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Playlist: Musical Tributes

Compiled By: Vicky Webber

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Nina Simone: The High Priestess of Soul!

From Howard Burchette | Part of the Soul Roots series | 55:45

This is a special musical tribute to Eunice Kathleen Waymon, known as the great NINA SIMONE. This special contains some of her biggest hits.


Nina Simone was a singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist widely associated with jazz music. Her beautiful voice is one of the most distinctive and celebrated in music. The great Nina Simone recorded over forty albums during a long and distinguished career stretching over five decades.

"Nina Simone: The High Priestess of Soul!" is a one hour program divided into three sets leaving room for PSAs, the news, announcements, station IDs etc.

Blues & Beyond #289: Songs and Stories For MLK Day: "Blues In The Mississippi Night"

From WXPN | Part of the Blues & Beyond series | 59:00

Music and stories for MLK Day, including the secret session "Blues In The Mississippi Night"

Msnight_small In this hour of The Blues & Beyond, songs and stories that connect with the spirit of the Martin Luther King Day holiday. We'll hear from Sam Cooke, The Neville Brothers, and Johnny Copeland, as well as his daughter Shemekia Copeland, and from B. B. King, and others, including Big Bill Broonzy. We'll hear some of Broonzy's remarkable 1947 talking and singing session with Memphis Slim and John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson, recorded by Alan Lomax, but not issued until many years later, and even then with their names initially disguised - because it just wasn't safe for them otherwise. The session is known as "Blues In The Mississippi Night," and I'll talk with Bob Riesman who wrote the breakthrough biography of Big Bill Broonzy in 2011 about it as well.

promo included: promo289

Work 'n Music - A Labor Day Weekend Special

From Charlie Warren | 58:57

From mining to manufacturing, housework to ranching, hear the factual history and realities of American labor, wages, employment, progress, quitting, firing, and hiring, surrounded by songs about the toughness, dangers, and joys of work.

Conrailblueflaggedsidingatcedarpinespa1970_small Along with many features in the special, relive the creation of the Transcontinental Railroad on this 151st Anniversary of its completion in 1869.  In the whole program you'll witness facts and music about work and workers from the 1800's to today.  You  will hear a variety of genres: soft rock, bluegrass, country, bebop, folk, show tunes, and more.  Artists include Amy Adams, Tom Paxton, Jim Croce, Sawyer Brown, Gordon Lightfoot, Joan Baez, Jim Brickman, Hank Snow, The Silhouettes, John Denver, and many more. plus a classic comedy bit by George Carlin.

Labor Day Special - "Workin’: The Work Song in Jazz and Popular Music"

From WFIU | Part of the Night Lights Classic Jazz: Specials series | 59:00

An hourlong program for the Labor Day holiday, with special guest jazz historian Ted Gioia (author of the book WORK SONGS). Featured artists include Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Nat Adderley, Louis Armstrong, and Cassandra Wilson.


Work songs gave laborers a way of transforming their toil into something more meaningful, of enriching their everyday lives through music.  How did the influence of the work song emerge in the recordings of artists such as Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Nat Adderley, Dave Brubeck and other musicians?  Jazz historian Ted Gioia, author of Work Songs, joins Night Lights for a Labor Day look at the work song's relationship to jazz and popular music.  Other featured artists include Louis Armstrong (his ode to Pullman porters, "Red Cap"), Cassandra Wilson (her cover of Jimmy Webb's "Wichita Lineman") and Sting (with saxophonist Branford Marsalis joining him for the tribute to English coal-miners, "We Work the Black Seam").