loader from loading.io

David Bowie -- Changes: Retrospective of a Rock Icon

Documenting Popular Music

Release Date: 07/15/2017

Album Review, Interview and Profile:  A Look at British Superstar Cliff Richard and His New Album ‘Rise Up’ with an Interview with Two of the Album’s Producers show art Album Review, Interview and Profile: A Look at British Superstar Cliff Richard and His New Album ‘Rise Up’ with an Interview with Two of the Album’s Producers

Documenting Popular Music

British superstar Cliff Richard has released his first album of new material in 14 years, and the man who launched his career in the late 1950s as England’s answer to Elvis Presley, still sounds fresh and energetic.   The album features songs written by some of Richard’s long-time associates, including Terry Britten (“Devil Woman,” “What’s Love Got to Do with It”), Christopher Neville Eaton ("Lost in a Lonely World,” “Saviour’s Day”) and Chris Neil (“All I Need Is A Miracle”).  Additionally, long-time friend Olivia Newton-John sings a duet with Richard, who,...

info_outline
An Alternate Christmas Playlist:  A Look at Underplayed Songs and Their Histories show art An Alternate Christmas Playlist: A Look at Underplayed Songs and Their Histories

Documenting Popular Music

One of the true joys of Christmas is music, which brings out the emotions of the season; however, many radio stations and streaming services only play a small selection of songs. As a result, many wonderful tunes go unheard. This episode of Documenting Popular Music takes a look at 10 songs that are either unknown or underplayed in the United States at this time of year. The selections include songs from well-known American artists such as Bob Dylan, Kenny Loggins, John Denver, Herb Alpert and Simon & Garfunkel as well as legendary performers from other countries – Gordon Lightfoot...

info_outline
Album Review and Interview:  A Jazz/Superhero Mashup from One of the Music Industry’s Most In-Demand Musicians show art Album Review and Interview: A Jazz/Superhero Mashup from One of the Music Industry’s Most In-Demand Musicians

Documenting Popular Music

If you’ve ever thought your favorite superhero theme songs would sound great as original jazz tunes, then pianist extraordinaire Randy Waldman has the new album you’ll need to add to your collection.  Waldman is one of the music industry’s most successful and popular session players, and he’s been featured on songs and album from numerous top-selling artists such as Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Madonna, Olivia Newton-John, Kenny Rogers, Barry Manilow and many, many others. Waldman has taken his love for jazz and combined it with his love for comic book...

info_outline
Album Review:  Paul Simon’s ‘In the Blue Light’ show art Album Review: Paul Simon’s ‘In the Blue Light’

Documenting Popular Music

The songwriter who could easily be considered America’s unofficial poet laureate has a new album in which he revisits past composition with new recordings and new interpretations. Paul Simon has been writing the soundtrack to multiple generations’ lives since the 1960s, when he and childhood friend Art Garfunkel took folk-rock music to new heights of popularity. Simon’s subsequent solo career allowed him to continue growing as a writer, musician and performer who produced some of the most critically acclaimed albums and songs from the 1970s and 1980s. For his new album, entitled In the...

info_outline
Things You Didn’t Know about Debby Boone, Part II – An Interview and Music-History Lesson, show art Things You Didn’t Know about Debby Boone, Part II – An Interview and Music-History Lesson,

Documenting Popular Music

(This is Part II of the episode and runs about 20 minutes. Part I, which also runs about 20 minutes, is also available.  The documentary is also available uncut in a 37 minute edition.  Please check the menu for all episodes of ‘Documenting Popular Music,’ or visit or iTunes.)   In the 1970s, the most popular song of the entire decade was Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life,” which spend 10 weeks at the top of Billboard’s singles chart in 1977. While the overwhelming success of the song overshadows other aspects of Boone’s career, the eternally optimistic singer...

info_outline
Things You Didn’t Know about Debby Boone, Part I – An Interview and Music-History Lesson show art Things You Didn’t Know about Debby Boone, Part I – An Interview and Music-History Lesson

Documenting Popular Music

(This is Part I of the episode and runs about 20 minutes. Part II, which also runs about 20 minutes, is also available.  The documentary is also available uncut in a 37 minute edition.  Please check the menu for all episodes of ‘Documenting Popular Music,’ or visit or iTunes.) In the 1970s, the most popular song of the decade was Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life,” which spend 10 weeks at the top of Billboard’s singles chart in 1977. While the overwhelming success of the song overshadows other aspects of Boone’s career, the eternally optimistic singer has had a...

info_outline
Things You Didn’t Know about Debby Boone – An Interview and Music-History Lesson show art Things You Didn’t Know about Debby Boone – An Interview and Music-History Lesson

Documenting Popular Music

(This version of the episode is presented in its entirety and runs about 37 minutes; however, for listeners who prefer shorter episodes, the program is also available in Part I and Part II editions, which each run about 20 minutes. Please check the menu for all episodes of ‘Documenting Popular Music,’ or visit or iTunes.) In the 1970s, the most popular song of the decade was Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life,” which spend 10 weeks at the top of Billboard’s singles chart in 1977. While the overwhelming success of the song overshadows other aspects of Boone’s career, the...

info_outline
Album Review:  Rita Coolidge's 'Safe in the Arms of Time' show art Album Review: Rita Coolidge's 'Safe in the Arms of Time'

Documenting Popular Music

Rita Coolidge was one of the staples of Top 40 and Adult Contemporary radio in the 1970s and early 1980s. She’s back with a new album entitled 'Safe in the Arms of Time,' which takes a unique look at love, life and relationships. The songs on the album reflect the maturity of someone who has already gone through the highs and lows of love and is now experiencing what the emotion is like at this stage of her life. Coolidge gives voice to the realization that relationships and romance don’t end after you reach a certain age, but that they are filtered through years of experiences....

info_outline
Album Review and Interview:  Smooth Rock Sounds of the 80s are Back, Courtesy of Young Gun Silver Fox show art Album Review and Interview: Smooth Rock Sounds of the 80s are Back, Courtesy of Young Gun Silver Fox

Documenting Popular Music

That unmistakable sound of West Coast smooth rock was all over the radio in the late 1970s and early 1980s with groups such as Hall&Oates, Player, Steely Dan, the Little River Band, Boz Scaggs, the Michael McDonald lead version of the Doobie Bros and many others. The genre, which incorporated elements of smooth jazz and soul, is making a comeback, and a group helping to make the past current is Young Gun Silver Fox.  The band is made up of Andy Platts and Shawn Lee, who are not recording cover versions of 80s songs, but are creating new material that sounds like it was originally...

info_outline
An Historic Writing Partnership – Legendary Songwriters Neil Diamond and Gilbert Bécaud Come Together to Write Songs for The Jazz Singer Movie show art An Historic Writing Partnership – Legendary Songwriters Neil Diamond and Gilbert Bécaud Come Together to Write Songs for The Jazz Singer Movie

Documenting Popular Music

In the late 1970s, when Neil Diamond was asked to star in the movie the Jazz Singer, his career was at the peak of popularity, and he had not only established himself as an elite performer, but also an accomplished songwriter.  Similarly, Gilbert Bécaud, who had reached stardom more than a decade before Diamond, was also revered as a top performer and songwriter in France and other European countries. These two men came together in the late 1970s for a writing partnership that would ultimately produce about a dozen songs, including the first single from the Jazz Singer soundtrack – a...

info_outline
 
More Episodes

On January 10, 2016, the music world was surprised and saddened to learn one of the biggest rock and roll icons of the last four decades had died. Due to his desire for privacy, the public was unaware that David Bowie had been diagnosed with liver cancer 18 months prior, and two days after his 69th birthday – and the release of his final studio album – he died of the disease at his New York home.

This special episode of the Documenting Popular Music, written and narrated by veteran journalist Robert Neil, takes a look at Bowie’s career, which began in the late 1960s, when his music wasn’t initially understood.  However, the British performer’s unique way of presenting songs eventually caught on and led to a long and successful career that garnered millions of fans around the globe.

Bowie was more than a rock singer and songwriter, and his theatrical nature helped him produce albums that were more than simply music. There were back stories and avant-garde characters, such as Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke, which offered fans something they couldn’t find elsewhere.

And while he had a love for rock and roll, he was also drawn to blues, jazz, dance, grunge and a long list of other genres, which he incorporated into his music.

He also loved to put drama in his music, and that point was made clear on his last album, Blackstar, which deals with the subject of death, as Bowie seemed to write about his own ending in the same theatrical style he’d always loved.