Arts & Culture

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And I'm Rachel Martin with some historic music firsts on this first day of the new year.

(SOUNDBITE OF ATOS TRIO'S PERFORMANCE OF BEETHOVEN'S "PIANO TRIO IN E FLAT MAJOR, OP. 1, NO. 1")

In Memoriam 2017: The Musicians We Lost

Dec 29, 2017

Bright voices from every corner of the music world left us this year — from virtuoso players to visionary composers, from charismatic bandleaders to golden-eared producers, from influential inventors to critics and commentators who interrogated and elevated the art they covered. Explore their legacies here.


Nat Hentoff

June 10, 1925 Jan. 7, 2017

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Today we're remembering a man who transformed American pop music. Jim Burns was not a well-known musician himself. He created the program "MTV Unplugged," and he was the show's executive producer during its original run through the '90s.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Tom Petty wrote a lot of hits during his more than 40 years making music.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AMERICAN GIRL")

TOM PETTY: (Singing) Well, she was an American girl.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "REFUGEE")

Actress Heather Menzies-Urich, best known for portraying Louisa von Trapp in the 1965 film The Sound of Music, died Sunday night. She was 68.

Variety magazine reports:

"Menzies-Urich, the widow of actor Robert Urich, had been recently diagnosed with cancer, according to her son Ryan Urich.

"Urich said his mother died on Christmas Eve, surrounded by her children and family members.

In 1946, Nat King Cole became the first recording artist to wrap his lush vocals around what would become a standard of the holiday season, "The Christmas Song." But that song was written by a different crooner: Mel Tormé.

NPR's Noel King spoke with Mel Tormé's youngest son, James — an accomplished jazz singer himself — to get the story behind the creation of this Christmas classic.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

All 58 of the people killed in the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 died of gunshot wounds, the Clark County County Office of the Coroner/Medical Examiner has determined.

Nearly all of the fatalities were caused by a single gunshot wound, though six victims died from multiple wounds. Most had been shot in the head, chest or back. The deaths were all ruled homicides.

Cardi B is determined to finish her breakout year with a bang. The Bronx rapper has teamed up with 21 Savage for the new single "Bartier Cardi."

Updated, Dec. 21, 10:45 p.m. ET and Dec. 22, 12:09 p.m.: The responses of various orchestras to the allegations were added to this article.

The Associated Press has reported allegations of sexual assault against the famed conductor Charles Dutoit made by four women, in incidents that span from 1985 to 2010 and that took place in five different U.S. cities.

Rolling Stone's parent company, Wenner Media, has a new corporate boss. Nearly three months to the day since it began accepting bids for the coveted, if diminished, independent media company, Penske Media has been announced as having made a significant "strategic investment" in Jann Wenner's company.

On Monday, BBC news program The Victoria Derbyshire Programme asked four women in music about the pernicious sexist culture and pervasive sexual assault they'd experienced.

Reggie Ossé, better known to the hip-hop world as podcast host Combat Jack, has passed away from colon cancer. Chris Morrow, Ossé's friend and his co-founder of Loud Speaker Networks, confirmed his death, telling NPR that he died this morning at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in New York. Ossé was 53 years old.

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