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Critical Karaoke

"Critical Karaoke" is a monthly show about music and the ideas it inspires. We also produce daily music history segments called "A Day in the Life." Both currently air on KRCC
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Now displaying: May, 2016

"A Day in the Life" is a 2-minute podcast about music, history, culture, and ideas.  We release at least one new episode every weekday on an incredible range of genres and artists.  We hope you enjoy these quick listens!

May 31, 2016

Today in 1790, the United Sates Congress passed the first copyright act.  Under law, maps, charts, and books would be protected for an initial term of 14 years, which could be renewed up to a total of 28 years. Find out all about it on today's "A Day in the Life".

May 30, 2016

Today in 1956, American trumpeter, singer, dancer, and bandleader Valaida Snow passed away at around the age of fifty. On today's "A Day in the Life", find out why she was known as "Little Louis" and "Queen of the Trumpet".

May 27, 2016

On this day in 1907, the environmentalist and writer Rachel Carson was born. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life" we explore musical works inspired by the conservation and environmental movement.

May 27, 2016

Today in 2011, bluesologist Gil Scott-Heron passed away in New York City. Learn about his recording "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" and other aspects of this interesting and influential jazz poet, musician, and author on today's "A Day in the Life."

May 26, 2016

Today in 2008, film and television composer Earle Hagen passed away in Rancho Mirage, California at the age of 88.  Although his name may not be immediately familiar, his theme songs are. Find out which iconic tunes he composed on today's "A Classical Day in the Life".

May 26, 2016

Known as the "Singing Brakeman," Jimmie Rodgers changed the course of country music during his brief professional career.  His "Blue Yodels" are perhaps some of his best-known works.  Learn more on today's "A Day in the Life."

May 25, 2016

Today in 1977, George Lucas's sci-fi film Star Wars made its cinematic debut.  Would it have been as successful without the help of composer John Williams?  Have a listen to today's "A Day in the Life" and decide for yourself.

May 24, 2016

Today in 1971, at St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York, the world said goodbye to American composer, pianist, and bandleader, Duke Ellington. On today's "A Day in the Life" we take a listen to the tunes performed for Ellington's funeral by Ella Fitzgerald, Earl Hines, and more.

May 23, 2016

On this day in 1934, American engineer and pioneer of electronic music, Robert  Arthur Moog was born in New York City. On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the synthesized sound of Moog's creations from the music of the 70's to they're role in reinterpreting the classics of orchestral music.

May 20, 2016

Today in 1998 the funeral of Frank Sinatra was held at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Beverly Hills, CA. On today's "A Day in the Life", find out who among the who's who was in attendance and learn what music was played at the service.

May 20, 2016

On this day in 1896, composer and pianist Clara Schumann (née Clara Josephine Wieck) passed away.  On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", find out how she changed the course of concert recitals and contributed to the musical life of the romantic era--all while raising eight children and caring for her husband, Robert.

May 19, 2016

It was on this day in 1945 that the English musician, Pete Townshend, was born in London.  On today's "A Day in the Life" we focus on his life and times up until he smashed his very first electric guitar--a moment that changed music history forever

May 19, 2016

On this day in 715, Gregory the Second became Pope.  On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the origins Gregorian Chant and the various Popes Gregory associated with it.

May 18, 2016

It was on this day in 1978 that The Buddy Holly Story premiered in the united states. The film starred a 33 year old Gary Busey in the title role portraying the legendary bespectacled early rock and roll star from the age 19 to his tragic death at age 22. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore Busey's musical contributions to the film and the world at large.

May 18, 2016

On this day in 1911, the Austrian composer and conductor, Gustav Mahler, died at the age of 51 of a heart valve infection.  On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", find out what you might need to perform his 6th Symphony and his connection to Sigmund Freud.

May 17, 2016

It was on this day in 1965 that the FBI concluded its investigation on the song, "Louie, Louie" by The Kingsmen. On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the origins of the song and learn of the hysteria caused by what people imagined the lyrics to be.

May 17, 2016

Today in 1866, French composer and pianist, Erik Alfred Leslie Satie, was born in Honfleur, France. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the most enduring work of one of the central composers of the new minimalist style emerging out of Paris at the end of the 19th Century.

May 16, 2016

Today in 1929, the first awards ceremony for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—also known now as the “Oscars”—took place in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California.  On today's "A Day in the Life", we explore the history of recorded sound and music in film.

May 13, 2016

Today in 1922, actor Bernice Frankel was born in New York City.  She would become best known in the 1970s as television star Bea Arthur, playing the title role in sitcom Maude and would go on to play Dorothy Zbornak in the 1980s staple The Golden Girls.  On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we explore the musical side of the beloved actor.

May 13, 2016

It is Stevie Wonder's Birthday!  Learn about his early life and career today on "A Day in the Life."

May 12, 2016

It was on this day in 1972 that the English rock band, The Rolling Stones, released a sprawling double album called "Exile on Main Street". On today's "A Day in the Life" we explore the inspiration for the album and we learn who called it the first grunge album ever recorded.

May 12, 2016

Today on "A Classical Day in the Life": Find out who commissioned baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi to write 100 concerti on this day in 1716 and how such work relates to his life and musical output. 

May 11, 2016

Today in 1888, Irving Berlin was born in a small town in Siberia.  He would go on to be one of the most celebrated American songwriters of all time.  Learn why on today's "A Day in the Life.

May 10, 2016

It was on this day in 2010 that Jose Feliciano performed his unique rendition of the US National Anthem at the Detroit Tigers' Comerica Park in remembrance of legendary Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell and of the first, controversial time Feliciano sang the anthem in Tiger Stadium during the 1968 playoffs. On today's "A Day in the Life", we revisit the controversy of 1968 and briefly consider other iconic performances of The Star Spangled Banner.

May 9, 2016

This day in 1662 saw the first documented performance featuring the comic puppet Punch. Punch came to Covent Garden in London that day as Pulcinella, courtesy of an Italian puppeteer and as a stock character from the Italian comedy tradition. On today's "A Classical Day in the Life", we envelop ourselves in the darkness of Punch while exploring the 20th century musical connections.

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