169 episodes

Andrew Hickey presents a history of rock music from 1938 to 1999, looking at five hundred songs that shaped the genre.

A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs Andrew Hickey

    • Music
    • 4.8 • 504 Ratings

Andrew Hickey presents a history of rock music from 1938 to 1999, looking at five hundred songs that shaped the genre.

    Episode 141: “River Deep, Mountain High” by Ike and Tina Turner

    Episode 141: “River Deep, Mountain High” by Ike and Tina Turner

    Episode 141 of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “River Deep Mountain High'”, and at the career of Ike and Tina Turner.  Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

    Also, this episode was recorded before the sad death of the great Ronnie Spector, whose records are featured a couple of times in this episode, which is partly about her abusive ex-husband. Her life paralleled Tina Turner's quite closely, and if you haven't heard the episode I did about her last year, you can find it at https://500songs.com/podcast/episode-110-be-my-baby-by-the-ronettes/. I wish I'd had the opportunity to fit a tribute into this episode too.

    Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Wild Thing" by the Troggs.

    Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/

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    Episode 140: “Trouble Every Day” by the Mothers of Invention

    Episode 140: “Trouble Every Day” by the Mothers of Invention

    Episode one hundred and forty of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Trouble Every Day" by the Mothers of Invention, and the early career of Frank Zappa. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

    Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Christmas Time is Here Again" by the Beatles.

    Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/

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    Episode 139: “Eight Miles High” by the Byrds

    Episode 139: “Eight Miles High” by the Byrds

    Episode one hundred and thirty-nine of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Eight Miles High” by the Byrds, and the influence of jazz and Indian music on psychedelic rock. This is a long one... Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

    Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Winchester Cathedral" by the New Vaudeville Band.

    Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/

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    [Admin] An Explanation for Delays… And What I’m Going to Do About It

    [Admin] An Explanation for Delays… And What I’m Going to Do About It

     Hi,



    This is not a proper episode of the podcast. Rather, this is an explanation, at least in part, of why there have been fewer episodes than normal this year, and what I plan to do about that.



    One of the things I promised myself when I started this podcast was that I would not do the thing that many podcasters do of waffling on for fifteen minutes at the beginning about their lives, in an attempt to build up a parasocial relationship with the listeners. I pride myself on the work I do, and part of that is making the podcast about the work, rather than about me. I do enjoy the friendships I have made through this podcast, but I don't want the podcast to be about anything other than the history and the music.



    But that does mean that you haven't all had an explanation why, after two years of me getting the podcast out weekly on the dot, the podcast has averaged an episode every ten days or so this year, including some gaps of two weeks.



    A small part of that is that the episodes have been getting longer. It takes more time to write, record, and edit a ninety-minute episode than a half-hour one, and while I keep promising I'll try to get the episodes back to the shorter length I prefer, there's just a lot of material to cover in some of these. 



    But a much larger part is that this last year has been the worst year of my life, without exception. There have been a whole series of stressful events, most of which I'm not at liberty to talk about because they involve other people, but the year started with one of those awful life-changing events that only happen once or twice in your life, and astonishingly managed to throw a couple of other curveballs almost that bad.



    And that's on top of the stuff that everyone has been having to deal with, with the political situation in the world and with covid.



    But there's also my health, and I can talk about that because it only affects me. I have multiple chronic illnesses and disabilities, which among other things meant that I had to spend the first five months of this year totally isolated, not seeing another human being, until I could get fully vaccinated. And it turns out that being totally isolated from the world for months, while multiple catastrophes happen in your life and the lives of those around you, is not great for chronic illnesses.



    I have had a number of flare-ups this year, and to give you some idea, yesterday my blood pressure read as 196/120.



    Getting all five hundred episodes of this podcast done is my highest priority, but in order to do that I have to live to see episode five hundred. And sadly, making sure I live to see episode five hundred means not working on days when any kind of extra stress could give me a stroke. Which has been the case on several days this year.



    I am working out some new things with my doctor, which I hope and believe will make my chronic illnesses more like they were in 2018 through 2020 -- just annoyances rather than anything more worrying. I am fairly certain that 2022 will be much better.



    So my plan is to get two more episodes out before Christmas -- episodes on the Byrds and Frank Zappa, both of which are mostly written and should be able to get out in fairly short order. Those two are again going to be very long ones.



    I'm then going to take a few days off between Christmas Eve and New Year, and not do any new work for that week. I'm going to try to relax, get used to my new medication regime, and get my blood pressure down to normal.



    And then, all being well, we'll start the new year as I mean to go on, with episodes coming out once a week on a regular schedule.



    Thank you all for your patience and support during what has not been an easy year for anyone.



    And I don't want to leave this without a quick acknowledgement of the sad death yesterday of Michael Nesmith. He was one of my personal musical heroes, and you can be sure that when the podcast gets to the Monkees, they'll be treated with t

    Second Book Announcement

    Second Book Announcement

    This is just to let everyone know that the second volume of the book based on the podcast should be available by the time you get this episode in your podcast app. It's been a long, long, time coming, because the last year and a bit has been far more difficult, for far more reasons, than I can go into here, but the book is now done. It's called "From the Million Dollar Quartet to the Fab Four", and contains versions of the scripts for episodes fifty-one through one hundred, revised for the book format rather than audio, along with a rewritten version of the Patreon episode on the Big Bopper, an introduction summarising the first book, and a bibliography.
    The ebook should be available from every major ebook store, though it might take time to filter through to all of them. I'll be including a link in the blog post for this episode which, if you click it, will take you to your preferred ebook store if the book's available there.
    The paperback is currently only available from Amazon. It should eventually also be available from other retailers, as it will enter all the standard distribution catalogues, but it's self-published through Amazon's service, so those of you who boycott Amazon, completely understandably, might not want to buy that version. The ebook link will also take you to the Amazon page for the paperback.
    The hardback is available from lulu.com. That too will eventually also be available from other online bookstores, but I make more money, and you get it quicker, if you buy it from Lulu rather than a third party. Again, I'll link that in the notes here.
    The physical books are relatively expensive -- twenty-five dollars for the paperback, and fifty dollars for the hardback -- but they're *big* books -- six hundred and fifty-three pages counting the indexes -- and paper is expensive right now because of supply chain issues, so I hope you'll consider them good value for money, as they're literally priced as low as I can make them. If money's tight, the ebook is only $5.
    And speaking of good value for money, for one week only I've reduced the cost of the ebook of the first book to just one dollar. That's a limited-time offer to promote the series, so if you've not got that and want it, now's your chance.
    Patreon backers at the five-dollar-a-month level and higher have already received copies of the ebook. Those at higher levels will be receiving their copies of the physical books shortly -- they'll be being sent out in waves over the next few weeks. It's because of those backers that I am able to do this podcast at all, and I can't thank them enough for their generosity.See you all in a couple of days, when we'll be looking at the Byrds, and "Eight Miles High".
     
    Links to buy the book:
    Ebooks (and paperback through Amazon)
    Hardback
    Link to buy the first book (only $1 in ebook this week)
    The ebook for Patreon backers

    Episode 138: “I Fought the Law” by the Bobby Fuller Four

    Episode 138: “I Fought the Law” by the Bobby Fuller Four

    Episode one hundred and thirty-eight of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “I Fought the Law", and at the mysterious death of Bobby Fuller. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode.

    Patreon backers also have a fifteen-minute bonus episode available, on "Hanky Panky" by Tommy James and the Shondells.

    Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
504 Ratings

504 Ratings

Pepibob ,

This is amazingly good!

I cannot believe how informative and interesting this podcast is!
It’s not just the selected song that gets discussed, all of the history and connections get brought up too and it is riveting.

I love the clips that are used to emphasis all of the points made, it’s like going to the most fascinating class on rock and roll.

Andrew is incredible - respectful, amusing, intelligent, polite, and possessing the perfect voice to impart so much factual information in a way that is easy to digest and retain.

I cannot praise this podcast enough. It’s quite simply a marvel and I love everything about it!

Thank you, Andrew :)

rgweld ,

wealth of knowledge

Andrew’s in depth study of music is truly incredible. Ive discovered so much new (old) music and have has my perspective on so much music change.

Countryclassic ,

Absolute must-hear

This is probably the best podcast on Rock music history you will find. It is well-presented and thoroughly researched, and Andrew Hickey goes out of his way to be respectful of race, gender, religion, and ethnic differences. He is also brutally honest about the good and bad sides of the people he mentions. Overall it is a fascinating podcast!

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