From “Ol’ Man River” to “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” we turn to the American songbook for portraits of fatherhood, both kindly and cautionary, from down-home country to down-with-the-man rock’n‘roll and soul. We talk to New Orleans jazz patriarch Ellis Marsalis about family life and raising four career musicians—Wynton, Branford, Jason and Delfeayo. Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys tells of working in the studio with his dad, Chuck Auerbach, who is making his recording debut at age 68 with Remember Me. Daughter Rosanne remembers Johnny Cash’s voice and her favorite of his tunes. And Steve, Sasha and Martin Masakowski discuss playing music as a father-daughter-son trio and their different roles as family/band members. Plus, fatherly odes from the Everly Brothers, Gladys Knight & the Pips and the Drive-By Truckers.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “Diva”? We’ve found that it’s a word that can go both ways—as praise for an accomplished and magnetic performer, or as a put-down to someone seen as pompous or high-strung. We’re singing divas’ praises while also exploring the term’s various connotations through music and interviews from high-minded women with conflicting views on the word: Bonnie Raitt, the late Abbey Lincoln, Norah Jones, and New Orleans Gospel Diva, Cynthia Girtley. Plus songs from divas and non-divas like Aretha Franklin, Patsy Cline, Lydia Mendoza, and Jessie Mae Hemphill.