As a Black kid growing up in a tumultuous home environment in 1970s Hollywood, singer-songwriter The Reverend Shawn Amos faced an identity complex. But when a friend introduced him to The Who’s “Quadrophenia,” he connected with one particular song about rebellion on a personal level. “Cut My Hair” helped Shawn find clarity, and eventually, his true love: playing the blues.
Play It Back is *finally* back in action — Season 2 drops this October! Check out this trailer for a taste of what’s coming up. Get ready for a bunch of new stories about powerful songs from groups like The Who, Geto Boys, Radiohead, and Dixie Chicks that have changed the lives of music lovers far and wide.
In this episode, Benjamin de Menil helps usher in the warm season by telling us about his earliest music memory of hearing “Yellow Bird” played by a steel drum band in Jamaica. The experience was a formative one, kindling a raging love affair with Caribbean arts that would lead to his eventual career as a label owner, producer, and academy founder specializing in bachata, popular traditional music of the Dominican Republic.
In grade school, when storyteller Marc Abbott fell in love with a particular Culture Club song, he just had to put it on a mixtape to impress a lucky girl. Marc was willing to go great lengths to record it — even if it meant messing with his father’s sacred music collection.
For the one year anniversary of Play It Back, musician, chanteuse, book lover, and performer extraordinaire Susan Hwang helps us celebrate by telling us a little something about her dad, Ray Charles, and The American Dream.
When independent radio producer Todd Whitney first discovered Lil B, he couldn’t quite pin down the quirky Bay Area rapper. Were his songs serious, or was it all an act? On this episode, Todd explains why he gave Lil B another shot — and somehow became a preacher of the gospel of “The Based God.”
At Play It Back, it’s never too late to mourn the departure of, or rather celebrate the life of, one of the most immortal music makers of all time. In this special retrospective episode, Play It Back co-host Jia H. Jung recalls when she first encountered The Purple One at 30,000 feet in the air, in 1986, at age 5, somewhere between Boston and Seoul. It was the voice of god, if you will…
Writer, filmmaker, and former financial trader Adam Linn shares how a whole different shade of Tina Turner guided him like a guardian angel in a rollicking, (literally) blind drive over San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge during a dark time in his youth in the 1990s.