The Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra performing under the direction of Stephen Alltop.
Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra
October 03, 2013

Are Orchestras in Crisis?

It’s no secret that classical music’s listener base has been shrinking over time, and there’s no easy answer to why. One thing is for certain, attendance at orchestral concerts is down. But what's the best way to reverse the trend? Classical musicians, conductors and fans tend to disagree.  

Read More
Listen

MTV logo
Wikimedia Commons
August 14, 2013

Encore: I Want My MTV

Did video kill the radio star? If so, it was with a lot of help from MTV. This hour on Focus, we’ll listen to a conversation Jeff Bossert had with Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum, authors of “I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution.”

Read More
Listen

Murphy Henry
August 01, 2013

Encore: Pretty Good For a Girl

We’ve all heard someone say “she’s pretty good for a girl,” and according to Murphy Henry, that’s especially true when it comes to women who play bluegrass music. This hour on Focus, Chris Berube talks with Murphy about the history of women in bluegrass.

Read More
Listen

Murphy Henry
June 10, 2013

Pretty Good For A Girl

We’ve all heard someone say “she’s pretty good for a girl,” and according to Murphy Henry, that’s especially true when it comes to women who play bluegrass music. This hour on Focus, guest host Chris Berube talks with Murphy about the history of women in bluegrass.

Read More
Listen

November 16, 2012

I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution

Did video kill the radio star? If so, it was with a lot of help from MTV. It's hard to remember that the initials MTV, now better known for reality programming, actually stand for "Music Television." In its first decade, MTV lived up to its name - it played music videos all day, the way a radio station played records. Though music videos had been played on television since the 1960s, MTV was the first outlet specifically programmed around music videos. We'll talk with Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum, authors of "I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution" about the tumultuous first decade of MTV and the videos that made the 1980s and early 1990s memorable.

Listen

November 09, 2012

The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience

In the 1930s and 1940s, the Library of Congress commissioned audio recordings of amateur singers and songwriters throughout the United States. These have come to be called "field recordings," and the recordists travelled the country in search of them. Musician, recording artist, and writer Stephen Wade tells the story of thirteen of these recordings made across the United States between 1934 and 1942 in locations reaching from Southern Appalachia to the Mississippi Delta and the Great Plains. Working 18 years on this project, Wade travelled the country, seeking out the original artists, their families or friends present at the recordings and interviewed more than 200 people for the book. Most of the original artists were amateur singers or musicians who were being recorded for the first and only time; many of their famililes were not even aware that the recordings were made. And yet many of the songs have enjoyed long afterlives, influencing musicians and featuring in films. 

Stephen Wade is a musician and writer whose latest album is Banjo Diary: Lessons from Tradition, out on Smithsonian Folkways Records.

Listen

August 28, 2012

Encore: Cricket Radio: Tuning In the Night-Singing Insects

Guest: John Himmelman.

Today on Focus, award-winning writer John Himmelman seeks to reconnect us with the sounds of the night that so often escape our notice. He'll explain the purposes and meanings of the sounds made by various crickets and katydids. He also offers instructions on how to attract these insects to our own back yards.

Read More
Listen

Page 1 of 7 pages  1 2 3 > Last ›