Louder: A Surprise in Lou Reed’s Archives

Plus: Kelly Clarkson, Post Malone, Chris Blackwell and More
Author Headshot

By Caryn Ganz

Pop Music Editor

A five-inch reel of audio tape housed in a plain cardboard box is the jewel of a new exhibition of material from Lou Reed’s archives at the Library for the Performing Arts, at Lincoln Center. As Ben Sisario reports in his first look at the show, Reed mailed the box to himself; it was discovered unopened, and finally played: “What they found were some of the earliest known recordings of songs that Reed wrote for the Velvet Underground, his groundbreaking 1960s band, in stripped-down, almost folky acoustic versions that may leave fans and scholars stunned.” The recordings will be part of a Light in the Attic release in August; the exhibition also includes holiday greeting cards from Moe Tucker and a receipt for a studded dog collar that is almost certainly the one Reed wore on the cover of his 1974 live album “Rock ’n’ Roll Animal.”

Also this week: Ben interviewed the Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, who’s always been known to keep a low profile while his artists — Bob Marley, U2, Grace Jones — took center stage, and tracked a few changes to the Grammys, including the addition of a new category: songwriter of the year. Jon Caramanica reviewed new albums from Post Malone and Tate McRae. And Lindsay Zoladz wrote about one of my favorite topics: Kelly Clarkson and her delightful covers series Kellyoke. (Please listen to her version of Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever,” which spawned a particularly effusive back and forth between writer and editor.)

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OBITUARIES

Jim Seals, Half of a Popular 1970s Soft-Rock Duo, Dies at 79

Teamed with Dash Crofts, he hit it big with “Summer Breeze” in 1972. The two went on to have chart success with “Diamond Girl” and other songs.

By Neil Genzlinger

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Dave Smith, Whose Synthesizers Shaped Electronic Music, Dies at 72

His innovations included the first polyphonic, programmable synthesizer and the universal connectivity of MIDI.

By Jon Pareles

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Grachan Moncur III, Trombonist Whose Star Shone Briefly, Dies at 85

He mixed free jazz and post-bop in notable 1960s and ’70s recordings. But he withdrew from the jazz scene, in part because of a dispute over publishing rights.

By Richard Sandomir

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Bill Walker, Nashville Force as Conductor and Arranger, Dies at 95

He scored chart-topping records for country stars and later served as the musical director of “The Johnny Cash Show.”

By Bill Friskics-Warren

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Ingram Marshall, Minimalist Composer of Mystical Sounds, Dies at 80

An influential figure in American experimental music, he was part of a group of composers who stripped music down to basic elements and used digital sounds.

By Javier C. Hernández

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Paul Vance, Lyricist Behind an ‘Itsy Bitsy’ Bikini, Dies at 92

His daughter’s experience wearing a bikini on a beach in 1960 inspired him to write a novelty song that became a No. 1 hit.

By Richard Sandomir

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