GPB Loves Music

L: Samantha S. Shal / R: Ken Lackner

Like the endearing story presented in 1965's animated special A Charlie Brown Christmas, the music from the feature has endured as a holiday classic. The mellow, jazzy piano tunes were arranged by Vince Guaraldi.

And for the 12th year, you can go hear this delightful soundtrack performed live. A trio of musicians — Jeffrey Bützer on drums, T. T. Mahony on keys and Mike Beshera on bass — will once again perform this 40-minute score for Georgia audiences in Atlanta, Savannah and Woodstock.


Atlanta's own Black Lips is a band that keeps audiences on their toes, literally — which you'd know if you've ever landed in the mosh pit at one of their shows — and figuratively, given that the latest it-bag line from Gucci is named after band member Zumi Rosow. 

For 20 years, founding members Cole Alexander and Jared Swilley have been making unruly garage rock, rockabilly records, and sometimes, they can sound like old country crooners. In fact, they have a new album coming out in early 2020, which they say is a country album. It's called The Black Lips Sing In A World That's Falling Apart.


Courtesy of Robyn Hitchcock

English singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock has been making music for more than 40 years now. Inspired by pop rock from the likes of The Beatles, his tunes vary from jangly psychedelia to somber acoustic numbers.

Hitchcock has released more than 20 records, whether under his own name or as member of The Soft Boys, a band he founded in 1976. Hitchcock's music has been inspired by rock 'n' roll forerunners and his peers and has, in turn, influenced a number of other acts. Athens band R.E.M., for example, covered one of his songs, called "Arms of Love."


Heidi Ross

Singer-songwriter Allison Moorer has recently released her 11th album, along with a companion memoir. They are both called Blood.

They tell a story she's avoided talking about directly throughout her career. When Allison was 14 years old, her father killed her mother — and then himself — leaving Moorer and her sister, the singer Shelby Lynne, orphans.


Courtesy of Bill Lowe Gallery

You'll find it at the steps of the Capitol, hung from front porches, draped over the caskets of fallen soldiers, and splashed across bathing suits and ball caps: the American flag. It's a symbol of patriotism, unity and power — and a central component of artist Bernie Taupin's work.

Does the name sound familiar? Well, you might include some of his other work, which includes songs like "Tiny Dancer," "Candle in the Wind," and "Rocket Man."


Emily Frobos

Sub Pop Records in Seattle has churned out a number of hit-makers. There's The Shins, Sonic Youth, Sound Garden and more. (Who could forget Nirvana?)

And the record label keeps the acts coming. One of the newest additions to their roster: Atlanta locals, Omni.


A Cross Cut Of Georgia Concerts

Sep 30, 2019
Emily Jones / GPB

GPB Loves Music has been running the whole month of September. We’ve heard from bands big and small. We’ve learned about a variety of genres, from jazz to hip-hop to punk rock. We heard about Georgia’s music roots, and a law class based on music contracts. But we realized: something seemed to be missing.

One of the best and most crucial parts of loving music is seeing it live — the dimmed lights, the vibrations from the speakers, the collective feeling of people sharing a night out on the town.

So, instead of bringing musicians into the studio, we decided to go out. We sent three of our folks, in three different Georgia cities, to three different concerts, all on the same weekend.


David Naugle

Earlier this year, Rolling Stone called Deerhunter, “one of the great guitar bands of the 21st century.” But that’s not the only music to come from the Georgia band.

Moses Archuleta is co-founder and drummer for Deerhunter. He also has a solo side project called Moon Diagrams, which released a new album, titled Trappy Bats, in August.

We invited Archuleta to add two songs to the Georgia Playlist. That’s our collection of songs written or performed by a Georgian. His picks? Athens band Pylon, and Atlanta native Playboi Carti.


Ben Mathewson

Grammy-winning jazz saxophonist David Sánchez hails from Puerto Rico, but, these days, he calls Atlanta home. Schooled in jazz by the legends, Sánchez is now schooling others as an artist-in-residence at Georgia State University. Tune in for a sample of his new record, Carib a project about exploring the music of the African Diaspora, beginning in the Caribbean.

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Two legendary rock musicians and an innovative classical violinist join On Second Thought to talk about how they are mashing up their respective disciplines. Along with original compositions, these musicians use songs from Georgia’s most beloved musicians and bands and adapt them for an orchestra.


John Boydson

Shantih Shantih is a four-piece band founded in Atlanta. The band combines rock 'n' roll with harmonies over twanging guitars — heard in their new single, Radio Dream. 

On Second Thought invited Anna Barattin and Julia Furgiuele from the band to add some tracks to our Georgia Playlist


Courtesy of Flux Projects

Flux Projects is back at it. The arts organization produces temporary events that connect people to creativity and to place. Beginning Thursday, Sept. 26, Flux is transforming Ponce City Market into an acoustic playground.

A series of artists are using sound as the primary medium to reveal hidden dimensions of the historic building turned ultra popular destination for food and shopping.


Emily Jones / GPB News

This month, GPB is bringing you stories of Georgia music, a lot of them about music history. Now, we turn to the future.

Every musician has to start somewhere, whether it’s a piano recital or singing in church. Guitarist Oz Yakabovits, 8, is fond of playing outside in Savannah’s parks. And he recently landed a higher-profile gig: a gallery show by artist Scott Stanton, or Panhandle Slim.


Mike Snowden in his Marietta home-based shop. He crafts and sells cigar box guitars.
Ellen Eldridge / GPB News

Smoking cigars isn’t healthy and touring as a musician can take the fun out of performing, but Mike Snowden of Marietta has found a way to make money and have fun by crafting guitars out of cigar boxes.


Mandy Wilson

In honor of the Ken Burns series Country Music, Bill Nigut is taking over the On Second Thought Sunday time slot with a special edition of Two Way Street. This episode features his conversation with the legendary Brenda Lee, an artist featured in sections of the documentary. 


Cindy Hill / GPB

America’s musical traditions are deeply rooted in African music, and one of the very first African musical traditions to come to North America is what we now call the Ring Shout.

The rhythmic call and response singing came with people from West Africa brought to the Southern coast as slaves. Today it is practiced by their descendants, the Gullah and Geechee people of the South Carolina and Georgia coast.


wikimedia.org

Before Outkast, Goodie Mobb and T.I. burst out of Georgia, there was Blind Willie McTell and James Brown.  Before Trisha Yearwood, Alan Jackson and Jason Aldean stepped onto the country music scene, Brenda Lee and Chet Atkins were changing the sound of country music altogether.

What unifies those musical giants? Georgia. On Second Thought embarked on an audio tour of the dense and diverse musical roots of Georgia, from Ma Rainey and the Skillet Lickers to Emmett Miller and Otis Redding.


Grant Blankenship / GPB

Paul Van Wicklen drives a cherry picker in a library.

It’s actually a vault, and Van Wicklen is the vault manager. The cherry picker makes its way down an enormous aisle underneath the University of Georgia’s Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library. There are two other rooms just like it.


@69.mov
Mario Chui / mariochui.net

From Vincent Van Gogh to Charli XCX, many accomplished artists are thought to have synesthesia, or the blending of two or more senses. Atlanta-based sensory artist Siana Altiise also has synesthesia, and she feels compelled to use her unique perspective to create musical experiences meant to relax people.

Siana joined On Second Thought to share how she builds her meditative tracks based on both the psychology of attention and her personal experiences with synesthesia. 


White House Historical Association

Jimmy Carter is known for many things: Building affordable houses, helping to cure diseases, brokering peace… the list goes on.

What you may not know him for is music.

But the 94-year-old campaigned with the Allman Brothers, brought jazz to the White House and sang hymns with Willie Nelson.


AP

On a recent Sunday evening, the sound of Negro spirituals echoed through the halls of the music building at Kennesaw State University.

The six members of the Georgia Spiritual Ensemble gather here regularly to partake in a tradition that dates back centuries.


Frank Gargani

The first wave of punk rock growled out of the economic and social malaise of New York and London in the mid-1970s. But Los Angeles played a huge role in what came next, when punk's energetic D.I.Y. ethos began to diversify, cross genres and sprawl like the vast city itself.

One of the groups that sprouted in that time was the seminal punk band X. Three years ago, X's singer and bassist John Doe and music publisher Tom DeSavia pulled together first-hand accounts of the nascent scene from members of LA's tight-knit punk community. The resulting book, Under The Big Black Sun, was nominated for a Grammy.


Grant Blankenship / GPB

Back in 2016, REM bassist Mike Mills stood on the stage at Macon’s City Auditorium. In his hands was a relic of rock and roll that once belonged to one of his idols.

“This is Duane Allman’s guitar. I don't even know what to do with it!” Mills said between movements of the rock concerto he was performing with violinist Robert McDuffie.

Derek and the Dominoes’ "Layla" was a hit on the radio when Mills was 12 so he knew exactly what to do. He took his best shot at Allman’s stinging "Layla" lick on the 1957 Gold Top Les Paul.

Credit: Jeff Forney

Music Midtown begins Saturday! This year, 25 years after it first began, the two-day festival will feature acts like Travis Scott, Cardi B, Lizzo and Vampire Weekend. And on Sunday at 1 p.m., you can catch Atlanta locals, The Coathangers.

First, drummer Stephanie Luke and bassist Meredith Franco, two members of the garage punk trio, joined On Second Thought to talk about how they started playing music together, what it's like being an all-female punk band in the music industry and what "punk" means to them.

 


Trisha Yearwood

Grammy Award-winning artist and Monticello, Georgia, native Trisha Yearwood is returning to the country music scene with a new album, titled Every Girl.

The accompanying single, "Every Girl In This Town," is an empowering love letter to girls and women of every description. 


Wikimedia Commons

Some of the most popular artists in the country will be in Atlanta's Piedmont Park this weekend for Music Midtown.

 

Travis Scott will be one of the headliners on Sunday, along with Vampire Weekend and Billie Eilish.

 

Cardi B. and Panic! At The Disco will be featured on Saturday. 

 

CLICK: Full schedule for Music Midtown 2019

 

From the Civil War to the Dust Bowl and from baseball to jazz, Ken Burns documentaries have covered a range of critical events in American history and culture. Now, country music is getting the Ken Burns treatment. 

He and long-time collaborators and producers Dayton Duncan and Julie Dunfey spent eight years researching and making an eight-part, 16-hour documentary called Country Music, which will air in six parts beginning Sunday, Sept. 15 on GPB.


AP Images/John Bazemore

This fall, Georgia State College of Law University is offering "The Legal Life of Ludacris" — a course examining the strategic legal decisions and contracts that supported his career as a rapper, actor, philanthropist and restaurateur. 

It's the brainchild of GSU entertainment law professor, Moraima "Mo" Ivory, who's the head of the school's "Entertainment, Sports and Media Law Initiative." Ivory spoke with On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott about the now full class. 


GEOFF L. JOHNSON / SAVANNAH MORNING NEWS

The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra's new season begins this Saturday, Sept. 14, with a new music director: Keitaro "Kei" Harada. 

Harada grew up in Tokyo, but he's no stranger to Georgia. He studied at Mercer University in Macon, where he was assistant conductor of the Macon Symphony. After that, he picked up the baton for four seasons as associate conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony. 


GPB/ Jake Troyer

Jontavious Willis got his start singing gospel in his hometown of Greenville, Georgia, but something clicked inside him when he heard the blues.

His second album, Spectacular Class, came out earlier this year. Critics and blues artists hailed it and declared him a wunderkind and genius who proves the blues is very much alive.


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