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Hit Parade | Music History and Music Trivia

Slate Podcasts

411
Followers
1.4K
Plays
Hit Parade | Music History and Music Trivia

Hit Parade | Music History and Music Trivia

Slate Podcasts

411
Followers
1.4K
Plays
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About Us

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.

Latest Episodes

Friends in Low Places, Part 2

Hit Parade is back for non-Slate Plus listeners! Upcoming episodes will be split into two parts, released two weeks apart. For the full episode right now, sign up for Slate Plus and you'll also get The Bridge, our Trivia show and bonus deep dive into our subjects. slate.com/hitparadeplus. Hit Parade continues the story of Garth Brooks. In the ’90s, he was country-authentic, ignored pop radio, and still utterly dominated the charts as the decade’s biggest multiplatinum megastar. Brooks took on chart competitors from Guns n’ Roses to Madonna to Mariah Carey and bested them all … until he tried taking on the Beatles. (And we’re still scratching our heads over that Chris Gaines thing.) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

42 min11 h ago
Comments
Friends in Low Places, Part 2

Friends in Low Places, Part 1

Hit Parade is back for non-Slate Plus listeners! Upcoming episodes will be split into two parts, released two weeks apart. For the full episode right now, sign up for Slate Plus and you'll also get The Bridge, our Trivia show and bonus deep dive into our subjects. slate.com/hitparadeplus. Today your Hit Parade marches to the week ending October 27th, 1990, when “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks was in its fourth week at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles and Tracks, the same week his album No Fences instantly went gold and platinum, affirming that he was country music’s biggest star. Soon enough, Brooks would become —more than any rock star, rapper or pop diva—the archetypal artist of the SoundScan era. On part 1, we explore country music's boom and bust 1970's and 80's before diving into the world that made Garth Brooks megastardom possible. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

80 min1 w ago
Comments
Friends in Low Places, Part 1

Turn Around, Bright Eyes, Part 2

Hit Parade is back for non-Slate Plus listeners! Upcoming episodes will be split into two parts, released two weeks apart. For the full episode right now, sign up for Slate Plus and you'll also get The Bridge, our Trivia show and bonus deep dive into our subjects. slate.com/hitparadeplus. In part 2 of our episode on Meatloaf maestro Jim Steinman: Chris Molanphy continues the story of how Steinman moved on from Meatloaf to emerge as a hitmaker for other artists like Bonnie Tyler with "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and Celine Dion with “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”. At the height of his power, he had more credits in the top 40 than Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

57 minOCT 30
Comments
Turn Around, Bright Eyes, Part 2

Turn Around, Bright Eyes, Part 1

Hit Parade is back for non-Slate Plus listeners! Upcoming episodes will be split into two parts, released two weeks apart. For the full episode right now, sign up for Slate Plus and you'll also get The Bridge, our Trivia show and bonus deep dive into our subjects. slate.com/hitparadeplus. Producers and songwriters have a major impact on how a finished pop song sounds, and feels. But it’s possible no hitmaking mastermind—not even Phil Spector—has had a more specific pop sound than Jim Steinman. His songs have an unmistakable signature: pounding pianos, revving motorcycles, sometimes literal thunder. And power-vocalists singing passionate lyrics that don’t always make sense but always sound like the fate of the world depends on this song. Chris Molanphy tells the story of a fervent, headstrong songwriter who fused with a singer who called himself Meat Loaf, creating a blockbuster song cycle called Bat Out of Hell. Steinman then went on to spread his pomp-rock to other artists: Bon...

52 minOCT 16
Comments
Turn Around, Bright Eyes, Part 1

One and Done, Part 2

Hit Parade is back for non-Slate Plus listeners! Upcoming episodes will be split into two parts, released two weeks apart. For full episodes on the day of release, sign up for Slate Plus and you'll also get The Bridge, our trivia show and deep dive into our subjects. slate.com/hitparadeplus. In part two of our one-hit wonders show, we propose three rules to identify a one-hit wonder, which is not as easy as it sounds: Dexys Midnight Runners? They’re a one-hit wonder. Men Without Hats? Nope, not fair. LouReed? Yes. Marky Mark? No. In this episode, Chris breaks it all down, explaining why “Take on Me” is a pop classic but A-ha are still only one-hitters in America. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

52 minOCT 2
Comments
One and Done, Part 2

One and Done, Part 1

Hit Parade is back for non-Slate Plus listeners! Upcoming episodes will be split into two parts, released two weeks apart. For the full episode right now, sign up for Slate Plus and you'll also get The Bridge, our Trivia show and deep dive into our subjects. slate.com/hitparadeplus. “One-hit wonder” is a popular term in our culture—and not just in music: sportscasters, Wall Street analysts and news anchors all use it. But what does “one-hit wonder” actually mean on the pop charts? Hit Parade host Chris Molanphy has thought a lot about this—and he has rules to determine who’s really a one-hit wonder. They might surprise you: Dexys Midnight Runners? They’re a one-hit wonder. Men Without Hats? Nope, not fair. LouReed? Yes. Marky Mark? No. In this episode, Chris breaks it all down, explaining why “Take on Me” is a pop classic but A-ha are still only one-hitters in America. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

51 minSEP 18
Comments
One and Done, Part 1

The Bridge: Yacht Or Nyacht?

First, we have a few announcements about the future of Hit Parade—and it’s good news for both Slate Plus members and non-Plus listeners. While the economic challenges of COVID-19 certainly haven’t abated, Hit Parade has attracted enough new Plus members to allow us to take some episodes out from behind Slate’s paywall starting in September. Starting next month, full-length Hit Parade episodes will debut in the middle of the month, not the end (our next full-length episode drops on Friday, September 18). If you are a Plus member, you’ll hear the whole show all at once, the day it drops. If you are not a Plus member, you will receive the first half of the episode mid-month, with ads, and you’ll have to wait a couple of weeks to hear the second half of the show, at month’s end. Finally, Hit Parade—“The Bridge” episodes will remain Plus-only. IAgain, thanks to many of you who signed up for Slate Plus just to hear Hit Parade, and of course the thousands of longtime Plus members...

49 minAUG 28
Comments
The Bridge: Yacht Or Nyacht?

Wednesday Night Live: Music Trivia

Hey,Hit Paradelisteners—we’ve got an unusual schedule for August. Today’s show is a recording of last week’s installment ofSlate’s Wednesday Night Live, which was aliveHit Paradetrivia edition. I was the host, and I got to quizseveral Slate luminaries onBillboardchart brainteasers. We had a blast. Then, later this month, in the place where we would normally bring you a full-length story, we’ll instead be doing a super-sized edition of our regularHit Parade—“The Bridge” show. We’ll be following up last month’s Yacht Rock episode with someveryspecial guests. You won’t want to miss it. Like many media organizations at the moment, Slate is getting hit pretty hard by what's going on with the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to continue doing our work, providing you with all our great podcasts, news and reporting, and we simply cannot do that without your support. So we're asking you to sign up for Slate Plus, our membership program. It's just $35 for the ...

3 minAUG 14
Comments
Wednesday Night Live: Music Trivia

What a Fool Believes Edition

Like many media organizations at the moment, Slate is getting hit pretty hard by what's going on with the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to continue doing our work, providing you with all our great podcasts, news and reporting, and we simply cannot do that without your support. So we're asking you to sign up for Slate Plus, our membership program. It's just $35 for the first year, and it goes a long way to supporting us in this crucial moment. In the late ’70s and early ’80s, a scene and a sound cropped up on the West Coast: polished, perfectionist studio musicians who generated sleek, jazzy, R&B-flavored music. About a quarter-century later, this sound was given a name: YachtRock. The inventors of the genre name weren’t thinking about boats…well, unless the song was Christopher Cross’s “Sailing.” Yacht Rock was meant to signify deluxe, yuppified, “smooth” music suitable for playing on luxury nautical craft. Whatever you call it, this music really did...

8 minJUL 31
Comments
What a Fool Believes Edition

The Bridge: Lilith’s Winding Road

In this mini-episode of Hit Parade, host Chris Molanphy is joined by Jessica Hopper, acclaimed critic for publications like Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, GQ, The Guardian, Elle and Bookforum, and author of the books The Girls’ Guide to Rocking, The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic and Night Moves. Her deeply researched September 2019 piece for Vanity Fair, “Building a Mystery: An Oral History of Lilith Fair,” informed and helped inspire the latest episode of Hit Parade. Jessica and Chris discuss the reasons for the festival’s success against the odds, the legacy of its acts big and small, and what a future evolution of a Lilith Fair could look like. Next, Chris quizzes a very special Slate Plus listener with some music trivia: TJ Raphael, founding co-host and producer of “The Bridge.” TJ originally conceived of the Lilith Fair episode as she departed “The Bridge”—so Chris has invited her back to talk about her earliest memories of w...

7 minJUL 17
Comments
The Bridge: Lilith’s Winding Road

Latest Episodes

Friends in Low Places, Part 2

Hit Parade is back for non-Slate Plus listeners! Upcoming episodes will be split into two parts, released two weeks apart. For the full episode right now, sign up for Slate Plus and you'll also get The Bridge, our Trivia show and bonus deep dive into our subjects. slate.com/hitparadeplus. Hit Parade continues the story of Garth Brooks. In the ’90s, he was country-authentic, ignored pop radio, and still utterly dominated the charts as the decade’s biggest multiplatinum megastar. Brooks took on chart competitors from Guns n’ Roses to Madonna to Mariah Carey and bested them all … until he tried taking on the Beatles. (And we’re still scratching our heads over that Chris Gaines thing.) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

42 min11 h ago
Comments
Friends in Low Places, Part 2

Friends in Low Places, Part 1

Hit Parade is back for non-Slate Plus listeners! Upcoming episodes will be split into two parts, released two weeks apart. For the full episode right now, sign up for Slate Plus and you'll also get The Bridge, our Trivia show and bonus deep dive into our subjects. slate.com/hitparadeplus. Today your Hit Parade marches to the week ending October 27th, 1990, when “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks was in its fourth week at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles and Tracks, the same week his album No Fences instantly went gold and platinum, affirming that he was country music’s biggest star. Soon enough, Brooks would become —more than any rock star, rapper or pop diva—the archetypal artist of the SoundScan era. On part 1, we explore country music's boom and bust 1970's and 80's before diving into the world that made Garth Brooks megastardom possible. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

80 min1 w ago
Comments
Friends in Low Places, Part 1

Turn Around, Bright Eyes, Part 2

Hit Parade is back for non-Slate Plus listeners! Upcoming episodes will be split into two parts, released two weeks apart. For the full episode right now, sign up for Slate Plus and you'll also get The Bridge, our Trivia show and bonus deep dive into our subjects. slate.com/hitparadeplus. In part 2 of our episode on Meatloaf maestro Jim Steinman: Chris Molanphy continues the story of how Steinman moved on from Meatloaf to emerge as a hitmaker for other artists like Bonnie Tyler with "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and Celine Dion with “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now”. At the height of his power, he had more credits in the top 40 than Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

57 minOCT 30
Comments
Turn Around, Bright Eyes, Part 2

Turn Around, Bright Eyes, Part 1

Hit Parade is back for non-Slate Plus listeners! Upcoming episodes will be split into two parts, released two weeks apart. For the full episode right now, sign up for Slate Plus and you'll also get The Bridge, our Trivia show and bonus deep dive into our subjects. slate.com/hitparadeplus. Producers and songwriters have a major impact on how a finished pop song sounds, and feels. But it’s possible no hitmaking mastermind—not even Phil Spector—has had a more specific pop sound than Jim Steinman. His songs have an unmistakable signature: pounding pianos, revving motorcycles, sometimes literal thunder. And power-vocalists singing passionate lyrics that don’t always make sense but always sound like the fate of the world depends on this song. Chris Molanphy tells the story of a fervent, headstrong songwriter who fused with a singer who called himself Meat Loaf, creating a blockbuster song cycle called Bat Out of Hell. Steinman then went on to spread his pomp-rock to other artists: Bon...

52 minOCT 16
Comments
Turn Around, Bright Eyes, Part 1

One and Done, Part 2

Hit Parade is back for non-Slate Plus listeners! Upcoming episodes will be split into two parts, released two weeks apart. For full episodes on the day of release, sign up for Slate Plus and you'll also get The Bridge, our trivia show and deep dive into our subjects. slate.com/hitparadeplus. In part two of our one-hit wonders show, we propose three rules to identify a one-hit wonder, which is not as easy as it sounds: Dexys Midnight Runners? They’re a one-hit wonder. Men Without Hats? Nope, not fair. LouReed? Yes. Marky Mark? No. In this episode, Chris breaks it all down, explaining why “Take on Me” is a pop classic but A-ha are still only one-hitters in America. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

52 minOCT 2
Comments
One and Done, Part 2

One and Done, Part 1

Hit Parade is back for non-Slate Plus listeners! Upcoming episodes will be split into two parts, released two weeks apart. For the full episode right now, sign up for Slate Plus and you'll also get The Bridge, our Trivia show and deep dive into our subjects. slate.com/hitparadeplus. “One-hit wonder” is a popular term in our culture—and not just in music: sportscasters, Wall Street analysts and news anchors all use it. But what does “one-hit wonder” actually mean on the pop charts? Hit Parade host Chris Molanphy has thought a lot about this—and he has rules to determine who’s really a one-hit wonder. They might surprise you: Dexys Midnight Runners? They’re a one-hit wonder. Men Without Hats? Nope, not fair. LouReed? Yes. Marky Mark? No. In this episode, Chris breaks it all down, explaining why “Take on Me” is a pop classic but A-ha are still only one-hitters in America. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

51 minSEP 18
Comments
One and Done, Part 1

The Bridge: Yacht Or Nyacht?

First, we have a few announcements about the future of Hit Parade—and it’s good news for both Slate Plus members and non-Plus listeners. While the economic challenges of COVID-19 certainly haven’t abated, Hit Parade has attracted enough new Plus members to allow us to take some episodes out from behind Slate’s paywall starting in September. Starting next month, full-length Hit Parade episodes will debut in the middle of the month, not the end (our next full-length episode drops on Friday, September 18). If you are a Plus member, you’ll hear the whole show all at once, the day it drops. If you are not a Plus member, you will receive the first half of the episode mid-month, with ads, and you’ll have to wait a couple of weeks to hear the second half of the show, at month’s end. Finally, Hit Parade—“The Bridge” episodes will remain Plus-only. IAgain, thanks to many of you who signed up for Slate Plus just to hear Hit Parade, and of course the thousands of longtime Plus members...

49 minAUG 28
Comments
The Bridge: Yacht Or Nyacht?

Wednesday Night Live: Music Trivia

Hey,Hit Paradelisteners—we’ve got an unusual schedule for August. Today’s show is a recording of last week’s installment ofSlate’s Wednesday Night Live, which was aliveHit Paradetrivia edition. I was the host, and I got to quizseveral Slate luminaries onBillboardchart brainteasers. We had a blast. Then, later this month, in the place where we would normally bring you a full-length story, we’ll instead be doing a super-sized edition of our regularHit Parade—“The Bridge” show. We’ll be following up last month’s Yacht Rock episode with someveryspecial guests. You won’t want to miss it. Like many media organizations at the moment, Slate is getting hit pretty hard by what's going on with the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to continue doing our work, providing you with all our great podcasts, news and reporting, and we simply cannot do that without your support. So we're asking you to sign up for Slate Plus, our membership program. It's just $35 for the ...

3 minAUG 14
Comments
Wednesday Night Live: Music Trivia

What a Fool Believes Edition

Like many media organizations at the moment, Slate is getting hit pretty hard by what's going on with the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to continue doing our work, providing you with all our great podcasts, news and reporting, and we simply cannot do that without your support. So we're asking you to sign up for Slate Plus, our membership program. It's just $35 for the first year, and it goes a long way to supporting us in this crucial moment. In the late ’70s and early ’80s, a scene and a sound cropped up on the West Coast: polished, perfectionist studio musicians who generated sleek, jazzy, R&B-flavored music. About a quarter-century later, this sound was given a name: YachtRock. The inventors of the genre name weren’t thinking about boats…well, unless the song was Christopher Cross’s “Sailing.” Yacht Rock was meant to signify deluxe, yuppified, “smooth” music suitable for playing on luxury nautical craft. Whatever you call it, this music really did...

8 minJUL 31
Comments
What a Fool Believes Edition

The Bridge: Lilith’s Winding Road

In this mini-episode of Hit Parade, host Chris Molanphy is joined by Jessica Hopper, acclaimed critic for publications like Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, GQ, The Guardian, Elle and Bookforum, and author of the books The Girls’ Guide to Rocking, The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic and Night Moves. Her deeply researched September 2019 piece for Vanity Fair, “Building a Mystery: An Oral History of Lilith Fair,” informed and helped inspire the latest episode of Hit Parade. Jessica and Chris discuss the reasons for the festival’s success against the odds, the legacy of its acts big and small, and what a future evolution of a Lilith Fair could look like. Next, Chris quizzes a very special Slate Plus listener with some music trivia: TJ Raphael, founding co-host and producer of “The Bridge.” TJ originally conceived of the Lilith Fair episode as she departed “The Bridge”—so Chris has invited her back to talk about her earliest memories of w...

7 minJUL 17
Comments
The Bridge: Lilith’s Winding Road
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