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Hit Parade | Music History and Music Trivia
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Hit Parade | Music History and Music Trivia

Author: Slate Podcasts

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What makes a song a smash? Talent? Luck? Timing? All that—and more.

Chris Molanphy, pop-chart analyst and author of Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” series, tells tales from a half-century of chart history. Through storytelling, trivia and song snippets, Chris dissects how that song you love—or hate—dominated the airwaves, made its way to the top of the charts and shaped your memories forever.
39 Episodes
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Think you know music? Hit Parade, the music history podcast from Slate, is back with a new episode of The Bridge.In this mini-episode of Hit Parade, Host Chris Molanphy is joined by T. J. Raphael, senior producer of the Slate Podcast Network. Together, they quiz one listener contestant with some music trivia. The player also has the opportunity to turn the tables: They get a chance to try to stump Molanphy, a music journalist for the past 25 years, with one of their own trivia questions. Chris is also joined by Elizabeth Craft, an assistant professor of musicology at the University of Utah. Her research focuses on musical theater from the early 20th century to the present; she’s published on the musicals of Lin-Manuel Miranda, including a recent article on the politics and political reception of Hamilton, and she’s currently working on a book on Broadway legend George M. Cohan.If you’d like to be a contestant on an upcoming show, sign up for a Slate Plus membership, and then enter as a contestant here. You can also enter if you’re already a Slate Plus member. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
When a band member leaves to go solo, usually it means the band’s best days are over. That’s what everybody thought when Peter Gabriel left Genesis in the ’70s. Except not only did the band survive—fronted by drummer-turned-singer Phil Collins, they got bigger. Then Collins went solo…except he didn’t ditch Genesis. In fact, his success made them bigger—one of the definitive pop bands of the 1980s, as Collins’s monstrous drum sound took over pop music. By mid-decade, current and former members of Genesis—even side projects from its guitarists—were all competing head-to-head on the Billboard charts. On Hit Parade, we explore the knotty family tree of Genesis, the unlikeliest group ever to become a Hot 100 juggernaut.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Think you know music? Hit Parade, the music history podcast from Slate, is back with a new episode of The Bridge.In this mini-episode of Hit Parade, Host Chris Molanphy is joined by Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding of the podcast Switched on Pop. Together, they quiz one listener contestant with some music trivia. The player also has the opportunity to turn the tables: They get a chance to try to stump Molanphy, a music journalist for the past 25 years, with one of their own trivia questions. If you’d like to be a contestant on an upcoming show, sign up for a Slate Plus membership, and then enter as a contestant here. You can also enter if you’re already a Slate Plus member. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Spin̈al Tap was right: Death sells. When musical icons die, their songs and albums climb the charts all over again—sometimes, a legendary artist even scores his or her only No. 1 hit. In this very special episode recorded live from the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, Hit Parade pours one out for the legends who topped the charts from beyond the grave. Chris is joined by some of America’s top music writers to discuss the unusual circumstances that brought everyone from Otis Redding to Janis Joplin, John Lennon to Kurt Cobain, Biggie Smalls to Prince to the top of the charts after their untimely passings. Email: hitparade@slate.com   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Join Chris Molanphy for an evening of stories and trivia, at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle Washington, Saturday, April 13th, 2019. Tickets are going fast at Slate.com/LIVELearn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
When you think of Stevie Wonder’s legendary career, what chart-toppers come to mind? “Superstition,” right? Maybe “I Wish”? Okay, but what about the start of his career, on the Motown of the ’60s? You may not know that Wonder had only one Hot 100 No. 1 in his first decade—as “Little” Stevie Wonder—and it was truly exceptional, as in bizarre: a semi-improvised live recording of a “12 Year-Old Genius” refusing to leave a Chicago stage and say goodnight. Here’s the story of “Fingertips, Part 2,” and the years that launched a true pop icon. Wonder’s imperial run of classic, chart-topping, Grammy-dominating ’70s albums had their seeds in the joyous virtuosity, and fierce independence, on display in his very first hit.Email: hitparade@slate.com  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Host Chris Molanphy reflects on the previous full length episode of the show, and invites one Slate Plus member to play some music trivia related to an upcoming episode. This month, Molanphy is joined at the mic by T. J. Raphael, senior producer of the Slate Podcast Network. Together, they discuss some of the best cover songs of all time from the likes of Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, and more. After a break, Molanphy is joined by one listener for some music trivia related to the next full-length episode of Hit Parade, which is all about Stevie Wonder. How does it all work? The contestant is asked three trivia questions, and the player also has the opportunity to turn the tables—they get a chance to try to stump Molanphy, a music journalist for the past 25 years, with one trivia question of their own.If you’d like to be a contestant on an upcoming show, sign up for a Slate Plus membership here, and then enter as a contestant here. You can also enter to play if you’re already a Slate Plus member.Want your question featured in an upcoming show? Email a voice memo to hitparade@slate.com.  Podcast production by T. J. Raphael Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In just a couple of years, Creedence Clearwater Revival generated one of the most amazing runs of hits inAmerican pop history: from “Proud Mary” to “Green River,” “Bad Moon Rising” to “Travelin’ Band.”Reportedly, they even outsold the Beatles in America in 1969. But for all their success with those JohnFogerty–penned classics, CCR never held the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100. All of those hits were No. 2s: adubious Billboard chart record they hold to this day, for most No. 2s without a No. 1. True, it was the late ’60s,and CCR had the bad luck to be competing with such chart titans as Paul Simon and Sly Stone…butsometimes they were held back by No. 1 songs that are barely remembered today. In this episode of HitParade, we break down the sequence of events that relegated CCR—a future first-ballot Rock and Roll Hall ofFame band—to the charts’ permanent runner-up slot.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Hit Parade, the music history podcast from Slate, is back with a new episode of The Bridge.In this monthly mini-episode, Host Chris Molanphy reflects on the previous full length episode of the show, and invites one Slate Plus member to play some music trivia related to an upcoming episode. This month, Molanphy is joined at the mic by T. J. Raphael, senior producer of the Slate Podcast Network. Together, they discuss the sexual assault allegations facing artist R. Kelly, and whether the #MeToo movement will finally change the music industry. After a break, Molanphy is joined by one listener for some music trivia related to the next full-length episode of Hit Parade, which is all about Creedence Clearwater Revival. How does it all work? The contestant is asked three trivia questions, and the player also has the opportunity to turn the tables—they get a chance to try to stump Molanphy, a music journalist for the past 25 years, with one trivia question of their own.If you’d like to be a contestant on an upcoming show, sign up for a Slate Plus membership here, and then enter as a contestant here. You can also enter to play if you’re already a Slate Plus member.Want your question featured in an upcoming show? Email a voice memo to hitparade@slate.com.  Podcast production by Danielle Hewitt. Take the Slate podcast survey here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Gaga is Born Edition

The Gaga is Born Edition

2019-01-2501:06:144

A Star Is Born, the movie Hollywood can’t stop remaking, is a fairy-tale about the American dream factory. But it has also, always, been a reflection of the woman in the lead role—and the latest version stars a woman who has been playing a role for more than a decade: Stefani Germanotta, a.k.a. Lady Gaga. When Gaga scored her first No. 1 hit, “Just Dance,” 10 years ago this month, critics thought her fame might be short-lived. ButGaga had a lot to say about The Fame, and within a year she had shifted the sound of the Top 40 in her electro-pop direction. And then, in the mid-2010s, she shifted her own sound, belting out pop standards for everyone from Tony Bennett to Julie Andrews. What happens if this shape-shifter pivots from Grammys to Oscars? And what will that say about the themes of A Star Is Born: artifice, authenticity and agency?This episode is brought to you by Slack, the collaboration hub for work. Learn more at Slack.com.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Comments (12)

Aaron Campbell

my wife and I look forward to every episode!

Dec 31st
Reply

Athena&TheOwl

and for all the predictions we voted for a no1 about Sausage Rolls!

Dec 23rd
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Jeff Z

title = alt rock... spends a full third of the podcast talking about Mikey Cyrus. And then starts talking about hair metal. WTF?!?!?!?!

Nov 30th
Reply

One More Tune DJs

Absolutely fascinating. Every episode of this podcast is fantastic

Aug 16th
Reply

Tony Kearney

Love and Reccomend this 'Donna Summer' episode..

Jul 12th
Reply

Sara Elizabeth

Two part series suck when you have to wait a month for part 2. :(

Jul 2nd
Reply

Christopher Schooley

Metallica is from the Bay Area!

Apr 28th
Reply

Christopher Schooley

Christopher Schooley But I do love this show!

Apr 28th
Reply

Kathryn Whitbourne

love these episodes and the music

Jan 10th
Reply

Andy S.

Great stories and well researched!

Dec 8th
Reply

Srinath Sharma

Very interesting information and very well presented. Highly recommend

Dec 5th
Reply

Dawn Skaggs

thats nice

Oct 31st
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