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Willie Was Always On His Mind

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Friday, March 09, 2012

For songwriters and music publishers, getting an artist to record their work can take a bit of skill. Today: The history of “song plugging” – and how industry executive Randy Poe chased Willie Nelson across an entire country just to play him a single tune. Plus: A live performance from Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche. And: Beethoven's Eroica Symphony gets remixed.

Stalking the Red Headed Stranger

As the longtime president of Leiber and Stoller Music Publishing, Randy Poe has represented songs like "Stand By Me," "Hound Dog," and "Love Potion #9." In 2006, his boss (songwriter and producer Jerry Leiber) sent him on a personal mission to pitch a song to Willie Nelson - resulting in an epic journey that still hasn't quite ended. The tale is recounted in the new book "Stalking the Red Headed Stranger, or How to Get Your Songs into the Hands of the Artists Who Really Matter." Randy Poe joins us to share the story - and the history of "song-plugging."

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Eroica, Remixed

Thumping beats, sweeping high-pitched melodies, and a dramatic climax – from this description, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (also known as the Eroica) sounds like it could be the next hot dance mix even before it's been remixed. Conductor Alan Pierson of the Brooklyn Philharmonic joins us to talk about the ensemble’s “Beethoven Remix Project” – and what it plans to do with five electronic remixes of the famous symphony.

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Sondre Lerche: In Studio

Sondre Lerche returns to Soundcheck with his most recent album – which is also called “Sondre Lerche.” We’ll find out more about the album, which the Norwegian singer and songwriter wrote in New York, when he joins us in studio. Plus, he plays live.

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Gig Alert: Shanren

Chinese alt-folk outfit Shanren performs at Staten Island's Dock Street on Saturday night. Download its catchy song "Thirty Years."

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