Blues

There are as many ways to celebrate summer as there are cover versions of George Gershwin's "Summertime." Maybe you're looking forward to hot fun in the summertime or slathering on sunscreen so you can soak up the sun.

Even if you've never heard of Memphis' Royal Studios, you probably know some of the records made there. Royal was the home studio of Hi Records and producer Willie Mitchell in the '70s; it's the birthplace of countless Al Green hits, including "Tired Of Being Alone" and "Let's Stay Together," as well as records by Ann Peebles, Syl Johnson and others.

As the old adage goes, "you never get a second chance to make a first impression." Fifty years ago — May 12, 1967 — the Jimi Hendrix Experience made about as tremendous a first impression as it gets. The band's first full-length record, Are You Experienced?, is widely considered one of the greatest debuts in rock and roll. It introduced audiences to pyrotechnic psychedelia, amps that were at once incendiary and melodic and an artist that would define the dreams of nearly anyone who picked up a guitar for years to come.

Ruthie Foster On Mountain Stage

Apr 6, 2017

Grammy-nominated blues musician Ruthie Foster returns to Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.Va. Born into a family of gospel musicians in the small town of Gause, Texas, Foster began her music career singing in the choir and studying audio engineering in college before taking center stage and traveling the nation with the U.S. Navy Band.

NPR's Scott Simon spoke to James Cotton in 2013. Hear an encore of their conversation at the audio link.

Bobby Rush is one of the last living blues legends of his generation. He toured the South and the chitlin' circuit in the '50s and was often forced to perform music behind a curtain for white audiences. Shortly before the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Rush heard through fellow Chicago bluesman J.B.

'Tis right around Christmas and wherever you go
It's "Run Rudolph Run," "Jingle Bells," "Let It Snow"

And while classics are great, and you love them no doubt
You may feel a little bit jingle belled out

But don't fret, for musical Santa is here!
With a playlist that brings you hip holiday cheer!

Hey Rosetta! delights with a sweet, heartfelt jam
Plus Sufjan Stevens with some holiday Ham...mond

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