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The B Side

Dylan and AABA

No, that title isn't a typo for the Swedish group ABBA. Rather, it's a representation of the classic structure of the American popular song: Chorus (A)-Chorus-Bridge (B)-Chorus.

Songwriters' Top Ten

On his XM satellite radio show on Friday, Jonathan Schwartz played a Jimmy Van Heusen song and reflected that Van Heusen would belong on a list of the top ten American popular composers. He started ruminating about who else should be on such a list; and as best as I recall, these are the other names he offered: Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Jule Styne, Harry Warren, Duke Ellington, and his own father, Arthur Schwartz.

It got me to thinking about my own top-ten list. But before going on, some caveats are in order.