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A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
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A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs

Author: Andrew Hickey

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Andrew Hickey presents a history of rock music from 1938 to 1999, looking at five hundred songs that shaped the genre.
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For those who haven’t heard the announcement I posted , songs from this point on will sometimes be split among multiple episodes, so this is the first of a two-episode look at the song “All Along the Watchtower”. This one is on the original version by Bob Dylan, while part two will be on Jimi Hendrix’s cover version. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a half-hour bonus episode, on “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” by Arlo Guthrie. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ (more…)
For those who haven’t heard the announcement I just posted , songs from this point on will sometimes be split among multiple episodes, so this is the fourth and final part of a four-episode look at the Byrds in 1966-69 and the birth of country rock, this time mostly focused on what Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman did after leaving the band. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a twenty-minute bonus episode, on “The Dark End of the Street” by James Carr. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ (more…)
For those who haven’t heard the announcement I just posted , songs from this point on will sometimes be split among multiple episodes, so this is the third part of a four-episode look at the Byrds in 1966-69 and the birth of country rock. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a half-hour bonus episode, on “Fire” by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ (more…)
For those who haven’t heard the announcement I just posted , songs from this point on will sometimes be split among multiple episodes, so this is the second part of a multi-episode look at the Byrds in 1966-69 and the birth of country rock. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a half-hour bonus episode, on “With a Little Help From My Friends” by Joe Cocker. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ (more…)
For those who haven’t heard the announcement I just posted , songs from this point on will sometimes be split among multiple episodes, so this is the first part of a multi-episode look at the Byrds in 1966-69 and the birth of country rock. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a half-hour bonus episode on “My World Fell Down” by Sagittarius. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ (more…)
This is just a brief announcement. The fact that I’ve released stuff so inconsistently over the last year, along with the last episode being so long that it actually caused problems for Tilt’s editing softwaere has caused me to reconsider how I’m breaking these episodes up. I have had very good reasons for making the episodes longer rather than doing multiple parts — we would have had episodes titled “White Light/White Heat”, “Eight Miles High”, and “Good Vibrations” which literally didn’t mention at all the bands they were ostensibly about, and people would have got very annoyed at listening to an episode supposedly about the Beach Boys and finding it was entirely about a Soviet inventor in the 1920s. But the balance has tipped the other way now. Things have got a bit ridiculous. So what I’m doing npw is I’m still writing the scripts the same way I always do, as one long narrative, but then once a script is finished I will break it into sections of about 5-10,000 words (somewhere in the 45-minute to ninety minute range) depending on where natural cliffhangers come, and I will release those parts fortnightly. There still might be gaps between the last part of the previous song and the first part of the next, but probably nothing like as long as they have been. The actual content will still be the same — just for example the Velvet Underground episode would have been split into three or four parts, with the first part ending with John Cale joining the story, and me saying “join us in two weeks time”.  But it’ll be broken up into more manageable parts which hopefully won’t cause Tilt’s editing software to explode, and if you like listening to it all in one go you can just wait until the final part of that story and then listen to it all. So today you’re going to get, not ‘Episode 172, “Hickory Wind” by the Byrds’, but ‘SONG 172: “Hickory Wind” by the Byrds: Part 1, Ushering in a New Dimension”, and then Song 172 part two two weeks later. I want to emphasise that this will still be *exactly the same content* as it would otherwise be. The stories will go on as long as they need to. Some will be a single episode, some will be three or four. But breaking it up like this should mean you get more consistent releases and I can get ahead. Indeed, it *might* mean I could go back to weekly episodes — I’ve averaged somewhere in the region of thirty thousand words per month last year on the main podcast, which would be four seven-thousand-word episodes — but I won’t even think about that unless I start to actually build up a backlog. The stories should be getting shorter anyway as we finally move out of the late sixties, so the rate of storytelling *should* get faster, but this way at least you’re going to get regular episodes. So listen to today’s episode, and then join me again in precisely two weeks as Gram Parsons joins the story.
Episode 171 looks at “Hey Jude”, the White Album, and the career of the Beatles from August 1967 through November 1968. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a fifty-seven-minute bonus episode available, on “I Love You” by People!. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ (more…)
Episode 170 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Astral Weeks”, the early solo career of Van Morrison, and the death of Bert Berns.  Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a forty-minute bonus episode available, on “Stoned Soul Picnic” by Laura Nyro. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ (more…)
Episode 169 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Piece of My Heart” and the short, tragic life of Janis Joplin. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a half-hour bonus episode available, on “Spinning Wheel” by Blood, Sweat & Tears. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ (more…)
Episode 168 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “I Say a Little Prayer”, and the interaction of the sacred, political, and secular in Aretha Franklin's life and work. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a forty-five-minute bonus episode available, on "Abraham, Martin, and John" by Dion. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ Errata I say the Gospelaires sang backing vocals on Doris Troy's "Just One Look". That's what the sources I used said, but other sources I've since been pointed to say that the vocals are all Troy, multi-tracked, and listening to the record that sounds more plausible. Also, I talk about ? and the Mysterians' "96 Tears" just after talking about white rock hits, but don't actually say they were white themselves. To be clear, ? and the Mysterians were Latino. Resources No Mixcloud this week, as there are too many songs by Aretha Franklin. Even splitting it into multiple parts would have required six or seven mixes. My main biographical source for Aretha Franklin is Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin by David Ritz, and this is where most of the quotes from musicians come from. Information on C.L. Franklin came from Singing in a Strange Land: C. L. Franklin, the Black Church, and the Transformation of America by Nick Salvatore. Country Soul by Charles L Hughes is a great overview of the soul music made in Muscle Shoals, Memphis, and Nashville in the sixties. Peter Guralnick’s Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm And Blues And The Southern Dream Of Freedom is possibly less essential, but still definitely worth reading. Information about Martin Luther King came from Martin Luther King: A Religious Life by Paul Harvey. I also referred to Burt Bacharach's autobiography Anyone Who Had a Heart, Carole King's autobiography A Natural Woman, and Soul Serenade: King Curtis and his Immortal Saxophone by Timothy R. Hoover. For information about Amazing Grace I also used Aaron Cohen's 33 1/3 book on the album. The film of the concerts is also definitely worth watching. And the Aretha Now album is available in this five-album box set for a ludicrously cheap price. But it’s actually worth getting this nineteen-CD set with her first sixteen Atlantic albums and a couple of bonus discs of demos and outtakes. There’s barely a duff track in the whole nineteen discs. Patreon This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of my backers on Patreon. Why not join them? Transcript A quick warning before I begin. This episode contains some moderate references to domestic abuse, death by cancer, racial violence, police violence, and political assassination. Anyone who might be upset by those subjects might want to check the transcript rather than listening to the episode. Also, as with the previous episode on Aretha Franklin, this episode presents something of a problem. Like many people in this narrative, Franklin's career was affected by personal troubles, which shaped many of her decisions. But where most of the subjects of the podcast have chosen to live their lives in public and share intimate details of every aspect of their personal lives, Franklin was an extremely private person, who chose to share only carefully sanitised versions of her life, and tried as far as possible to keep things to herself. This of course presents a dilemma for anyone who wants to tell her story -- because even though the information is out there in biographies, and even though she's dead, it's not right to disrespect someone's wish for a private life. I have therefore tried, wherever possible, to stay away from talk of her personal life except where it *absolutely* affects the work, or where other people involved have publicly shared their own stories, and even there I've tried to keep it to a minimum.  This will occasionally lead to me saying less about some topics than other people might, even though the information is easily findable, because I don't think we have an absolute right to invade someone else's privacy for entertainment. When we left Aretha Franklin, she had just finally broken through into the mainstream after a decade of performing, with a version of Otis Redding's song "Respect" on which she had been backed by her sisters, Erma and Carolyn. "Respect", in Franklin's interpretation, had been turned from a rather chauvinist song about a man demanding respect from his woman into an anthem of feminism, of Black power, and of a new political awakening. For white people of a certain generation, the summer of 1967 was "the summer of love". For many Black people, it was rather different. There's a quote that goes around (I've seen it credited in reliable sources to both Ebony and Jet magazine, but not ever seen an issue cited, so I can't say for sure where it came from) saying that the summer of 67 was the summer of "'retha, Rap, and revolt", referring to the trifecta of Aretha Franklin, the Black power leader Jamil Abdullah al-Amin (who was at the time known as H. Rap Brown, a name he later disclaimed) and the rioting that broke out in several major cities, particularly in Detroit: [Excerpt: John Lee Hooker, "The Motor City is Burning"] The mid sixties were, in many ways, the high point not of Black rights in the US -- for the most part there has been a lot of progress in civil rights in the intervening decades, though not without inevitable setbacks and attacks from the far right, and as movements like the Black Lives Matter movement have shown there is still a long way to go -- but of *hope* for Black rights. The moral force of the arguments made by the civil rights movement were starting to cause real change to happen for Black people in the US for the first time since the Reconstruction nearly a century before. But those changes weren't happening fast enough, and as we heard in the episode on "I Was Made to Love Her", there was not only a growing unrest among Black people, but a recognition that it was actually possible for things to change. A combination of hope and frustration can be a powerful catalyst, and whether Franklin wanted it or not, she was at the centre of things, both because of her newfound prominence as a star with a hit single that couldn't be interpreted as anything other than a political statement and because of her intimate family connections to the struggle. Even the most racist of white people these days pays lip service to the memory of Dr Martin Luther King, and when they do they quote just a handful of sentences from one speech King made in 1963, as if that sums up the full theological and political philosophy of that most complex of men. And as we discussed the last time we looked at Aretha Franklin, King gave versions of that speech, the "I Have a Dream" speech, twice. The most famous version was at the March on Washington, but the first time was a few weeks earlier, at what was at the time the largest civil rights demonstration in American history, in Detroit. Aretha's family connection to that event is made clear by the very opening of King's speech: [Excerpt: Martin Luther King, "Original 'I Have a Dream' Speech"] So as summer 1967 got into swing, and white rock music was going to San Francisco to wear flowers in its hair, Aretha Franklin was at the centre of a very different kind of youth revolution. Franklin's second Atlantic album, Aretha Arrives, brought in some new personnel to the team that had recorded Aretha's first album for Atlantic. Along with the core Muscle Shoals players Jimmy Johnson, Spooner Oldham, Tommy Cogbill and Roger Hawkins, and a horn section led by King Curtis, Wexler and Dowd also brought in guitarist Joe South. South was a white session player from Georgia, who had had a few minor hits himself in the fifties -- he'd got his start recording a cover version of "The Purple People Eater Meets the Witch Doctor", the Big Bopper's B-side to "Chantilly Lace": [Excerpt: Joe South, "The Purple People Eater Meets the Witch Doctor"] He'd also written a few songs that had been recorded by people like Gene Vincent, but he'd mostly become a session player. He'd become a favourite musician of Bob Johnston's, and so he'd played guitar on Simon and Garfunkel's Sounds of Silence and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme albums: [Excerpt: Simon and Garfunkel, "I am a Rock"] and bass on Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde, with Al Kooper particularly praising his playing on "Visions of Johanna": [Excerpt: Bob Dylan, "Visions of Johanna"] South would be the principal guitarist on this and Franklin's next album, before his own career took off in 1968 with "Games People Play": [Excerpt: Joe South, "Games People Play"] At this point, he had already written the other song he's best known for, "Hush", which later became a hit for Deep Purple: [Excerpt: Deep Purple, "Hush"] But he wasn't very well known, and was surprised to get the call for the Aretha Franklin session, especially because, as he put it "I was white and I was about to play behind the blackest genius since Ray Charles" But Jerry Wexler had told him that Franklin didn't care about the race of the musicians she played with, and South settled in as soon as Franklin smiled at him when he played a good guitar lick on her version of the blues standard "Going Down Slow": [Excerpt: Aretha Franklin, "Going Down Slow"] That was one of the few times Franklin smiled in those sessions though. Becoming an overnight success after years of trying and failing to make a name for herself had been a disorienting experience, and on top of that things weren't going well in her personal life. Her marriage to her manager Ted White was falling apart, and she was
Episode one hundred and sixty-seven of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “The Weight” by the Band, the Basement Tapes, and the continuing controversy over Dylan going electric. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a half-hour bonus episode available, on “S.F. Sorrow is Born” by the Pretty Things. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ Also, a one-time request here — Shawn Taylor, who runs the Facebook group for the podcast and is an old and dear friend of mine, has stage-three lung cancer. I will be hugely grateful to anyone who donates to the GoFundMe for her treatment. (more…)
Episode 166 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Crossroads”, Cream, the myth of Robert Johnson, and whether white men can sing the blues. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a forty-eight-minute bonus episode available, on “Tip-Toe Thru’ the Tulips” by Tiny Tim. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ (more…)
Episode 165 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Dark Star” and the career of the Grateful Dead. This is a long one, even longer than the previous episode, but don't worry, that won't be the norm. There's a reason these two were much longer than average. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a twenty-minute bonus episode available, on "Codine" by the Charlatans. Errata I mispronounce Brent Mydland's name as Myland a couple of times, and in the introduction I say "Touch of Grey" came out in 1988 -- I later, correctly, say 1987. (I seem to have had a real problem with dates in the intro -- I also originally talked about "Blue Suede Shoes" being in 1954 before fixing it in the edit to be 1956) Resources No Mixcloud this week, as there are too many songs by the Grateful Dead, and Grayfolded runs to two hours. I referred to a lot of books for this episode, partly because almost everything about the Grateful Dead is written from a fannish perspective that already assumes background knowledge, rather than to provide that background knowledge. Of the various books I used, Dennis McNally's biography of the band and This Is All a Dream We Dreamed: An Oral History of the Grateful Dead by Blair Jackson and David Gans are probably most useful for the casually interested.  Other books on the Dead I used included McNally's Jerry on Jerry, a collection of interviews with Garcia; Deal, Bill Kreutzmann's autobiography; The Grateful Dead FAQ by Tony Sclafani; So Many Roads by David Browne; Deadology by Howard F. Weiner; Fare Thee Well by Joel Selvin and Pamela Turley; and Skeleton Key: A Dictionary for Deadheads by David Shenk and Steve Silberman. Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is the classic account of the Pranksters, though not always reliable. I reference Slaughterhouse Five a lot. As well as the novel itself, which everyone should read, I also read this rather excellent graphic novel adaptation, and The Writer's Crusade, a book about the writing of the novel. I also reference Ted Sturgeon's More Than Human. For background on the scene around Astounding Science Fiction which included Sturgeon, John W. Campbell, L. Ron Hubbard, and many other science fiction writers, I recommend Alec Nevala-Lee's Astounding. 1,000 True Fans can be read online, as can the essay on the Californian ideology, and John Perry Barlow's "Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace". The best collection of Grateful Dead material is the box set The Golden Road, which contains all the albums released in Pigpen's lifetime along with a lot of bonus material, but which appears currently out of print. Live/Dead contains both the live version of "Dark Star" which made it well known and, as a CD bonus track, the original single version. And archive.org has more live recordings of the group than you can possibly ever listen to. Grayfolded can be bought from John Oswald's Bandcamp Patreon This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of my backers on Patreon. Why not join them? Transcript [Excerpt: Tuning from "Grayfolded", under the warnings] Before we begin -- as we're tuning up, as it were, I should mention that this episode contains discussions of alcoholism, drug addiction, racism, nonconsensual drugging of other people, and deaths from drug abuse, suicide, and car accidents. As always, I try to deal with these subjects as carefully as possible, but if you find any of those things upsetting you may wish to read the transcript rather than listen to this episode, or skip it altogether. Also, I should note that the members of the Grateful Dead were much freer with their use of swearing in interviews than any other band we've covered so far, and that makes using quotes from them rather more difficult than with other bands, given the limitations of the rules imposed to stop the podcast being marked as adult. If I quote anything with a word I can't use here, I'll give a brief pause in the audio, and in the transcript I'll have the word in square brackets. [tuning ends] All this happened, more or less. In 1910, T. S. Eliot started work on "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", which at the time was deemed barely poetry, with one reviewer imagining Eliot saying "I'll just put down the first thing that comes into my head, and call it 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.'" It is now considered one of the great classics of modernist literature. In 1969, Kurt Vonnegut wrote "Slaughterhouse-Five,  or, The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death", a book in which the protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, comes unstuck in time, and starts living a nonlinear life, hopping around between times reliving his experiences in the Second World War, and future experiences up to 1976 after being kidnapped by beings from the planet Tralfamadore. Or perhaps he has flashbacks and hallucinations after having a breakdown from PTSD. It is now considered one of the great classics of modernist literature or of science fiction, depending on how you look at it.  In 1953, Theodore Sturgeon wrote More Than Human. It is now considered one of the great classics of science fiction. In 1950, L. Ron Hubbard wrote Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. It is now considered either a bad piece of science fiction or one of the great revelatory works of religious history, depending on how you look at it. In 1994, 1995, and 1996 the composer John Oswald released, first as two individual CDs and then as a double-CD, an album called Grayfolded, which the composer says in the liner notes he thinks of as existing in Tralfamadorian time. The Tralfamadorians in Vonnegut's novels don't see time as a linear thing with a beginning and end, but as a continuum that they can move between at will. When someone dies, they just think that at this particular point in time they're not doing so good, but at other points in time they're fine, so why focus on the bad time? In the book, when told of someone dying, the Tralfamadorians just say "so it goes". In between the first CD's release and the release of the double-CD version, Jerry Garcia died. From August 1942 through August 1995, Jerry Garcia was alive. So it goes. Shall we go, you and I? [Excerpt: The Grateful Dead, "Dark Star (Omni 3/30/94)"] "One principle has become clear. Since motives are so frequently found in combination, it is essential that the complex types be analyzed and arranged, with an eye kept single nevertheless to the master-theme under discussion. Collectors, both primary and subsidiary, have done such valiant service that the treasures at our command are amply sufficient for such studies, so extensive, indeed, that the task of going through them thoroughly has become too great for the unassisted student. It cannot be too strongly urged that a single theme in its various types and compounds must be made predominant in any useful comparative study. This is true when the sources and analogues of any literary work are treated; it is even truer when the bare motive is discussed. The Grateful Dead furnishes an apt illustration of the necessity of such handling. It appears in a variety of different combinations, almost never alone. Indeed, it is so widespread a tale, and its combinations are so various, that there is the utmost difficulty in determining just what may properly be regarded the original kernel of it, the simple theme to which other motives were joined. Various opinions, as we shall see, have been held with reference to this matter, most of them justified perhaps by the materials in the hands of the scholars holding them, but none quite adequate in view of later evidence." That's a quote from The Grateful Dead: The History of a Folk Story, by Gordon Hall Gerould, published in 1908. Kurt Vonnegut's novel Slaughterhouse-Five opens with a chapter about the process of writing the novel itself, and how difficult it was. He says "I would hate to tell you what this lousy little book cost me in money and anxiety and time. When I got home from the Second World War twenty-three years ago, I thought it would be easy for me to write about the destruction of Dresden, since all I would have to do would be to report what I had seen. And I thought, too, that it would be a masterpiece or at least make me a lot of money, since the subject was so big." This is an episode several of my listeners have been looking forward to, but it's one I've been dreading writing, because this is an episode -- I think the only one in the series -- where the format of the podcast simply *will not* work. Were the Grateful Dead not such an important band, I would skip this episode altogether, but they're a band that simply can't be ignored, and that's a real problem here. Because my intent, always, with this podcast, is to present the recordings of the artists in question, put them in context, and explain why they were important, what their music meant to its listeners. To put, as far as is possible, the positive case for why the music mattered *in the context of its time*. Not why it matters now, or why it matters to me, but why it matters *in its historical context*. Whether I like the music or not isn't the point. Whether it stands up now isn't the point. I play the music, explain what it was they were doing, why they were doing it, what people saw in it. If I do my job well, you come away listening to "Blue Suede Shoes" the way people heard it in 1956, or "Good Vibrations" the way people heard it in 1966, and understanding why people were so impressed by those records. That is simply *not possible* for the Grateful Dead. I can present a case for them as musicians, and hope to do so. I can explain the appeal as best I understand it, and talk about things I like in their music, and things I've noticed. But what I can't do is presen
Episode 164 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “White Light/White Heat” and the career of the Velvet Underground. This is a long one, lasting three hours and twenty minutes. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a twenty-three minute bonus episode available, on “Why Don’t You Smile Now?” by the Downliners Sect. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ (more…)
Episode 163 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay”, Stax Records, and the short, tragic, life of Otis Redding. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a twenty-three minute bonus episode available, on “Soul Man” by Sam and Dave. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ (more…)
Episode 162 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Daydream Believer”, and the later career of the Monkees, and how four Pinocchios became real boys. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a twenty-minute bonus episode available, on “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ (more…)
Episode one hundred and sixty-one of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Alone Again Or”, the career of Love, and the making of Forever Changes. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a twenty-minute bonus episode available, on “Susan” by the Buckinghams Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ (more…)
As we’re in the period between Christmas and New Year, the gap between episodes is going to be longer than normal, and the podcast proper is going to be back on January the ninth. So nobody has to wait around for another fortnight for a new episode, I thought I’d upload some old Patreon bonus episodes to fill the gap. Every year around Christmas the bonus episodes I do tend to be on Christmas songs and so this week I’m uploading three of those. These are older episodes, so don’t have the same production values as more recent episodes, and are also shorter than more recent bonuses, but I hope they’re still worth listening to. (more…)
As we’re in the period between Christmas and New Year, the gap between episodes is going to be longer than normal, and the podcast proper is going to be back on January the ninth. So nobody has to wait around for another fortnight for a new episode, I thought I’d upload some old Patreon bonus episodes to fill the gap. Every year around Christmas the bonus episodes I do tend to be on Christmas songs and so this week I’m uploading three of those. These are older episodes, so don’t have the same production values as more recent episodes, and are also shorter than more recent bonuses, but I hope they’re still worth listening to. (more…)
As we’re in the period between Christmas and New Year, the gap between episodes is going to be longer than normal, and the podcast proper is going to be back on January the ninth. So nobody has to wait around for another fortnight for a new episode, I thought I’d upload some old Patreon bonus episodes to fill the gap. Every year around Christmas the bonus episodes I do tend to be on Christmas songs and so this week I’m uploading three of those. These are older episodes, so don’t have the same production values as more recent episodes, and are also shorter than more recent bonuses, but I hope they’re still worth listening to. (more…)
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Comments (50)

Rocky Mountain

Excellent.

Apr 11th
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Russell Bride

This is a great idea. I hope it takes some of the pressure off you. Thanks so far for this wonderful work!

Jan 21st
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Ecere Seluk

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Jan 18th
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Kronen Bing

very interesting. in depth podcast

Jan 8th
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Michael Daly

amazing episode. Hickey is the podcast equivalent of Mark Lewisohn and this is the most important music podcast on the planet.

Jan 2nd
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Jason B

Appreciate your research, the digressions into connections both expected and unexpected. Your knowledge of your subject songs is encyclopedic and your appreciation for the artists, warts and all, shines through. thanks for your work and best wishes with your health and life in general.

Sep 1st
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Russell Bride

Considering how much work must go into each episode, it seems to me that a weekly episode is very ambitious and that you managed to do that for so long is amazing. Fortnightly is totally reasonable and I'm sure we'll all be here waiting for you. Most importantly you keep yourself healthy and sane! Thanks for your work so far.

Aug 5th
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Jonathon Long

Thanks so much for producing this podcast. Is it always facinating and educational. It is very thoughtful of you to frame your show with warnings and mentions of problematic topics and characters. I'm always keen to hear the new ones, though relistening to the older ones shows me the depth of your material or my inability to just listen. Thanks again, Jono from Melbourne, Australia.

Jun 16th
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Non Dairy Canary

Poor Andrew Hickey really is losing the plot. The episodes get ever longer as they become more infrequent. 4 hours 39 minutes on Dark Star? Please. At this rate, episode 500 won't appear before the next millennium, and it'll be several months in duration. But maybe worst of all is his insistence on shoehorning his adherence to gender identity in to an episode that predates it by 30 years. Well, what do you expect from a middle-aged, white heterosexual male with a deep vein of misogyny?

May 23rd
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Michael Daly

absolutely fascinating - Holly was much more talented than I'd realised

May 13th
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Non Dairy Canary

The editing of this episode is all over the shop, to such an extent that it is almost unlistenable.

Feb 27th
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Donald Papier

To some, racism is like a 9 year old with a bottle of ketchup. It's put on everything.

Feb 5th
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Donald Papier

How did you ever not give any mention to "Stagger Lee"?

Feb 4th
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James Savery

That was a great episode. I always loved that album and the story around it is a great one.

Jan 31st
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Michael Daly

brilliant podcast and awesome episode (Honky Tonk)

Dec 30th
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Michael Trombetta

Of all the great episodes you have put out, this was my favorite so far. Thanks for all the work you put into this podcast.

Dec 21st
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Michael Daly

wonderful. could listen all day to this

Oct 25th
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Non Dairy Canary

Good grief. I long for the good old days, when the episodes came in at no more than about an hour long. I suspect Mr Hickey has forgotten the title of his own podcast.

Sep 13th
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Ryan

This podcast really hits the spot, great music, great history and stories I never hear before.

May 7th
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Michael Mielech

Hope you get better. Yes, these are fucked up times. Got turned on to your podcast while listening to Let it Roll. I have learned an awful lot. Like, James Brown was hired by Little Richard to be Little Richard in small clubs he was contractually obligated to while Richard went off to be a star when he suddenly had huge hits. Boy, to go back in time and see that!

May 6th
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