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Denise Sullivan


  • Coal Miner's Daughter

    Loretta Lynn was sitting around rehearsing one day when the words "Well, I was born a coal miner’s daughter" came to her. "And I went on from there. I made up the melody at the same time, line by line, like I always do," she said. Lynn had written strong verses for herself but never […]

    • Music
  • Tutti-Frutti

    “I wrote ‘Tutti Frutti’ in the kitchen,” said Little Richard of the bus station in his native Macon, Georgia,where he worked as a dishwasher. One day, the dishes piled up so high he thought he’d never get out of there alive for all the pots and pans; that’s when frustration rubbed up against gospel inspiration […]

    • Music
  • Icky Thump

    What's an "icky thump"? was the most-asked question upon the earliest airing of the title and lead-off track of from the duo's sixth album. "It's actually 'ecky thump,'" explained Jack White to Rolling Stone, "a Northern English phrase meaning, 'What the heck?'" that he learned from his British-born then-wife, Karen Elson. As a song, it's […]

    • Music
  • Ain't It a Shame

    Fats Domino and his producer/collaborator Dave Bartholomew pioneered the big beat of rock with "Ain't That a Shame." Domino's original single bore the title "Ain't It a Shame," and it's alleged that Pat Boone tried to retitle the song 'Isn't It a Shame' when he cut his whitewashed cover version. (Personally, Domino was partial to […]

    • Music
  • The Words That Maketh Murder

    PJ Harvey long intended to write an album about world affairs that you could also sing along to, which came to fruition in 2011 with Let England Shake. She made a conscious effort to avoid standard protest-song form on the album and on lead single "The Words That Maketh Murder," explaining "The words are very […]

    • Music
  • Keep On Pushing

    Inspirational to both Bob Marley, who heard it in Jamaica, and Bob Dylan, who included the album from which it sprang on the cover of his own Bringing It All Back Home, Curtis Mayfield drew his own inspiration for his civil-rights-era soul song from church music. "All I needed to do was change 'God gave […]

    • Music
  • Ghetto Superstar (That Is What You Are)

    Pras' post-Fugees debut rode largely on the strength of its title cut, also included on the soundtrack to Warren Beatty's political satire Bulworth. Bolstered by a the addition of Ol' Dirty Bastard (who reportedly gate-crashed the session), the melody of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's "Islands in the Stream" with vocals by Mya and a […]

    • Music
  • O-o-h Child

    A family act from Chicago’s South Side who were signed to Curtis Mayfield’s Windy C label, the Burkes started as four brothers and a sister ranging in age from 13 through 17 and helped inspire the formation of another Midwestern family group — the Jackson 5. Soaring on inspirational tones and the promise of a […]

    • Music
  • Shankar's World Captured on Film

    As if the release of a lavish autobiography, four-disc box set, catalog reissues and the George Harrison-produced Chants weren't enough to keep tireless sitar master Ravi Shankar busy in the last few years, this month, on the occasion of his eighty-second birthday, he sees yet another medium documenting his life's work as a teacher and […]

    • TV & Movies
  • Nick Drake Comes to Life in Film

    Folk hero the subject of a new documentary

    • TV & Movies