Culture

Music, art, literature, food, language, and all that makes us Louisianians.

Soul singer Percy Sledge epitomized Southern soul in ballads like "When A Man Loves A Woman," which became a massive international hit when it came out in 1966. Sledge died Tuesday morning of natural causes in East Baton Rouge, La. He was 74.

Singer Percy Sledge, perhaps best known for his hit "When A Man Loves A Woman," has died, Artists International Management Inc., his talent agency, said.

Sledge died of natural causes a little after midnight at a hospice in East Baton Rouge, La., according to a coroner. The coroner said Sledge was 74, though the Encyclopedia of Music as well as his talent agency says Sledge was 73.

Arrested Development frontman, Speech.
Courtesy of the artist

The Atlanta-based group Arrested Development hit it big in 1992 with its debut album pioneering hip hop with a message.

Arrested Development disbanded for a while, then came back together about 15 years ago. And, as frontman Speech told WRKF's Amy Jeffries when he called in to the newsroom, they’ve been working mostly overseas since then.

They came back from a tour in Japan just in time to perform at the Baton Rouge Blues Festival this Saturday, April 11. Arrested Development will be talking more with WRKF's Amy Jeffries Backstage at Blues Fest at 2:45 p.m.

Southern Baptist leaders were supposed to be talking about bioethics this week at a summit in Nashville, Tenn. That changed in December after a New York grand jury declined to return an indictment in the police choking death of Eric Garner.

When Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, sent out tweets expressing his shock, there was pushback. Should the church get involved in a divisive political issue?

Lacey Schwartz grew up in Woodstock, N.Y., a mostly white, middle-class community. But even as a child she sometimes questioned why her deeper skin tone and curly hair didn't look like every one else in her family. Her parents, who are white and Jewish, explained that her inherited looks came from a Sicilian grandfather with darker features and coarse hair.

The eyes of the pop music world are on Austin, Texas this week. Thousands of bands and fans have descended upon the city for the South by Southwest music festival. Austin is also home to its own music scene year-round — and one of its more unusual groups is tapping into a sound that has nothing to do with indie rock or hip-hop. They're called Riyaaz Qawwali.

"The essence of the Bob Wills sound, and the reason he picked and did what he did, is that it was dance music — period."

On a sunny Sunday in New Orleans, barbecue stands and ice-filled coolers line a closed-off street. Central City is not a tourist zone, but people pack in — many with cameras and long lenses. A mass of color begins to move.

Few dishes showcase Southern tradition more perfectly than a slice of pecan pie, with its dark custard filling and crunchy, nutty topping.

At his talk at TEDxLSU last Saturday, John Gray — a musician and educator — talked about “music as a connector”.

When you hear a few bars of the "Star Spangled Banner", that might make you feel patriotic. And, “When the Saints Go Marching in”, might stir up some football fandom.

If culture were a gumbo, he said, music is the roux — the special ingredient that binds us together and makes us who we are.

And he’s calling on his city, Baton Rouge, to consciously sustain its own culture.

At his talk at TEDxLSU last Saturday, John Gray — a musician and educator — talked about “music as a connector”.

When you hear a few bars of the Star Spangled Banner, that might make you feel patriotic. And, “When the Saints Go Marching in”, might stir up some football fandom.

If culture were a gumbo, he said, music is the roux — the special ingredient that binds us together and makes us who we are.

And he’s calling on his city, Baton Rouge, to consciously sustain its own culture.
 


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