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Bittersweet At No. 1: How A Japanese Song Topped The Charts In 1963

Fifty years ago, Kyu Sakamoto was the face of a new postwar Japan: a clean-cut, 21-year-old pop idol. But professor Ian Condry says that underlying the sweetness of the hit song "Sukiyaki" was a story of sadness and loss.

Iron And Wine On World Cafe

Singer-songwriter Sam Beam discusses the sound of his words on Iron and Wine's new Ghost On Ghost.

For Carole King, Songwriting Is A 'Natural' Talent

Carole King wrote songs for others before becoming a performer and writing for herself. In her memoir, A Natural Woman, she details the stories behind some of her most famous songs and her relationships with songwriters like James Taylor, Gerry Goffin and Paul Simon.

Omar Grows Up To Become 'The Man'

Now a family man, the British singer continues to experiment with his music. His latest album, The Man, is all about growth, development and evolution.
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Singer And Songwriter Barry Manilow

Barry Manilow has sold more than 80 million records, but for all his success as a pop star, he prefers to be the musician behind the scenes. Barry Manilow joins Diane in the studio to talk about his life and career.


Mavis Staples Calls Latest Album 'A Return To My Beginning'

With a career that's lasted more than 60 years, gospel legend Mavis Staples has no plans to slow down any time soon. Her new album One True Vine, is her second collaboration with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, following You Are Not Alone in 2010.

Laura Mvula On World Cafe

The inventive British singer blends pop, jazz and soul on her full-length debut, Sing to the Moon.

For Mavis Staples, 'One True Vine' Brings Together Kindred Spirits

Produced by Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, the soul singer's new album follows a narrative arc of struggle, acceptance and salvation. Tweedy's arrangements leave room for Staples' full range of vocal expression, from an R&B growl to gospel fervor.

A First Lady No Longer, Carla Bruni Returns To Music

The Italian-born songwriter and fashion model discusses her new album, Little French Songs, and why her husband — former French President Nicolas Sarkozy — is a tricky subject for songwriting.

Chuck Leavell: The 'Fifth' Stone Speaks

The touring keyboardist has been playing with The Rolling Stones for more than 30 years.