Like a lot of parents, Yibin Li’s dad dedicated himself to making sure his daughter stayed on a path that would lead her to a better life than his. But the obstacles her dad had to surmount to achieve this are unlike those any parent anywhere has faced.
The musicians in the orchestra for Phantom of the Opera tell reporter Jay Caspian Kang about what it’s like to play the exact same music every single night—for decades—and how they’ve learned to make their peace with it. (22 minutes)
Producer Neil Drumming talks with the rapper Breeze Brewin about a toy car they both loved playing with as kids: The General Lee from the hit TV show The Dukes of Hazzard. Breeze went on to record a song called “Generally” about The General Lee with his group the Juggaknots.
A group called Improv Everywhere decides that an unknown band, Ghosts of Pasha, playing their first ever tour in New York, ought to think they're a smash hit. So they study the band's music and then crowd the performance, pretending to be hard-core fans.
Musician David Berkeley has gotten a lot of requests in his life, but none quite like the offer his agent got last year. A fan wanted Berkeley to come to his house and help save his relationship by serenading the troubled couple with a personal concert.
Host Ira Glass, with a recording of a 1962 Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr., appearance at the Villa Venice, a club outside Chicago. What's fascinating about Sinatra is how he is so many different people at once, and they're all on display in this recording: sentimental crooner, cruel woman-baiter, bully, goofball.
Before Sinatra died, Sarah Vowell appeared on this radio program and made a prediction about how network news would cover Sinatra's death ... and she made a simple plea. We hear whether her prediction came true.
Ira and music contributor John Conners on Sinatra's worst songs. And a brief history of what makes that 1950s Sinatra sound so great, with Will Friedwald, author of the definitive book on Sinatra's music, Sinatra! The Song Is You: A Singer's Art.
An odd occurrence at 124 East Fourth Street in Manhattan's East Village. For the last five weeks, a singer named Nick Drakides has stood on the stoop singing Sinatra songs late at night to the delight of his neighbors.