Music

World Cafe
11:34 am
Wed December 25, 2013

Nick Lowe On World Cafe

Nick Lowe.
Courtesy of the artist

Our guest for a special Christmas Day episode of World Cafe, Nick Lowe, has been making records since the 1970s. With beginnings as a rocker, Lowe has since developed a new following for his sly, country-tinged records. His new Christmas album, Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family, fits squarely into that category. In addition to performing a live set, the English musician discusses how he gets into the Christmas spirit.

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Books
7:53 am
Wed December 25, 2013

Writing 'Rudolph': The Original Red-Nosed Manuscript

In 1939, Montgomery Ward in Chicago asked one of its admen to write a story for the department store's own children's book.
Rauner Special Collections Library Dartmouth College

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 11:20 am

Everybody knows Rudolph was the last reindeer to join Santa's crew, but few people know about the department store copywriter who brought his story to the world.

The year was 1939, the Great Depression was waning and a manager at Montgomery Ward in Chicago decided that the store should create its own children's book for the annual holiday promotion.

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Music Interviews
2:03 am
Wed December 25, 2013

Harold Bradley: The Guitarist Of Nashville Past

Guitarist Harold Bradley attends the Special Merit Awards and Nominee Reception on Jan. 30, 2010, in Los Angeles.
Rick Diamond WireImage

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 7:04 pm

Some of Nashville's most classic songs — Roy Orbison's "Only the Lonely," Loretta Lynn's "Coal Miner's Daughter," Tammy Wynette's "Stand by Your Man" and

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The Record
4:57 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

A Rational Conversation: Darren Davis Of Clear Channel On New Christmas Songs

Our alternate headline: Why Nobody Will Ever Top Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You."
YouTube

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World Cafe
4:37 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Latin Roots: Christmas Music With A Cuban Twist

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The late Celia Cruz's version of "Jingle Bells" is featured on Tuesday's Latin Roots playlist.
Courtesy of the artist

The first of a two-part Latin Roots Christmas series begins Tuesday with Judy Cantor-Navas of Billboard magazine. In conversation with host David Dye, the Latin-music expert discusses the distinction between Cuban Christmas music made before and after the Revolution.


Latin Roots on World Cafe is made possible by a grant from The Wyncote Foundation.

World Cafe
4:16 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Portland Cello Project: 'Winter' Songs On World Cafe

The Portland Cello Project.
Tarina Westlund Courtesy of the artist

For a special Christmas Eve episode of World Cafe, we welcome the Portland Cello Project to the WXPN studios for a festive live performance. This session takes place right after the collective's annual Holiday Sweater Spectacular, which has come to be a significant seasonal event in the band's hometown.

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A Blog Supreme
3:31 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

A History Of Phone Calls With Yusef Lateef

John Rogers for NPR johnrogersnyc.com

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 4:22 pm

The multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef, famed in the jazz world for embracing tranquil spiritualism and non-Western sonorities in his own music, died Monday at his home near Amherst, Mass. The death was confirmed by several members of his family.

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Music Reviews
3:22 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Luscious Jackson Hits A Sweet Spot With New Children's Album

Luscious Jackson released a children's album, Baby DJ, last month.
Doug Seymour Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 8:02 pm

After going on hiatus in 2000, the members of Luscious Jackson settled down. Bassist Jill Cunniff was the first to have kids, and those children ultimately inspired her and the band to record some kid-friendly tracks.

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Music
2:06 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Musician Oliver Mtukudzi Digs Deep In 'Sarawoga'

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 10:30 am

At 60, Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi now has more albums to his name than birthdays. His latest, Sarawoga, is an emotional response to the death of his son. Mtukudzi joins guest host Celeste Headlee in studio for a special performance chat.

Music
2:06 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

At 60, Oliver Mtukudzi Still 'Giving Life To The People' With Music

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 10:30 am

Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi often says that you don't get to sing a song if you have nothing to say. He talks with guest host Celeste Headlee, and shares a few tunes.

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