NPR Music

Briana Wright Comes Into Her Own In Tulsa, A City That Hasn't

May 13, 2021

If music is the compass by which we navigate a complicated world, it's no surprise that Tulsa lays claim to artists as diverse as Leon Russell, Hanson, Anita Bryant and The Gap Band. Creativity flourishes in a city that continues to grapple with its past — the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, the Trail of Tears — and its present poverty, homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse. In the middle blooms singer-songwriter Briana Wright, a bright talent finding her voice while clearing a path for others to follow.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Anglo-Celtic

May 13, 2021

This week, we have an hour of English artists who have helped define the folk and Celtic roots sound since the 1960s, influencing many artists from Bob Dylan to Paul Simon. Artists include Eliza Carthy, Fairport Convention, and Kathryn Tickell.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Tina Turner doesn't need anybody's validation to hold her place in rock and roll history, but she's now been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She joins 12 others in what the organization calls the most diverse list of inductees in the its 36-year history.

Joining Turner among the performers in the main class of 2021 inductees are Todd Rundgren, Carole King, Jay-Z, The Go-Go's and Foo Fighters. The full list of inductees, which includes those named in categories like "Early Influence" and "Musical Excellence," is below.

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The Tiny Desk Contest — our annual search for the next great undiscovered artist to play a Tiny Desk concert —

As a rapper, the Twin Cities-based artist Matt Allen goes by Nur-D – and the name kind of fits. "It's something embedded into my soul," Allen tells Morning Edition. "Comics, Dungeons & Dragons, professional wrestling...."

His positive music has made him one of the most popular artists in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. But, when George Floyd was murdered by a former Minneapolis police officer a year ago this month, Nur-D's life took a new turn.

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If you're an unsigned musician who has always dreamed of playing a Tiny Desk concert, you're in luck: Starting today, you can enter the 2021 Tiny Desk Contest.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Before Little Richard, there was Lloyd Price, a pioneer of rock 'n' roll.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PERSONALITY")

LLOYD PRICE: (Singing) 'Cause you've got - walk - talk - smile...

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Dawn Richard grew up in New Orleans. Her father sang in a funk band called Chocolate Milk. He still does.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FRICTION")

CHOCOLATE MILK: (Singing) Friction, baby.

SHAPIRO: As a kid, she was kind of alternative.

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