Andrew Limbong

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Arata Isozaki spent much of his childhood in the shadow of World War II. As a native of the city of Oita, the Japanese architect grew up just across a slim body of water from Hiroshima, where the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb — and he says he saw firsthand the ease with which proud human achievements could be leveled.

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Zimbabwe has lost one of its most beloved voices. His name is Oliver Mtukudzi, and he died yesterday at the age of 66. The musician was one of the few constants in a country that's been through a lot and faces an uncertain political future. Here's NPR's Andrew Limbong.

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This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.

Editor's note: The following story contains some frank discussion of suicide.


The opening lines to "Adam's Song" aren't particularly subtle:

I never thought I'd die alone
I laughed the loudest, who'd have known

Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock's debut album, It Takes Two, was released 30 years ago this month. It contains one of the most defining singles in hip-hop, anchored by the unmistakable hook: "It takes two to make a thing go right / It takes two to make it outta sight." The epochal riff is a sample from Lyn Collins 1972 single "Think (About It)." Collins died in 2005, but thanks to this hip-hop rework of her single, her name is canonized in music history.

Julia Ward Howe wrote a rousing anthem for the Union in the Civil War. Since then, it's been caught in a cultural tug-of-war over who it's an anthem for — social conservatives, evangelical Christians, labor workers or civil rights leaders.

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One Song Glory

Jul 4, 2018

This week, NPR inaugurates a new series called American Anthem, exploring songs that tap into the collective emotions of listeners and performers around an issue or belief. Find more stories at NPR.org/anthem.

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The Weinstein Co. has been cleared to sell its assets to Texas-based private equity firm Lantern Capital Partners.

That was the ruling from a federal bankruptcy court judge in Delaware today. The terms of the deal don't offer a fund for the victims of alleged sexual abuses by the movie studio's co-founder.

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A medical company is trying to make hospital gowns less terrible — maybe even good. The company is called Care+Wear and it's currently testing out the new gowns at MedStar Montgomery in Olney, Md.

You know the old gown, sometimes called a "johnny": It's got the flimsy ties and the exposed back.

Mark E. Smith, founder and frontman of the UK band The Fall, has died at the age of 60. The band's manager, Pam Vander, said in a written statement, "He passed this morning (24th January) at home. A more detailed statement will follow in the next few days."

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In the mid-1990s, the Irish rock band The Cranberries was everywhere.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LINGER")

THE CRANBERRIES: (Singing) But I'm in so deep. You know I'm such a fool for you. You...

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Muscle Shoals, Ala., is a small town a couple hours east of Memphis and south of Nashville. Starting in the 1960s, it drew some of the best musicians in the world.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TELL MAMA")

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The ice bucket challenge became a viral sensation a few years ago.

(SOUNDBITE OF WATER SPLASHING, LAUGHTER)

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Steely Dan - that band's debut album in 1972 fused together jazz, rock guitar, drums, keys. And they just created this sound.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DO IT AGAIN")

STEELY DAN: (Singing) In the morning, you go gunning for the man who stole your water. And you fire...

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