The surprising back-stories and secret saviors of song.

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His Biggest Hit Sold More Copies Than Any of the Beatles’. So Why Haven’t You Heard of Him?

In a life bookended by tragedy, Prince Nico Mbarga poured joy into music, including the most popular song in African history. But his own story has never been told — until now.

How Ray Charles Convinced Me to Be His Stand-In

I met the music legend as a journalist, and before I knew it, we'd grown close – close enough that when reporters interviewed him, I answered the questions.

The Last Time New York Was Hardcore

In the ’90s, one high-octane underground music scene desperately held on to its rebellious roots of power chords, slam dancing and stage diving. What happened to hardcore?

Can This Viral Video Star Conquer the Arab World?

One all-powerful Saudi company usually decides who becomes a music star in the Middle East. A blond bombshell named Myriam Klink has other ideas.

The Record Baron of Beirut

Through thirty-five years of sectarian strife and brutal civil war in Lebanon, a former fighter and obsessive vinyl collector has provided a vital soundtrack of distraction.

One-Man Band

From mallet-kat to balaphone, an industrious Washingtonian makes a living by mastering instruments most of us can hardly pronounce.

By Whom the Bells Toll

Perched in a tower above the majestic Riverside Church, an eighty-two-year-old musician presides over the venue’s crown jewel—one of the world's largest carillons.

Bootleggers Ball

Jamming with the superfans who dedicate their lives to recording live shows and sharing their spoils with anyone who'll listen.

The Life that Swings

Recording careers and world tours long behind them, two senior citizen jazz musicians find themselves still making music at unlikely venues.