Nat "King" Cole performs a song on piano on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on April 13, 1958 in New York City

Way before MTV, Music Ruled the Living Room

I want my Ed Sullivan, Arthur Godfrey, and Lawrence Welk! To say nothing of Soul Train!
Dolly Parton and a cougar

How Dolly Parton Is Literally Like a Cougar

The mountain cat’s cries, like Dolly Parton’s famous songs, carry the diverse voices of rural Appalachia.

Vintage Circus Photos from the Sanger Circus Collection

In Victorian England, the circus appealed across an otherwise class-divided society, its audiences ranging from poor peddlers to prestigious public figures.
A dollar bill with a portrait of Bach

Can Bach Make You Buy More Stuff?

Classical music carries an air of sophistication. One scholar tries to figure out whether it also translates into more ka-ching.
A poster for the Asian American Jazz Festival, 1984, by Zand Gee

Out of Black Liberation, Asian American Jazz

Inspired by Black artistic and political movements, musicians from diverse communities began expressing pan-Asian cultural belonging and freedom.
The cover band "Piss"

How Tribute Bands Celebrate Music History

They're not just cheese! For some people, seeing a band play note-for-note covers of classic songs goes beyond nostalgia.
The cover of an album by the Masked Marauders

How a Fake Supergroup Mocked the Real Thing

The Masked Marauders were the cockamamie creation of a bored rock critic. They still sold 100,000 albums.
An illustration of claqueurs from an 1853 issue of Harper's Magazine

When Paid Applauders Ruled the Paris Opera House

Professional applauders, collectively known as the “claque,” helped mold the tastes of an uncertain audience.
Act 3 Scene 2 of "As You Like It"

Are We Getting Shakespeare’s Rhythms All Wrong?

Trippingly on the tongue? Yeah, right.
Matilda Sissieretta Jones, known as Black Patti

The Life of Matilda Sissieretta Jones

Nearly forgotten today, Jones thrilled audiences with classical music performances at the end of the nineteenth century.