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music friday


Blues singer and composer, Taj Mahal
Keith Chaffee, May 17, 2019

Taj Mahal was born on May 17, 1942. Mahal is a blues singer and composer whose music incorporates elements of jazz and world music.

Playful graphic of header Musical Hoaxes and Pranks
Keith Chaffee, April 05, 2019

On Monday, our "Week to Remember" post took a look at famous literary pranks and hoaxes. Today, we continue the theme with a look at bands, composers, and musicians who weren't exactly what they claimed to be.

Musician and songwriter George Benson
Keith Chaffee, March 22, 2019

George Benson was born on March 22, 1943. Benson is a guitarist and songwriter; he's best known as a jazz musician, but in the late 1970s and 1980s, he also had considerable success on the pop and R&B charts.

Heavy metal singer and songwriter, Dee Snider
Keith Chaffee, March 15, 2019

Dee Snider was born on March 15, 1955. Snider was the front man for 80s metal band Twisted Sister, and one of the best singers of the pop-metal era.

All aboard the Disco train in 1979
Keith Chaffee, March 08, 2019

The Sony Walkman went on sale for the first time in 1979. Kurt Russell played Elvis in a TV movie.

Singer, actor, and activist Harry Belafonte
Keith Chaffee, March 01, 2019

Harry Belafonte was born on March 1, 1927. Belafonte is a singer, actor, and activist who helped to popularize calypso music in the 1950s.

Photos of African-American composers of classical music
Keith Chaffee, February 15, 2019

February is African-American History Month, so this week, we look at the work of several African-American composers of classical music.

Singers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson
Keith Chaffee, February 01, 2019

In the early morning of February 3, 1959, singers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. The tragedy would later become known as "the day the music died."

Film composer John Williams
Keith Chaffee, February 08, 2019

John Williams was born on February 8, 1932. Williams is a composer whose movie themes are instantly recognizable. In his sixty-year career, Williams has received 3 Emmys, 24 Grammys, and 5 Academy Awards. He's been nominated for the Academy Award 51 times, second only to Walt Disney.

Polish composer Witold Lutosławski
Keith Chaffee, January 25, 2019

Witold Lutosławski was born on January 25, 1913. Lutosławski was a Polish composer who strove for artistic integrity throughout his career, despite the restrictions imposed by the Polish and Soviet governments.