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Folk Alley Joins NPR and 11 Other Stations to Launch NPR Music

November 7, 2007

On Nov. 5, NPR and 11 other NPR Member public radio stations recognized for music programming launched NPR Music, a new, free, comprehensive multimedia music discovery web site at This new site features on-air and online content aggregated from Folk Alley, NPR and all stations participating in the launch project, as well as original materials such as interviews, reviews, blogs and live performances. NPR Music permits users to explore, experience and enjoy the full range of music genres found on public radio. Through its stream and other artist-based content, Folk Alley will provide visitors to with the best in folk, Celtic, bluegrass, Americana, World, acoustic instrumentals and other traditional and roots music-based genres.

Joining Folk Alley and NPR to launch this new service are public radio stations KEXP and KPLU Seattle; KUT Austin; WBGO Newark; WDUQ Pittsburgh; WFUV and WNYC New York; WGBH Boston; WGUC Cincinnati; WXPN Philadelphia; and American Public Media/Minnesota Public Radio. All partners will provide content including live concerts, studio sessions, features and reviews. NPR Music also links to the live music streams of all participating stations, including WKSU in Kent, OH, Folk Alley’s parent station, which will contribute a stream of its classical music programming. Additional NPR affiliate stations and producers will join the project in the coming months.

Folk Alley can already be found on through posted studio sessions featuring singer/songwriter Susan Werner and contemporary roots band The Duhks, along with an exclusive live concert recording of newgrass trio The Greencards. Future Folk Alley contributions to NPR Music will include concert recordings, interviews, music lists and studio sessions spotlighting artists on the playlist. Artists currently streamed on Folk Alley include Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan, Alison Krauss & Union Station, David Francey, Tom Paxton, Eric Bibb, and Nickel Creek.

Folk Alley Director of Marketing and Programming Linda Fahey says, “We're thrilled to be part of this exciting online music collaboration with NPR. Not only will NPR Music help folk and acoustic music fans find, it will provide a great opportunity for the artists that excite us and our online listeners to reach a larger public radio audience.”

“ is recognized as one of the most exciting online projects created by a public broadcaster, offering a desirable mix of unique content. We’re delighted that our colleagues at Folk Alley are joining NPR and the 11 other stations at to launch this new service,” says Maria Thomas, Senior Vice President, NPR Digital Media. “NPR Music evolves the high-quality music journalism, performance and presentation that have been the longtime trademark of NPR and public radio stations like WKSU, the producer of”

Specific sections of the site are dedicated to rock/pop/folk, classical, jazz/blues, world and urban music. In each genre, program, and subject area, users can explore renowned music journalism; intimate interviews and studio sessions with artists; exclusive web concerts featuring national and regional musicians; reviews and news; original blogs from critics, experts and artists; and podcasts.

At launch, the site features two new blogs. The “All Songs Considered” blog, written by producers Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton, will go behind the scenes of the online weekly music show produced by NPR. “Monitor Mix” will offer music picks and industry news from writer and musician Carrie Brownstein, formerly of the band Sleater-Kinney.

The site culls from NPR's and the participating stations' extensive music archives to present thousands of features; the site's Artist Index alone, an A to Z artist directory, will, at launch, offer content covering more than 2000 performers. It is expected that 200 new features will be added monthly. The NPR Music service enables partner stations and NPR member stations to incorporate a variety of modular content offerings, including RSS feeds and Javascript modules, into their station web sites.

NPR Music also offers original video and audio features. Along with the Artist Index, some of the featured new elements being produced by NPR and participating stations are: Project Song - a video feature challenging songwriters to write and record an original song in two days at the NPR studios (the first participant is songwriter Stephin Merritt, to be followed by indie band Georgie James); Studio Sessions - in-studio audio performances, some including video; Discover Songs - audio stories about, and recommendations for, individual songs; and Music Lists - five-song listening sets curated by musicians and station staff.

Coinciding with the launch of NPR Music is an exclusive media player available across This player allows users to create a personal playlist for audio or video (dating from 2004 to present) on the site and makes dynamic recommendations for related content depending on a user's selections. The playlist also offers persistent links to NPR's 24-hour stream and the five-minute NPR News Summary.

The member supported brings the best in singer/songwriter, acoustic instrumental, Celtic, Americana, bluegrass, world and traditional folk styles to listeners across the U.S. and in more than 150 countries around the planet over the Internet. Along with its 24-hour music stream, is the on-line source for Folk Alley playlists, artist interviews, folk music news, original performances and Open Mic, a virtual "coffeehouse" on-line that provides amateur and yet-to-be-discovered artists the chance to upload songs for consideration by Folk Alley's 80,000 registered users. is produced by 89.7 WKSU, a service of Kent State University.
PR01.07 -NPR- 11/05/07

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at November 7, 2007 5:12 PM

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