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Decade of Difference : Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett  recorded his first number 1 record in 1951 and continued to make hits through the 1950s. Unlike most pre rock and roll stars, Bennett managed to continue his career when rock changed everything, and experienced a resurgence in popularity beginning in the 1990s.

Bennett grew up in Queens, the son of Italian immigrant parents. Encouraged to pursue his artistic interests of singing and painting from an early age, Bennett sang while waiting on tables as a teen, before enlisting and serving in the Army in World War II. His first appearance as a nightclub singer came in 1946, and in 1949 Bob Hope discovered him working in New York. Hope immediately invited Bennett to come and record at Paramount records and suggested the stage name that stuck through the decades – Tony Bennett which is a shortened version of Anthony Dominick Benedetto.

Tony Bennett’s dedication to the Great American Songbook has made him a constant through the decades, performing for 11 presidents and delivering the classics to generations of listeners. After a downturn in his career in the 70s and 80s, Bennett returned to scoring Gold records after bringing financial and addiction problems under control.

Tony Bennett decided that there was a new generation of fans that would respond to his music and style – virtually unchanged – if given the chance. This was proven to be correct as exposure on MTV, late night TV and a series of alternative rock radio organized benefit concerts brought Bennett back to selling records again.

At 94, Bennett continues a career that now includes more than 70 albums, 20 Grammy wins and more than 50 million records sold.

2020-07-31T07:43:29-04:00August 3rd, 2020|Decade of Difference|

Encore: Mandy Moore on World Cafe

Monday August 3, 2020

Mandy Moore is back with her first new album in over a decade, called Silver Landings. The former teen pop star was inspired to get back into making music after watching her husband Taylor Goldsmith perform with his band Dawes. Mandy talks about working with him and the band on the album, her journey from teenage pop princess to where she is now, and about the self-doubt she had to overcome, on the next World Cafe.

2020-07-31T17:09:11-04:00August 3rd, 2020|Featured, World Cafe|

Country Feedback Playlist : August 2nd, 2020

Country Feedback Playlist for                        8/2/2020

Artist – Album – Title – Release Year

Dan Bern – Ivan’s Barbershop – Blue Highway – 2020

Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison – Our Year – Motor City Man – 2013


John Prine – Diamonds In The Rough – Yes I Guess They Oughta Name a Drink After You – 1972

Jim Lauderdale – This Changes Everything – Lost in the Shuffle – 2016

Linda Gail Lewis – Hard Rockin Woman – Battle With The Bottle – 2015

Zephaniah Ohora and The 18 Wheelers – <Single> – Black & Blue – 2020


Brandy Clark – Your Life Is A Record – Who You Thought I Was – 2020

Jimmie Dale Gilmore – Jimmie Dale Gilmore – Dallas – 1989

Carlene Carter – Two Sides to Every Woman – Swap-Meat Rag – 1979

Rolling Stones – Sticky Fingers – Dead Flowers – 1971


Molly Tuttle – but I’d Rather be with You – Olympia, Wa – 2020

Secret Emchy Society – The Chaser – Whiskey Fightin’ Terri – 2020

Johnny Cash – American Recordings – Let the Train Blow the Whistle – 1994

The Gourds – Blood of the Ram – Arapaho – 2004


White Owl Red – Afterglow – The Way I Feel Now – 2020

Turnpike Troubadours – Goodbye Normal Street – Morgan Street – 2014


2020-07-31T07:44:44-04:00August 2nd, 2020|Country Feedback|

Decade of Difference: Flogging Molly

Combining Celtic and punk in a 7 piece band is no easy task, but that is the route Flogging Molly has travelled since 1997. The band began regular shows at the LA bar Molly Malones in 1997 and then took the show on the road, which is where they have mostly stayed, taking their folk punk sound around the world.

Dublin singer Dave King formed the band after playing in heavy metal bands with former members of UFO and Motorhead. Initially he had a deal to record a solo record, but the label objected to his using traditional Irish instruments on the record, and he ultimately dropped out of the deal. When the new band began their weekly shows in LA, they needed a name and as King recalls, “We used to play there every Monday night and we felt like we were flogging it to death, so we called the band Flogging Molly.”

Flogging Molly has some charting songs from their first album recorded in Ireland, 2007’s “Float”, but their big draw is a powerful live show. In fact, their best selling recordings are audio/video releases of their live performances including “Whiskey on a Sunday” which was certified Platinum.

The pandemic put a crimp in Flogging Molly’s St. Patrick’s day plans. For the first time the band was unable to play for an audience, so King and his bandmate / wife Bridget Regan offered up an acoustic version of the title song from their “Float” album making it available to fans on their web site.

2020-07-29T07:40:02-04:00July 31st, 2020|Decade of Difference|

Decade of Difference : The Black Keys

Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney began a friendship as pre teens, meeting in the neighborhood they shared in Akron, Ohio. Although they had different friends and interests in high school, they shared a love of music, meeting to jam together and after Carney got a tape recorder, to record music.

After high school and unsuccessful stints at college, Auerbach asked Carney to help him record a demo he could use to try and book out of town shows as he was attempting to make a living playing music. At the first session, none of the musicians Auerbach asked to record with him showed, so Carney filled in as backing band. This led the pair to form a two man band and record a demo for submission to record labels.

Their first record came in 2002 and the collection of new material and blues covers gained a cult following with the pair mowing lawns to fund a first tour to get in front of their fans. Still on a modest budget for their 2nds album, “Thickfreakness” was recorded in a single 14 hour session in Carney’s basement.

The Black Keys bluesy low fi sound and midwest origins often drew comparisons with the White Stripes. Neither group appreciated the critique and it led to friction, with Jack White at one time banning Auerbach from his recording studio. In 2010 the Black Keys came fully into their own  with their “Brothers” album.

After moving to Nashville, the pair recorded the album mostly in Muscle Shoals using others to help in the production. The result was their most successful album with the Danger Mouse produced “Tighten Up” from the album spending 10 weeks on top of the Alternative charts. The album won three Grammys and sold 1.5 million copies worldwide.

2020-07-29T07:18:14-04:00July 30th, 2020|Decade of Difference|

Perfume Genius on World Cafe

Thursday July 30, 2020

Perfume Genius recently released a new album called Set My Heart on Fire Immediately—and he wasn’t joking around with that title! On the next World Cafe, he talks about how a recent collaborative dance piece influenced the making of his latest album as well as his overall outlook on life. And he shares how he got into both the occult and Bjork as a teen, tonight at 6pm.

2020-07-30T23:28:07-04:00July 30th, 2020|World Cafe|

Decade of Difference : Elizabeth Cook

Elizabeth Cook appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in 2000 and has logged more than 400 appearances on the Opry despite not being a member. In 2012 a David Letterman Show appearance brought her wider exposure.

The youngest of 12 children, Cook played mandolin and guitar appearing on local radio and TV in her native Florida. Her mother and father were musicians and her father had some time to hone his skills in prison while serving time for running moonshine. After his release, the parents formed a country band and Elizabeth was on stage with them starting at 4 years old.

A move to Nashville in 1996 led to a debut record in 2002 called “Hey Y’all”.

Elizabeth Cook toured the world before and after her third album, 2010’s “Welder” but then multiple problems stalled her career: she got divorced, her farm burned and six family members died including her mother and father. Although Cook insists drugs were not the issue, she cancelled upcoming tour dates and entered rehab at the insistence of her management.

On her return, she released “Gospel Plow” an album that got her a spot on the David Letterman Show and much wider exposure. She eventually was on the show four times.

After more than a decade of producing primarily country albums, Cook took a different direction on her latest release “Exodus of Venus” drawing influences from a wider circle of female singer / songwriters and using a new producer. A new album “Aftermath” is coming in September.

2020-07-28T07:53:55-04:00July 29th, 2020|Decade of Difference|

Home Studio Sessions

While working from home WNRN is connecting you to some of our favorite musicians near and far in a very personal way in our Home Studio Sessions.

Catch our Home Studio Sessions to hear artists play live from home and talk about what they’re doing to stay happy, healthy, and inspired while they are off the road. Scroll down to hear our most recent sessions or browse them all here.
Butch Vig – Home Studio Session

Sondre Lerche – Home Studio Session

Devon Gilfillian – Home Studio Session

Bruce Hornsby – Home Studio Session

Courtney Marie Andrews – Home Studio Session

Kim Richey – Home Studio Session

2020-07-30T23:26:21-04:00July 29th, 2020|Featured, In-Studios|

Man Man on World Cafe

Wednesday July 29, 2020

The music of Man Man could maybe be best described as “controlled chaos” — everything from the way frontman Ryan Kattner writes, to their eclectic mix of instruments, to the energy of live performance suggests a world teetering on the edge… which makes their new album Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between just right for, well, right now. Ryan Kattner of Man Man talks about that new album, their first in 7 years, on the next World Cafe.

2020-07-30T09:59:53-04:00July 28th, 2020|World Cafe|

Watch Washed Out Play Live From Home

Washed Out, the project of Georgia singer/songwriter/producer Ernest Greene, performs live from home in Atlanta exclusively for WNRN. Check out the band of the band performing two songs from the forthcoming album Purple Noon due out August 7th on Sub Pop Records. After turns producing for other artists over the past few years, Greene brings bigger and bolder beats, slowed down tempos and luxurious dynamics inspired by the Mediterranean coastline and the area’s distinct island culture. Watch the band lay down hypnotic performances of “Too Late” and “Time To Walk Away” below:

2020-07-29T08:58:53-04:00July 28th, 2020|Featured, In-Studios|