Category: Rock & Pop

Edwin Starr (1942-2003)

Edwin Starr was one of the singers to come out of Detroit’s Motown Records.  Born in Tennessee and raised in Ohio, he moved to Detroit to become part of the dynamic music scene.  He had many Soul and R&B hits, but his big #1 hit was “War.”  Those powerful lines immediately jump to mind and… Read more »

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan was the first musician to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, quite the recognition for the poetry of his lyrics and his global impact.  Though he has put out a huge repertoire of songs and covered many topics, some of his folks songs from the 1960s have become standards for singing about peace. … Read more »

John Lennon

Of course, John Lennon is known most for being one of the Beatles, but his iconic peace songs were produced during his solo career or with the Plastic Ono Band. “Imagine” has become an anthem for the hope of a world without destructive divisions.  It has become more than a song; it is an evocation… Read more »

Mai Khoi

Vietnamese folk singer Mai Khoi was arrested in March 2018 after returning from a tour in Europe (click here for the BBC report on her arrest).  She has a pop song about Vietnamese girls and her love for Vietnam, but has turned into a searing critic of repression of freedom of speech.  With her new… Read more »

Cranberries’ “Zombie”

I stumbled across The Cranberries on the NPR Tiny Desk Concerts.  They played their hit “Zombie” from the ’90s.  This Irish band was obviously coming from their own context in a song with strong words about the pain of violence and the deathly numbing of our brains as we silence ourselves: “When the violence causes… Read more »