Yip Harburg: A Lyricist For The Ages

By Nick Morrison During his 84 years on the planet, Yip Harburg contributed brilliant lyrics to some of the finest melodies of the American popular song canon. Most of his songs were originally written for Broadway shows or Hollywood musicals. Finian’s Rainbow is probably his most popular stage work, but he’s best

Many rivers converged to make a New Orleans classic: ‘Iko Iko’

It’s one of the most iconic songs from New Orleans, and like the city, it’s origin and meaning are a product of may different influences. Its meaning is still being debated by scholars and linguists, but “Iko Iko” was first recorded in 1953 by James “Sugar Boy” Crawford, who wrote

‘Shake ‘Em On Down’ created the cutting edge for blues

By John Kessler Most blues started in the country before becoming urbanized, and Bukka White brought his brand of Mississippi blues to Chicago in the 1930’s and 40’s. It is likely that he met and learned from elemental bluesman Charley Patton, and he was known for playing a National steel

‘That’s All Right’ and the father of rock and roll

Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup has been called the “father of rock and roll” for writing the song that launched Elvis Presley’s career. His own career had a rough start– after migrating from Mississippi around 1940, he was living on the Chicago streets, playing for tips. His unique, though unpolished sound