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.

It’s hard to believe that Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run album is 30 years old?  Well,"the Boss" is back and Cyprus Avenue host Bill Shapiro pays tribute to his iconic recording, and you’re invited to the birthday party.

Track List:

Bruce Springsteen - "Born In The USA"

Dead Man’s Town - " Born In The USA "

Bruce Springsteen - "Cover Me"

Dead Man’s Town - " Cover Me "

Dead Man’s Town - "I’m On Fire"

Bruce Springsteen - " I’m On Fire "

Bruce Springsteen - "No Surrender"

Leonard Cohen Lives On

Oct 18, 2014

Leonard Cohen’s new release Popular Problems is described as a smoky, late night concoction…and it has all the ingredients for another great edition of Cyprus Avenue…

Track List:


"Almost Like The Blues"

"Everybody Knows"

"My Oh My"

"I’m Your Man"

"Samson In New Orleans"


"You Got Me"



Both Marty Stuart and Lucinda Williams are country music stars, each in their own right.  They are both extremely gifted musicians, and their talents extend beyond the country music's boundaries without losing that country flavor.

Track List:

Lucinda Williams - "Compassion"

Marty Stuart - "I’m Blue I’m Lonesome"

Lucinda Williams - "Walk On"

Marty Stuart - "Long Walk To Heaven"

Marty Stuart - "Talking To The Wall"

Lucinda Williams - "Something Wicked This Way Comes"

Marty Stuart - "Life Has Its Little Ups And Downs"

Talent and longevity are the key elements of greatness. Smokey Robinson enjoys both, with a career spanning over 50 years, and he’s still going strong.  It’s Smokey Then and Now, on this edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Smokey - "Tracks Of My Tears”

Smokey and Elton John - “Tracks Of My Tears”

Marvin Gaye - “Ain’t That Peculiar”

Smokey and James Taylor - “Ain’t That Peculiar”

Smokey & The Miracles - “You Really Got A Hold On Me”  

Smokey and Steven Tyler – “You Really Got A Hold On Me”

Singer-songwriter Sam Baker is a man of few words…but when he puts them to music it’s something special.  Combine his music with singer Mary Gauthier (Gau-THEE-aye), it becomes a hour of radio to remember, and a concert to you don't want to miss. 

Track List:

Sam BakerCredit

Sam Baker - "Say Grace”

Labor Day may mark the unofficial end of Summer…but Bill Shapiro continues to bring the heat with new music from Tom Petty, Spoon and Puss n-boots and more...

Track List:

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - "Full Grown Boy”

Puss n Boots - “Down By The River”

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - “American Dream Plan B”

Kris Kristofersten - “The Ballad OF Ira Hayes”

Spoon - “Outlier”

Puss n Boots - “Don’t Know What It Means”

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Shadow People”

How can you be called one of the single most important figures in rock history and not be a household name?  Try not being bombastic…J.J.Cale did, and he’s the focus on Cyprus Avenue this week.

Track List:

J.J. Cale - "Magnolia”

J.J. Cale - “After Midnight”

J.J. Cale - “Call Me The Breeze”

J.J. Cale - “Call Me The Breeze”

J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton - “Sporting Life Blues”

J.J. Cale - “Songbird”

J.J. Cale – “Crazy Mama”

J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton – “Dead End Road”

J.J. Cale – “Sensitive Kind”

Singer-songwriter Sam Baker is a man of few words…but when he puts them to music it’s something special.  Combine his music with singer Mary Gauthier (Gau-THEE-aye), it becomes a hour of radio to remember. 

Track List:

Sam Baker - "Say Grace”

Mary Gauthier - “Last of the Hobo Kings”

Sam Baker - “Waves”

Mary Gauthier - “O Soul”

Sam Baker - “Juarez”

Mary Gauthier – “Mercy Now”

Mary Gauthier - “Falling Out Of Love”

Sam Baker – “Ditch”

Mary Gauthier – “I Drink”

Sam Baker – “Isn’t Love Great”

One More Moondance

Aug 10, 2014

The legendary Van Morrison is back with some alternate takes from his classic recordings.

Track List:

"Into the Mystic"

"And It Stoned Me"

"Brand New Day"

"These Dreams of You"



"Come Running"

"Crazy Love"

"Glad Tidings"

"I Shall Sing"

"Into the Mystic"

New York City's Brill Building was known as a "one stop shop" that produced some great music in the '50s and '60s.  Last February, Cyprus Avenue host Bill Shapiro focused on music written by two of the great writing teams from the building.  This time around, he focuses more on the great music that originated from the hit factory that the Brill Building became.

Track List:

Drifters - "This Magic Moment”

Shirelles - “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”

Dion - “Dream Lover”

Everly Brothers - “Cryin’ In The Rain”

New Artists New Sounds

Jul 26, 2014

Looking for some new music?  Cyprus Avenue host Bill Shapiro has some great ideas this week from artists you may not even know. 

Track List:

Sturgill Simpson - "Life Of Sin”

Jeremy Loops - “Sinner”

Chris Smither - “Rosalee”

Sturgill Simpson - “Voices”

Jeremy Loops - “Higher Stakes”

Chris Smither – “Seems So Real”

Jack White - “Just One Drink”

Jeremy Loops – “Mission To The Sun”

Sturgill Simpson – “Living The Dream”

Jeremy Loops – “Power”

Chris Smither – “Love You Like A Man”

What do the recent World Cup and Cyprus Avenue have in common?  If you guessed Brazil you’re a borderline genius. It’s an hour of some great songs and great singers with a Brazilian twist.

Track List:

Bill Withers - "Lovely Day”

Aretha Franklin - “Walk On By”

Marvin Gaye - “Sexual Healing”

Billie Holiday - “You’ve Changed”

Sly & The Family Stone - “Family Affair”

Mel Torme – “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”

Nina Simone - “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free”

Johnny Nash – “I Can See Clearly Now”

Country Funk is an inherently defiant genre, encompassing gospel, blues, country hoedown harmony, and inner city grit.  It’s also a slow-jammin’, booty-shakin’ good time on Cyprus Avenue.

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’”