Cyprus Avenue

Saturday 1 p.m.; Rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

The world of popular music from gospel to rock - from country to reggae - from a different point of view.

Cyprus Avenue on KCUR has been hosted by Bill Shapiro since October 1978. The weekly radio show has aired on more than 50 stations in the U.S.

Shapiro is the author of The CD Rock and Roll Library and The Rock and Roll Review, both published by Andrews & McMeel. A native of Kansas City, Mo., and a tax and estate planner since 1962, Shapiro received his law degree from the University of Michigan.

Please note that due to recording industry regulations, we are not able to offer on-demand audio of Cyprus Avenue playlists.

How does 81 year old Willie Nelson keep life interesting?  By doing what he's done repeatedly for the past 58 years, composing and performing some of the best country music ever.  Nelson, who's written over 2,500 songs and released nearly 300 albums, has a new recording called Band of Brothers.  It's been critically acclaimed as his best album in a decade.  The album is featured along with anothernew release from the legendary Dolly Parton titled Blue Smoke.  Nelson and Parton make sweet music together on this edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Twenty-two years ago a proverbial "who's who" group of  pop musicians gathered in Madison Square Garden to celebrate Bob Dylan's 30th anniversary.  MSG was sold out that night, so just in case you missed it, Cyprus Avenue host Bill Shapiro takes you back to that event via the recent release of The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration.

Track List

Willie Nelson - "Was It What You Wanted”

John Mellencamp - “Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat”

June Carter Cash & Johnny Cash - “It Ain’t Me”

Richie Havens - “Just Like A Woman”

Rock And Roll Is Back

Jun 21, 2014

If you’re fan of '60s and '70s rock & roll, this episode of Cyprus Avenue will absolutely blow you away.  It’s the return of Led Zepplelin …

Track List:

Led Zeppelin - "Your Time Is Gonna Come”

Led Zeppelin - “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”

Led Zeppelin - “Good Times Bad Times”

Led Zeppelin - “I Can’t Quit You Baby”

Led Zeppelin - “I Can’t Quit You Baby (Live)”

Led Zeppelin - “Heartbreaker”

Led Zeppelin – “Dazed and Confused”

There's an abundance of new music to be found, but the problem is finding the time to sift through it all.  Host Bill Shapiro is a music head, which means that a big part of his life is spent in the pursuit of good music.  On this edition of Cyprus Avenue, he shares some new releases from Dave and Phil Alvin, Robert Ellis and Joe Henry.  Consider it Bill's form of public service.

Dave and Phil AlvinCredit Photo: Joel AparicioEdit | Remove

Track List:

Soul singer Wilson Pickett was a major player in the world of R&B.  His distinctive voice and showmanship thrilled audiences and led him to a Grammy Award and subsequent induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  On this edition of Cyprus Avenue, host Bill Shapiro features the work of the the artist known as the "Wicked" Wilson Pickett.

Photo by Laura Fedele

Singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell is scheduled to perform live in Kansas City on Friday, June 6th.  It's part of the series KCUR Presents Cyprus Avenue Live at the Folly Theater.  On this edition of  Cyprus Avenue, host Bill Shapiro presents the musical artistry of Rodney Crowell.

Kansas City native Kelley Hunt does it all...roots music, R&B, Americana.  She's a singer/songwriter, piano player and guitarist.  Hunt's the featured artist as host Bill Shapiro surveys recent releases from some amazingly talented women.

Opal Louis Nations / Courtesy of NPR

Back in the '50 and '60, Nashboro Records was one of the leading gospel labels.  According to NPR's First Listen, "...Nashboro's bread was buttered by vocal quartets that typically paired a gritty lead singer with sweet harmonies.  Born in Ernie's Record Mart in Nashville, Tennessee, the label's glory days are captured on a new 4 disc box set.  When Cyprus Avenue host Bill Shapiro got his hands on it, he felt the spirit, and now he takes us to church...

It has been a while since Cyprus Avenue host Bill Shapiro has featured the music of singer/songwriter Jackson Browne...but there's a new release featuring some legendary singers performing covers of some of Browne's best work, and it's inspired Bill to pay tribute...

Track List:

Don Henley - "These Days”

Paul Thorn - “Doctor My Eyes”

Indigo Girls - “Fountain Of Sorrow”

Jackson Browne - “Red Neck Friend”

Sara & Sean Watkins - “Your Bright Baby Blues”

Bob Schneider - “Running On Empty”

This episode of Cyprus Avenue features the music of reggae master Bob Marley, along with the Wailers, that is featured in a recent documentary Marley, which is about Bob Marley.

Corner Stone
Small Axe
Stir It Up
Concrete Jungle
Get Up Stand Up
Three Little Birds
Could You Be Loved
Redemption Song

Rodney Crowell

Apr 26, 2014

Singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell got his musical talents honestly.  His dad was a bandleader, and his former father-in-law was the legendary Johnny Cash.  Though he has not been the most prolific artist, it is hard to deny his artistry.

Track List:

Rodney Crowell - "The Long Journey Home”

Rodney Crowell - “It’s Such A Small World”

Rodney Crowell - “Ashes By Now”

Rodney Crowell - “Famous Last Words Of A Fool In Love”

Rodney Crowell - “’Til I Gain Control Again”

Rodney Crowell - “Shame On The Moon”

Here's Johnny!

Apr 19, 2014

Cyprus Avenue host Bill Shapiro cracks open the vault to unlock some previously unreleased gems from the Johnny Cash discography.  He also features new music from other members of the Carter/Cash familyto make up an hour of great music.

Track List:

Johnny Cash - "Out Among The Stars”

Johnny Cash with June Carter Cash - “Baby Ride Easy”

Carlene Carter - “Lonesome Valley 2003”

Johnny Cash - “I’m Movin’ On”

Carlene Carter - “Little Black Train”

Johnny Cash - “She Used To Love Me A Lot”

Notable New Releases

Apr 12, 2014

According to Cyprus Avenue host Bill Shapiro, over the past few years the quality and quantity of new music is not what it used to be…but he’s found some of the best new stuff from The Holmes Brothers, Dave Mason, Beck and more...

Track List:

Peter Mulvey - "You Don’t Have To Lie To Me”

Dave Mason - “Dear Mr. Fantasy”

Beck - “Heart Is A Drum”

Peter Mulvey - “What Else Was It?”

The Holmes Brothers - “Passing Through”

Drive-by Truckers - “Prime Coat”

Uncle Tupelo - “Life Worth Living”

Publicity photo of Patsy Cline distributed by MCA Records

Cyprus Avenue, host Bill Shapiro takes you to  the early ‘60’s country music hit parade…that’s right it’s classic country music.

Track list:

George Jones - "She Thinks I Still Care”

Patsy Cline - “She’s Got You”

Johnny Cash - “Busted”

Joe Carson - “I Got Drunk And I Sure Do Dread It”

Ernest Tubb - “Thanks A Lot”

Dave Dudley - “6 Days On The Road”

George Hamilton - “Abilene”

Little Esther Phillips - “Release Me”

Bobby Bare - “500 Miles Away From Home”

Patsy Cline - “So Wrong”

wfuv on Flickr

In Part Five of this series, we take a look back at some of the best music that came along in 2007.

Track List:

Robert Plant/Allison Krause - "Gone, Gone, Gone”

Dion - “The Thunder”

Sam Baker - “Juarez”

Mavis Staples - “Eyes On The Prize”

Joan Armatrading - “Play The Blues”

Tom Waits - “Young At Heart”

Sam Baker - “Orphan”

Dion - “HooDoo Man Blues”

Mavis Staples - “Turn Me Around”

Bruce Springsteen - “Further On Up The Road”


Mar 15, 2014

Inspire Cyprus Avenue host Bill Shapiro and there's a long shot you could get an hour of radio focused on your music.  The legendary Prince certainly beat odds following his recent TV appearance on The Arcenio Hall Show.  So you will receive the reward as Prince takes to the Cyprus Avenue stage to perform some of his greatest hits, as well as some nuggets you may not have heard before.

Tracks List:

"Gotta Broken Heart Again”


“Little Red Corvette”

“Let’s Go Crazy”

“When Doves Cry”


On this edition of Cyprus Avenue host Bill Shapiro shines the spotlight on a nice Jewish kid from Chicago. Mike Bloomfield discovered R&B, blues and jazz at an early age.  So obsessed by what he heard, he literally dropped everything and dedicated his life to become one of the most incredible blues guitarists ever to take the stage.  He performed with many legendary musicians like Bob Dylan and Muddy Waters, and all would agree that Mike Bloomfield played a mean guitar.

Track List:

"I’m A Country Boy”

“I Got My Mojo Workin’”

Inspired by the recent International Folk Alliance Convention held recently in Kansas City, host Bill Shapiro features a group of singer-songwriters that all share the same quality.

And it goes beyond the obvious fact they all have composed and performed great songs. 

It's that those great songs put listeners in touch with their feelings. This week's edition of Cyprus Avenue showcases the work of Bob Dylan, Sam Baker, Townes Van Zandt and others.

Track List

Sam Baker - "Baseball”

Tony Joe White - “Willie and Laura Mae Jones”

The Brill Building Teams

Feb 22, 2014

In the '50s and '60s, New York City's Brill Building was known as a place where you could write a song; shop it to publishers; book some studio time to cut a demo; hire some of the musicians and singers; cut a demo; then present it to building to record companies, publishers, artist's managers or even the artists themselves. It was a "one-stop shop" that produced some great music known as the "Brill Building Sound."  On this edition of Cyprus Avenue, host Bill Shapiro features the music written by two of the great writing teams from the Brill Building.


This week on Cyprus Avenue host Bill Shapiro samples new music featuring Rosanne Cash and her release The River's The Thread.  The "Boss: is back-- Bruce Springsteen with High Hopes, and a new release from Billy Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones titled Foreverly that celebrates music of the Everly Brothers. 

Track List:

Rozanne Cash- "A Feathers Not A Bird”

Bruce Springsteen- “High Hopes”

Rozanne Cash- “Etta’s Song”

Billy Joe & Norah Jones- “Roving Gambler”

Rozanne Cash - “World Of Strange Design”

Last week’s Grammy Awards featured a reunion of Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.  The former Beatles received a lifetime achievement award …and  on this edition of Cyprus Avenue an encore of the Beatles’ 12 greatest hits. 


This past summer on Cyprus Avenue, Bill Shapiro put the spotlight on the documentary film 20 Feet from Stardom, a celebration of outstanding musicians who rarely receive recognition:  the back-up singers.  Included on the show were portions of the film's soundtrack, plus other recordings by the artists featured in the film.  Since then, 20 Feet from Stardom has been nominated for an Oscar, so we bring you a special encore of that show.

Instrumental Hits

Jan 18, 2014
Stax Records

When you think of instrumental rock ‘n roll, classics like Green Onion and Honky Tonk probably come to mind…but Bill Shapiro serves up some other gems worth a listen.

This week we celebrate the often-happy, always-funky music of Sly and the Family Stone – including some newly-released material.

We kick off 2014 with some legendary rock ‘n roll, as Bill Shapiro brings you selections from the famous 1971 New Year’s Eve concert by The Band.   This performance footage also features horn arrangements by Allen Toussaint, who returns to The Folly Theater January 11th for a Cyprus Avenue Live concert.

K&K Center of the Beat/Retna;

Bill Shapiro starts the New Year celebration early, bringing you his annual party of live concert recordings.

Cyprus Avenue rings in the holidays, as Bill Shapiro brings you his annual “The Sounds of Christmas” show.

Glade Bilby II;

Thank you for supporting Cyprus Avenue during KCUR's Winter Membership Drive!  Later this evening, Bill Shapiro brought you an encore presentation of a show focused on Allen Toussaint.  The New Orleans legend will return to The Folly Theater for a Cyprus Avenue Live concert on January 11, 2014.  This edition of Cyprus Avenue features Toussaint's music, including songs that became huge hits for other artists.

Bill Shapiro shares his favorite recordings to come along this year.  It’s a celebration of the music of 2013 this week on Cyprus Avenue.

This week on Cyprus Avenue, music that came out of the legendary FAME Studios, at the heart of the Muscle Shoals sound.