Bob Boilen’s NPR podcast “All Songs Considered” is one of iTunes' most popular music podcasts and his mini jam sessions at his cubicle, Tiny Desk Jams, is like a cooler Carpool Karaoke. Now, Boilen is sharing snippets from some of his biggest interviews in his new book, “Your Song Changed My Life,” out today. The chapters revolve around the title’s sentiment, and many of the artists’ picks are surprising. We talk to Boilen about the stories behind the stories.
You start the book by sharing the song that changed your life, The Beatles’ “A Day in the Life.”
When I was a kid growing up, there were many exciting things happening in music. Things like — and I know it’s a cliché to say this — The Beatles coming to America. The amount of people who started buying guitars went from about 100,000 to over a million. It was a fever and I was caught up in that. I figured everybody who played music at some point or another must have had that moment.
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Most of the people in the book chose a song from their adolescence. Why do you think music has such a profound effect during that age?
People want to belong to something. They want to feel a part of something, but also unique at the same time. It’s not just about liking a song. Music comes with a clique or club, a fashion and a statement. With the musicians I talked to, music is something that hits your heart and at tender ages, people are searching to figure out who they are, and music is a big doorway.