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Pop

A Man for Four Seasons

The numbers in this single sentence in Wikipedia’s entry about Francesco Stephen Castelluccio — Frankie Valli — are a good illustration of...

Rock

“Shut Down”

The Beach Boys‘ Shut Down, in honor of what is happening in D.C. Also check out the Flogging Molly’s Don’t Shut ‘Em Down.

Jazz

Happy Birthday, Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt would have been 86 years old today. Above, she sings I Want to Be Evil, in a video that has one odd camera angle after another. Here is more on the...

News and Commentary

The CD is 30

The CD turns 30 years old today. The Next Web notes that on Oct. 1, 1982, Billy Joel’s album 52nd Street – which initially was released in four years earlier –...

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.