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Musicians on the Record

Series produced by WXPN

Caption: PRX default Series image
PRX default Series image 

Musicians on the Record features first-person accounts from artists who muse about meaningful albums in their lives

With the increasing popularity of iPods and song downloading many wonder whether the album—that snapshot of an artist at a particular place and time in his career—may be on the wane. Chances are you have an album or two that you hold dear. Perhaps it came along at a sensitive time in your life--on the cusp of adolescence, the brink of a love affair, or in the thick of a bitter breakup. Nothing evokes a memory or a feeling like music. WXPN celebrates the album with our series Musicians on the Record. We asked artists to identify one album that changed their life and awakened their senses. Our featured musicians represent the worlds of bluegrass, folk, indie-rock, punk, and jazz.

What record helped country music artist Nanci Griffith get over a two-timing lover?
What R&B album does punk rocker Ted Leo wind down with after a night of loud, sweaty performing?
What record helped a young Francis Dunnery escape the chaos of his home and pretend he belonged to the British elite?

Through sound rich, first-person portraits, Musicians on the Record will give listeners insights into some of their favorite contemporary artists and perhaps an enhanced appreciation of what may—or may not—be a dying craft.

Partial List of Artists
Richard Thompson Steven Page (Bare Naked Ladies)
David Gray Buddy Guy
Rodney Crowell Liz Phair Robert Plant
Francis Dunnery Glenn Tilbrook
Lizz Wright Steve Forbert Nanci Griffith
Hugh Masekela El Vez Erin McKeown
Caitlin Cary Alison Brown David Grisman
Lucy Kaplansky Matisyahu Joseph Arthur
Ted Leo

Program Directors:
These vignettes will air locally on WXPN-FM in September and October. Between two to four minutes in length, Musicians on the Record makes convenient interstitial programming. We will produce at least one per weekday so you can use it as a daily feature. We’ll also provide a written promo that your on-air talent can voice, as well as any supporting materials you might need.

Note: These vignettes are self-contained with artist identification at the top of the audio.
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With the increasing popularity of iPods and song downloading many wonder whether the album—that snapshot of an artist at a particular place and time in his career—may be on the wane. Chances are you have an album or two that you hold dear. Perhaps it came along at a sensitive time in your life--on the cusp of adolescence, the brink of a love affair, or in the thick of a bitter breakup. Nothing evokes a memory or a feeling like music. WXPN celebrates the album with our series Musicians on the Record. We asked artists to identify one album that changed their life and awakened their senses. Our featured musicians represent the worlds of bluegrass, folk, indie-rock, punk, and jazz.

What record helped country music artist Nanci Griffith get over a two-timing lover?
What R&B album does... Show full description


19 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Blues man Buddy Guy reflects on his favorite album, B.B King's "Live at the Regal".

Bought by Musicians' Radio, KBUT, KDLG, Prairie Public, and KUT


  • Added: Oct 17, 2005
  • Length: 04:51
  • Purchases: 5
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Matisyahu performs reggae and hip-hop. He's also a Hasidic Jew. As a teenager, Matis found spiritual sustenance in an album by the jam band Phish.

Bought by KWCW and KBUT


  • Added: Oct 10, 2005
  • Length: 03:58
  • Purchases: 2
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Austin based artist Nanci Griffith says Bruce Springsteen's "Tunnel of Love" helped her recover from a broken relationship.

Bought by KBUT and KUT


  • Added: Oct 06, 2005
  • Length: 03:22
  • Purchases: 2
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The Decemberist's frontman, Colin Meloy, says he discovered anyone could make music when he heard "Psychocandy" by The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Bought by KBUT and KWCW


  • Added: Oct 06, 2005
  • Length: 03:12
  • Purchases: 2
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Rocker Liz Phair praises the Stevie Wonder classic "Songs in the Key of Life"

Bought by KBUT and Prairie Public


  • Added: Oct 06, 2005
  • Length: 03:52
  • Purchases: 2
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Acclaimed singer songwriter and guitarist Richard Thompson says he learned about the guitar from listening to an album of piano jazz.

Bought by KBUT, Prairie Public, WUAL, and KUT


  • Added: Oct 06, 2005
  • Length: 03:23
  • Purchases: 4
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Bare Naked Ladies Steven Page discovered "Nilsson SingsNewman" during the group's first big tour. Playing big concerts every night made Page crave...

Bought by KBUT


  • Added: Oct 04, 2005
  • Length: 03:59
  • Purchases: 1
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Folk singer Steve Forbert muses about his favorite album, "Paris 1919". He says this John Cale record is very good for the subconscious.

Bought by KBUT and KUT


  • Added: Oct 04, 2005
  • Length: 03:06
  • Purchases: 2
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El Vez calls himself the "Mexican Elvis". Still he found solace and inspiration in David Bowie's 1972 record, "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust."

Bought by KBUT


  • Added: Sep 30, 2005
  • Length: 03:36
  • Purchases: 1
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Therapist turned folk singer Lucy Kaplansky discovered the Joni Mitchell album "Blue" when she was a teenager. Kaplansky says she related to the y...

Bought by KBUT and KUT


  • Added: Sep 30, 2005
  • Length: 03:52
  • Purchases: 2
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Jazz and folk performer Lizz Wright discovered Abbey Lincoln's " A Turtle's Dream" at a critical juncture in her life. Lincoln's music gave Wright...

Bought by WSGE, WAMC, WJAB, KBUT, and KUT


  • Added: Sep 30, 2005
  • Length: 03:19
  • Purchases: 5
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As a boy musician Francis Dunnery found refuge in the Genesis album "Selling England by the Pound". It's other-worldly quality helped Dunnery esca...

Bought by KBUT


  • Added: Sep 30, 2005
  • Length: 03:26
  • Purchases: 1
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Erin McKeown learned about the craft of record making when she discovered Liz Phair's "Whip Smart."

Bought by KBUT


  • Added: Sep 29, 2005
  • Length: 03:32
  • Purchases: 1
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Singer and fiddle player Caitlin Cary discovered that women can rock when she heard Ricki Lee Jone's 1979 self-titled debut album.

Bought by KISU, KBUT, and KUT


  • Added: Sep 29, 2005
  • Length: 03:59
  • Purchases: 3
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visual and performing artist Joseph Arthur found a friend in Jimi Hendrix when he first heard "Are you Experienced"

Bought by KBUT


  • Added: Sep 29, 2005
  • Length: 03:10
  • Purchases: 1
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Singer-songwriter David Gray muses on a little known album called "Spirit of Eden" by the band Talk Talk

Bought by KBUT


  • Added: Sep 29, 2005
  • Length: 03:41
  • Purchases: 1
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When he was thirteen, Rodney Crowell discovered Bob Dylan's "Bringing It All Back Home". The album irrevocably changed Crowell's view of the world.

Bought by WTIP, KBUT, and KUT


  • Added: Sep 29, 2005
  • Length: 03:22
  • Purchases: 3
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Punk Rocker Ted Leo reflects on the personal value of the Curtis Mayfield album, "Curtis"

Bought by KBUT and KWCW


  • Added: Sep 29, 2005
  • Length: 03:49
  • Purchases: 2
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Banjo Player Alison Brown reflects on Flatt & Scruggs "Foggy Mountain Banjo", a work that launched her love affair with the banjo

Bought by KBUT


  • Added: Sep 29, 2005
  • Length: 02:42
  • Purchases: 1