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Three Hours of Music & Conversation

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It's the last day of our Fall Fundraiser and this afternoon, we had some fun with two of the things we love the most: Music and Conversation. Over three hours, from 12 Noon - 3P, we cracked open the vault and brought you smart, surprising interviews with Keith Richards, Eminem, Don Was, Iggy Pop and many more. Hosted by Ann Delisi, this just one way of saying thanks to YOU for listening to WDET.

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Don Was Interview w/ Ann Delisi
Don Was has seen many changes in the music industry over the course of his career, including the rapid advancement of technology. Here he talks about how it’s impacted his approach to producing, shares his Essential Songs and more.

Iggy Pop Interview w/ Fresh Air's Terry Gross
Iggy Pop, the godfather of Punk is famous for his intense music and wild performances. When you think of Iggy, you think of loud fast, angry music…sounds like “Search & Destroy,” and “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” Back in 2009 he recorded covers of Antonio Jobim’s bossa nova “How Insensitive,” and the standard “Autumn Leaves”…And an original, reminiscent of Louis Armstrong. They’re all on his cd “Prey-lim-in-ere,” inspired by the 2005 novel, The Possibility of an Island, by the French novelist Michele Welbeck. It was at the time a new direction for Iggy. He spoke with Fresh Air’s Terry Gross shortly after he released the recording. We begin the conversation with Pop and told her that project began when Iggy was asked to write songs about a documentary about Welbeck.

Eminem Interview w/ NPR's Guy Roz
The BBC described this Detroit native as quote “something approaching a modern day Shakespeare.” Eminem is the best selling artist over the last decade…he’s won eleven Grammys, an Academy Award, and he holds the record for the fastest selling solo album in history. “Not Afraid” was the first single off Eminem’s 2010 album “Recovery,” where he tells the story of a man coming to terms with his inner demons.

Issac Hayes Interview w/ Fresh Air's Terry Gross
Stax Records, the legendary label based in Memphis produced some of the most important soul music of the 60s. Issac Hayes recorded several hit records for Stax, including Hot Buttered Soul, Black Moses and Shaft…and he was also an important behind the scenes figure, working as a producer, songwriter and arranger. He co-wrote hits for Sam and Dave, Carla Thomas and Johnny Taylor. Four years after suffering a stroke in 2006, Hayes died in August, 2010. Terry Gross spoke with Hayes in 1994 about his work at Stax Records. She asked him what he remembered about writing Sam and Dave’s hit “Soul Man.”

Bob Ezrin Interview w/ Sound Opinion's Greg Kott and Jim DeRogattis
Bob Ezrin has been the force behind some of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums in rock history. We’re talking about epics like Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Kiss…but his relationship with Alice Cooper, which was there at the beginning, and was one of the most fruitful of his career. The two collaborated on ten records, including the new one “Welcome Two My Nightmare,” “Two” being the number two, and a sequel to the 1974 classic, “Welcome to My Nightmare.” Ezrin does not make small albums, he builds giant skyscrapers and massive bridges…concepts…heavy lifting, heavy records. That’s his forte. The Sound Opinions guys Greg Kott and Jim DeRogattis recently took Bob Ezrin through some of those albums.

Keith Richards Interview w/ Fresh Air's Terry Gross
Keith Richards, the guitarist for the Rolling Stones, wrote his autobiography in ??? titled Life, and it became a best seller. No surprise, Keith Richard’s book is filled with details about excess and drugs. But it’s also filled with stories about growing up in post World War II England…he was born in 1943…discovering the blues, songwriting, forming the Rolling Stones…being targeted by police, who saw the Stones as a bad influence on youth…becoming mega-stars, playing stadiums, kicking heroin…his sometimes rocky relationship with Mick Jagger…getting older and so on. Richards co-wrote much of the Stones’ repertoire with Mick Jagger, including “Satisfaction,” “Let’s Spend the Night Together,” “Get Off My Cloud,” Gimme Shelter,” “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Beast of Burden.” The Stones’ first album included covers of several American rhythm and blues songs, and this Chuck Berry’s rock and roll classic.

Marianne Faithful Interview w/ Fresh Air's Terry Gross
Marianne Faithful released the album “Easy Come Easy Go” in 2008, on which she recorded cover versions of songs by other artists. It was her 22nd album in a career that began in the 60s. Her first record was the 1964 hit “As Tears Go By,” written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. Faithful was 17 when that record was released. At 18 she was married and became a mother. When she was 19 she began an affair with Mick Jagger, and lived in the middle of the British Invasion party scene…but by 1970 she and Jagger had split up. By then she had become addicted to heroin. At her low point she lived on the street. She started recording again in the late 70s, and he voice was no longer the pure, innocent, uninflected voice of “As Tears Go By.” In the past couple of decades she has been singing many original songs, as well as songs by Kurt Weil and others. Her album of covers featured interpretations of everything including from Randy Newman’s “In Germany Before the War” to the Duke Ellington standard “Solitude.” Terry Gross spoke with Faithful twice…in 1994, when she asked her about her music career, her affair with Mick Jagger and her heroin addiction that nearly killed her.

Detroit vs. New York: Soundcheck Smackdown
The battle for baseball supremacy is now underway in the World Series matchup between the Texas Rangers and the St Louis Cardinals. But a couple of weeks ago there were more interesting battles taking place… that is if you’re from Detroit or New York…on both the baseball diamond and in a radio studio. While the Tigers and the Yankees faced off , two music critics waged a fierce debate over the music of New York against the music of Detroit. In case you missed it here are some highlights from the recent Soundcheck Smackdown between Motown and Gotham City.

Soundcheck's John Schaeffer Talks Classic Music w/ Craig Fahle
Classical music has stood the test of time, but recently its popularity is showing signs of erosion…record sales of all music, including classical, has declined, symphony orchestras are experiencing diminishing concert attendance, and the number of radio stations offering classical music are considerably less than there were five years ago. So how can classical music survive? One big challenge is finding new ways to make this music relevant for a new age…and to a new group of people. Musicians like cellist Yo Yo Ma and violinist Fabio Biondi, and groups like the Kronos Quartet are working to make the music more accessible. Craig Fahle recently spoke with John Schaeffer, host of Soundcheck heard here on WDET. Schaeffer is a big fan of classical music, who’s seeing signs of a turnaround.

Leiber and Stoller Interview w/ Fresh Air's Terry Gross
The great lyricist Jerry Leiber who died last August in Los Angeles at age 78. He and his partner Mike Stoller wrote some of the most memorable rock and roll songs of the 50s and 60s. Leiber and Stoller wrote for Elvis Presley, the Coasters, The Drifters and Ben E. King. They not only wrote songs, the often produced them. In fact, Leiber and Stoller were the first rock and roll producers to actually get credit on a record for their work. One of rock’s greatest producers Phil Specter got his start as one of Leiber and Stoller’s assistants. Leiber and Stoller met in L.A. when Leiber was still in high school, and they were soon writing songs professionally. Leiber was the lyrics half of the team, and he was known for sassy phrases that captured the vernacular spoken by young people of his day. Fresh Air’s Terry spoke with Leiber and Stoller in 1991. They began by listening to the original 1953 version of “Hound Dog” sung by Big Moma Thornton.

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