I was thankful to witness this collective courage of a country to take a bold step from its past experiences. It filled me with a sense of hope that Africa's march to democracy has entered a new phase.
I first read about Johnson and his orchestral compositions in a liner note to a Gershwin recording. When I tracked down the author, Robert Kimball, he told me the fascinating story of James P.'s life and career.
You have to drive upstate to hear your favorite country tunes that are slightly less mainstream, and most of those stations get fuzzy fairly quickly. Until now. That's right -- country radio is back in New York City!
It seems like a no-brainer to include diverse stars and songs that cross cultures and generations in ads. With the shifts we are seeing in our country, using diverse talent is more important than ever.
Where's the new music for grownups? Until now, we have been relegated to oldies concerts with perpetual re-releases of the same songs we already know -- not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just that it's not enough.
I think Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark was almost as surprised as I was by the mob of people who showed up for their first U.S. concert in 23 years. But there the audience was, faithful fans who weren't just there to hear "If You Leave."
Nellie McKay's fourth album, Normal As Blueberry Pie, is a warm and quietly marvelous tribute to Doris Day. It hits the sweet spot in combining her talent and sensibility (future-retro?) in one focused project.