‘Stairway to Heaven’ and 5 Other Alleged Song Ripoffs

For boomers who grew up playing air guitar to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” it’s mind-blowing to think that the 1971 classic rock standard might actually have been copied from another song. Lawyers for the estate of the late Spirit guitarist Randy California reportedly are planning to file a suit claiming that the opening riff in “Stairway” was ripped off from Spirit’s considerably less famous 1968 song “Taurus.” Thanks to a helpful YouTuber, you can listen to a comparison between …

Opera’s Jessye Norman Finds Her Voice in ‘Stand Up Straight and Sing!’

Jessye Norman’s once-in-a-century voice has carried her from 1960s segregated Augusta, Ga., to the opera houses and recital halls of Europe, Asia and America. Norman tells her extraordinary story in a just-published memoir, Stand Up Straight and Sing! Despite racism, Norman describes a happy childhood. She grew up in Augusta surrounded by a large, loving family and a warm community of neighbors and teachers. At the center stood their church. Her parents and older siblings were active in the civil rights …

New Johnny Cash CD Latest in Line of Posthumous Hit Albums

Johnny Cash‘s newly released CD Out Among the Stars debuted at No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s Top Country Albums chart and No. 3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. That might seem like a pretty impressive performance, especially considering that the artist himself passed away back in 2003. But Cash is just the latest in a string of deceased performers who’ve released hot-selling records after their demise. Here are a few: Buddy Holly, The Buddy Holly Story (1959). Released just a month after …

Conoce a Chino Espinoza y los Dueños del Son

Cuando empezamos a hablar con los productores de AARP sobre una serie de música latina en Youtube, desde el principio quise que el primer video se enfocara en la orquesta de salsa liderada por el cantante y compositor costarricense Chino Espinoza. La banda de Chino representa para mí­ la extraordinaria calidad de los tantos grupos de música latina que trabajan en Los íngeles. Desde hace ya muchas décadas que esta ciudad es algo así­ como una central, tanto para las …

From Hugs to Music: 7 New Ways to Help Your Heart

Yes, we know that eating more veggies, getting more exercise and controlling blood pressure are the most effective ways to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, but new research also points to some simple, surprising ways you can protect your ticker. Give more hugs Hugging doesn’t just feel good – it’s good for you. A 10-second hug once or twice a day lowers blood pressure, says a recent Swedish study, published in the journal Comprehensive Psychology, that looked …

Joe Bihari: His Modern Records Label Helped Give Us the Blues

In the 1950s, Joe Bihari scoured African American bars and nightclubs in the South for undiscovered blues phenoms. Bihari, who passed away on Nov. 28 at age 88, tried to elevate those he found to stardom at Modern Records, the Los Angeles-based label that he cofounded with his brothers, Jules and Saul. Bihari traveled the South behind the wheel of a red 1952 Lincoln convertible. One southern lawman trying to dissuade Bihari from trying to make records with black performers, …