New 500 Songs — “Goodnight My Love”

The new episode of the podcast is up at
This one looks at “Goodnight My Love” by Jesse Belvin, and at the many groups he performed with, and his untimely death.

And Patreon backers can find this week’s Patreon-backer-only bonus podcast, on “In the Still of the Night” by the Five Satins, and the power of nostalgia compilations, at

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

500 Songs: Brown-Eyed Handsome Man

The new episode of “A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs” is now up. This one looks at “Brown-Eyed Handsome Man” by the Chuck Berry Combo, and how Berry tried to square the circle of social commentary and teen appeal.

And for backers, the latest Patreon bonus episode of the podcast is also up. This one is on “Rock and Roll Waltz”, by Kay Starr, and is the first of what may be many episodes to feature an embarrassing attempt at rapping from an old white person.

Posted in Uncategorized

500 Songs: Blueberry Hill

Episode forty-five of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Blueberry Hill” by Fats Domino, and at how the racial tensions of the fifties meant that a smiling, diffident, cheerful man playing happy music ended up starting riots all over the US.

And on Patreon, a backer-only bonus episode, on Hardrock Gunter, who was very aptly named but also had hard luck.

Posted in Uncategorized

500 Songs: Train Kept A-Rollin

This week’s episode of the podcast is now up! This one’s on “Train Kept A-Rollin'” by Johnny Burnette and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Trio, and how a novelty song about cowboys written for an Abbot and Costello film became a heavy metal anthem.

Patreon backers also have a bonus episode, at . This one is on “Jump, Jive, an’ Wail” by Louis Prima, and the conflict between art, entertainment, and repeatedly marrying much women in their twenties when you’re middle-aged.

Posted in Uncategorized

New 500 Songs Up: “I Gotta Know” by Wanda Jackson

The latest episode of A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs is up! This one’s on “I Gotta Know” by Wanda Jackson, and the borders between rockabilly, Western Swing, and the Bakersfield Sound.

There’s also a Patreon backer-only bonus episode, on “Bacon Fat” by Andre Williams.

Posted in Uncategorized