Podcast Hall of Fame
I’ve added eight new podcasts to my Podcast Hall of Fame. These are podcasts that I look forward to listening to each and every episode even if that may not be reflected in the running tally of podcasts that appear in Podcast of the Week.
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
Short Series of Note
The centennial of the 19th Amendment is commemorated in this seven-part series hosted by Rosario Dawson and Retta who investigate the untold stories of women’s suffrage.
This four-part series examines the idea of guaranteed income, or universal basic income, from the point of view of those who need it most,poor people.
Chana Joffe-Walt investigates why public education continues to fail Black and brown children over 60 years after desegregation, and finds that the problem is white parents with good intentions.
60-Second Science :: Science Sound (E)scapes
A series of personal stories of the most significant scientific event in recent history.
A series about homelessness in the United States.
Favorite Podcast Episodes
Looking back at the “good old days” can have grave political consequences.
Another event from history I’d never heard of before. Wilmington, NC in the 1890s was relatively integrated for the time with Black leaders in city government until white supremacists organized to overthrow the government.
The story behind John Cage’s famous composition and why it’s more than a joke or a gimmick.
Chris Molanphy tracks the career of the most successful “novelty” musician, “Weird Al” Yankovic, with a considerable portion of the episode analyzing the history of novelty songs on the music charts.
A history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the agreement that brought a fragile peace to the region, and how Brexit may undo 20 years of progress.
Twenty stories of historical events that last twenty seconds each, the perfect length of time to wash your hands. Whether or not this is practical (I mean if you push play on your device before your hands are clean it will be contaminated, no) the stories are all very interesting tidbits of history.
Isolating during the pandemic sucks, but it’s provided scientists the conditions for scientific research not possible during normal levels of activity, such as: air pollution, boredom, vaccination, and redesigning cities for people not cars.
The story of an Islamic doctor who loves serving the community in a small Minnesota town until he learns that most of the people their voted for Trump.
The murders, the videos, the outrage, the hashtags – the pattern of Black people murdered by cops and vigilantes is unsettlingly familiar. When will it move beyond a grim voyeurism towards actual justice?
The history of structural change in America all the way back to colonial times is based on violent protest.
The history of policing in the United States from its origins in slave patrols to the present, with control of Black Americans as its central purpose.
In this podcast, we learn about how African music is more than just “the roots” and the ties between Africa and American blues traditions.
The Brattle Theatre in Cambridge had a great series on Boston Movies and all four podcasts are worth listening to, but I particularly liked this final podcast where they interview on-set dresser Adam Roffman about the behind-the-scenes production of movies in Boston and how they’ve changed over time.
We all remember the artists and bands who are famous for their one big hit, but defining a “one-hit wonder” is surprisingly controversial. Men Without Hats and Vanilla Ice officially have multiple hits, while Jimi Hendrix and Lou Reed are actually one-hit wonders. Chris Molanphy puts forward some parameters for defining a one-hit wonder that take in account cultural relevance as well as actual chart performance.
The constitution of India officially outlawed the ancient caste system in 1947, but discrimination against people based on caste persists in India and has followed Indian immigrants to the US.
From medieval chants to symphonic compositions to the soundtracks of blockbuster films, a pattern of four notes has served to represent death.
A podcast near and dear to my heart because it is about web archiving, particularly the effort to save the first great iteration of the world wide web: Geocities.
The purposes of protest and why they can’t be modulated to avoid offending people as seen through the story of the ACT UP protests to support relief from the AIDS crisis.
FINAL TALLY OF PODCAST OF THE WEEK APPEARANCES
- AirSpace – 2
- Afropop Worldwide – 3
- All Songs Considered – 3
- And Nothing Less – Entire series
- The Anthropocene Reviewed – 1
- BackStory – 4
- Brattle Film Podcast – 2
- Ben Franklin’s World – 1
- Best of the Left – 3
- Coronavirus Daily/Consider This – 5
- Code Switch – 5
- Decoder Ring – 6
- Fresh Air – 9
- Futility Closet – 5
- Have You Heard – 3
- Here & Now – 1
- Hidden Brain – 3
- Hit Parade – 4
- Hub History – 2
- The Last Archive – 4
- LeVar Burton Reads – 1
- Memory Palace – 4
- More Than Enough – 4
- Mortified – 1
- The Moth – 1
- Nice White Parents – entire series
- 99% Invisible – 14
- 60-Second Science – 7
- Planet Money – 10
- The Politics of Everything – 2
- Radio Boston – 3
- Radiolab – 9
- Retro Disney World – 1
- The Rewatchables – 1
- Risk! – 1
- Science Talk – 2
- Smithsonian Sidedoor – 5
- Snap Judgment – 2
- Sound Opinions – 1
- The Story Collider – 2
- The Thirty20Eight – 2
- This American Life – 2
- This Day in Esoteric Public History – 3
- Throughline – 14
- The Tomorrow Society – 2
- The Truth – 1
- Twenty Thousand Hertz – 8
- The War on Cars – 1
- Wedway Radio – 1
- What Next – 13