A Day to Celebrate Lennon: His Best Works, and Thoughts from Yoko

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Sunday, December 08, 2013

(A still from "Lennon's Poster")

John Lennon wrote songs that reflected, inspired, and shaped our lives. With The Beatles, and during his solo career, Lennon questioned and challenged what a song could be, and gave us new possibilities. He was murdered in New York City on December 8, 1980, and on this anniversary, we honor his life and legacy. David Garland presents a range of Lennon's famous and less-well-known songs, and speaks with Lennon's widow Yoko Ono about what the songs mean to her and the world.

This episode originally featured an image described as a self-portrait by John Lennon. After a few commenters raised questions about its authenticity, and we were unable to determine its provenance, we decided to remove it.

Sean Lennon speaks about his father John Lennon and music, on WNYC's Spinning On Air

Comments [17]

maryl from Decatur, IL

My husband was driving home from work when he heard the terrible news on the radio. I think he loved John ever more than I did, as he is also a song writer and was very inspired by John's work. We keep John in our hearts and enjoy his music often.

Dec. 08 2014 10:53 PM
Al59 from Spain

One of his best, for me: Love.

Feb. 14 2014 08:25 PM
mathias from Berlin, Germany

Great show! Great music!
I'll have to update my mp3 player...
Greetings from Berlin!

Dec. 18 2013 04:24 AM
Peter Schultz from clare.sth.australia.

I really liked john of all the four beatles.his music will live in our life time, as the beales were young when we were young, as we grow older"the beatles and john lennons music will continue to inspire, younger generations.thanks a million to the beatles and john lennon.A true beatles fan.

Dec. 16 2013 06:43 AM
Celine Bruyere

Thanks to renewal a story of John! I know.... I write a joual english and french But the principal you understand...... And the joual is alwrigth for everybody! kiss xx

Dec. 11 2013 01:25 PM
Aysha Besher from Istanbul

I remember so well... it was an extraordinarily hot day, i walked by the Dakota with a friend who lived nearby, there was a man waiting by the garage door, my friend told me that fans often waited there to get autographs and photos, we walked about a block to a restaurant, before our food arrived we were notified that Lennon was shot. Later we all went to the park accross from the Dakota, lit candles and sang his songs, it was an unseasonably hot evening.

Dec. 11 2013 11:26 AM
Danny Jumpertz from NYC - Brooklyn

Great show. Excellent song selection and really nice to hear Yoko. XX

Dec. 11 2013 10:53 AM
Joan from Los Angeles, CA

On the night that John was murdered, I happened to be in the Jockey Club for a late night (after theater) meal with my date and another couple. On my way back from the powder room, I heard the news on the radio at the maitre d' station. I went back to our table and in evident shock, informed our guests of the news. There was only one of table occupied and it was next to ours. There sat Richard Nixon with two bodyguards. No expression on his face.

Dec. 11 2013 03:12 AM
Christopher from USA

John's circus poster, which inspired "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite":

Dec. 11 2013 02:52 AM
Bernie from UWS

Could you ask her why she broke up the Beatles?

Dec. 09 2013 10:12 AM
Daniele from San Francisco

I always loved the song "Love". He was our piper. Forever missed, but forever here. Shook his hand once at the opening night of Sgt Pepper on the Road at the Beacon Theater, NYC. I was 16, and out of all the people whose hand I would ever have liked to shake, his would be the one. His spirit lives on in all of us I think, and he continues to inspire. What a blessing he was to us. A real gift. All I can say is thank you, and thanks for the show, David.

Dec. 09 2013 02:50 AM
David Garland from WNYC Studio

@Nick from UWS, you're quite right to raise the question of the portrait's authenticity. For now, let's enjoy it as the savvy little vintage portrait it is, whoever drew it.
--David Garland

Dec. 08 2013 11:28 PM
Nancy from Brooklyn

Thank you for a beautiful show. Altogether a fantastic evening of radio tonight.

Dec. 08 2013 09:29 PM
Diana Kerievsky from Monroe, NJ

The night John Lennon was shot down my husband and I were in a group session with a spiritually oriented psychiatrist, Thomas Hora, M.D. We were in the building next door to the Dakota.

When you mentioned that tonight in 1980 was the night John Lennon was shot my heart experienced the same sadness and pain of that night. I also found myself remembering what a momentus time to be alive.

I thank God for all the meaningful music of the Beatles and all the musicians who brought rhythm and blues to my generation. My first introduction to Rock and Roll was when I heard Elvis Presley sing "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Blue Suede Shoes." After that my older brother introduced me to the radio program from New Jersey called Moon Dog. Alan Freed's radio program came later and he started producing the fabulous shows at the Brooklyn Academy. My friends and I traveled from Westchester to hear all the great Rhythm and Blues musicians, such as Frankie Lyman, Fats Domino, Paul Anka and so many, many more fabulous groups and bands.

It is hard to believe that it is 33 years ago that John passed. Looking back I feel both sad and grateful for all the experiences which helped to mold me into who I am at the brand new age of 70. I wondered tonight how John would be had he lived to the age that Paul McCartney has.

Either way he was a very special human being and musician and
lives in all our hearts forever.

RIP John,
from Diana

Dec. 08 2013 09:24 PM
Donna Caligiuri from South River NJ

34 years ago today I cried all the way to work for the senseless killing of the Great John Lennon. Thank you for continuing to remember and pay tribute to John. Great playlist tonite!

Dec. 08 2013 08:48 PM

Play Working Class Hero!

Dec. 08 2013 08:41 PM
Nick from UWS

Please remove that is not by John Lennon and the inscription is not John Lennon's handwriting.

Dec. 08 2013 08:09 PM

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