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John Cale, Parton For President, Henry Cowell Rediscovered

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Friday, October 12, 2012

John Cale. John Cale. (Shawn Brackbill/ courtesy of the artist)

Today on Soundcheck, the next installment of Musician In Chief, in which we nominate a musician for president. This time CBS Sunday Morning contributor Faith Salie explains why the bedazzled queen of country, Dolly Parton, would be right for the job.

Then, Velvet Underground founding member and avant-garde composer John Cale comes by to perform in the studio.

And a new book reveals more about influential, but lesser-known composer Henry Cowell.


John Cale

Dolly Parton For Musician In Chief

Over the next few weeks, Soundcheck is looking for our first Musician In Chief. Special guests nominate musicians and make a case for why that artist should become commander in chief. So far, Keith Richards and Patti Smith have been nominated. Today, we turn to CBS Sunday Morning contributor Faith Salie for her pick, Dolly Parton.

START THE CONVERSATION: Who do you think should become the first "Musician In Chief"? Fill out THIS questionnaire into our comments section, or email your response to


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John Cale Returns With 'Shifty Adventures'

Anyone familiar with John Cale knows he's an artist who plays lots of types of music: Cale made rock history as a founding member of The Velvet Underground in the 1960's and he's a cl...


Henry Cowell: An Unknown Great

There's been a lot of talk lately about the late American composer John Cage, whose 100th birthday would have occurred on September 5. But Cage didn’t materialize out of thin air: He found inspiration from the work of another composer, Henry Cowell.

In fact, several generations of America’s most important composers owe a musical -- and perhaps philosophical -- debt to the 20th century innovator. And yet, people who at least know the names of John Cage, or Aaron Copland, or perhaps Charles Ives, have no idea who Cowell was.

Author and conductor Joel Sachs aims to change that with his book Henry Cowell – A Man Made of Music, and he joined us in the studio.


Gig Alert: Edmar Castaneda

Jazz harpist Edmar Castaneda plays at the Jazz Standard on Friday night. Download the track "Double Portion" here.