‘The Boomer List’: Big Names, Great Stories

American Masters: The Boomer List, sponsored by AARP and airing from 9 to 10:30 p.m. ET on PBS Tuesday, is a light-hearted look at the Baby Boom generation through the eyes of 19 icons representing each year from 1946 to 1964. Directed by photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, whose other works include The Black List, The Latino List and The Out List, the film focuses on individuals whose experiences touch all the important movements and moments of the boomer generation, from Vietnam and racism to the sexual …

Rock-a-bye Grandma: The Insomnia Song

If you’re among America’s 40 million “older adults” troubled by insomnia, you probably suffer from depression, memory deprivation, frequent falls, constipation and a tendency to repeat the same old stories over and over again. I haven’t included hearing problems in which you say, “What?” or “Huh?” 200 times a day, because that’s a category all its own. But I will offer the advice that if you’re one of the aforementioned, you need a big dose of Billy Joel. He is not …

Billy Joel to Receive Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

In the mood for a melody? The Library of Congress will honor the original “Piano Man” with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in Washington. James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress, announced on Tuesday that musician Billy Joel will  join past recipients including Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul McCartney. “Importantly, as with any good storyteller, the recognition experienced in a Billy Joel song is not simply because these are songs we have heard so many times, but because we …

Phil Ramone: A Producer’s 5 Musical Masterpieces

Despite his 14 Grammy awards, record producer Phil Ramone, who died on March 30 at age 79 in New York City, isn’t anywhere near as well-known as the music superstars whose hit records he helped create. During a career that spanned a half century, the native of South Africa worked with an astonishingly diverse array of talents: Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Karen Carpenter, Elton John, Dionne Warwick, Cyndi Lauper, Billy Joel, …