Cyprus Avenue | KCUR

Cyprus Avenue

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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.

KCUR 89.3

Bill Shapiro, a Kansas City tax attorney by day who spent more than four decades hosting a Saturday-night radio program devoted to rock-and-roll, died on Tuesday. He was 82.

"The name of the program is Cyprus Avenue, and I’m Bill Shapiro," he said each week in a deep, gravelly voice over the show's opening music, which was not Van Morrison's "Cyprus Avenue" but rather Matthew Fisher's "Interlude."

Major cities have been the source for a lot of great popular music…but there are exceptions.  On this edition of Cyprus Avenue a listen to some amazing music from a small Alabama town…


Arthur Alexander- "You Better Move On”

Joe Tex- "Hold On To What You’ve Got"

The Del Rays- "Fortune Teller"

Bobby Moore & The Rhythm Aces- "Searching For My Love"

James & Bobby Purify- "I’m Your Puppet"

Terry Woodford- "You’re Gonna Make You Say Yeah"

Wilson Pickett- "Land Of A Thousand Dances”

Sturgill Simpson Is Back

Jul 7, 2017

In 2016 singer, Sturgill Simpson released a recording that wowed both the music world and Cyprus Avenue host Bill Shapiro.  We’ll revisit the 2016 Cyprus Avenue show that featured Sturgill Simpson.

Track List:

Sturgill Simpson - "Hero”

Sturgill Simpson - “Old King Coal”

Sturgill Simpson - “I’ll Have To Be Crazy”

Sturgill Simpson - “Living The Dream”

Sturgill Simpson - “Voices”

Sturgill Simpson - “Just Let Go”

Sturgill Simpson – “It Ain’t All Flowers”

Sturgill Simpson – “Welcome To Earth”

The great Jimi Hendrix got his start by strumming a broom…and once he got his hands on a real guitar the rest was history.  Witness the musical genius of Jimi Hendrix on this edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:


“Earth Blues”

“Hear My Train A Comin’”

“Bleeding Heart”

“Crash Landing”

“Mojo Man”

“Easy Blues”

“Hey Gypsy Boy”

“Let Me Move You”

“Villanova Junction Blues”

Reggae singer/activist Peter Tosh exploded onto the world stage because of his message and his music…it’s music that's so good it will make you say “yeah mon!” Check it out on this week's edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

“Whatcha Gonna Do?”

“Legalize It”

“Bush Doctor”

“Ketchy Shuby”

“Till Your Well Runs Dry”

“Pick Yourself Up”

“Stepping Razor”

“I’m The Toughest”

“Get Up Stand Up”

“Equal Rights”

Meet Ruthie Foster

Jun 5, 2017

As a singer in the tight knit musical community of Austin, Texas, either you bring it, or you don’t. Ruthie Foster absolutely brings it…as you’ll hear on Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

“Singing The Blues”

“Working Woman”

“Let Mr Know”

“Joy Comes Back”

“Richland Woman Blues”


“Brand New Day”


“It Might Not Feel Right”

“The Ghetto”


“Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever”

Remembering John Lennon

May 27, 2017

He was a musical genius who founded a band that shook the world like no other.  John Lennon was known as the “smart Beatle,” and his solo career is the subject of the next Cyprus Avenue .


“Instant Karma”

“Jealous Guy”

“Whatever Gets You Through The Night”

“Come Together”

“Mind Games”

“Starting Over”

“Stand By Me”

“Watching The Wheels”

“Hound Dog”


“Happy X-Mas (War is Over)”

“Give Peace a Chance”

Monterey Pop

May 3, 2017

By the time they got to Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and The Who were superstars.  But two years prior to that they were relatively unknown when they took the stage at the Monterey Pop Festival.  That monumental event catapulted them to fame.  On this edition of Cyprus Avenue we'll revisit some of the best performances from Monterey.

Track List:

The Birds  -  “So You Want To Be A Rock and Roll Star”  

Jefferson Airplane – “Somebody To Love”

Jefferson Airplane – “Right Rabbit”

Ravi Shankar – “Duhm”

Singer Marvin Gaye once wrote, “…if you like an artist well enough to buy their album, you don’t have to be told how great they are…"  Millions loved Marvin Gaye’s music and we’ll hear why on this week's edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

“What’s Going On”

“Can I Get A Witness”

“I Heard It Through The Grapevine”

“Let’s Get It On”

“It Takes Two”

“How Sweet It Is”

“Sexual Healing”

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”

“Mercy Mercy Me”

“Inner City Blues”

“All I Need To Get By”

Bob Dylan The Crooner

Apr 6, 2017

Bob Dylan may not be your idea of a traditional crooner, but he has a special way of interpreting the classic lyrics from the American Song Book as you will hear on this edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

"I Guess I’ll Have To Change My Plans”

“Stormy Weather”

“Once Upon A Time”

“That Old Feeling”

“My One And Only Love”


“As Time Goes By” 

“How Deep Is The Ocean”

“The Best Is Yet To Come”

“P.S. I Love You”

“Day In, Day Out”

“Sentimental Journey”

In Memorial- Chuck Berry

Mar 21, 2017

While Elvis Presley was rock & roll’s first pop star, Chuck Berry was its conceptual genius,.  Chuck Berry passed last week at age 90, and Cyprus Avenue pays tribute to the man who started it all.

Track List:


“Wee Wee Hours”

“No Money Down”

“Brown Eyed Handsome Man”

“Roll Over Beethoven”

“Too Much Monkey Business”

“School Day”

“Sweet Little 16”

“Night Beat”

“Don’t You Lie To Me”

“You Came A Long Way From St Louis”

“Jamaica Moon”

“St Louis Blues”

40 years ago, The Band gave a farewell concert that, to this day, is arguably the greatest concert ever.  Re-live the legendary “Last Waltz” on this week's  Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

"Theme From The Last Waltz”

“It Makes No Difference”

“Such A Night”

“The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”

“Mystery Train”

“Mannish Boy”

“Further On”

“Forever Young”

“The Weight”

The Jefferson Airplane

Mar 9, 2017

The music of the Jefferson Airplane has been described as, "...a hallucinatory distillation of folk-blues vocals, garage-rock guitar and crisp pop songwriting."  Would you agree?  If your memory of this great band is a bit foggy, check out this week's edition of Cyprus Avenue.


Jefferson Airplane – “Bringing Me Down”                              

          “Chauffer Blues”

          “Somebody To Love     


         “White Rabbit”  

         “She Has Funny Cars”

Springtime Listening

Mar 3, 2017

Looking for some new music to add to your spring listening? Cyprus Avenue has some great suggestions to help you make your spring playlist pop…check it out!

Track List:

Bob Weir - "Only A River”

Paul Kelly & Charlie Owen - “To Live Is To Fly”

Bonnie Raitt - “What You’re Doin’ To Me”

Sean McConnell - “Holy Days”

Bob Weir - “Whatever Happened To Rose”

Paul Kelly & Charlie Owen – “Bird On A Wire”

Sean McConnell - “Beautiful Rose”

Alejandro Escovedo – “Farewell To The Good Times”

Thirteen years ago, singer-songwriter Sam Baker survived a terrorist bombing in Peru.  Since his miraculous recovery he’s been evolving as an artist…and the evolution continues on this edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

"Summer Wind”

“Same Kind Of Blue”

“The Slivered Moon”


“Love Is Patient”


“Pasture Fit For Thoroughbreds”

“Song Of Sunrise Birds”

“The Feast Of St. Valentine

“Moses In The Reeds”

“The Right Words”

“The Sunken City Rises”

“Peace Out”

Let Freedom Sing

Feb 16, 2017

Cyprus Avenue celebrates Black history month by taking you on an excursion through Black history via music.  It’s Let Freedom Sing coming up on Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

The Southern Sons – “Go Down Moses”

Billie Holiday – “Strange Fruit”

Josh White – “Uncle Sam Says”

Pete Seeger – “If I Had A Hammer”  

The Staples Singers – “Why Am I Treated So Bad”

Brother Will Hairston – “The Alabama Bus”

Bob Dylan – “Blowin’ In The Wind”

Sam Cooke – “A Change Is Gonna Come”

Aretha Franklin – “Respect”

Country Gentlemen

Feb 10, 2017

Country music, once relegated to memories, roars back to life this weekend on Cyprus Avenue. It’s great music from George Jones, the Earls of Leicester (Lester) and more...

Track List:

Earls Of Leicester - "The Train That Carried My Girl From Town”

Bobby Bare - “Rosalie’s Good Eats Cafe”

Earls Of Leicester - “Flint Hill Special”

George Jones - “Detroit City”

Waylon Jennings - “Waymore’s Blues”

Earls Of Leicester - “Steel Guitar Blues”

Gary Stewart – “Drinking Thing”

If you’re a Jackson Browne fan you won’t want to miss this week’s tribute to the talented singer/songwriter on Cyprus Avenue.

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”

Lucinda Williams -     “The Pretender”

Jackson Browne -       “The Load Out/Stay”

Van Alive

Jan 27, 2017

According to Singer Van Morrison, he does music from an introverted space…in an extrovert business. Coming up on Cyprus Avenue we take you back to 1973 to hear the extroverted side of Van Morrison, recorded live in concert.

Track List:

“I Come Running”

“I Just Wanna Make Love To You”

“Purple Heather”

“Hard Nose The Highway”

“Brown-Eyed Girl”


“Ain’t Nothing You Can Do”

“Wild Night”

“Into The Mystic”


“Cyprus Avenue”

Dance To The Music

Jan 20, 2017

In the early 60s and 70s, the music of Sly and the Family Stone inspired youthful rebellion and independence.  Nearly five decades later, their music is still vital. It’s Sly and the Family Stone on this edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

"I Just Learned How To Swim"

"Let Me Hear It From You"

“What Would I Do”

“Dance To The Music"

“Into My Own Thing”



“Everyday People”

“I Want To Take You Higher”

“Hot Fun In The Summertime”

“Everybody Is A Star”

Back To The Beginning

Jan 5, 2017

On this week's Cyprus Avenue we’re taking you back to the early days of rock & roll…a time when most of the great songs you heard were less than three minutes long…and you listened on your transistor radio.

Track List:

Richie Valens - "Come On Let’s Go”

Johnnie Taylor - “Who’s Makin’ Love”

The Turtles - “It Ain’t Me Babe”

Big Bopper - “Chantilly Lace”

Mickey & Sylvia - “Opportunity To Cry”

Dion - “Wanderer”

Beach Boys – “Surfin’ Safari”

Frankie Ford – “Sea Cruise”

The Best Of 2016

Dec 31, 2016

Cyprus Avenue host Bill Shapiro says this year was a very good year for music…and he serves up his list of the best of 2016 on this week's edition of Cyprus Avenue .


Sturgill Simpson -       “A Sailor’s Guide To Earth”

Melissa Etheridge -     “Respect Yourself”

Rolling Stones -          “Commit A Crime”

Van Morrison -            “Keep Me Singing”

Madeleine Peyroux -   “Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky”

Tony Joe White -         “Hootchie Woman”

Melissa Etheridge -     “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember”

Dear Jerry...

Dec 16, 2016

A group of all-star musicians gathered in Maryland back in May, 2015 to pay tribute to Jerome Garcia…you know him better as Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, and that concert is the subject of this week's Cyprus Avenue.


David Grisman -            “Shady Grove”

Buddy Miller -                “Deal”

Jimmy Cliff -                  “The Harder They Come”

Los Lobos -                     “Bertha”

Bob Weir -                      “Ripple”

Trampled By Turtles - “Brown Eyed Woman”

Rude Cactus

This week on Cyprus Avenue, a look at the undeniable genius of Ray Charles, and the tracks that defined his early recording career at Atlantic Records.


“Losing Hand”

“Mess Around”

“I’ve Got A Woman”

“Hallelujah I Love Her So”

“Lonely Avenue”

“I Want To Know”

“Leave My Woman Alone”

“Ain’t Misbehavin”

“It’s Alright”

“Swanee River Rock”

“(Night Time Is) The Right Time”

“What’d I Say Pts. I & II”

“I Believe It To My Soul”

“I’m Movin’ On”

Their obsession with the blues started nearly 55 years ago, and now the Rolling Stones have revived their original passions with a fitting new release that’s featured on this edition Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

The Rolling Stones-    "Just Your Fool"                                                        

The Rolling Stones-    "Commit A Crime"                                                    

The Rolling Stones-    "Blue And Lonesome"                                       

We’ll hear some great newly released music from Alicia Keys and St. Paul and The Broken Bones…plus a tribute to the late great Leon Russell coming up on Cyprus Avenue...

Track List:

Alicia Keys -   "In The Beginning"                                                     1:03

Alicia Keys -   "Blended Family"                                                       3:31

Alicia Keys -   "Work On It"                                                              3:34

Leonard Lately

Nov 4, 2016

Singer Leonard Cohen’s formula for producing a great song is to obsess over every lyric…and guess what…it works for him. Check out his new release “You Want It Darker” on this week's Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Leonard Cohen - "You Want It Darker”

Leonard Cohen - “Amen”

Leonard Cohen - “On The Level”

Leonard Cohen - “Different Sides”

Leonard Cohen - “If I Didn’t”

Leonard Cohen - “Darkness”

Leonard Cohen – “Leaving The Table”

Leonard Cohen – “Banjo”

Leonard Cohen – “Traveling Light”

Consistency and risk-taking have defined Bonnie Raitt's remarkable music. We’ll highlight the artistry, spanning the 45 year career of the ultra-talented Bonnie Raitt on this edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track list:

Bonnie Raitt - "Give It Up”

Bonnie Raitt - “I Know”

Bonnie Raitt - “Love Has No Pride”

Bonnie Raitt - “Nick Of Time”

Bonnie Raitt - “Thing Called Love”

Bonnie Raitt - “Right Down The Line”

Bonnie Raitt – “Million Miles”

Bonnie Raitt – “Standing In The Doorway”

Bonnie Raitt – “I Knew”

You know Melissa Etheridge’s music…but did you know she’s from Leavenworth…and she can really sing soul music?  That’s right…soul music. 

Track List:

The Staples Singers-               “Respect Yourself”

Melissa Etheridge-                 “Respect Yourself”

Johnnie Taylor-                      “Who’s Making Love”

Melissa Etheridge-                “Who’s Making Love”

Sam & Dave-                          “Hold On I’m Comin’”

Melissa Etheridge-                “Hold On I’m Comin’”

On this week's Cyprus Avenue we trace the musical history of “The Boss,” Bruce Springsteen through his new release Chapter and Verse...

Track List:

Bruce Springsteen -     "Baby I"                                 

                          "Grown Up"                                                   

            "4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)"                           

            "The River"                                        

            "Ballad Of Jessie James"