NPR

Ralph Towner: An Old Hand With A 'Foolish Heart' (And An Unmatched Style)

The guitarist who composed "Icarus" — a tune so popular, astronauts took it to the moon — has a way of playing that seems to conjure melody, rhythm and harmony all at once.
Ralph Towner's latest album is My Foolish Heart, named for the Bill Evans tune that changed the way he looked at composition and his instrument. Source: Courtesy of the artist

Ralph Towner first came to the attention of a wide audience nearly 50 years ago as a member of the Paul Winter Consort, for whom he composed the group's most famous tune, "Icarus." The piece was so beloved, the Apollo 15 astronauts took the record to the moon — and named a crater after it.

Today, Towner is in his 70s and still going strong. He's best known as an acoustic guitarist, but he grew up a piano prodigy in a small town in western Washington

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