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.

McMurtry And Earle

Mar 14, 2015

Singer-songwriters James McMurtry and Steve Earle are known for songs with strong narratives that blend country and blues.  Both have new albums that are featured on this week’s Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

James McMurtry - “She Loves Me”

Steve Earl - “Baby, Baby, Baby, (Baby)”

James McMurtry - “Painting By Numbers”

Steve Earl  - “Guitar Town”

Steve Earl - “Tennessee Kid”

James McMurtry - “How’n I Gonna Find You Now”

Steve Earl - “Copperhead Road”

James McMurtry - “Out Here In The Middle”

Marty Stuart Returns

Mar 7, 2015

Singer-songwriter Marty Stuart’s coming to Kansas City on Friday, March 20th, as part of the KCUR presents Cyprus Avenue Live at The Folly Theater series. Coming up on this edition of Cyprus Avenue…the music of Marty Stuart.

Track List:

"Crying, Waiting, Hoping” (with Steve Earle)

“Doin’ My Time” (with Johnny Cash)

“Here I Am”

“The Gospel Story of Noah’s Ark”

“No Hard Times Blues”

“The Weight” (with The Staple Singers)

“It’s Time to Go Home”

“Farmer’s Blues” (with Merle Haggard)

If you missed Kelley Hunt last month on Cyprus Avenue you’ve got a couple more chances to hear the talented Kansas City singer…one on this week’s edition of the show… followed by next week's Cyprus Avenue Live at the Folly Theater...

Track list:

Kelley Hunt - “Talk To Me”

Kelley Hunt - “Crawl Through Kansas”

Kelley Hunt - “Emerald City”

Kelley Hunt  - “Music Was The Thread”

Kelley Hunt - “The Land Of Milk And Honey”

Kelley Hunt - “In The End”

Kelley Hunt - “When Love Is At The Wheel”

If you were a fan of Woodstock you probably remember the riveting performance by Joe Cocker.  That appearance catapulted him into the consciousness of mainstream rock & roll fans in America and abroad. On  this edition of Cyprus Avenue, a tribute to the iconic singer who passed away last December...

Track List:

Joe Cocker - "With A Little Help From My Friends”

Joe Cocker - “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window”

Joe Cocker - “Honky Tonk Woman”

Joe Cocker - “Feelin’ Alright”

Joe Cocker - “Girl From The North Country”

They called him “Mr. Pitiful,” but singer Otis Redding’s moniker doesn’t fit the impact he had on popular music in the 60’s and beyond.  It’s the music of Otis Redding on this edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Otis Redding- "These Arms of Mine”

Otis Redding- “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”

Otis Redding- “My Girl”

Etta James- “I Got The Will”

Otis Redding- “Try A Little Tenderness”

Percy Sledge- “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember”

Otis Redding- “Mr. Pitiful”

Elvis Lives

Jan 17, 2015

The “King of Rock & Roll” continues to live in the minds of many of us…including Cyprus Avenue host Bill Shapiro…who presents some Elvis music you may not have heard before…

Track List:

Elvis - “Reconsider Baby”

Elvis - “Hi-Heel Sneakers”

Elvis - “Cindy Cindy”

Elvis - “So Glad You’re Mine”

Elvis - “You Asked Me To”

Elvis - “Memphis Tennessee”

Elvis - “Little Sister”

Elvis - “If I Were You”

Elvis - “I Washed My Hands In Muddy Waters”

Elvis - “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues”

In his 36 years of hosting Cyprus Avenue, Bill Shapiro has never featured a Kansas City artist…but that’s about to change.  The talented Kelley Hunt breaks the streak, on this edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Kelley Hunt - “Talk To Me”

Kelley Hunt - “Crawl Through Kansas”

Kelley Hunt - “Emerald City”

Kelley Hunt  - “Music Was The Thread”

Kelley Hunt - “The Land Of Milk And Honey”

Kelley Hunt - “In The End”

Kelley Hunt - “When Love Is At The Wheel”

Kelley Hunt - “Let It Rain”

Kelley Hunt - “Gates Of Eden”

2014 Favorites

Jan 3, 2015

As we look forward to what 2015 will bring, we’ll take one last listen to Cyprus Avenue’s music of 2014 with Bill Shapiro’s favorites.

Track List:

Rosanne Cash- “ A Feather’s Not A Bird”

Jerry Lee Lewis- “Johnny B. Goode/Carol”

Jerry Lee Lewis - “Rock & Roll Time”

Billie Joe and Nora Jones- “Roving Gambler”

Nicole Atkins- “Dancing In The Dark”

Leonard Cohen- “Slow”

Bob Dylan- “Things We Said Today”

Willie Nelson- “Hard To Be An Outlaw”

Sly & The Family Stone- “Family Affair”

Start the New Year celebration early with Cyprus Avenue!  Bill Shapiro brings you his annual party of live concert recordings. James Brown, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley and more. 

Track List:

Jerry Lee Lewis- “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”

Otis Redding - “Can’t Turn You Loose”

James Brown - “Brother Rapp / Ain’t It Funky Now”

Jimi Hendrix - “Like a Rolling Stone”

Bob Dylan - “Highway 61 Revisited”

Bruce Springsteen - “Cadillac Ranch”

Neil Young - “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)”

A Cyprus Avenue Christmas

Dec 20, 2014

Ring in the holidays with Cyprus Avenue!  Bill Shapiro brings you his annual “The Sounds of Christmas” show… with Elvis Presley, Al Green, Darlene Love and more...

Track List:

Clyde McPhatter and The Drifters- “White Christmas”

Bob B. Soxx and The Blue Jeans- “The Bells of St. Mary’s”

Elvis Presley- “Merry Christmas, Baby”  

Wilson Pickett- “Silver Bells”  

Lowell Fulson- “I Wanna Spend Christmas with You”

The Blind Boys of Alabama, featuring Mavis Staples- “Born in Bethlehem”  

2014's Odds And Ends

Dec 6, 2014

20-14 is winding down but the great music keeps right on coming… John Mellencamp, U2, Jackson Brown and The New Basement Tapes are all featured on this week’s Cyprus Avenue...

Track List:

The New Basement Tapes (Jim James)- “Kansas City”

John Mellencamp- “The Isolation Of Mister”

U2- “Volcano”

The New Basement Tapes (Rhianon Giddens)- “Duncan & Jimmy”

Jackson Brown- “The Long Way Around”

U2- “The Crystal Ballroom”

The New Basement Tapes (Rhianon Giddens & Elvis Costello- “Hidee Hidee Ho”

The Art of McCartney

Nov 29, 2014

Writing some of the world’s best-known songs takes talent and great deal of know-how.  You’ll experience the music of one of the best when Cyprus Avenue presents the Art of McCartney…

Track List:

Billy Joel- “Maybe I’m Amazed”

Heart- “Band On The Run”

Bob Dylan- “Things We Said Today”

Sammy Hagar- “Birthday”

Barry Gibb- “When I’m 64”

Dion- “Drive My Car”

Willie Nelson- “Yesterday”

Paul Rodgers- “Let Me Roll It”

Def Leppard- “Helen Wheels”

Chrissie Hynde- “Let It Be”

Bob Dylan’s newest release The Basement Tapes Complete is 138 tracks on six CDs.  You won’t hear all of it this week but you’ll get a great sampling…

Track List

My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It

I Forgot To Remember To Forget

You Win Again

Big River

Folsom Prison Blues

Cool Water

Johnny Todd


Tiny Montgomery

I’m Your Teenage Prayer

Rock Salt And Nails

A Fool Such As I

People Get Ready

I Don’t Hurt Anymore

Don’t You Try

Four Formidable Females

Nov 15, 2014

Valerie June is an amazingly talented young singer, who has captured host Bill Shapiro's ear.  June is featured, along with three other talented women, in this edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Macy Gray- “Stoned”

Valerie June- “Somebody To Live”

Marcia Ball- “Lazy Blues”

Hurray For The Riff Raff- “Good Time Blues”

Macy Gray- “Need You Now”

Marcia Ball- “Can’t Blame Nobody

Valerie June- “Shotgun”

Valerie June- “Wanna Be On Your Mind”

Hurray For The Riff Raff- “The New San Francisco Bay Blues”

Rosanne Returns

Nov 1, 2014

Singer Rosanne Cash has established herself as a major artist who's not limited to a single musical genre. The range and depth of her amazing talents are on display in this edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Rosanne Cash - "A Feather’s Not A Bird"

Rosanne Cash - " Black Cadillac "

Rosanne Cash - "50,000 Watts"

Rosanne Cash - "Radio Operator "

Rosanne Cash - "Real Woman"

Rosanne Cash - "World Of Strange Design"

Rosanne Cash - "Western Wall"

Rosanne Cash - "Dreams Are Not My Home"

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”