Between the Liner Notes

Between the Liner Notes

United States

Between the Liner Notes is a documentary style podcast about music, why it is the way it is and how it got to be that way. Episodes are released the first Monday of every month!

Episodes

15: Boy Bands, Blimps & Ponzi Schemes  

This is the story of boy band impresario and convicted Ponzi schemer, Lou Pearlman. Listen as Pearlman biographer, Tyler Gray and talent manager Jeanne Tanzy-Williams discuss an individual who was larger than life.

14: Give 'em the Hook  

Vaudeville was once America's most popular form of entertainment. Audiences flocked to the theaters to watch an array of performances ranging from standard singers and comedians, to shadow puppets and a man who eats weird stuff. A few savvy businessmen recognized vaudeville's popularity early on, and ruthlessly built vast networks of theaters. They transformed popular entertainment, for the first time, into big business.

13: The Execution of Joe Hill  

In 1915, Joe Hill, a Swedish-American labor activist, was unjustly convicted and executed by the State of Utah, but not before leaving behind a body of work that would inform the next generation of American folk music. In this episode, we talk with William Adler author of the Joe Hill Biography titled, "The Man Who Never Died," and Clayton Simms, a criminal defense attorney working to get Joe Hill exonerated more than a century later.

12: 3,000 Beatniks Riot in Village  

Every Sunday since the end of World War II, musicians journeyed to Washington Square Park to sing folk-songs. Until one Sunday—after the City of New York denied the musicians a singing permit—they decided to protest instead. What resulted was a violent confrontation with authority.

11: The District  

The story of how Jazz began in New Orleans

10: Jingle Brains  

Jingles are traditionally defined as short songs about a product that are written for TV or radio, but—with songs like Poo-Pourri’s “Imagine Where You Can Go” being released on the internet—does the traditional definition need to be expanded? Listen as Tim Taylor, author of “The Sounds of Capitalism” and Helen Zaltzman, the host of The Allusionist, take us through the century long history of ad music, and examine what jingles sound like in the internet age.

09: Castrati  

It's hard to believe, but only a few centuries ago, young boys were castrated for the sole purpose of preserving their high-pitched singing voices. These boys—commonly referred to as Castrati—started out singing the high parts in church choirs, but, with the surging popularity of opera, soon amassed fame reminiscent of our modern pop stars. Listen as Between the Liner notes talks with Castrati expert Martha Feldman and Switched on Pop's Charlie Harding about this unique piece of Europe's musical past.

08: God Bless Tiny Tim  

Ten years before hippies grew their hair long and twenty years before rock stars like David Bowie began wearing makeup, Tiny Tim did both. His unique appearance complimented his high-pitched falsetto singing and small ukulele. Like a performer out of step with time, Tiny’s repertoire featured songs from an era of music most people had forgotten. The audience didn’t know what to think; some people thought Tiny was one red rubber nose away from being a clown, others saw a sincere musician channeling the spirit of a bygone era. The only thing everyone could agree on was that they could not take their eyes off Tiny Tim.

08: God Bless Tiny Tim  

Ten years before hippies grew their hair long and twenty years before rock stars like David Bowie began wearing makeup, Tiny Tim did both. His unique appearance complimented his high-pitched falsetto singing and small ukulele. Like a performer out of step with time, Tiny’s repertoire featured songs from an era of music most people had forgotten. The audience didn’t know what to think; some people thought Tiny was one red rubber nose away from being a clown, others saw a sincere musician channeling the spirit of a bygone era. The only thing everyone could agree on was that they could not take their eyes off Tiny Tim.

07: Extinguish Lights  

Taps is a 24 note bugle call that was composed during the American Civil War. It is the only piece of music that is required to be performed at a United States military funeral. Oddly, when it was written it was never intended to be played at funerals. It was supposed to tell soldiers when to go to sleep.

07: The Bugle Call that Went Viral  

Taps is a 24 note bugle call that was composed during the American Civil War. It is the only piece of music that is required to be performed at a United States military funeral. Oddly, when it was written it was never intended to be played at funerals. It was supposed to tell soldiers when to go to sleep.

06: That’s How Cuba Sang  

Ramón Sabat once owned Panart Records, the largest indie label in Cuba. Legendary Cuban vocalists like Celia Cruz and Olga Guillot made their first recordings with Panart. Nat King Cole recorded his first Spanish album in Panart Studios. Success, however, did not come easy to Panart. Ramón Sabat had to overcome the dirty tactics of a rival American-owned record label and surmount the prohibitive poverty that barred many Cubans from owning a record collection. The only force strong enough to stop Panart Records was the Cuban National Government.

06: That’s How Cuba Sang  

Ramón Sabat once owned Panart Records, the largest indie label in Cuba. Legendary Cuban vocalists like Celia Cruz and Olga Guillot made their first recordings with Panart. Nat King Cole recorded his first Spanish album in Panart Studios. Success, however, did not come easy to Panart. Ramón Sabat had to overcome the dirty tactics of a rival American-owned record label and surmount the prohibitive poverty that barred many Cubans from owning a record collection. The only force strong enough to stop Panart Records was the Cuban National Government.

05: Who Owns Happy Birthday?  

Jennifer Nelson is a documentary film maker who wanted to make a movie about the song “Happy Birthday to You.” When she inquired about using the song in her film the owners of the song forced her to pay for it, and she did. However, while Jennifer Nelson was doing research for her film she uncovered some evidence that could prove that the people she paid may not actually own the song, and never did. 

05: Who Owns Happy Birthday?  

Jennifer Nelson is a documentary film maker who wanted to make a movie about the song “Happy Birthday to You.” When she inquired about using the song in her film the owners of the song forced her to pay for it, and she did. However, while Jennifer Nelson was doing research for her film she uncovered some evidence that could prove that the people she paid may not actually own the song, and never did. 

04: Why Won't They Let Sharkey on the Radio?  

Imagine if all your favorite songs were banned from the radio. Well, that actually happened during the Great Radio Boycott of 1941. The United State’s most famous songwriters collectively decided to pull their catalogues from the public airwaves. This was their response to the radio stations refusing to pay a fair price for the music they broadcast. The boycott lasted for only ten months, but the consequences were far reaching, especially for one entertainer named Sharkey. Sharkey was forced to watch as his radio career became collateral damage in this historic battle.

04: Why Won't They Let Sharkey on the Radio?  

Imagine if all your favorite songs were banned from the radio. Well, that actually happened during the Great Radio Boycott of 1941. The United State’s most famous songwriters collectively decided to pull their catalogues from the public airwaves. This was their response to the radio stations refusing to pay a fair price for the music they broadcast. The boycott lasted for only ten months, but the consequences were far reaching, especially for one entertainer named Sharkey. Sharkey was forced to watch as his radio career became collateral damage in this historic battle.

03: I Want My MTV  

In 1981, no one believed people would watch a cable channel that aired music videos 24 hours a day. This is the story about how MTV proved them all wrong.

03: I Want My MTV  

In 1981, no one believed people would watch a cable channel that aired music videos 24 hours a day. This is the story about how MTV proved them all wrong.

02: The Tuning Wars  

Back in the day, every A-list philosopher and scientist argued over the best method for tuning a musical instrument. The battles they fought were some of the fiercest intellectual scuffles the western world has ever seen. In 2003, Stuart Isacoff published a book about those scuffles. The book focused on the history of one particular tuning system called Equal Temperament and how it emerged from the tuning-wars more popular than ever. In a weird twist of historical irony, when Stuart Isacoff published his book about Equal Temperament he found himself caught in the middle of a tuning scuffle of his own.

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