Articles by: NPR Contributors

"I was slapping myself in the face," singer Doug Seegers says of his recent success. "I kept saying, 'Am I dreaming? When am I going to wake up and go back to living under the bridge?' " Credit: Gregg Roth/Courtesy of the artist

Homeless In Nashville, Huge In Sweden

October 9, 2014 at 1:43 pm

After decades in obscurity, country singer Doug Seegers went from down-and-out to up-and-coming in an instant.

"Fiddlin' John" Sharp (center), seen here with daughter Evelyn and banjo player Red Morris, is among the many musicians whose stories and songs are documented in Bobby Fulcher's archive. Credit: Tennessee State Parks

In Tennessee, Scenes From A Nearly Lost Musical History

September 8, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Thanks to an intrepid park ranger who became a part-time folklorist, an archive of sound recordings and lyric sheets bears witness to a tradition that could well have died off.

Visitors line up on Tuesday to see the eclectic collection of photos, records, albums and knickknacks collected by Paul MacLeod, an Elvis superfan who turned his Holly Springs, Miss., home into the offbeat museum called Graceland Too. Credit: Rogelio V. Solis/AP

With Its Eccentric Owner Gone, What To Do With Graceland Too?

August 18, 2014 at 3:59 pm

The home of Paul MacLeod — with its Elvis shrine and offbeat owner — drew tourists to the postcard town of Holly Springs, Miss. Now, a tragedy has left the town reeling and debating the home’s fate.

Coming Soon To Your TV: Campaign Ads Targeted At You

Coming Soon To Your TV: Campaign Ads Targeted At You

May 13, 2014 at 8:52 am

Soon, you could be watching political ads based on your television viewing habits and the information the political parties have collected about your gender, party registration and voting habits.

Image: Rap Genius

When Lyrics Get Posted Online, Who Gets Paid?

May 9, 2014 at 3:52 am

There are about 5 million searches for lyrics every day on Google. Who gets paid when people look up lyrics online?

Former Bank Executive: Women, Ask For A Raise!

Former Bank Executive: Women, Ask For A Raise!

April 7, 2014 at 2:08 pm

As leader of the women’s network 85 Broads, Sallie Krawcheck lobbies for better gender equality in boardrooms. She also says women need to negotiate tougher to get there.

How The Cost Of College Went From Affordable To Sky-High

How The Cost Of College Went From Affordable To Sky-High

March 18, 2014 at 9:25 am

In the decades following World War II, many American families had a lot of help paying for a college education. But in the 1970s, inflation spiked and public policies began to change.

Maybe That BPA In Your Canned Food Isn’t So Bad After All

Maybe That BPA In Your Canned Food Isn’t So Bad After All

February 26, 2014 at 9:01 pm

There’s been lots of debate about whether tiny amounts of the chemical have the potential to cause health problems. A new FDA study supports a previous conclusion that the chemical is safe for people.

How Dogs Read Our Moods: Emotion Detector Found In Fido’s Brain

How Dogs Read Our Moods: Emotion Detector Found In Fido’s Brain

February 21, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Anyone who’s had MRI knows how hard it is to lie motionless. But the dogs that participated in this brain-scanning experiment aced the test. Maybe the treats did it.

Would a doctor dressing neatly affect your rating? Image:

Online Doctor Ratings About As Useful As Those For Restaurants

February 20, 2014 at 9:58 am

More than half of people surveyed said ratings of doctors on the Web helped them pick which physician to see. Yet many ratings are based on only a few patient reviews, which can skew the results.

Franco Phan, 22, blows smoke rings using an electronic cigarette at a restaurant in Oakland, Calif. Image: Jenny Lei Bolario/Youth Radio

Candy Flavors Put E-Cigarettes On Kids’ Menu

February 17, 2014 at 10:00 am

Electronic cigarettes are often billed as safe and helpful for adult smokers trying to kick their habit. But the CDC says 1 in 5 young teens who try an e-cigarette have never smoked tobacco. And between 2011 and 2012, the devices doubled in popularity among middle-school and high-school students.

Songwriter John Paul Keith is one of a number of artists to record songs using 1930s-era technology as part of The 78 Project.. Image: The 78 Project

That Old-Time Sound, Captured Live In The Moment

February 17, 2014 at 6:57 am

Their equipment may be quaint, but the new-school folklorists behind The 78 Project have pulled off a kind of musical time travel.

Rosa Finnegan in her nursing home. "As nice as this place is," she says, "there's an undercurrent — it's sad, also. I get up now in the morning and I'll say to myself, 'What am I gonna do all day now?' " Image: Caitrin Lynch for NPR

At 102, Reflections On Race And The End Of Life

February 12, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Rosa Finnegan worked until she was 101. Even now, she says, she’s still learning things about herself. “Even as old as I am,” she says, “you think you’re not prejudiced, but all of a sudden you really find out you are. How stupid I was. ‘Cause before you know it, it’s all over.”

A customer shops for milk at a Safeway in Livermore, Calif. Although it may seem counterintuitive, there's growing evidence that full-fat dairy is linked to reduced body weight.

The Full-Fat Paradox: Whole Milk May Keep Us Lean

February 12, 2014 at 7:57 am

Two recent studies add to the growing evidence that consuming dairy fat may actually fend off weight gain. Experts say it may be time to revisit the assumption that when it comes to dairy, fat free is always best.

Composer and bandleader Maria Schneider accepts her Grammy Award. Her album Winter Morning Walks earned three awards yesterday at the pre-telecast Grammy ceremony in Los Angeles. Image: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

New Music Shines at Classical Grammy Awards

January 27, 2014 at 2:12 pm

In this year’s Grammy Awards, the classical music was as new as the pop. A jazz composer and a soprano captured multiple prizes, while the Academy recognized a performances by an adventurous American orchestra and a compelling young vocal group. See the full list of classical winners.

Kate Byroade knew her family members had owned slaves. But that knowledge became even more troubling for Byroade when she learned that an ancestor once owned an 8-year-old child. Image courtesy of Shedrick Robinson

A Woman Comes To Terms With Her Family’s Slave-Owning Past

January 15, 2014 at 9:33 am

Kate Byroade had always known her ancestors were slave owners, but she had been told their slaves were treated well. Understanding the truth took her on a difficult lifelong journey. Americans are shy “about calling out the great wickedness of slavery,” she says. “We should not be.”

Nothing Focuses The Mind Like The Ultimate Deadline: Death

Nothing Focuses The Mind Like The Ultimate Deadline: Death

December 31, 2013 at 9:10 am

A Swedish inventor came up with a wristwatch that counts down the seconds left in your life. He calls it “the happiness watch” because he thinks living with the reality of one’s mortality can enhance how we value our lives.

Can Robots Manage Your Money Better Than You? Startups Say Yes

Can Robots Manage Your Money Better Than You? Startups Say Yes

December 30, 2013 at 10:15 am

A handful of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs say it’s time to turn your finances over to bots. Algorithms can monitor a person’s financial behavior better than most advisers, they say, and aren’t biased by commissions or complex fee structures.

In 2013, Federal Workers Found New Reason To Be Unhappy

In 2013, Federal Workers Found New Reason To Be Unhappy

December 26, 2013 at 3:46 pm

A recent survey shows that furloughs and hiring freezes conspired to dampen morale. But if federal workers are feeling undervalued, their job security remains high.

Guitarist Harold Bradley attends the Special Merit Awards and Nominee Reception on Jan. 30, 2010, in Los Angeles. Image: Rick Diamond/WireImage

Harold Bradley: The Guitarist Of Nashville Past

December 26, 2013 at 9:00 am

“Everything that was happening in the studio, that was my world,” the prolific musician says of his career as a go-to guitarist in Tennessee. Now 86, Bradley has worked across many decades and on thousands of songs.