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music


  • Woody Guthrie's Communism and "This Land Is Your Land"

    by Aaron J. Leonard

    The author of a new book on the FBI's surveillance of folk musicians argues that Woody Guthrie did join the Communist Party, though he was at odds with leadership over discipline. The affiliation is reflected in the lyrics of his most famous song. 



  • How Jimi Hendrix’s London Years Changed Music

    A new book, at the 50th anniversary of the guitar master's death, takes Jimi Hendrix's leap from chitlin circuit sideman to London sensation as a turning point for rock music. 



  • Black Sabbath's Paranoid at 50: Potent Anthems of Working-Class Strife

    Music critics dismissed Black Sabbath's sludgy sound and alienated lyrics, but fans ensured that the band's second album would become one of the most influential rock records of all time. The songs' channeling of working-class pain and frustration, not their fascination with the occult, explain why.



  • Stanley Crouch, Towering Jazz Critic, Dead at 74

    Crouch's criticism pulled no punches, and tackled big questions about the relationship between race and art in American music. He became an influential and controversial figure in the popular history of jazz as a consultant to Ken Burns's documentary.

  • Reggae Legend Toots Hibbert Dies At 77

    Toots Hibbert, the co-founder and lead singer of Toots and the Maytals, was one of the most distinctive and important voices of reggae and one of its founding fathers.


  • Making History with Music

    by Jason Burt

    PFC Richard Burt played the trumpet in a military band tasked with raising morale in the fight to retake the Philippines before a career as a music teacher. His grandson, a history teacher, wants to make him and his bandmates posthumous recording stars.