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Playlist: Music Station Picks for July

Compiled By: Benjamin Cook

 Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/29852529@N04/3098765950/">Johanne</a>
Image by: Johanne 
Curated Playlist
Hippies to harmonica: July picks for music stations.

Back To The Garden: Woodstock Remembered (2 x 59:00 or 2 x 54:00)

From Paul Ingles | 01:57:40

Hippies are people too. They're also successful musicians, business innovators, visionaries, and persistent forces for the message of rock 'n' roll.

Those are just a few of the lessons from Woodstock, the three day rock 'n' roll and arts and crafts festival celebrating its 40th anniversary (August 1969). With "Back to the Garden: Woodstock Remembered," producer Paul Ingles offers your listeners a loving, musical and rock solid journalistic report and remembrance of the festival, and the myriad of operational, technical, political challenges that put every moment in question and jeopardy.

That story parallels the festival's memorable, to say the least, musical performances — and the music still sounds good. It is, at times, dated — most times wonderfully dated, but almost always timeless. Not so well-known performers (Melanie and Crosby, Stills and Nash) broke out at Woodstock, while the more well known (Hendrix, the Who and others) showed their greatest capabilities to take us even higher.

"Back to the Garden: Woodstock Remembered," is likely to generate more than just nostalgia to those who remember 1969. Listeners who lived through those three days might find themselves saying without shame, "They just don't write songs like that anymore." And for your listeners who came well after Woodstock, you might just hear them say, "those really were the good 'ol days."

Many of the interview segments for the program were conducted by Joel Makower, author of "Woodstock: The Oral History." This is more exceptional work and craft from Paul Ingles, who we can clearly toast as one of PRX's and public radio's premiere rock historians and storytellers.

Woodstock_poster_small Woodstock organizers, musicians and audience members recall the 1969 music festival that rocked the world in more ways than one.  Music and memories from the historic event include interviews with with Woodstock organizers Michael Lang, Joel Rosenman, and the late John Roberts, artists Richie Havens, Roger Daltrey and Joe Cocker, and audience members Ron Petras, Vivian Goodman and Danny Diamond.  Music performances from many of the artists are featured: Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joe Cocker, CSNY, The Who, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez and many more.

Hours can be run consecutively or on successive nights or weekends with appropriate tagging and promotion.

Produced by Paul Ingles in association with Joel Makower, author of Woodstock: The Oral History from SUNY Press (available July 9, 2009).

10 Greats You've Probably Never Heard

From KUT | 55:16

The best I can say about "Best-Of" programs is they can be fun and momentarily interesting, but too often, they provide mindless and meaningless fodder for unending discussions that settle into a not too interesting web of nothing gained and nothing lost.

But it is possible for "Best-Ofs" to transcend that web and look forward. That's the case of "10 Greats You've Probably Never Heard," where your listeners get an opportunity to discover substantial "new music" from the past.

Host David Johnson and his "Texas Music Matters" (KUT) colleagues collaborate with author Tom Moon to play and discuss the merits of ten songs and pieces (classical music is included) that have never made the cut of any Top Ten or Top 100 Best-of List.

Tom Moon, you may know as one of several NPR Music Critics and the recent author of the daunting "1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die." By narrowing the list to just ten, and especially focusing on ten works we're not likely to know, Johnson and Moon make the show's concept more manageable and an easy joy to hear and process.

Musical tastes and preferences aside, the choices are credible. It's clear, with the first three composers and their music (Baby Huey, Vic Chestnut, Leos Janacek) that the discussion and music are worth your listener's time and your station's air time.

This entertaining, thoughtful and interesting hour of music and discussion is suitable to almost any time on your schedule, for fun on the 4th or during your regular documentary or program specials slot. Suitable for most formats, but a stretch for classical.

1000recs_small Moon is the author of a must-have music-lover's tome: 1,000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die.  The book highlights some obvious choices like the Beatles and Marvin Gaye, but on this hour-long special, Moon and host David Brown cherrypick ten overlooked musical obscurities, touching on classical, deep funk, rock, folk, jazz, and everything in between.  A production of the award-winning music journalism team Texas Music Matters at KUT 90.5 Austin.

Gems 928 What is American about Bluegrass

From Philip Nusbaum | Part of the Gems of Bluegrass series | 07:24

What is American Bluegrass? You may be surprised by the answer to the question. In his ongoing series, "Gems of Bluegrass," producer/host Phil Nusbaum shows us the playlist is short on celebratory, patriotic songs, and long on the other form of patriotism. That is, the protest song, from taxes to questionable politics from questionable politicians.

Phil Nusbaum has all of the radio goods for craft, writing and hosting, and this is an interesting, attention-grabbing program.

"Gems of Bluegrass: What is American Bluegrass?" is well suited for your July 4th programming. It's for bluegrass fans, but it's also for fans of storytelling that public radio does best.

(At the conclusion of this feature, there's a 28-second underwriting announcement that may or may not fall within your station's underwriting guidelines.)

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Gems of Bluegrass are 5 - 8 minutes drop-in modules that look at bluegrass / old time history, aesthetics and culture. Each Gem consists of multiple song clips with commentary over music beds. For an insightful weekly 1-hour bluegrass show that includes Gems of Bluegrass, see the Bluegrass Review, available from PRX. Contact Phil Nusbaum at pnusbaum@bitstram.net to download the show from www.bluegrassreview.com.


How to Sing the Star-Spangled Banner

From Jackson Braider | 01:32

Nice drop-in for July 4th featuring an insider's tip for those who struggle to sing one of the most difficult songs of all time.

Not earth-shattering, but timely and universally relatable - at least here in the U.S. And you may save your listeners from losing a lung.

Good for your July 4th ME or ATC cutaways, and as an insert during a local music shift or news-magazine slot. Good for your July 3rd programming as well.

Default-piece-image-0 The Star-Spangled Banner is a difficult song to sing. Set to a tune created by bunch of drunken English louts, our national anthem is filled with sordid little singing tricks that would challenge the most sober of souls. Fortunately, Jenny Hersch, folk bassist and once a part owner of a Pittsfield baseball team, saw through the Royalist plot and has come up with this foolproof guide for how to sing The Star-Spangled Banner right and in tune every time.

Howard Levy: Reinventing the Harmonica

From David Schulman | Part of the Musicians in their own words series | 07:22

My last driveway moment happened when I listened to this piece (or a similar version) while driving home to All Things Considered. Coincidentally, the opening segment of "Howard Levy: Reinventing the Harmonica" takes place in a car. In 7:22, harmonica virtuoso, and just plain super musician, Howard Levy lightens the load of harmonica misconceptions and updates any possible harmonica "underestimation."

This is another memorable and entertaining moment from the series "Musicians in their Own Words" and producer-mixmaster David Schulman.

Levy's harmonica rocks, sings, flies, sighs, and wails in many different languages including Cuban and classical. Highly recommended for a local AAA, Americana or eclectic music shift and for your arts magazine program.

Funnypic_small Howard Levy's house in Evanston, Illinois is filled with musical instruments. Ocarinas. Percussion. And, especially, HARMONICAS. When he was a teenager, Levy took a dimestore harmonica and figured out how to play a full chromatic scale. His harmonica virtuosity has since landed him gigs with everyone from Tito Puente to Garrison Keillor to Bela Fleck. Independent producer David Schulman went to Evanston to talk with Levy for his series "Musicians in their own words." Levy offered to drive David to his house. But the interview didn't go as planned. Once they got into Levy's car, he turned the key ... and picked up a harmonica ...

Savannah Music Festival LIVE Presents: Mike Marshall, Darol Anger and Väsen

From Savannah Music Festival LIVE | Part of the Savannah Music Festival LIVE - Season Two series | 58:58

700-year-old Swedish music traditions merge and fuse with Appalachian fiddle music, and in the end, music categories and nationalistic idioms mostly disappear. A wonderfully rich and misty hour of music emerges on this program from the Savannah Music Festival LIVE Series.

Traditional Swedish music exponents, Vasen, share the stage with two gifted American poets of melody and masters of improvisation: mandolin player Mike Marshall and Turtle Island Quartet violin star Darol Anger.

Consider this hour a wonderful way to get Marshall and Anger, and their remarkable chops, on your station in a slightly different sonic light. Vasen provides the wonderful mist, Anger the endless melodies, and Marshall the warm but driving inertia. Of interest and appeal, I think, for AAA, news/music stations and stations who specialize in presenting pleasing, but adventurous weekend sound tracks and sonic adventures.

Vasen_small Original air date: Week of June 15, 2009
The country of Sweden has a folk music tradition that goes back at least 700 years. Importantly, this tradition still serves as the impetus for songs being created today. One of the most original Swedish groups to emerge in the late 20th century is a trio known as Väsen, whose creative output has shown that Swedish traditional music is still alive and well in our time. During this episode, we listen to Väsen as they combine forces with two of American music's finest improvisational players, Mike Marshall and Darol Anger, in a performance the group gave at the 2009 Savannah Music Festival. Each of the five players brings his own personality to the table and the sum of the parts is one that takes instrumental music in new, innovative directions.