History of pop/rock podcast?
September 24, 2010 12:47 PM   Subscribe

I would to get a better idea for the history of pop, ideally all the way from Little Richard and up to 2010, though given that there is so much to cover, shorter pieces of this history are also of interest. I guess what I'm looking for is either a podcast or a TV series - something fun and interesting, and that at the end will give me a good feel for how different genres and bands fit together, who started what, and who influenced whom.
posted by Hediot to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
The History of Rock and Roll is pretty good, though it will not get you into 2010. I think it peters out in the late 1980s, unfortunately. But for the first 2/3's of your time period, it does a great job. I remember taping it from PBS. Have it all on decaying VHS somewhere. Many libraries have it, and it's on Netflix.
posted by artlung at 1:03 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Neither TV nor podcast, but the book Bubblegum Music Is the Naked Truth is a hugely entertaining overview of the most ephemeral and mercenary form of American pop music. Barry White wrote the b-side of the Banana Splits single! Who knew?

I'd also suggest browsing Robert Christgau's intimidating extensive archives.

(Apologies if that Amazon link is borked. Posting from my phone.)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:08 PM on September 24, 2010

VH1 has a plethora of television programs covering from 1970's pop music through the first decade of the 21st century. They tend to be lightweight, but they give you a feel for the various time periods.
posted by Hanuman1960 at 1:40 PM on September 24, 2010

Artlung's History of Rock N Roll link is a good one - I'm in a Popular Music in America class currently and our professor had us watch that this week. Bonus points for the terrible 1990esque haircuts. Our textbook is boringly named "Rock Music Styles", but is actually so far pretty good at outlining the history of rock music back through slavery.
posted by kpht at 3:34 PM on September 24, 2010

Saw this in one of Edward Tufte's books:

posted by at at 4:52 PM on September 24, 2010

I've been working my way through the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die in order, listening to each album (don't ask where they come from). It starts with Frank Sinatra in 1955 and ends up with The White Stripes in 2005. (I just looked and saw that the latest edition was published this year, shifting 25 songs out of my edition.) So far, 9 months into the project, I'm just up to the early 70's. While it covers some non-pop albums (some Jazz, European singers, Indian, etc.), it been really fun. The notes about each album sometimes discuss the influences for the album and who the album influenced. I've forced myself to listen to music I normally wouldn't and have found all sorts of musical connections. So far I've only heard the classic music of rock's formative years, but I'm looking forward to the later years as rock and roll starts to fragment into so many different styles of music and how those later albums have been influenced by the earlier albums.
posted by rsclark at 5:22 PM on September 24, 2010

If you might like to bend the parameters to read, The Faber Book of Pop has some pretty interesting stuff, like some candid insights about human sexuality from Little Richard, for example...
posted by ovvl at 8:20 PM on September 24, 2010

They're not arranged chronologically, but Allmusic.com has loads of articles about different genres and styles of music with exemplar artists, albums, and songs for each. Note that the link I gave was for "Rock" as a genre. The other main genres are available just below the search box on the Allmusic.com homepage.
posted by kimota at 11:39 AM on October 5, 2010

« Older Please help me find the right watch   |   Progammable thermostat for heat pump with timer Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.