attention to this Playing for Change video which is not only a fantastic rendition of a famous song—a song that turns 51 this year (not 50, as the video notes state below)—but also shows how music can bring people together, at least for one song. I wish we could somehow leverage […]

Why great rock—and its performers—are doomed

I’m gonna gripe about modern rock music again and contrast it with the music produced between the early Sixties and mid-Seventies, which I consider the apotheosis of rock—just as I see the apotheosis of jazz lasting from the mid-Thirties to the early Sixties, ending with Coltrane. Since their apogees, both genres have gone downhill. And […]

Never Had a Dream Come True

Even if you’re a Stevie Wonder fan, like me, you might not know this song, for it wasn’t a big hit when released in 1970. Written by Wonder along with Motown staff writers Henry Crosby and Sylvia Moy, “Never Had a Dream Come True” just wasn’t that popular—not even rising above #26 on the Billboard […]

Photos of readers

Well, here’s a new feature: photos of readers as they go about their everyday lives. If you want to be part of it—and this will hopefully be ongoing—just send me a photo of yourself doing something interesting, even if it’s just you at work, petting your cats (you do have one, don’t you?), or just […]

“What a Fool Believes”

I’m tired, the ducks are squabbling, and I now hear that the local pair of Canada geese are breeding on top of the Chemistry building and, when the goslings hatch, they’ll all be moved to the pond by the Fish & Wildlife people. We don’t need no stinkin’ geese. Life is stressful. Here’s some music […]

God Only Knows

About a year ago I put up a post listing what I saw as the four best songs by the Beach Boys, though some readers responded that they couldn’t stand the group. While I agree that many of their songs are forgettable, I still maintain that they made some very great rock music, and that […]