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Ben Fong-Torres got his start as a professional journalist in 1968 working as a reporter for a fledgling publication called Rolling Stone. He was later made senior editor of that bi-weekly. His profiles of and interviews with Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Ray Charles and Linda Ronstadt to name just a few are required reading for music fans and students of music journalism. He currently has a book out about the band Little Feat called Willin'.

Mr. Fong-Torres and I talk about his new book, the early days at Rolling Stone, his experiences covering Bob Dylan's Planet Waves tour, his interview with Jim Morrison (only weeks before Jim's passing) and his broadcast career, begun in the heyday of free-form radio.

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She performed at Woodstock '69 in front of 500,000 people. She lost her sweet, young voice and nearly her life in a car crash only four months later. Her band, Sweetwater put out four albums before disappearing from the music scene.

Nancy (or Nansi as she once was known) and I go into detail about her current music, Sweetwater's recent live album, and delve into the band's colorful history (what, a cello instead of a lead guitar?)

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From Allmusic:

Janis Joplin may have been the most famous member of Big Brother & the Holding Company, but she wasn't the only one in the group central to its sound -- guitar/singer Sam Andrew also wrote songs for the group, and he ended up with one of the longest careers of any of the members.

I speak with Sam about his musical career before, during and after Big Brother. We talk about how he came to join the band, the band he was in at age 15, his interest in the classics, and more!

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Today I talk to Canned Heat, Spirit, Jo Jo Gunne, Firefall and Heart bassist Mark Andes about his early career and what he's been doing between the sixties and the present day. As it turns out, that covers quite a bit of ground!

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Mister "Mr. Bojangles". Originally from Oneonta, NY, this man has done quite a bit since riding into the top-40 with that song. From his biography:

... Jerry Jeff has lived - and is still living - the troubadour's life. Lots of musicians talk about the road; Jerry Jeff really is the kid who rode his thumb out of his hometown in upstate New York to such exotic destinations as Key West (where he introduced another young musician named Jimmy Buffett to the pleasures of island life)...He really did sing for pennies on New Orleans streetcorners, alongside Mr. Bojangles...He really did strap his guitar on the back of a motorcycle and go busking across Canada...And he really did sing in the smoky cafes and folk clubs of Greenwich Village, following in the footsteps of Bob Dylan and Ramblin' Jack Elliott.

And that all happened before he became a star. Most folks know that story - how Jerry Jeff moved to Austin, Texas in the early Seventies and reinvented himself as a Lone Star country-rocker. He became, along with Willie Nelson and Asleep At The Wheel, one of the arbiters of the internationally famous Austin musical community. Since then, he has celebrated the music of peers such as Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt, and served as a fountainhead and inspiration to younger musicians such as Robert Earl Keen, Pat Green, Jack Ingram, Todd Snider, and a moderately successful country tunesmith named Garth Brooks. ...

Among other things, we talk about his signature song, his annual birthday bash, going independent of the recording industry, and digital sound versus analog.

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The queen of bluegrass music is a top-notch mandolin and fiddle player. Her playing is complemented by her sweet but powerful vocals. She has had country music heavies like Dolly Parton and Richard Marx as guest performers on her albums. Her recent titles, Taken and Sunday Mornin' Singin' Live are two of the best-recorded, best-sounding CDs that I've ever heard. She took a few minutes out of her virtual non-stop touring schedule to speak with me about things like her early career (she began playing at age eight!) and her current projects, one of which is a soundtrack CD for - a novel!

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According to his Wikipedia entry, Rush once said on his website, "I've been waiting 45 years to be an overnight sensation, and it's finally happened!...”

Last July, Rush put out a CD/DVD set of his well-attended 50th anniversary concert at Symphony Hall in Boston. He's fixing to do another mega concert – with some mighty impressive guests – at Symphony Hall late this coming December. He has a documentary of his long and storied career in the can which has already been awarded the honor of New Hampshire Documentary Film of the Year at the New Hampshire Film Festival.

Tom and I talk about his early career, including his first-ever gig with a pick-up band (at a psychiatric institution, to entertain the inmates). We discuss the origins of one of his favorite guitars dubbed “The Naked Lady”, his work through the years and his current musical project.

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This is the man whose band, The Bluesbreakers dominated the British blues scene, earning him the title "Godfather of British blues". Like Frank Zappa, John Mayall insisted on having only the best back-up musicians, some of whom are now household names in their own right (do the names Eric Clapton and John McVie ring a bell?).

I spoke with John about his upcoming tour as well as a few other interesting things, like the time Bob Dylan sat in with him.

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This dynamic duo of Carolyn and Mark Evans are the heads of a musical family which includes a good chunk of Fairport Convention and even a member of The Move/Electric Light Orchestra. Here we discuss their recent work and their new album, All The Good Friends.

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Buffy Ford Stewart is the wife of the late John Stewart of the Kingston Trio. Survivor of three types of cancer, she is an immensely talented songstress. Here, we discuss her new album, Same Old Heart and the roster of guest musicians on it which include Davy Jones and Roseanne Cash among many others. We also discuss her unique outlook on life itself.

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