Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels have become global hits. They are rife with love and sex and the mob — and commentary about language. This week on the podcast we explore Italy's linguistic history and the tensions between Italian dialects and the lingua franca.
In the 1960s, rock 'n' roll gave birth to many new styles of popular music. One of those was Ska, which originated in Jamaica and was a precursor to reggae. Filmmaker Brad Klein has just come out with a documentary tracing the history of ska, "Legends of Ska. Without ska, there is no reggae."
The familiar song that starts PRI's The World won't be quite as familiar today. Our signature tune is getting an update after 18 years, and composer Eric Goldberg explains how he gave a fresh sound to our theme.
Kate Bush fans from around the globe have picked a pub near the Hammersmith Apollo as a central meeting place. It's become a place to gather and share the excitement before catching one of the singer's sold-out shows, her first in 35 years.
Utada Hikaru was the first Japanese musician to do it all. Sing, write and be a pop star. She quickly became one of the country's most successful musicians — a position no one has managed to take from her.
Musicians like Prodigy, Oasis, Jay-Z and Amy Winehouse have used the so-called "Amen break," a decades-old six-second drum solo from a soul band named The Winstons. But that widespread usage never brought the band much fame or money — until now.