When it comes to musical dynasties, it's tough to top the Bach family. From town fiddlers to court composers, the Bachs dominated German music for seven generations. Today, Johann Sebastian towers above all his relatives, but there's another important Bach we shouldn't forget — especially today, on the 300th anniversary of his birth.
Just a few years ago, Detroit Symphony Orchestra was in bad shape. An auditor predicted they'd be shuttered in months.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: His famous line was we had no business being in business.
SIMON: Tomorrow on WEEKEND EDITION, how after a financial crisis, a bitter contract dispute, and a musicians' strike, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra still plays on. This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 11:46 am
Benmont Tench, who plays those perfect piano lines and organ fills as a member of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers, has just released a solo album. It's called You Should Be So Lucky and contains 10 originals that Tench has been saving up, sometimes for years and sometimes just for a few weeks, before finally recording them with Don Was.
Jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton has headlined national venues, from Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl, and has earned five Grammy nominations. With her latest project, After Blue, Sutton takes on the genius of singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.
Mary Lou Williams was the guest on the the very first Piano Jazz session ever, recorded in 1978 with Williams and bassist Ronnie Boykins. Host Marian McPartland is initially nervous interviewing her longtime friend and idol, and the cagey Williams still stands as a tough nut to crack.
The Vieuxtemps Guarneri is a violin that is older than the United States of America — 273 years old, to be exact. It recently became the most expensive violin in the world, selling for an estimated $16 million. Its new owner anonymously donated the historic instrument to violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, on loan for the rest of her life.
The band Drive-By Truckers are in their third decade playing alternative country music tinged with Southern pride. Critic Robert Christgau says they put out a great album in 2008 then hit a lull. But he says their latest album, out this week, is a true comeback.