Noah Caldwell

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.

Charles Bradley was a late bloomer. After years of working odd jobs and performing as a James Brown impersonator, in 2011, at the age of 62, Bradley released his debut album, No Time for Dreaming. The album was a triumph for the soul singer who had endured a lifetime of hardship.

As a singer, arranger, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, it should come as no surprise that Jacob Collier comes from a profoundly musical family. His maternal grandparents were both professional violinists, his mother is an accomplished violinist and longtime instructor at the Royal Academy of Music in London and so, naturally, Collier taught himself to play every instrument he could find.

For 20 years, Elvis Costello has wanted to make what he calls an uptown pop record with a little swagger. With his latest album, Look Now, out Oct. 12, Costello has done just that by adding unusual combinations of horns and small string groups to his sound. Costello of course has been around for decades, but one thing he didn't want to make was an album that says, "Remember this guy?"

Van Turner has a secret: He knows the whereabouts of the controversial Confederate statues removed last year from two parks in Memphis, Tenn.

"They have to be kept in a secretive location," said Turner on a recent afternoon, standing in a park overlooking the Mississippi River where one of the statues — of Confederate President Jefferson Davis — once stood. "For fear of someone trying to go in and get them."

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