Andrew Limbong

Andrew Limbong is a reporter and producer for NPR's Arts Desk, where he reports, produces, and mixes arts and culture pieces of all kinds. Previously, he was a producer and director for Tell Me More. He originally started at NPR in 2011 as an intern for All Things Considered.

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Muscle Shoals, Ala., is a small town a couple hours east of Memphis and south of Nashville. Starting in the 1960s, it drew some of the best musicians in the world.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TELL MAMA")

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The ice bucket challenge became a viral sensation a few years ago.

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER SPLASHING, LAUGHTER)

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Phil Chess, co-founder of the iconic Chicago blues and rock 'n' roll label Chess Records, died Wednesday in Tucson, Ariz. He was 95.

Phil and his brother, Leonard Chess, emigrated to the U.S. from Poland in 1928. Chess Records biographer Nadine Cohodas told their story to NPR in 2000.

Chuck Berry turns 90 Tuesday. I know he's a very important person in music history, but he's never been a guy I listened to much. I mean, I've heard hits like "Maybellene" from 1955, but I wanted to learn more.

So I called Tony Trov. He's an artist out of Philadelphia, but more important, he plays in a Chuck Berry cover band called It's Marvin, Your Cousin Marvin Berry, a reference to a memorable scene in Back to the Future.

Bobby Hutcherson, a vibraphonist whose improvising and composition helped to define modernity for jazz as a whole, has died. He had long struggled with emphysema. He was 75.

As a mallet percussionist, he expanded the scope of what was possible on his instrument. And the sound he created was widely influential.

Sesame Street has been a constant presence in children's entertainment for nearly 50 years. In addition to Big Bird and Elmo and Oscar the Grouch, the program also has human characters who ground the show, teaching the muppets big life lessons and helping them on their zany adventures. But over the past few weeks, there have been some issues with the grown-ups of Sesame Street.

When Elvis Presley first appeared on TV in the mid-1950s, you saw the swinging hips and the cheering fans. But if you had looked just behind him, you'd have seen Scotty Moore, who played lead guitar on Presley's early recordings and helped define his sound. Moore died at his home in Nashville on Tuesday after a long illness. He was 84.

While he was an essential part of some of the most iconic moments in rock 'n' roll history, Moore wasn't one for music mythology.

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Usually when old songs come back on the charts, it's because a musician has died and people are feeling nostalgic. Think Prince or David Bowie. That's not the case this week.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I WANT TO BE YOUR LADY BABY")

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(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: So from the top (unintelligible).

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Paul Bley, a jazz pianist whose thoughtful but intuitive commitment to advanced improvisation became widely influential, died of natural causes Sunday. He was 83.

Bley was surrounded by family at his winter residence in Stuart, Fla., according to his daughter Vanessa Bley.

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Fans of music that is fast and loud - really loud - have lost someone important.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ACE OF SPADES")

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It could be that this year's Christmas shoppers are getting familiar with The Shins.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME")

THE SHINS: (Singing) The party's on. The feeling's here.

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