Playlist · by Lacey Shields
15 episodes, 18 hours 3 mins
Jerry Lee Lewis: The Killer and Getting Away With Murder
The night before, Jerry Lee Lewis’ 5th wife died, she made a phone call to her Mom. She told her that she was thinking of leaving the rock and roll pioneer, but that he wouldn’t let her. Then, she made a second call — this one to the sister of her high-school sweetheart, making plans for the sister to come take her away from Jerry Lee later that month. Then… in mid-sentence the phone went dead. The next day, Mrs. Jerry Lee Lewis was found dead. Neatly placed on top of a perfectly made bed in the newlywed couple’s guest room. Despite the bruises on her body, the blood under her fingernails, the scratches on her husband’s hands, and the mountain of other physical and anecdotal evidence, the death was ruled an accident. Did Jerry Lee Lewis kill his wife and get away with murder? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Sam Cooke: An Insatiable Libido and a Justifiable Homicide
Sam Cooke was a lot of things: soul superstar, civil rights champion, whip smart entrepreneur but he was also a serial womanizer with an unbridled libido. On December 11, 1964, Sam Cooke, was shot to death by Bertha Lee Franklin, manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, CA. Franklin killed Cooke in what was ruled by the courts to be a justifiable homicide due to Cooke’s unruly, drunken behavior that involved him holding another women captive in his hotel room and allegedly raping her earlier in the evening. With full appreciation of the MeToo moment we are currently all living through as a culture, Disgraceland, with fresh eyes, looks into this crime and the successful effort by Sam Cooke’s family and powerful music industry colleagues to salvage his legacy and reputation by personally discrediting his victim. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Van Morrison: Astral Weeks, Movement and Murder
In 1968 Van Morrison was hiding out from the New York City Mafia in Boston, Massachusetts. Recently the victim of a physical attack from a Genovese crime family member, Morrison was desperately trying to piece together a band to complete what would become his landmark creative statement, Astral Weeks. One of the musicians who would help him achieve this goal; a young, handsome guitar player from Emerson College named, Rick Philp would mysteriously go missing and eventually wind up dead. Disgraceland pieces together this story using, as one of many sources, the recently released, critically acclaimed book, “Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968” by Ryan Walsh. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G.: The Media Did It
Who killed Tupac? Who killed Biggie? The answer has been right there out in the open for years. This episode looks at the lives and deaths of both rap superstars, the east coast/west coast beef and the media’s culpability in driving a highly sensationalized narrative that ultimately led to the murder of both men. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Ralph Mooney: The Sound of Country Music
The legendary pedal steel guitarist, Ralph Mooney, deserves the reputation he earned on his instrument. However, he deserves a lot more than that. This episode of the podcast backtracks to Bakersfield for a deeper examination of its "sound," a closer look at some people responsible for it and the story of a man whose story isn't told nearly often enough. It would be unacceptable to end the first season of a podcast on the history of country music without dedicating an episode to Ralph Mooney. After today, you'll know why that is. This episode is recommended for fans of: honky tonk music, the Bakersfield Sound, steel guitar, Wynn Stewart, Waylon Jennings, Ray Price, The Maddox Brothers and Rose, Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Marty Robbins, Skeets McDonald and road stories.
Some people think we have all these "authenticity tests" in country music. We don't. But, even if we did, Wynonna would pass them. From somehow surviving a childhood full of several types of abuse to a years-long reign over country music radio with her mother in The Judds, this path was not easy to travel and the end of it is only the beginning of another, much more treacherous road. This episode is recommended for fans of: Harlan Howard, Merle Haggard, Charley Pride, Asleep at the Wheel, Ashley Judd, guns, dysfunctional families and liars.
Don Rich & Buck Owens, Part 2: Together Again
Words often fail to express the connection that can exist between two people. In the friendship of Don Rich and Buck Owens, our notions of reality itself may prove inadequate. With spacetime as our stage, we trip backwards for more tour shenanigans, supernatural mysteries and, as always, great music. Our narrative pays special attention to the Carnegie Hall Concert album, what Hee Haw did for country music on television and innovations that Don Rich and Buck Owens brought to country music. But don't forget what else we learned last week. There is never such a thing as a happy ending. It's going to hurt watching this one fall apart and we have to go there, too. This episode is especially recommended for fans of metaphysics, banjo, Dwight Yoakam, Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, Tales from the Tour Bus, Easy Rider and Forensic Files.
Buck Owens & Don Rich, Part 1: Open Up Your Heart
Whatever else is true about Buck Owens (and some of it certainly is), he brought real country music to the world in a time when we desperately needed someone to do that. Sticking to that real deal honky tonk sound from Bakersfield made him a very famous man. Shrewd business practices made him a very rich man. Both of these things made him more than a few enemies. However, all you need to take on the whole world is one true friend and Buck Owens had that friend in Don Rich, his guitarist and right-hand man. Here in the first part of this story, we'll hear how everything came together, all those years ago... This episode is recommended for fans of The Bakersfield Sound, Merle Haggard, Wynn Stewart, western swing, guitar, David & Goliath stories and the Revisionist History podcast.
Harper Valley PTA, Part 3: Tom T. Hall
Behind any story worth telling, you'll always find another story. Maybe if we can get behind some of Tom T. Hall's best stories, we'll find the story about who he is and how he's able to do what he can do with the English language. Probably not but, worst case scenario, it will be an incredibly entertaining waste of time. Beginning with a condensed history of country music radio, we follow Tom T. from his early days as a young DJ into a seemingly effortless realization of his destiny to become one of country music's greatest songwriters ever. This episode is highly recommended for fans of songwriting, arguing about music, Net Neutrality, the music business, Bobby Bare, Dave Dudley, Jimmy C. Newman, Hank Cochran and songs for children.
Harper Valley PTA, Part 2: Jeannie C. Riley
Jeannie C. Riley's debut single sold over a million copies within ten days of being released but she never wanted to record the song. In the late '60s, Jeannie C. Riley became country music's most blatant sex symbol to date but she never wanted to wear those clothes. Small town girl with big dreams goes to the city and lets it break her in order to make her. Total cliche, right? Sure. Except Jeannie's choice to bury the story in lie after lie turns it into a mystery tale of obscured identity, infidelity and blackmail. In this episode, some truth sees the light of day, maybe for the first time ever. Recommended for fans of Johnny Paycheck, Johnny Russell, The Wilburn Brothers, Tom T. Hall, Little Darlin' Records and mystery novels.
Harper Valley PTA, Part 1: Shelby S. Singleton
You think all it takes to make a hit record is to find a good song and get a good performance of it? That's cute. Have a seat and let an old-school record man show you how it's done. This is Shelby Singleton. When it took driving a trunk full of records around the country to make them into hits, that's what he did. Then he became a producer. Then he became a VP at Mercury Records. Then he founded an independent musical empire in Nashville and really got to work making new enemies. This episode is recommended for fans of: marketing, publicity, controversy, rockabilly, Supermensch (the documentary on Shep Gordon), George Jones, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, David Allan Coe, Jeannie C. Riley, Margie Singleton and Roger Miller. Find a list of songs excerpted in this episode, as well as pictures and information/links to all sources at:https://cocaineandrhinestones.com/shelby-singleton-harper-valley-pta
The Louvin Brothers: Running Wild
The way Charlie and Ira Louvin could sing together is downright otherworldly. There's even a special term we had to invent for family (it's always/only family) who can sing this way: blood harmony. This episode delves in to exactly what blood harmony is and how the magic of it can't save you from beating the living hell out of each other at every opportunity. Here is the story of two dirt-poor brothers who fought for fifteen years to achieve their lifelong dream and what happened after that. (Hint: it involves whiskey and bullets.) This episode is recommended for fans of: singing, physics, the Radiolab podcast, mandolins and Roy Acuff. If you're enjoying the podcast, please leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts and, please, share this episode with one person. Find a full transcript of this episode with pictures, as well as a list of every song excerpted in the episode and relevant video clips at: https://cocaineandrhinestones.com/louvin-brothers-running-wild
Breaking Down Merle Haggard's "Okie from Muskogee"
The song was just what so many Americans needed at the time, in 1969. Conservatives needed someone to stand up and defend small town, traditional values. Politicians needed someone to justify America's continuing involvement in the Vietnam War. Oklahomans needed someone to redeem the meaning of the word "okie," a hateful slur that arose from The Great Depression. The only thing is, Merle Haggard wasn't doing any of those things when he wrote the song. Then what the exact hell was he doing, you ask? Maybe things will become a little bit more clear once you know what Merle Haggard knew about Herbert Hoover, The Great Depression, The Dust Bowl, okies and satire. Maybe. This episode is also recommended if you like: Gram Parsons, Ray Wylie Hubbard and the Revisionist History podcast. You can find information on songs and video clips excerpted or referenced in this video, as well as links to all books and articles used as a source, here: https://cocaineandrhinestones.com/merle-haggard-oki...
Bobbie Gentry: Exit Stage Left
In 1967, Bobbie Gentry's recording of a song she wrote, called "Ode to Billie Joe," directly influenced the future of every major musical genre in America. In the early '80s, she disappeared. What happened in the decade between? Why did Bobbie Gentry vanish? Who was she, even? Since we can't ask Bobbie for answers, these are mysteries we either have to learn to live with or try to solve for ourselves. This episode of Cocaine & Rhinestones examines every little thing we know about Bobbie Gentry, her life and her music. Today's story takes us from the cotton lands of Mississippi to the music scene of Los Angeles, from a legendary recording studio in Muscle Shoals to the white hot lights of Sin City. We'll explore major label music marketing, the concept of celebrity personas, the state of American pop/rock in the '60s, and just what exactly the hell a MacGuffin is. People you'll hear about in this episode: Glen Campbell, Elvis Presley, Jim Stafford, Nick Lowe, Kanye West, Eminem, Drak...
Ernest Tubb: The Texas Defense
Everyone loves Ernest Tubb. So when he straps on a gun belt one night to head across town and snuff out a character named Jim Denny, well, you might guess that ol' Jim had it coming. Maybe he didn't, maybe he did. For you to make up your own mind, we'll need to go behind-the-scenes of 650 AM WSM in Nashville, The Grand Ole Opry and the world of country music publishing companies. This episode is highly recommended for fans of Jimmie Rodgers, Johnny Paycheck, Justin Tubb, George Jones, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Roy Acuff and Matlock. Yes, Matlock. Relevant Pictures, Music, Books/Articles, Video Clips and a Text-Version of this story can be found directly at: http://cocaineandrhinestones.com/ernest-tubb-texas-defense Visit cocaineandrhinestones.com to search for episodes with your favorite characters from country music. If you enjoy the episode, I would love it if you gave me a good review in your podcast app and told one friend that there's a new country music podcas...
Create your own playlist on Himalaya