pop music

    Everybody knows and loves the American Songbook. But it’s a bit less widely understood that in about 1950, this stream of great songs more or less dried up. All of a sudden, what came over the radio wasn’t Gershwin, Porter, and Berlin, but “Come on-a My House” and “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?” Elvis and rock and roll arrived a few years later, and at that point the game was truly up.

What happened, and why?

In The B Side: The Death of Tin Pan Alley and the Rebirth of the Great American Song, acclaimed cultural historian Ben Yagoda answers those questions in a fascinating piece of detective work.

  Will Hermes is a music critic for NPR’s All Things Considered, a Contributing Editor for Rolling Stone, and author of Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever.

We’re lucky to have Will - a Hudson Valley resident - to share his music expertise with us at year’s end.

  Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion have been busy and away from home for most of the last year, touring in support of their album, Wassaic Way - which was produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and Patrick Sansone. Nearly a decade after the folk-rock duo put out their first album together, the husband-and-wife pair feel like they’ve finally hit their stride.

Sarah Lee and Johnny will play at The Guthrie Center in Great Barrington, MA this Friday night at 8 o’clock.

  "Best of" lists start popping up in November. To ensure that we're sharing the best of the entire year, we've saved our music list for the very last morning of the year.

Will Hermes is a Senior Critic for Rolling Stone, a contributor to NPR's All Things Considered, and the author of Loves Goes To Buildings on Fire.

LeAnn Mueller

Few, if any, people have more influence of the sound of popular music today as Ryan Tedder, a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. And as the frontman for OneRepublic, Tedder has helmed the genre-bending, Colorado-based band for more than a decade, enjoying platinum sales and a 2009 Grammy nomination as the band rose from MySpace to MTV and beyond.

Born in Boston and raised in North Carolina, Livingston Taylor is the fourth child in the very musical family that includes Alex, James, Kate and Hugh.

From Top 40 hits “I Will Be in Love with You” and “I’ll Come Running,” to “I Can Dream of You” and “Boatman,” both recorded by his brother James, Taylor’s creative output has continued unabated, creating well-crafted, introspective and original songs that have earned him listeners worldwide.

Taylor’s musical knowledge has inspired a varied repertoire, and he is equally at home with a range of musical genres – folk, pop, gospel, jazz – and from upbeat storytelling to touching ballads. He will be performing Friday night at the College of Saint Rose in Albany on Friday night.

WAMC's Ian Pickus speaks with songwriter and producer Kenny Young (“Under the Boardwalk”), who heads a climate change effort called Artists Project Earth whose latest album, Rhythms Del Mundo: Africa, is now out. The project gets local artists to reinterpret American pop songs.

John Taylor from Duran Duran joins us to talk about his new memoir, In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death, and Duran Duran.