81 episodes

A modern history podcast inspired by the lyrics of Billy Joel. Billy didn’t just write an unforgettable smash-hit with ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’, he also created the most fascinating, random and original history of the post-war world. Each episode, a new lyric and a fresh subject, all presented by Katie Puckrik and Tom Fordyce. It's politics, rock 'n' roll, sport, space, television, the Cold War, explored and explained by historians, eyewitnesses, and mega-fans. Billy started it. We're going to finish it. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @spreadthatfire, or share your thoughts and stories with us fire@crowdnetwork.co.uk.
For early and ad-free episodes, subscribe to the Crowd Stories channel on Apple Podcasts. Produced by Anna Staufenberg.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

We Didn't Start the Fire: The History Podcast Crowd Stories+

    • History
    • 4.5 • 195 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

A modern history podcast inspired by the lyrics of Billy Joel. Billy didn’t just write an unforgettable smash-hit with ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’, he also created the most fascinating, random and original history of the post-war world. Each episode, a new lyric and a fresh subject, all presented by Katie Puckrik and Tom Fordyce. It's politics, rock 'n' roll, sport, space, television, the Cold War, explored and explained by historians, eyewitnesses, and mega-fans. Billy started it. We're going to finish it. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @spreadthatfire, or share your thoughts and stories with us fire@crowdnetwork.co.uk.
For early and ad-free episodes, subscribe to the Crowd Stories channel on Apple Podcasts. Produced by Anna Staufenberg.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Castro

    Castro

    This episode has been released early for subscribers on Apple. It will be available for free, for everyone, on Monday.

    Castro’s the kind of guy who likes to think he’s not like other dictators. He’s the rock’n’roll revolutionary with a solid brand, a penchant for the ladies, and a peculiar interest in bovine insemination, but how does he rise to power? Where does the revolutionary spirit come from? How does the US react? And what happens to those who oppose him? This week, we’re joined by Cuba expert Dr Stephen Wilkinson to find out all this, and more.

    Hula Hoops

    Hula Hoops

    It’s 1958 and America is rife with fads. Everyone’s looking to make a quick buck with the next big thing, and Wham-O’s struck gold with the hula hoop. But the hula hoop has a long, and sometimes sordid history. At the heart of America’s love affair with the hula hoop is the often-forgotten pop-culture ICON Joan Anderson, who first introduced the hoop to Wham-O, only to be written out of history. Co-director of the documentary ‘Hula Girl’, Amy Hill, is here to tell Joan’s tale. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 37 min
    Mafia

    Mafia

    It’s time for Tommy ‘The Talker’ Fordyce and Katie ‘Dimples’ Puckrik to chat Mafia. What were the mob up to in Billy’s days? How did it all start?
    And how was the mob involved with the plots to kill Castro and JFK? Our knowledge of the mafia is based purely on the Godfather and Mad Magazine, so thank goodness Jeff Nadu from The Sitdown podcast is here to chat with us. Thinking of skipping this one? FORGET ABOUT IT!
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 51 min
    Space Monkey

    Space Monkey

    They’re the heroes of space travel who had to suffer unimaginable terror for the sake of us humans. Today we’re talking about the ICONIC space monkeys of the late 1950s. But why use primates? Why did the Russians use dogs? Were there any alternatives? And what happened to these brave space pioneers? Astronomy journalist Dr Stuart Clark is here to chat about all this and more! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 41 min
    Ben Hur

    Ben Hur

    It's the queer-coded biblical epic that rivals the Fast and the Furious in its action sequences and Avengers Endgame for its sheer enormity...it's Ben Hur time baby! But WHY oh why is it 4 whole hours long? Why is Jesus so coy? How did they record those chariot scenes? And how was it so successful? Luckily for us, film critic Helen O'Hara is back! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 45 min
    Buddy Holly

    Buddy Holly

    He's the king of nerd chic and the inventor of the power trio. He changes the way bands play and pop music wouldn't be the same without him. But without Elvis' swagger and Little Richard's flamboyance... what's Buddy's special sauce? And how does it all come crashing down so soon? We're stumped by Buddy's meteoric rise, but luckily music professor and Lubbock resident, Christopher Smith is here to help! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
195 Ratings

195 Ratings

MonkeyBY25 ,

Great

I love this song. Always have, always will. Lots of critics decry it as just a “list” song and whatever, which it is but it’s so much more than that. It invokes and evokes an enormous amount of human history and culture. Greatness, humanity, tragedy, horror. I can actually sing the whole song off the top of my head. Maybe not that amazing. But the song did also create in me a love of history and culture, post war in particular.

Anyway, this is a review of the podcast not the song.

But all I want to say about the podcast is it’s great. I actually always thought it would be cool to write a book about each lyrical reference, but never did it. Podcast may be a better format. So I would love this podcast because I love the topic and the references.

But I still think the presenters are great and the guests are great. It’s bright and breezy but informative and thorough.

So in short I love it. But I could do without the kazoos. That’s just painful.

If you live Billy Joel, modern history, culture - especially pop culture or American culture - listen to this pod. You won’t regret it.

GMJ65 ,

Education and understanding

Got to say that although you might find some episodes not to your taste it is very educational overall and definitely worth a listen

Muddyfella ,

Bridge on the River Kwai

Hi Katie and Tom,
Love the Pod, great concept and not missed an episode. I’m catching up today on a bit of a backlog and am part way through Bridge on the River Kwai. Most disappointing! Your supposed expert guest Helen O Hara referred to the fall of Saigon not once but twice, the first time telling us that was where the British prisoners who built the infamous Burma Railway came from. I’m sure she meant the fall of Singapore , some 2,600 km from Saigon. During the Second World War Saigon was part of FRENCH Indochina whereas Singapore until it fell to the Japanese in February 1942 was part of the BRITISH Empire. That’s where al great many of the unfortunate prisoners came from.
Come on team, this is an edited show so even if the experts get it wrong, surely one of the WDSTF team can run some checks. Next time you refer to the Second World War, get a real expert in. James Holland!
All the best Rich

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