rock and roll

    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.

  Allen Klein was like no one the music industry had seen before. The hard-nosed business manager became infamous for allegedly catalyzing the Beatles’ breakup and robbing the Rolling Stones, but the truth is both more complex and more fascinating. As the manager of the Stones and then the Beatles—not to mention Sam Cooke, Donovan, the Kinks, and numerous other performers—he taught young soon-to-be legends how to be businessmen as well as rock stars. In so doing, Klein made millions for his clients and changed music forever.

Through unique, unprecedented access to Klein’s archives, veteran music journalist Fred Goodman tells the full story of how the Beatles broke up, how the Stones achieved the greatest commercial success in rock history, and how the music business became what it is today.

  Huey Lewis and the News - the San Francisco based pop-rock band known for a slew of radio hits over the last three and a half decades will perform at matinee concert in the Koussevitzky Music Shed at Tanglewood this Sunday at 2:30.

The Solid Sound Festival will take place at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA this coming Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The family-friendly music and art festival is curated by the rock-band Wilco and each day this week on The Roundtable we are speaking with one of the featured artists.

Today, we welcome Terry Adams from NRBQ. The band will play in Courtyard D on Saturday afternoon. NRBQ was founded in 1967. They are known for its live performances, containing a high degree of spontaneity and levity, and blending rock, pop, jazz, blues and Tin Pan Alley styles. With a varied career and many think outside-the-box projects, NRBQ has made music and had fun doing it for almost 50 years.

  Signature Sounds' first CD came out in 1995 and the lable has seen over 150 releases since then, moving into show promoting, opening a venue in Northampton, MA, overseeing frequent collaborations between its artists, and taking over the long-running music and hot air ballooning gathering of the Green River Festival.

Earlier this Spring they released “Signature Sounds 20th Anniversary Collection: Rarities from The Second Decade” - an album of previously unreleased songs from Signature Sounds artists - a mix-tape lovingly prepared for you by the label. Jim Olsen is the President of Signature Sounds and he joins us to talk about the label's history and future.

Gene Simmons

Mar 31, 2015

  Known as rock's ultimate showman, Gene Simmons founded the hard rock supergroup KISS in the early 1970s. Since then, KISS has sold more than 100 million albums and performed more than two thousand shows around the world, and is still touring today.

Simmons has also sold roughly one billion dollars’ worth of merchandise, including his bestselling books, KISS and Make-Up and Me, Inc. Now, Christina Vitagliano pays homage to rock’s living legend in the new book: Gene Simmons Is a Powerful and Attractive Man: And Other Irrefutable Facts. Based on a phrase Gene himself uses, this book is fully authorized by Gene, who also contributed the foreword and is even going on radio shows to promote it.


  The veteran Scottish alternative rock-band, Simple Minds, has returned with Big Music, their first album of new material in five years - three and a half decades since their first landmark album, 1980's Empires and Dance. The Glasgow quintet with front-man Jim Kerr and guitarist Charlie Burchill as their creative core, are rekindling the energy and attitude that made them one of the great bands of that era.

The band scored a string of hit singles and are best known for their 1985 hit "Don't You Forget About Me" from the soundtrack of the John Hughes film, The Breakfast Club; their other hits include "Alive and Kicking," and "Belfast Child."

James Hendershot

    Train first has success in 1998 with their hit song “Meet Virginia.” Their other hits include “Drops of Jupiter” and “Calling All Angels.” They have a new album coming out in September and are performing at Tanglewood in Lenox, MA tonight.

Lead guitarist Jimmy Stafford joins us.

Glen Rose

Formerly a member of the alt-country-rock band, Drive-By Truckers, Jason Isbell’s solo career is flourishing in the wake of Southeastern - a record he released last year which is nominated for Best Song, Best Album, and Artist of the year for 2014 from the Americana Music Association’s Honors & Awards. Rock critic Ken Tucker named Southeastern his #1 Album of 2013. It also made NPR and Amazon’s Best of 2013 lists and was American Songwriter’s #1 album.

Jason Isbell is performing tonight at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA at 8pm.

Here we speak with him about how he writes songs, working with producer Dave Cobb, and sobriety on the road.

  Scott McCaughey, Steve Wynn and Linda Pitmon from The Baseball Project join us live at The Linda on their way to a gig at Club Helsinki tonight.