PRX - Pieces for Tone: Engaging

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Caption: Heather McGhee, Credit: Hardy Wilson
By around 2044, the U.S. will become a majority-minority nation. This seismic demographic shift has triggered a cultural earthquake, provoking a ra...

  • Added: Oct 08, 2019
  • Length: 28:30
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This time, we profile the March 1932 recording sessions held by Vocalion in New York City, as the nation was in the grips of the Great Depression.

  • Added: Aug 30, 2018
  • Length: 03:29
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This time, we profile “Rocket 88,” by Jackie Brenston — widely considered to be one of the archetypal records of rock ‘n’ roll.

  • Added: Aug 28, 2018
  • Length: 03:29
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This time, we profile “Baby Scratch My Back” by Slim Harpo — the only number one hit on the Excello label during its 23 year run.

  • Added: Aug 26, 2018
  • Length: 03:29
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This time, we profile “Key to the Highway” — one of the enduring classics of the blues, first recorded by pianist Charlie Segar in 1940.

  • Added: Aug 24, 2018
  • Length: 03:29
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This time, we profile Stick McGhee’s 1949 anthem to good times and cheap booze — a big hit that saved a fledgling Atlantic Records from bankruptcy.

  • Added: Aug 21, 2018
  • Length: 03:29
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This time, we profile B.B. King, who hit the number one spot on the Billboard R&B charts with “Three O’Clock Blues,” this week in 1952.

  • Added: Aug 18, 2018
  • Length: 03:29
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This time, we profile Guitar Slim, who — much to everyone’s surprise — hit the top of the R&B charts with “The Things That I Used To Do,” in 1954.

  • Added: Jul 26, 2018
  • Length: 03:29
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January 1953 was a busy month for recording in Chicago, involving sessions, this week, with “Homesick” James Williamson and Johnny Shines.

  • Added: Jul 21, 2018
  • Length: 03:29
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January 1953 was a busy month for recording in Chicago, involving sessions, this week, with Elmore James, Arthur Spires, and Johnny Williams.

  • Added: Jul 17, 2018
  • Length: 03:29
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This time we profile “Open the Door, Richard” — a 1947 novelty record that quickly embedded itself into the American consciousness.

  • Added: May 15, 2018
  • Length: 03:29
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This time we profile Son House and B.B. King, who both made historic live appearances in Chicago the Saturday night before Thanksgiving, 1964.

  • Added: Apr 19, 2018
  • Length: 03:29
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This time we profile James “Beale Street” Clark — barely a footnote in blues history — who recorded an enduring classic, this week in 1945.

  • Added: Apr 12, 2018
  • Length: 03:29
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HOUR ONE: "Hip Hop Future" - "Straight Outta Compton" turns 30 this year and hip hop has more influence than ever. What will it change next? HOUR...

  • Added: Apr 12, 2018
  • Length: 01:58:59
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This time, we profile Windy City keyboard legend Little Johnny Jones, who was in the studio with Muddy Waters and Leroy Foster in 1949.

  • Added: Apr 07, 2018
  • Length: 03:29
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This time, we profile Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, who recorded an iconic slice of down home blues, "That's All Right," this week in 1946.

  • Added: Apr 04, 2018
  • Length: 03:29
Caption: Our distinctive logo comes from a rare poster for the 1977 Beale Street Music Festival.
This time, we profile Mississippi guitarist Tommy Johnson, who cut one of the prophetic masterpieces of the blues, this week in 1928.

  • Added: Apr 03, 2018
  • Length: 03:29
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HOUR ONE: "Why Make Art?" - Most of us stop making art around middle school. What can we learn from the people who never stopped? HOUR TWO: "Gate...

  • Added: Mar 02, 2018
  • Length: 01:58:58
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A look at the pianist and composer's early life and career, including an interview with Monk biographer Robin D.G. Kelley.

  • Added: Sep 29, 2017
  • Length: 59:00
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An hourlong program of classic jazz, exploring a collection of influential jazz material know as "The Birth of the Cool" recorded by a circle of mu...

Bought by Radio New Zealand


  • Added: Jun 29, 2017
  • Length: 59:00
  • Purchases: 1
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An hour-long program featuring performances of songs with lyrics by author Langston Hughes, including recordings by Nina Simone, June Christy, Jame...

Bought by KVNF, WCPN, WMOT, Northeast Indiana Public Radio, WVAS and more


  • Added: Jun 29, 2017
  • Length: 58:58
  • Purchases: 10
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Three people who are engaged in one part of the community organizing efforts going on around the country to secure racial equity. All three share i...

Bought by KUOW and WXDU


  • Added: Oct 27, 2016
  • Length: 58:59
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Aldon D. Morris
Before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, he had to announce the death of W.E.B. Du Bois. The crowd fell into tears.

Bought by KCBX


  • Added: Jan 20, 2016
  • Length: 29:00
  • Purchases: 1
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We asked a number of different stakeholders for their top ideas about improving the relationship between citizens and their law enforcement officer...

Bought by WNIJ, WEKU, WXDU, RadioFreePalmer, KUOW and more


  • Added: Jul 01, 2015
  • Length: 59:00
  • Purchases: 7
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In honor of Independence Day, a former radio DJ joins us to play a selection of patriotic songs sung by African Americans. (And more...)

Bought by WVAS, WNMU-FM, KHNS, KZYX, Maine Public Radio and more


  • Added: Jun 03, 2015
  • Length: 28:58
  • Purchases: 9