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.
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.
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.
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!
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.