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.
Play It Back
11 | Culture Club – Time (Clock of the Heart)Music, Storytelling
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.
10 | Ray Charles – Georgia On My MindMusic, Storytelling
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.
9 | Peggy Lee – Is That All There Is?Uncategorized
At the age of 5, writer and comedic storyteller Jamie Brickhouse became obsessed with Peggy Lee and her song about escapism by means of “breaking out the booze and having a ball.” The song served as Jamie’s guide to several nights of debauchery while living in New York City. But things changed dramatically the night he drunk dialed the dazzling pop icon.
8 | Dolly Parton – Coat of Many ColorsUncategorized
Native Kentuckian storyteller, choreographer, and live performer Mark Lamb counts the ways that he’s flown on the tails of Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors.” In his warm ‘n’ buttery voice, Mark waxes reminiscent about his brave journey from being a faux fur-sporting third grader, to a fully actualized performance artist and creative soul out and about in NYC today.
7 | Holiday SpecialStorytelling
Play It Back co-hosts John Asante and Jia H. Jung revel in the holiday spirit by rapping about their favorite songs of the season, and invite you to add to the official Play It Back Holiday Playlist spectacular on Spotify just in the nick of time for Christmas, Chanukah, and the shiny New Year!
6 | Electric Light Orchestra – Mr. Blue SkyUncategorized
When London-based actor Laura Killeen worked at a florist as a teenager, she was introduced to a spacey, operatic pop tune that would serve as comfort and motivation when she needed it most.
5 | Tori Amos – Yes, AnastasiaUncategorized
NBC Documentary producer and The Soundtrack Series podcast creator Dana Rossi reflects upon how a terrible tragedy brought her back to a song that she first heard in 1994, which served as a salve to any trouble in high school — and beyond.
4 | Lil B – Wonton SoupMusic, Storytelling
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.”
3 | Prince – I Would Die 4 UMusic, Storytelling
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…