American Routes asked some of today’s top artists their favorite songs of the 20th century. Travel through the past hundred years of music with requests from Randy Newman, Tito Puente, Gillian Welch, John Fogerty, Willie Nelson, and more.
It’s time to come in from the cold and listen to the warm treatment Duke Ellington brings to the Nutcracker, and the tragic musical tale of Frosty the Snowman. Then head North for some Celtic sounds from Cape Breton and an enduring seasonal love song from Tom Rush.
American Routes explores the music associated with outlaws and life behind bars, from “Ball and Chain” to “Jailhouse Rock,” from Johnny Cash’s San Quentin show to Leadbelly’s “Midnight Special.” Metaphorical chains of love are also rattled in story and song. Our guests include famous former inmates whose music reflects their own life struggles and triumphs, Plus a visit to the “Wildest Show in the South”—the Angola Louisiana Prison Rodeo.
The jazz, klezmer and funk clarinetist Don Byron talks about the classical elements in his new record titled “A Fine Line: Arias and Lieder”. You’ll also hear a profile of Raymond Scott, one of the great unknown composers and inventors of the 20th century. Scott set the template for the music in Looney Tunes cartoons, and went on to develop some of the first electronic instruments.