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Afterglow Jazz and American Popular Song

Cry Me A River: Tears In Popular Song

Julie London’s definitive 1955 version of the Arthur Hamilton song “Cry Me A River” is part of the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry.

In the Great American Songbook, we have many songs about falling in love and just as many songs about heartbreak. And with heartbreak usually comes tears, and that will be our focus this week: tears in popular song. On this episode, we’ll hear some jazz standards all about crying, including songs like “Cry Me A River,” “I Cried For You,” and “Willow Weep For Me.” But some of the best crying songs don’t come from jazz. So this hour, I’ll also feature a few tearful numbers from the world of classic R&B and country, including “Drown In My Own Tears” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”

Music Heard On This Episode

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Mark Chilla

Mark Chilla, originally from Atlanta, GA, is the Production Director at WFIU, where he also hosts Ether Game and Afterglow. He studied music theory at Indiana University and taught various music theory courses at IU and Butler University. He enjoys film, woodworking, learning new instruments and the Beatles.

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