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FUV Essentials

So many variables determine what makes an artist or band “essential” — longevity, impact, influence, history. On-air and online, we celebrate the musicians who have shaped our cultural soundtrack for the past fifty years. Let’s love these FUV Essential artists while they’re here, and honor those who have departed too soon.

1968

For the last four Thursdays of the summer of 2018, it's #FUVTBT Throwback Thursdays. WFUV is rewinding decades, back to 1998, 1988, 1978, and 1968 — dipping back for day-long flashbacks with songs of that particular year and personal perspectives from FUV's DJs. For 1968, FUV's afternoon host Dennis Elsas turns the clock back 50 years to a watershed time in American history when politics, passions, and pop culture collided in a revolutionary way.

1988

For the last four Thursdays of the summer of 2018, it's #FUVTBT Throwback Thursdays. WFUV is rewinding decades, back to 1998, 1988, 1978, and 1968 — dipping back for day-long flashbacks with songs of that particular year and personal perspectives from FUV's DJs. For 1988, Russ Borris, FUV's music director and host of "The Alternate Side," goes back thirty years to an era of questionable fashion but wildly eclectic music.

1998

For the last four Thursdays of the summer of 2018, it's #FUVTBT Throwback Thursdays. WFUV is rewinding decades, back to 1998, 1988, 1978, and 1968 — dipping back for day-long flashbacks with songs of that particular year and personal perspectives from FUV's DJs. For 1998, Rita Houston remembers her early years at WFUV.

The National

The National's I Am Easy to Find, the band's eighth album, arrives just as the quintet of brothers, friends, and artistic sparring partners marks its own 20th anniversary as a group.

Bob Dylan

In the three years since FUV first celebrated Bob Dylan as an FUV Essentials, he's won the Nobel Prize in Literature, released another album of American standards and more volumes of the "Bootleg Series," and ahead, he unveils the colossal 14-disc The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings — accompanied by a Martin Scorsese documentary on Netflix too.

Dan Auerbach

As a singer, songwriter, guitarist, acclaimed producer, Nashville studio owner, record label executive, modern bluesman, and a member of multiple bands, Dan Auerbach doesn't much sleep these days. Whether working with Patrick Carney on the Black Keys' ninth album or producing Yola or Shannon Shaw at his own Easy Eye Sound studios, the very busy Auerbach is one of our FUV Essentials.

Mavis Staples

The indefatigable and mighty Mavis Staples turns 80 on July 10, 2019. She's triumphantly celebrating all angles of that milestone birthday with friends and fans this May with a new album, We Get By, and three star-studded concerts in New York, Nashville and Los Angeles.

Al Green

With his enduring voice, that honeyed sea of soulful and sensual yearning, and his embrace of both the spiritual and the secular, the Reverend Al Green is one of our FUV Essentials artists.

Tank and the Bangas: Five Essential New Orleans Songs

In 2019, everything is going Tank and the Bangas' way. The New Orleans band, winners of NPR's Tiny Desk Concert back in 2017,  releases its major label debut, Green Balloon, on May 3 via Verve Forecast. Frontwoman Tank Ball writes about what she loves about her NOLA's unique music in her "Five Essential New Orleans Songs," ahead of her band's appearance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on May 4.

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