A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs

By Andrew Hickey

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Category: Music History

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Subscribers: 381
Reviews: 2

Tim N
 Mar 3, 2021
First one of yours I've heard. I'm hooked. Love the depth, the layers you drove into. Being from the States, appreciated the setting the geographical scene and explaining the role that played.

SeanFromSanford
 Jul 7, 2020
Thank you so much for these amazing stories, especially 'Songs our daddy taught us' helps me relax and so do you as we all are trying to get through some tough times. I am telling my friends, as requested.

Description

Andrew Hickey presents a history of rock music from 1938 to 1999, looking at five hundred songs that shaped the genre.

Episode Date
Episode 135: “The Sound of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel
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Episode one hundred and thirty-five of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “The Sound of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel, and the many records they made, together and apart, before their success. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Blues Run the Game" by Jackson C. Frank. 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…)
Oct 21, 2021
Episode 134: “In the Midnight Hour” by Wilson Pickett
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Episode 134 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “In the Midnight Hour", the links between Stax, Atlantic, and Detroit, and the career of Wilson Pickett. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a fifteen-minute bonus episode available, on "Mercy Mercy" by Don Covay. 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…)
Oct 13, 2021
Episode 133: “My Girl” by the Temptations
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Episode one hundred and thirty-three of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "My Girl" by the Temptations, and is part three of a three-episode look at Motown in 1965. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Yeh Yeh" by Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames. 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…)
Sep 24, 2021
Episode 132: “I Can’t Help Myself” by the Four Tops
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Episode one hundred and thirty-two of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “I Can't Help Myself” by the Four Tops, and is part two of a three-episode look at Motown in 1965. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Colours" by Donovan. 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…)
Sep 08, 2021
Episode 131: “I Hear a Symphony” by the Supremes
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Episode one hundred and thirty-one of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “I Hear a Symphony” by the Supremes, and is the start of a three-episode look at Motown in 1965. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Rescue Me" by Fontella Bass. 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…)
Aug 25, 2021
Episode 130: “Like a Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan
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NOTE: This episode went up before the allegations about Dylan, in a lawsuit filed on Friday, were made public on Monday night. Had I been aware of them, I would at least have commented at the beginning of the episode.

Episode one hundred and thirty of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Like a Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan, and the 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 ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Hold What You've Got" by Joe Tex.

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…)

Aug 14, 2021
Episode 129: “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones
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Episode 129 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones, and how they went from being a moderately successful beat group to being the only serious rivals to the Beatles. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have an eleven-minute bonus episode available, on "I'll Never Find Another You" by the Seekers.

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…)

Jul 30, 2021
Episode 128: “Mr. Tambourine Man” by the Byrds
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Episode one hundred and twenty-eight of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Mr. Tambourine Man" by the Byrds, and the start of LA folk-rock. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "I Got You Babe" by Sonny and Cher. 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…)
Jul 22, 2021
Episode 127: “Ticket to Ride” by the Beatles
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This week’s episode looks at "Ticket to Ride", the making of the Beatles' second film, and the influence of Bob Dylan on the Beatles' work and lives. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "The Game of Love" by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders.

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…)

Jul 13, 2021
Episode 126: “For Your Love” by the Yardbirds
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Episode 126 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “For Your Love", the Yardbirds, and the beginnings of heavy rock and the guitar hero.  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 "A Lover's Concerto" by the Toys. 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…)
Jul 01, 2021
PLEDGE WEEK: “Hey Little Cobra” by the Rip Chords
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This is a bonus episode, part of Pledge Week 2021. Patreon backers get one of these with every episode of the main podcast. If you want to get those, and to support the podcast, please visit patreon.com/andrewhickey to sign up for a dollar a month or more. Click below for the transcript. (more…)
Jun 21, 2021
PLEDGE WEEK: “Farmer John” by Don and Dewey
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This is a bonus episode, part of Pledge Week 2021. Patreon backers get one of these with every episode of the main podcast. If you want to get those, and to support the podcast, please visit patreon.com/andrewhickey to sign up for a dollar a month or more. Click below for the transcript. (more…)
Jun 20, 2021
PLEDGE WEEK: “Papa Oom Mow Mow” by the Rivingtons
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This is a bonus episode, part of Pledge Week 2021. Patreon backers get one of these with every episode of the main podcast. If you want to get those, and to support the podcast, please visit patreon.com/andrewhickey to sign up for a dollar a month or more.

Click below for the transcript.

(more…)

Jun 19, 2021
PLEDGE WEEK: “Muleskinner Blues” by the Fendermen
0:00
This is a bonus episode, part of Pledge Week 2021. Patreon backers get one of these with every episode of the main podcast. If you want to get those, and to support the podcast, please visit patreon.com/andrewhickey to sign up for a dollar a month or more. Click below for the transcript. (more…)
Jun 18, 2021
Episode 125: “Here Comes the Night” by Them
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Episode 125 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Here Comes the Night", Them, the early career of Van Morrison, and the continuing success 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 twenty-minute bonus episode available, on "Dirty Water" by the Standells.

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…)

Jun 18, 2021
PLEDGE WEEK: “Sukiyaki” by Kyu Sakamoto
0:00
This is a bonus episode, part of Pledge Week 2021. Patreon backers get one of these with every episode of the main podcast. If you want to get those, and to support the podcast, please visit patreon.com/andrewhickey to sign up for a dollar a month or more. Click below for the transcript. (more…)
Jun 17, 2021
PLEDGE WEEK: “Any Other Way” by Jackie Shane
0:00
This is a bonus episode, part of Pledge Week 2021. Patreon backers get one of these with every episode of the main podcast. If you want to get those, and to support the podcast, please visit patreon.com/andrewhickey to sign up for a dollar a month or more. Click below for the transcript. (more…)
Jun 16, 2021
PLEDGE WEEK: “If You Wanna Be Happy” by Jimmy Soul
0:00

This is a bonus episode, part of Pledge Week 2021. Patreon backers get one of these with every episode of the main podcast. If you want to get those, and to support the podcast, please visit patreon.com/andrewhickey to sign up for a dollar a month or more. 

Click below for the transcript.

(more…)

Jun 15, 2021
ADMIN: Pledge Week 2021
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Transcript

About a year ago I did a pledge week, to encourage people to back me on Patreon. This seemed relatively successful, so I'm going to do it again.

For those who don't know, the podcast is supported by listeners pledging money on the crowdfunding site Patreon. Listeners can give $1 a month or more, and I use that to fund the project. They also get various other bonus things, like the ability to send me private messages, free copies of my books for those on higher tiers, and so on.

Some of those bonuses haven't been that frequent in the last few months, as between the pandemic, various things in my personal life and health, and the disruption caused by a false DMCA claim, this has been the single most difficult six months of my life to date, as you can probably tell from the disrupted schedule recently, though I'm now trying to get back on track with everything.

But one bonus they always get, and have for two years, is a ten-minute or so extra podcast along with every regular episode. Anyone backing the Patreon at a dollar a month or more gets access to those as they come out, plus to the ninety or so old ones I've already done.

So this week, like last year, I'm going to give everyone a taste of what the backers get -- every day for a week I'm going to upload an old Patreon bonus episode, in the hope that some of you like what you hear enough to sign up for the Patreon.

However, I want to make something very clear -- I only want you to sign up *if you can afford to*. New signups mean I can afford to do this podcast without having to add advertising and so on, but I know that a lot of people are having financial problems right now. If you have enough money after looking after yourself and your family, and after any charitable giving and so on to actual important causes, that you feel able to throw a dollar a month to someone talking about music, great. If you don't, then please don't feel obliged, and the podcast will continue to be free.

The next proper episode of the podcast, on "Here Comes the Night" by Them, will be up in a day or two -- I'm recording it right after I upload this and the first of the Pledge Week episodes, which will be on "If You Wanna Be Happy" by Jimmy Soul, and it'll be up as soon as it's edited. In the meantime, enjoy the free bonuses.

Jun 15, 2021
Episode 124: “People Get Ready” by the Impressions
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Episode 124 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “People Get Ready", the Impressions, and the early career of Curtis Mayfield.  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 "I'm Henry VIII I Am" by Herman's Hermits. 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…)
Jun 08, 2021
Episode 123: “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” by the Righteous Brothers
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Episode 123 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", the Righteous Brothers, Shindig! and "blue-eyed soul".  Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs.

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…)

May 25, 2021
Episode 122: “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke
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Episode 122 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs is a double-length (over an hour) look at “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke, at Cooke's political and artistic growth, and at the circumstances around his death. This one has a long list of content warnings at the beginning of the episode, for good reason...

Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "My Guy" by Mary Wells.

 

Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. For this episode, he also did the re-edit of the closing theme. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/

(more…)

May 18, 2021
Episode 121: “The Leader of the Pack” by the Shangri-Las
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Episode one hundred and twenty-one of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “The Leader of the Pack", the rise and fall of Red Bird Records, and the end of the death disc trend. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "California Sun" by the Rivieras.

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…)

May 06, 2021
Episode 120: “A Hard Day’s Night” by the Beatles
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This week's episode, the first on the new host, looks at "A Hard Day's Night", and the making of the film that would define music cinema for decades to come. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Tobacco Road" by the Nashville Teens.

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…)
Apr 27, 2021
Admin Note: Podcast Host Moved
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A quick admin note about why the podcast has changed hosts. Click through for the transcript.

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Apr 14, 2021
Episode 119: “You Really Got Me” by the Kinks
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Episode one hundred and nineteen of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "You Really Got Me" by the Kinks, and the song that first took distorted guitar to number one. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "G.T.O." by Ronny and the Daytonas. 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…)
Apr 05, 2021
Episode 118: “Do-Wah-Diddy-Diddy” by Manfred Mann
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Episode 118 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Do-Wah-Diddy-Diddy" by Manfred Mann, and how a jazz group with a blues singer had one of the biggest bubblegum pop hits of the sixties. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a thirteen-minute bonus episode available, on "Walk on By" by Dionne Warwick. 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…)
Mar 28, 2021
Episode 117: “Don’t Worry Baby” by the Beach Boys
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Episode one hundred and seventeen of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Don't Worry Baby" by the Beach Boys, and how the years 1963 and 1964 saw a radical evolution in the sound and subject matter of the Beach Boys' work. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "You're No Good" by the Swinging Blue Jeans. 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…)
Mar 20, 2021
Episode 116: “Where Did Our Love Go?” by The Supremes
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Episode one hundred and sixteen of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Where Did Our Love Go?" by the Supremes, and how the "no-hit Supremes" became the biggest girl group in history. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "She's Not There" by the Zombies. 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…)
Mar 10, 2021
Episode 115: “House of the Rising Sun” by the Animals
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Episode one hundred and fifteen of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "House of the Rising Sun" by the Animals, at the way the US and UK music scenes were influencing each other in 1964, and at the fraught question of attribution when reworking older songs. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Memphis" by Johnny Rivers. 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…)
Feb 27, 2021
Episode 114: “My Boy Lollipop” by Millie
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This week's episode looks at "My Boy Lollipop" and the origins of ska music. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "If You Wanna Be Happy" by Jimmy Soul. 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…)
Feb 18, 2021
Episode 113: “Needles and Pins” by The Searchers
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This week's episode looks at "Needles and Pins", and the story of the second-greatest band to come out of Liverpool in the sixties, The Searchers. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a sixteen-minute bonus episode available, on "Farmer John" by Don and Dewey. 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…)
Feb 08, 2021
Episode 112: “She Loves You” by The Beatles
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This week's episode looks at "She Loves You", the Beatles in 1963, and the start of Beatlemania in the UK. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Glad All Over" by the Dave Clark Five. 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…)
Jan 30, 2021
Episode 111: “Heat Wave” by Martha and the Vandellas
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Episode one hundred and eleven of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Heat Wave" by Martha and the Vandellas, and the beginnings of Holland-Dozier-Holland. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "My Boyfriend's Back" by the Angels. 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…)
Jan 20, 2021
Episode 110: “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes
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Episode 110 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Be My Baby", and at the career of the Ronettes and Ronnie Spector.  Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Little Saint Nick" by the Beach Boys. 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…)
Jan 09, 2021
BONUS: A Tribute to Gerry Marsden
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I just heard the sad news that Gerry Marsden, of Gerry and the Pacemakers, has died today aged seventy-eight. As the latest episode of the podcast is late due to personal issues, I thought I'd make this available to the general public – this is a ten-minute Patreon bonus episode I did back in October, on Gerry and the Pacemakers, so it's here as a little tribute. He'll be missed. (more…)
Jan 03, 2021
Episode 109: “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Peter, Paul, and Mary
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Episode one hundred and nine of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Blowin' in the Wind", Peter, Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan, the UK folk scene and the civil rights movement. Those of you who get angry at me whenever I say anything that acknowledges the existence of racism may want to skip this one. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" by the Crystals. 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…)
Dec 23, 2020
Episode 108: “I Wanna Be Your Man” by the Rolling Stones
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Episode 108 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "I Wanna Be Your Man" by the Rolling Stones and how the British blues scene of the early sixties was started by a trombone player. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have an eight-minute bonus episode available, on "The Monkey Time" by Major Lance. 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…)
Dec 16, 2020
BONUS: I Read The NewsToday Oh Boy: The Kennedy Assassination
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The third in the occasional series of ten-minute looks at topics in the news during the time we're looking at covers the Kennedy assassination. Click through for the transcript: (more…)
Dec 16, 2020
Episode 107: “Surf City” by Jan and Dean
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Episode 107 of A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs looks at "Surf City" and the career of Jan and Dean, including a Pop Symphony, accidental conspiracy to kidnap, and a career that both started and ended with attempts to get out of being drafted. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Hey Little Cobra" by the Rip Chords. 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…)
Dec 08, 2020
Episode 106: “Louie Louie” by the Kingsmen
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Episode 106 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen, and the story of how a band that had already split up accidentally had one of the biggest hits of the sixties and sparked a two-year FBI investigation. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have an eight-minute bonus episode available, on "It's My Party" by Lesley Gore. 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…)
Dec 02, 2020
Episode 105: “Green Onions” by Booker T. and the MGs
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Episode 105 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Green Onions", and how a company started by a Western Swing fiddle player ended up making the most important soul records of the sixties. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons. 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…)
Nov 24, 2020
Episode 104: “He’s a Rebel” by “The Crystals”
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Episode 104 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "He's a Rebel", and how a song recorded by the Blossoms was released under the name of the Crystals.  Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Sukiyaki" by Kyu Sakamoto. 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…)
Nov 16, 2020
BONUS: I Read The News Today Oh Boy — The Profumo Affair
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This month's ten-minute extra bonus episode on news events at the time we're looking at is on the Profumo Affair, and how a sex scandal transformed Britain. Click through to the full post to read a transcript. (more…)
Nov 16, 2020
Episode 103: “Hitch-Hike” by Marvin Gaye
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Episode one hundred and three of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Hitch-Hike" by Marvin Gaye, and the early career of one of Motown's defining artists. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Any Other Way" by Jackie Shane. 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…)
Nov 05, 2020
Episode 102: “Twist and Shout” by the Isley Brothers
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Episode one hundred and two of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Twist and Shout" by the Isley Brothers, and the early career 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 ten-minute bonus episode available, on "How Do You Do It?" by Gerry and the Pacemakers. 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…)
Oct 26, 2020
Episode 101: “Telstar” by the Tornados
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Episode 101 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs is the first one of the podcast's third year. This one looks at "Telstar" by the Tornados, and the tragic life of Joe Meek, Britain's first great pop auteur. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Apologies for the lateness of this one -- my two-week break got extended when my computer broke down.

Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Wipe Out" by the Surfaris.

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…)

Oct 17, 2020
BONUS: I Read The News Today, Oh Boy: The Cuban Missile Crisis
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This is the first of a new monthly feature that will run alongside the main podcast -- once a month I'll be doing a ten-minute bonus episode looking at non-music news from the time we're covering in the podcast. These can be skipped if you're only interested in the music, but add valuable context about the culture in which those records were made. This month's is on the Cuban Missile Crisis. Year three of the podcast starts in a few days' time, with "Telstar". Click through for the episode transcript: (more…)
Oct 06, 2020
Episode 100: “Love Me Do” by the Beatles
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This week there are two episodes of the podcast going up, both of them longer than normal. This one, episode one hundred, is the hundredth-episode special and is an hour and a half long. It looks at the early career of the Beatles, and at the three recordings of "Love Me Do". Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Misirlou" by Dick Dale and the Deltones. 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…)
Sep 26, 2020
Episode 99: “Surfin’ Safari” by the Beach Boys
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This week there are two episiodes of the podcast going up, both of them longer than normal. This one, episode ninety-nine, is on "Surfin' Safari" by the Beach Boys, and the group's roots in LA, and is fifty minutes long. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Misirlou" by Dick Dale and the Deltones. 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…)
Sep 25, 2020
Episode 98: “I’ve Just Fallen For Someone” by Adam Faith
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Episode ninety-eight of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "I've Just Fallen For Someone" by Adam Faith, and is our final look at the pre-Beatles British pop scene. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "San Francisco Bay Blues" by Jesse Fuller. 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…)
Sep 15, 2020
Episode 97: “Song to Woody” by Bob Dylan
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Episode ninety-seven of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Song To Woody" by Bob Dylan, and at the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early sixties. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Sherry" by the Four Seasons. 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…)
Sep 10, 2020
Episode 96: “The Loco-Motion” by Little Eva
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Episode ninety-six of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "The Loco-Motion" by Little Eva, and how a demo by Carole King's babysitter became one of the biggest hits of the sixties. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Duke of Earl" by Gene Chandler. 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…)
Sep 01, 2020
Episode 95: “You Better Move On” by Arthur Alexander
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Episode ninety-five of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "You Better Move On", and the sad story of Arthur Alexander. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Mother-In-Law" by Ernie K-Doe. 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…)
Aug 27, 2020
BONUS: “Strawberry Fair” by Anthony Newley
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This is a special extra episode of the podcast, not one of the "proper" five hundred. A book I've written, on the TV series The Strange World of Gurney Slade, has just become available for pre-order from Obverse Books, so to publicise that I've done an extra episode, on the pop music career of its star, Anthony Newley. The next normal episode will be up in a day or two. Transcript below the cut. Erratum: In a previous version of this episode, I mentioned, in passing, my understanding that Newley was an alcoholic. This has been strongly questioned by some fans, who took offence at the suggestion, and as it was utterly irrelevant to the point I was making I have deleted those three words rather than cause further offence. (more…)
Aug 24, 2020
Episode 94: “Stand By Me”, by Ben E. King
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Episode ninety-four of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King, and at the later career of the Drifters. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "If I Had a Hammer" by Trini López. 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…)
Aug 18, 2020
Episode 93: “Please Mr. Postman” by the Marvelettes
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Episode ninety-three of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Please Mr. Postman" by the Marvelettes, and the career of the first group to have a number one on a Motown label. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Take Good Care of My Baby" by Bobby Vee. 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…)
Aug 10, 2020
Episode 92: “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by the Tokens
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Episode ninety-two of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by The Tokens, and at a seventy-year-long story of powerful people repeatedly ripping off less powerful people, then themselves being ripped off in turn by more powerful people, and at how racism meant that a song that earned fifteen million dollars for other people paid its composer ten shillings. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Tossin' and Turnin'" by Bobby Lewis. 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…)
Aug 02, 2020
Episode 91: “The Twist” by Chubby Checker
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Episode ninety-one of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "The Twist" by Chubby Checker, and how the biggest hit single ever had its roots in hard R&B. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Viens Danser le Twist" by Johnny Hallyday, a cover of a Chubby Checker record that became the first number one for France's biggest rock star. 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, people have asked me to start selling podcast merchandise, so you can now buy T-shirts from https://500-songs.teemill.com/. That store will be updated semi-regularly. (more…)
Jul 25, 2020
PLEDGE WEEK: “Sixteen Tons” by Tennessee Ernie Ford
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Welcome to the seventh and final in the Pledge Week series of episodes, putting up old bonus episodes posted to my Patreon in an attempt to encourage more subscriptions. If you like this, consider subscribing to the Patreon at http://patreon.com/join/andrewhickey . I'm glad to say that this pledge week has been successful enough that I may do another of these in a year or so. This one is about "Sixteen Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford, a record that was a huge influence on many, many artists in the mid fifties. (more…)
Jul 19, 2020
Episode 90: “Runaway” by Del Shannon
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Episode ninety of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Runaway" by Del Shannon, and at the early use of synthesised sound in rock music. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Blue Moon" by the Marcels. 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…)
Jul 18, 2020
PLEDGE WEEK: “Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots” by the Cheers
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Welcome to the sixth in the Pledge Week series of episodes, putting up old bonus episodes posted to my Patreon in an attempt to encourage more subscriptions. If you like this, consider subscribing to the Patreon at http://patreon.com/join/andrewhickey . This one is about "Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots" by the Cheers, one of the first Teen Tragedy records, and Leiber and Stoller's biggest hit. Content warning -- contains mentions of deaths in accidents, and of false rape accusations. Click the cut to view a transcript of this episode: (more…)
Jul 18, 2020
PLEDGE WEEK: “Ain’t Got No Home” by Clarence “Frogman” Henry
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Welcome to the fifth in the Pledge Week series of episodes, putting up old bonus episodes posted to my Patreon in an attempt to encourage more subscriptions. If you like this, consider subscribing to the Patreon at http://patreon.com/join/andrewhickey . This one is about "Ain't Got No Home" by Clarence "Frogman" Henry, a classic of both novelty music and New Orleans R&B. Click the cut to view a transcript of this episode: (more…)
Jul 17, 2020
PLEDGE WEEK: “Shake a Hand” by Faye Adams
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Welcome to the fourth in the Pledge Week series of episodes, putting up old bonus episodes posted to my Patreon in an attempt to encourage more subscriptions. If you like this, consider subscribing to the Patreon at http://patreon.com/join/andrewhickey . This one is about "Shake a Hand" by Faye Adams, a classic of gospel-tinged R&B that influenced Little Richard, Elvis Presley, and Paul McCartney among others. Click the cut to view a transcript of this episode: (more…)
Jul 16, 2020
PLEDGE WEEK: “Blue Yodel #9” by Jimmie Rodgers
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Welcome to the third in the Pledge Week series of episodes, putting up old bonus episodes posted to my Patreon in an attempt to encourage more subscriptions. If you like this, consider subscribing to the Patreon at http://patreon.com/join/andrewhickey . This one is about "Blue Yodel #9" by Jimmie Rodgers, but it's really about two great women who shaped twentieth century popular music without much credit -- Lil Hardin and Elsie McWilliams Click the cut to view a transcript of this episode: (more…)
Jul 15, 2020
PLEDGE WEEK: “The Flying Saucer” by Buchanan and Goodman
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Welcome to the second in the Pledge Week series of episodes, putting up old bonus episodes posted to my Patreon in an attempt to encourage more subscriptions. If you like this, consider subscribing to the Patreon at http://patreon.com/join/andrewhickey . Click the cut to view a transcript of this episode: (more…)
Jul 14, 2020
PLEDGE WEEK BONUS: “Chantilly Lace” by the Big Bopper
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Welcome to Pledge Week! I'm doing a week of posting some of the Patreon bonuses I've done, to encourage those who can to sign up to my Patreon. ERRATUM: My understanding when I did this episode was that "White Lightning" was recorded right after the Big Bopper's death. That is not actually the case -- Jones just turned up drunk to the session because he was drunk, not because of his friend's death, and they *released* the record a few days after Bopper's death. Every day of Pledge Week will start with the same section, which I'll transcribe once, below, before the cut. Pledge Week Intro This is not a proper episode of the podcast. Rather, this is something else. I've decided to hold a pledge week, to try to get a few more subscribers to my Patreon. So every day this week I'll be putting one of the backer-only episodes I've done over the past year up on the main podcast feed, so people can hear what it is you get if you sign up for the Patreon, with this little introductory piece before them. If you're already a backer, you will already have this episode, so you can skip this and everything else labelled "pledge week". I do one of these every week for my backers, and backers even at the lowest levels get them -- if you sign up for a dollar a month you get each new one as it comes out, and access to all the old ones. There are fifty-nine of them up so far, as well as a few other things like the monthly Q&As I've been doing for backers. I'm only making seven of these available on the public feed, so there's a lot still there for you to listen to. If this works well, I might do another one next year, when there'll be another fifty-odd episodes to choose from. None of this is meant to put any pressure on anyone who can't afford it to back the podcast -- the podcast will always remain free to listen to, and I hope it will remain ad-free as well. I know times are especially tough right now, and many of you literally can't afford the money you're already spending, let alone paying any more out. I only want backers who can spare the money. But if you can afford it, and you like these bonus episodes enough, then go to patreon.com slash andrewhickey, that's spelled h-i-c-k-e-y, or follow the link in the shownotes, and sign up, and you'll get one of these the same day as every new episode. If you can't, well... enjoy this extra free bonus, and don't worry about it. Transcript behind cut (more…)
Jul 13, 2020
Episode 89: “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” by the Shirelles
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Episode eighty-nine of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" by the Shirelles, and at the beginnings of the Brill Building sound. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Tom Dooley" by the Kingston Trio. 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…)
Jul 10, 2020
Episode 88: “Cathy’s Clown” by the Everly Brothers
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Episode eighty-eight of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Cathy's Clown" by The Everly Brothers, and at how after signing the biggest contract in music business history their career was sabotaged by their manager. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Poetry in Motion" by Johnny Tillotson. (more…)
Jul 02, 2020
Episode 87: “Apache” by the Shadows
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Episode eighty-seven of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Apache", by the Shadows, and at the three years in which they and Cliff Richard were on top of the music world. Patreon backers also have a fifteen-minute bonus episode, on "Handy Man" by Jimmy Jones.

My apologies for the lateness of this episode, which is due to my home Internet connection having been out for a week.

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…)

Jun 23, 2020
Episode 86: “LSD-25” by the Gamblers
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Episode eighty-six of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "LSD-25" by the Gamblers, the first rock song ever to namecheck acid, and a song by a band so obscure no photos exist of them. (The photo here is of the touring lineup of the Hollywood Argyles. Derry Weaver, the Gamblers' lead guitarist, is top left). Patreon backers also have a fifteen-minute bonus episode, on "Papa Oom Mow Mow" by the Rivingtons. 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…)
Jun 10, 2020
Episode 85: “Three Steps to Heaven” by Eddie Cochran
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Episode eighty-five of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Three Steps to Heaven" by Eddie Cochran, and at the British tour which changed music and ended his life. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a fifteen-minute bonus episode, on "Quarter to Three" by Gary US Bonds. 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…)
Jun 05, 2020
Episode 84: “Shakin’ All Over” by Johnny Kidd and the Pirates
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Episode eighty-four of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Shakin' All Over" by Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, and how the first great British R&B band interacted with the entertainment industry. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a fifteen-minute bonus episode, on "Under Your Spell Again" by Buck Owens.

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…)

May 28, 2020
Episode 83: “Only The Lonely” by Roy Orbison
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Episode eighty-three of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Only the Lonely" by Roy Orbison, and how Orbison finally found success by ignoring conventional pop song structure. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have two bonus podcasts -- part one of a two-part Q&A and a ten-minute bonus on "Walk Don't Run" by the Ventures. 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…)
May 22, 2020
Episode 82: “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” by Elvis Presley
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Episode eighty-two of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" by Elvis Presley, and the way his promising comeback after leaving the Army quickly got derailed. This episode also contains a brief acknowledgment of the death of the great Little Richard, who died just as I was recording this episode. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Muleskinner Blues" by the Fendermen.

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…)

May 14, 2020
Episode 81: “Shout” by the Isley Brothers
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Episode eighty-one of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Shout" by the Isley Brothers, and the beginnings of a career that would lead to six decades of hit singles. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Tell Laura I Love Her" by Ray Peterson. 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…)
May 04, 2020
Episode 80: “Money” by Barrett Strong
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Episode eighty of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Money" by Barrett Strong, the dispute over its authorship, and the start of a record label that would change music. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Alley Oop" by the Hollywood Argyles. 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…)
Apr 27, 2020
Episode 79: “Sweet Nothin’s” by Brenda Lee
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Episode seventy-nine of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Sweet Nothin's" by Brenda Lee, and at the career of a performer who started in the 1940s and who was most recently in the top ten only four months ago. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "16 Candles" by the Crests. 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…)
Apr 22, 2020
Episode 78: “What’d I Say” by Ray Charles
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Episode seventy-eight of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "What'd I Say" by Ray Charles, and at Charles' career in jazz, soul, and country. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Sea of Love" by Phil Phillips.

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…)

Apr 13, 2020
Episode 77: “Brand New Cadillac” by Vince Taylor and the Playboys
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Episode seventy-seven of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Brand New Cadillac" by Vince Taylor and the Playboys, and the sad career of rock music's first acid casualty. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers have two bonus podcasts this week. There's a half-hour Q&A episode, where I answer backers' questions, and a ten-minute bonus episode on "The Hippy Hippy Shake" by Chan Romero. 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…)
Apr 07, 2020
Episode 76: “Stagger Lee” by Lloyd Price
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Episode seventy-six of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Stagger Lee" by Lloyd Price, and how a barroom fight 125 years ago led to a song performed by everyone from Ma Rainey to Neil Diamond. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "That Crazy Feeling" by Kenny Rogers. I have also beeped out some expletives in the song excerpts this week, so as not to be censored by some podcast aggregators, and so I've uploaded an unbeeped version for backers. 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…)
Mar 31, 2020
Episode 75: “There Goes My Baby” by the Drifters
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Episode seventy-five of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "There Goes My Baby" by the Drifters, and how a fake record label, a band sacked for drunkenness, and a kettledrum player who couldn't play led to a genre-defining hit. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Rebel Rouser" by Duane Eddy 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…)
Mar 23, 2020
Episode 74: “It Doesn’t Matter Any More” by Buddy Holly
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Episode seventy-four of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "It Doesn't Matter Any More" by Buddy Holly, and at the reasons he ended up on the plane that killed him. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Chantilly Lace" by the Big Bopper. 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…)
Mar 17, 2020
Episode 73: “La Bamba” by Ritchie Valens
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Episode seventy-three of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "La Bamba" by Ritchie Valens, and is the first of a two-part story which will conclude next week with an episode on Buddy Holly. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Kansas City" by Wilbert Harrison. 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…)
Mar 09, 2020
Episode 72: “Trouble” by Elvis Presley
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Episode seventy-two of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Trouble" by Elvis Presley, his induction into the army, and his mother's death. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "When" by the Kalin Twins. 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…)
Mar 02, 2020
Episode 71: “Willie and the Hand Jive” by Johnny Otis
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Episode seventy-one of A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs continues our look at British music TV by looking at the first time it affected American R&B, and is also our final look at Johnny Otis. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Short Shorts" by the Royal Teens, a group whose members went on to be far more important than one might expect. Also, this is the first of hopefully many podcasts to come where 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…)
Feb 24, 2020
Episode 70: “Move It” by Cliff Richard and the Drifters
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Episode seventy of A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs looks at "Move It" by Cliff Richard, and the beginning of rock and roll TV in the UK. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Poor Little Fool" by Ricky Nelson, another artist whose career was made by TV, and one who influenced Cliff Richard hugely.

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Feb 17, 2020
Episode 69: “Fujiyama Mama” by Wanda Jackson
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Episode sixty-nine of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Fujiyama Mama" by Wanda Jackson, and the first rock and roller to become "big in Japan" Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley. (more…)
Feb 10, 2020
Episode 68: “Yakety Yak” by the Coasters
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Episode sixty-eight of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Yakety Yak'" by The Coasters, and at the group's greatest success and split, and features discussion of racism, plagiarism, STDs and Phil Spector. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Tears on My Pillow" by Little Anthony and the Imperials. (more…)
Feb 04, 2020
Episode 67: “Johnny B. Goode”, by Chuck Berry
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Episode sixty-seven of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry, and the decline and fall of both Berry and Alan Freed. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin. (more…)
Jan 27, 2020
Episode 66: “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis
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Episode sixty-six of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. This one comes with a bit of a content warning, as while it has nothing explicit, it deals with his marriage to his thirteen-year-old cousin.

Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Rumble" by Link Wray. (more…)

Jan 20, 2020
Episode 65: “Maybe” by the Chantels
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Episode sixty-five of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Maybe" by the Chantels, and covers child stardom, hymns in Latin, and how to get discovered twice in one day. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Don't You Just Know It" by Huey "Piano" Smith and the Clowns. (more…)
Jan 13, 2020
Episode Sixty-Four: “Reet Petite” by Jackie Wilson
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Episode sixty-four of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Reet Petite" by Jackie Wilson, and features talent contests with too much talent, the prehistory of Motown, a song banned by the BBC, and a possible Mafia hit. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Get a Job" by the Silhouettes. (more…)
Jan 06, 2020
Episode 63: “Susie Q” by Dale Hawkins
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Episode sixty-three of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Susie Q" by Dale Hawkins, and at the difference between rockabilly and electric blues. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Shake a Hand" by Faye Adams. (more…)
Dec 30, 2019
Episode 62: “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley
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Episode sixty-two of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Jailhouse Rock" by Elvis Presley, and at his relationships with Colonel Tom Parker, Leiber and Stoller, his band members, and the film industry. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on Santa Claus is Back in Town, also by Elvis, which ties in more than most to this episode. (more…)
Dec 22, 2019
Episode 61: “That’ll Be the Day” by The Crickets
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Episode sixty-one of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "That'll Be the Day" by The Crickets. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" by Gene Autry

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Dec 16, 2019
Episode 60: “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke
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Episode sixty of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "You Send Me" by Sam Cooke Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Little Darlin'" by The Gladiolas. Also, an announcement -- the book version of the first fifty episodes is now available for purchase. See the show notes, or the previous mini-episode announcing this, for details. (more…)
Dec 09, 2019
Book Announcement
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Transcript This is just a quick announcement that the book based on the first fifty episodes of the podcast is now available for purchase. From Savoy Stompers to Clock Rockers covers forty-nine of the first fifty episodes – I've replaced the episode on Bill Doggett with a version of the Patreon-only bonus episode on Johnnie Ray. It's currently available in paperback (UK) (US) and ebook versions, and there'll be links to buy it in the liner notes to this announcement and in the notes to every episode going forward, or search on Amazon for my name and the podcast title. I'll be putting out a hardback version shortly, for those who prefer that. Patreon backers at the $5 and above level have ebook copies already, and I'll be sending out their physical copies over the next few weeks. Thank you.
Dec 09, 2019
Episode 59: “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” by Jerry Lee Lewis
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Episode fifty-nine of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" by Jerry Lee Lewis. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "So Long I'm Gone" by Warren Smith. (more…)
Dec 02, 2019
Episode 58: “Mr. Lee” by the Bobbettes
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Episode fifty-eight of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Mr. Lee" by the Bobbettes, and at the lbirth of the girl group sound. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Little Bitty Pretty One", by Thurston Harris. (more…)
Nov 25, 2019
Episode 57: “Flying Saucers Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Billy Lee Riley and the Little Green Men
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Episode fifty-seven of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Flying Saucers Rock 'n' Roll" by Billy Lee Riley and the Little Green Men, and at the flying saucer craze of the fifties. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Silhouettes" by the Rays, and the power of subliminal messages. (more…)
Nov 18, 2019
Episode 56: “Bye Bye Love” by the Everly Brothers
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Episode fifty-six of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Bye Bye Love" by The Everly Brotherss, and at the history of country close harmony. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Short Fat Fannie" by Larry Williams.

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Nov 11, 2019
Episode 55: “Searchin'” by the Coasters
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Episode fifty-five of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Searchin'" by The Coasters, and at the lineup changes and conflicts that led to them becoming the perfect vehicle for Leiber and Stoller. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Raunchy" by Bill Justis. (more…)
Nov 04, 2019
Episode 54: “Keep A Knockin'” by Little Richard
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Episode fifty-four of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Keep A Knockin'" by Little Richard, the long history of the song, and the tension between its performer's faith and sexuality. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "At the Hop" by Danny and the Juniors. (more…)
Oct 28, 2019
Episode 53: “I Put a Spell on You” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
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Episode fifty-three of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "I Put a Spell on You" by Screamin' Jay Hawkins, and the career of a man who had more than fifty more children than hit records. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Since I Met You Baby" by Ivory Joe Hunter (more…)
Oct 21, 2019
Episode 52: “Twenty Flight Rock”, by Eddie Cochran
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Episode fifty-two of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Twenty Flight Rock" by Eddie Cochran, and at the first great rock and roll film Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Teen-Age Crush" by Tommy Sands. (more…)
Oct 14, 2019
Episode 51: “Matchbox” by Carl Perkins
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Episode fifty-one of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Matchbox" by Carl Perkins, and at the session that turned into the historic Million Dollar Quartet jam session. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Blue Yodel #9" by Jimmie Rodgers. (more…)
Oct 07, 2019
BONUS: Question and Answer Episode 2
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This week's episode of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs is the second of two bonus episodes answering listener questions at the end of the first year of the podcast. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a bonus podcast, answering even more questions. (more…)
Sep 30, 2019
BONUS: Question and Answer Episode 1
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This week's episode of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs is the first of two bonus episodes answering listener questions at the end of the first year of the podcast.. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Sep 23, 2019
Episode 50: “Honky Tonk” by Bill Doggett
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Episode fifty of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Honky Tonk" by Bill Doggett, and uses his career to provide a brief summary of the earlier episodes of the podcast as we're now moving forward into the next stage of the story. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Sixteen Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford. (more…)
Sep 16, 2019
Episode 49: “Love is Strange” by Mickey and Sylvia
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Welcome to episode forty-eight of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. This one looks at "Love is Strange" by Mickey and Sylvia, and how a reluctant bluesman who wrote books on jazz guitar, and a failed child star who would later become the mother of hip-hop, made a classic. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a bonus episode available. This one's on "Ain't Nobody's Business" by Jimmy Witherspoon, and is about blues shouting and the ambition to have a polyester suit. (more…)
Sep 09, 2019
Episode 48: “Rock With the Caveman” by Tommy Steele
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Welcome to episode forty-eight of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. This one looks at "Rock With the Caveman" by Tommy Steele, and the birth of the British rock and roll industry. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Patreon backers also have a bonus episode available. This one's on "The Death of Rock and Roll" by the Maddox Brothers and Rose, in which we look at a country group some say invented rock & roll, and how they reacted badly to it

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Sep 02, 2019
Episode 47: “Goodnight My Love” by Jesse Belvin
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Welcome to episode forty-seven of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. This one looks at "Goodnight My Love" by Jesse Belvin, and at the many groups he performed with, and his untimely death. . Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus podcast, on "In the Still of the Night" by the Five Satins (more…)
Aug 26, 2019
Episode 46: “Brown-Eyed Handsome Man” by Chuck Berry
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Episode forty-six of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Brown-Eyed Handsome Man" by the Chuck Berry Combo, and how Berry tried to square the circle of social commentary and teen appeal. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Rock and Roll Waltz" by Kay Starr.. (more…)
Aug 19, 2019
Episode 45: “Blueberry Hill”, by Fats Domino
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Episode forty-five of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Blueberry Hill" by Fats Domino, and at how the racial tensions of the fifties meant that a smiling, diffident, cheerful man playing happy music ended up starting riots all over the US. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Birmingham Bounce" by Hardrock Gunter. (more…)
Aug 11, 2019
Episode 44: “Train Kept A-Rollin'”, by Johnny Burnette and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Trio
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Episode forty-four of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Train Kept A-Rollin'" by Johnny Burnette and the Rock 'n' Roll Trio, and how a rockabilly trio from Memphis connect a novelty cowboy song by Ella Fitzgerald to Motorhead and Aerosmith. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Jump, Jive, an' Wail", by Louis Prima. (more…)
Aug 05, 2019
Episode 43: “I Gotta Know” by Wanda Jackson
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Episode forty-three of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "I Gotta Know" by Wanda Jackson, and the links between rockabilly and the Bakersfield Sound. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Bacon Fat" by Andre Williams. (more…)
Jul 29, 2019
Episode 42: “Ooby Dooby” by Roy Orbison and the Teen Kings
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Episode forty-two of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Ooby Dooby" by Roy Orbison and the Teen Kings, and the time when Sam Phillips got things badly wrong.. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Blue Yodel #9" by Jimmie Rodgers. (more…)
Jul 22, 2019
Episode 41: “Be-Bop-A-Lula” by Gene Vincent and the Bluecaps
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Episode forty-one of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Be-Bop-A-Lula" by Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps, and how Vincent defined for many what a rock and roll star was. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Smokestack Lightning" by Howlin' Wolf. (more…)
Jul 15, 2019
Episode 40: “Drugstore Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Janis Martin
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Episode forty of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Drugstore Rock 'n' Roll", by Janis Martin, an early rockabilly classic by the woman known as "the Female Elvis". Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Fever" by Little Willie John (more…)
Jul 07, 2019
Episode 39: “Please Please Please” by James Brown and the Famous Flames
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Episode thirty-nine of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Please Please Please" by James Brown, and at the early rock and roll career of the Godfather of Soul. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Come Go With Me" by the Del Vikings. (more…)
Jul 01, 2019
Episode 38: “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley
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Episode thirty-eight of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley, and is part three of a trilogy on the aftermath of Elvis leaving Sun, and the birth of rockabilly. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "The Flying Saucer" by Buchanan and Goodman. Also, it came too late for me to acknowledge in the episode itself, but I have to mention the sad news that Dave Bartholomew died today, aged 100. He will be missed. (more…)
Jun 24, 2019
Episode 37: “I Walk The Line” by Johnny Cash
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Episode thirty-seven of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "I Walk The Line" by Johnny Cash, and is part two of a trilogy on the aftermath of Elvis leaving Sun, and the birth of rockabilly. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a thirteen-minute bonus episode available, on "Don't Be Angry" by Nappy Brown. (more…)
Jun 16, 2019
Episode 36: “Blue Suede Shoes” by Carl Perkins
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Episode thirty-six of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Blue Suede Shoes" by Carl Perkins, and is part one of a trilogy on the aftermath of Elvis leaving Sun, and the birth of rockabilly. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots" by the Cheers. (more…)
Jun 09, 2019
Episode 35: “Why Do Fools Fall In Love?” by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers
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Episode thirty-five of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?" by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, and at the terrible afterlife of child stardom. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Space Guitar" by Johnny "Guitar" Watson. (more…)
Jun 03, 2019
Episode 34: “Tutti Frutti” by Little Richard
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Episode thirty-four of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Tutti Frutti" by Little Richard, and at the rather more family-unfriendly subject the song was originally about. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

Also, a reminder for those who didn't see the previous post -- my patreon backers are now getting ten-minute mini-episodes every week, and the first one is up, and I guested on Jaffa Cake Jukebox this week, talking about the UK top twenty for January 18 1957.

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May 28, 2019
Episode 33: “Mystery Train”, by Elvis Presley
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Welcome to episode thirty-three of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. This one looks at "Mystery Train" by Elvis Presley. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
May 20, 2019
Episode 32: “I Got A Woman” by Ray Charles
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Welcome to episode thirty-two of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. This one looks at "I Got A Woman" by Ray Charles. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
May 13, 2019
Episode 31: “Only You” by the Platters
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Welcome to episode thirty-one of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. This one looks at "Only You" by the Platters. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
May 06, 2019
Episode 30: “Bo Diddley” by Bo Diddley
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Welcome to episode thirty of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. This is the last of our three-part look at Chess Records, and focuses on "Bo Diddley" by Bo Diddley. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

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Apr 29, 2019
Episode 29: “Maybellene” by Chuck Berry
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Welcome to episode twenty-nine of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. This is the second of our three-part look at Chess Records, and focuses on "Maybellene" by Chuck Berry. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Apr 22, 2019
Episode 28: “Sincerely” by the Moonglows
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Welcome to episode twenty-eight of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at The Moonglows and "Sincerely". Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Apr 14, 2019
Episode 27: “Tweedle Dee” by LaVern Baker
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Welcome to episode twenty-seven of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at LaVern Baker and "Tweedle Dee". Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Apr 07, 2019
Episode 26: “Ain’t That A Shame” by Fats Domino
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Welcome to episode twenty-six of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at Fats Domino and "Ain't That A Shame". Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Apr 01, 2019
Episode 25: “Earth Angel” by the Penguins
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Welcome to episode twenty-five of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at "Earth Angel" by the Penguins. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Mar 26, 2019
Episode 24: “Ko Ko Mo” by Gene and Eunice
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Welcome to episode twenty-four of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at "Ko Ko Mo" by Gene and Eunice. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Mar 18, 2019
Episode 23: “Pledging My Love” by Johnny Ace
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Welcome to episode twenty-three of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at "Pledging My Love" by Johnny Ace Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Also, remember I'm three-quarters of the way through the Kickstarter for the first book based on this series. (more…)
Mar 11, 2019
Episode 22: “The Wallflower” by Etta James
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Welcome to episode twenty-two of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at "The Wallflower" by Etta James. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Also, remember I'm halfway through the Kickstarter for the first book based on this series. (more…)
Mar 04, 2019
Episode 21: “Rock Island Line” by Lonnie Donegan
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Welcome to episode twenty of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at "Rock Island Line" by Lonnie Donegan. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Feb 25, 2019
Episode 20: “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets
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Welcome to episode twenty of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and the Comets. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Feb 18, 2019
Episode 19: “That’s All Right, Mama” by Elvis Presley
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Welcome to episode nineteen of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at "That's All Right Mama" by Elvis Presley. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

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Feb 11, 2019
Episode 18: “Sh-Boom” by the Chords
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Welcome to episode eighteen of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at "Sh-Boom" by the Chords. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Feb 04, 2019
Episode 17: “Money Honey” by Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters
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Welcome to episode seventeen of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at "Money Honey" by the Drifters. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Jan 28, 2019
Episode 16: “Crazy Man Crazy” by Bill Haley and the Comets
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Welcome to episode sixteen of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at "Crazy Man Crazy" by Bill Haley and the Comets. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Jan 21, 2019
Episode 15: “Hound Dog” by Big Mama Thornton
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Welcome to episode fifteen of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at "Hound Dog" by Big Mama Thornton. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Jan 14, 2019
Episode 14″Jambalaya” by Hank Williams
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Welcome to episode fourteen of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at "Jambalaya" by Hank Williams. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Jan 07, 2019
Episode 13: “Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean” by Ruth Brown
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Welcome to episode thirteen of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean" by Ruth Brown. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Dec 31, 2018
Episode 12: “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” by Lloyd Price
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Welcome to episode twelve of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" by Lloyd Price. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Dec 23, 2018
“Rocket 88” by Jackie Brenston and the Delta Cats
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Welcome to episode eleven of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at "Rocket 88" by Jackie Brenston and the Delta Cats. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Dec 16, 2018
Episode 10: “Double Crossin’ Blues”, by Johnny Otis, Little Esther, and the Robins
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Welcome to episode ten of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at "Double Crossin' Blues" by Johnny Otis, Little Esther, and the Robins. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Dec 09, 2018
Episode 9: “How High The Moon” by Les Paul and Mary Ford
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Welcome to episode nine of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at Les Paul and Mary Ford, and "How High The Moon". Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Dec 03, 2018
Episode 8: “The Fat Man” by Fats Domino
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Welcome to episode eight of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at Fats Domino and "The Fat Man". Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. (more…)
Nov 26, 2018
Episode 7: Wynonie Harris and “Good Rockin’ Tonight”
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Welcome to episode seven of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at Wynonie Harris and "Good Rockin' Tonight" (more…)
Nov 19, 2018
Episode 6: The Ink Spots — “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin”
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Welcome to episode six of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at the Ink Spots and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin" (more…)
Nov 12, 2018
Episode 5: Rosetta Tharpe and “This Train”
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Welcome to episode five of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at Sister Rosetta Tharpe and "This Train" (more…)
Nov 05, 2018
Episode 4: “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie” by Louis Jordan
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Welcome to episode four of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at Louis Jordan and "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" (more…)
Oct 29, 2018
A Disclaimer
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Transcript This is not a full episode of A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs. The full episode will also turn up in your podcatcher. But I thought I should do a separate episode as a disclaimer. I'm placing this one here because in the next epsiode proper I talk about "the king of Western swing" and I don't refer to Spade Cooley, and I thought I should explain why. You see, there were two people who were generally called “the King of Western Swing”, both had a good claim for it. One of them was Bob Wills, and I’m going to talk about him in the episode. The other was Spade Cooley, and Cooley was a domestic abuser who eventually murdered his wife. Now, this is a history of rock and roll, and so I am going to have to deal with a lot of abusers, sex criminals, and even a few murderers. You simply can’t tell the history of rock and roll without talking about Ike Turner, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Phil Spector, Jimmy Page… I could go on. But suffice to say that I think the assumption one should make when talking about rock music history is that any man discussed in it is a monster unless proved otherwise. I’m going to have to talk about those men’s work, and how it affected other things, because it’s so influential. And I admire a lot of that work. But I never, ever, want to give the impression that I think the work in any way mitigates their monstrosity, or do that thing that so many people do of excusing them because “it was a different time”. But in order for this to be a history of rock music, and not a prurient history of misogynistic crime, I’m probably not going to mention every awful thing these people do. I’m going to deal with it on a case by case basis, and I *will* make wrong calls. If I don’t mention something when I get to one of those men, and you think it needed mentioning, by all means tell me about it in comments. But please don’t take that lack of mention as being endorsement of those people. However, in the case of Spade Cooley, he needed mentioning here, because I’m talking about Western swing in the next episode. But Cooley’s overall influence on rock and roll is basically zero, so in that episode, I’m going to pretend he never existed. If you want to hear about him, check out a podcast called Cocaine and Rhinestones. The episode there is horrifying, but it puts him in his proper context. But I thought I should make this disclaimer now and have it count for every episode of the podcast going forward. Thank you.
Oct 21, 2018
Episode 3: “Ida Red” by Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys
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Welcome to episode three of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. Today we're looking at Bob Wills and "Ida Red". (more…)
Oct 21, 2018
Episode 2: “Roll ‘Em Pete” by Big Joe Turner and Pete Johnson
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Here's the second episode, on "Roll 'Em Pete" by Big Joe Turner and Pete Johnson. One erratum before we continue -- in the episode, I say that "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" follows a particular formula common in hokum songs. That's not actually true for the original version -- it is true for Bill Haley's cover version, and Elvis' and the versions after them, but in Joe Turner's version the part we now know as the chorus didn't come in until near the end. Sorry about the mistake. (more…)
Oct 14, 2018
Episode 1: “Flying Home” by the Benny Goodman Sextet
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Welcome to the first episode proper of A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs! As this is the first real episode, you may notice a couple of flaws in the production -- those will hopefully get ironed out in the coming weeks. In the meantime, sit back and listen to the story of "Flying Home" by the Benny Goodman Sextet! (more…)
Oct 07, 2018
Introduction
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Welcome to A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs! Episode 1, the first episode proper, is coming next week, but for now here's an introduction, laying out my plans for the series. As I say in the tag at the end of every episode, please, if you like this episode, tell someone about it -- word of mouth is important, especially with these early episodes. Resources Mentioned in the Podcast My book, California Dreaming: The LA Pop Music Scene and the 60s, available here. Transcript Rock and roll as a cultural force is, it is safe to say, dead. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and nor does it mean that good rock and roll music isn't being made any more. Rather, rock, like jazz, has become a niche musical interest. It's a large niche, and it will be so long as there are people around who grew up in the last half of the last century, but the cultural influence it once had has declined precipitously in the last decade or so. These days, various flavours of hip-hop, electronic dance music, manufactured pop, and half a dozen genres that a middle-aged man like myself couldn't even name are having the cultural and commercial impact that in previous decades was mostly made by guitar bands. And this means that for the first time, it's possible to assess rock music (or rock and roll -- the two terms are not quite interchangeable, but this is not the place for a discussion of the terminology, which will come later) in a historical context. In fact this may be the best time for it, when it's still interesting to a wide audience, and still fresh in the memory, but it's not still an ongoing story that will necessarily change. Almost all of the original generation of rock and roll musicians are now dead (the only prominent exceptions at the moment being Jerry Lee Lewis, Don Everly, and Little Richard, although numerous lesser-known musicians from the time are still working occasionally), but their legacy is still having an impact. So in this podcast series I will look at the history of rock and roll music, starting with a few pre-rock songs that clearly influenced the burgeoning rock and roll genre, and ending up in 1999 -- it makes sense to cut the story off there, in multiple ways. I'll talk about the musicians, and about the music. About how the musicians influenced each other, and about the cultural forces that shaped them. In early episodes, you'll hear me talk about the impact the Communist Party, a series of strikes, and a future governor of Texas would all have on rock and roll's prehistory. But more importantly you'll hear me talk about the songs and the singers, the instrumentalists and the record producers. I shall be using a somewhat expansive definition of rock or rock and roll here, including genres like soul and disco, because those genres grew up alongside rock, were prominent at the same time as it, and both influenced and were influenced by the rock music of the time. I'm sure we'll look, when the time comes, at the way the words "rock and roll" were slowly redefined, from originally meaning a form of music made almost entirely by black people to later pretty much explicitly excluding all black musicians from their definition. But the most important thing I'll be doing is looking at the history of rock in terms of the music. I'll be looking at the records, and at the songs. How they were made and by whom. I've chosen five hundred songs in total, roughly a hundred per decade from the fifties through the nineties. Some of these songs are obvious choices, which have been written about many times before, but which need to be dealt with in any history of rock music. Others are more obscure tracks which nonetheless point to interesting things about how the music world was developing at the time they were recorded. I say "I've chosen", but this is going to be a project that takes nearly ten years, and no doubt my list will change. I'll be interested to see what suggestions listeners have, once I get them. Each podcast will be accompanied by a blog post, with a transcript of the episode (actually the script from which I'm working -- I won't be transcribing any of my mistakes) and links to sources, along with any notes -- for example, I've already noticed a mistake in episode two which I'll put in that episode's notes. I'll also be compiling an accompanying mixcloud post for each podcast. Those mixclouds will have the full versions of every song I excerpt in these podcasts, and I encourage you to listen to them. The podcasts are planned to be about twenty-five minutes on average, with the occasional shorter one, like this, as a bit of housecleaning. I'll also, every two years, be publishing a book based on these scripts, which will eventually become a five-volume work. Anyone who backs me on patreon, at patreon.com/andrewhickey -- that's a n d r e w h i c k e y -- will get free access to those books, as well as backing my blog and my other podcast. Those of you who have read my earlier work California Dreaming: The LA Pop Music Scene and the 60s will be familiar with this narrative technique I'm using here, and this series is in many ways an expansion of that book's approach, but it's important to note that the two works aren't looking at precisely the same thing -- that book was dealing with a particular scene, and with people who all knew each other, in a limited geographic and temporal space. Here, on the other hand, the threads we'll be following are more cultural than social -- there isn't a direct connection between Little Richard and Talking Heads, for example, but hopefully over the course of this series we will find a narrative thread that still connects them. Obviously, just as there's no definitive end to the time when rock had cultural prominence, there's no definitive beginning either. The quest for a "first rock and roll record" is a futile one -- rock and roll didn't spring fully formed into existence in Sam Phillips' studio in 1951 (when he recorded "Rocket 88") or 1954 (when he recorded "That's All Right") -- music evolved, and so we'll look at R&B and country, at Merseybeat and punk, and try to find the throughlines. But to start with, we want to take a trip back to the swing era...
Sep 30, 2018