Tag: one hit history

BettySoo Loves the SUNDAYS “Summertime”

BettySoo Loves the SUNDAYS “Summertime”

Just like you described this really lovely, kind of girly voice. And then what she was saying was not, and I was like, Oh, I am into this. — BettySoo on The SUNDAYS “Summertime”

Think you don’t know The SUNDAYS? Chances are, if you listen to adult album alternative radio, you’ve heard them. Texas singer-songwriter BettySoo shares her favorite one hit wonder, The SUNDAYS song “Summertime,” with its charming vocal delivery yet darkly subversive lyrics. 

So that’s so interesting how, you know, different songs and albums come into people’s lives at different times, but the ones that stick around…it’s like, why does this particular album or song or band stick with me?

On a deeper note, BettySoo and Sloane Spencer get into what makes certain songs, albums, and artists irrevocably linked to someone’s memories at a specific point in their life, no matter the quality or popularity of the music. Plus, they discuss the ups and downs of musicians’ decisions to no longer produce music or be a public figure and how it affects the fans.

Without an external kind of exoskeleton of structure, it’s really hard to know how to prioritize things.

Known for life hacking support for her creative friends, BettySoo has to be so organized that she designs and sells her very own planner system, the Work Play Every Day planner, perfect for planning out Sundays and beyond. 


Music Mentions

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Sloane Spencer: [00:00:00] All Sloane Spencer with you. You found us at our new podcast called One-Hit History Today, we’re talking with BettySoo, a Texas songwriter who not only has her own solo albums that you need to check out in a couple of very cool singles out recently, as well also has a trio called Nobody’s Girl, you can find them at We Are Nobody’s Girl Dot Com and a number of other projects and live residencies, online info, all kinds of cool stuff. Welcome. [00:00:26][26.4]

BettySoo: [00:00:27] Thank you. Good to be here. [00:00:28][1.3]

Sloane Spencer: [00:00:29] My pleasure. So what in history is where we talk to music folks about their favorite one hit wonders, and often it leads to some interesting little associations, so I’m looking forward to hearing which one is your favorite. [00:00:43][14.5]

BettySoo: [00:00:45] Well, it wasn’t a number one single, but it was a hit single in the late 90s, and it’s a song called Summertime by the Sundaes. [00:00:53][7.9]

Sloane Spencer: [00:00:54] Oh, so I’ve been working in Triple J radio for the last many years, and this is still a staple of AAA radio playlists. When I pull up the sundaes, it’s going to come up this one, and here’s where the story ends from. Their first record are going to be the top two in those playlists. Absolutely. One you’ll recognize. Even if you say, I don’t know the sundaes, I don’t know that song. Oh yeah. Pull it up. You’ll immediately like, Oh yeah, one that sounds like it’s wonderful Christmas time in the intro. It’s that song [00:01:23][28.9]

BettySoo: [00:01:26] I [00:01:26][0.0]

Sloane Spencer: [00:01:26] never thought about, but that’s really nice. Those first few notes. Here’s where the story ends off of reading. Writing Arithmetic came out in 1990, so that was kind of their intro to the U.S. market and so still a big well-known tune. But as far as like charts go and you know, my definition of a hit is, is this a popularly well-known song within any subgroup? You know, you want to be number one. It’s all good, but it didn’t do well. Number one on the charts, 10 on modern rock, 13 on adult top 40. I mean, that’s a solid, solid hit by any definition. So how did this song come into your life? [00:01:56][30.3]

BettySoo: [00:01:57] Well, I will say I’ve been a lifelong Sunday’s fan and the first record reading, writing and arithmetic. I think I’ve owned it like five times because, you know, one time it was stolen out of my car, one time somebody borrowed it and never gave it back. One time somebody sat on the disc and broke it. I mean, it’s like it’s [00:02:15][18.2]

Sloane Spencer: [00:02:16] gone through all these things, [00:02:16][0.8]

BettySoo: [00:02:17] but I’ve owned it multiple times because I can’t not have that album. And it was a really for me tional album for me. And still, it’s one of those records that I could listen to on repeat and not get sick of. So then Blind came out a few years after that, and then there was like a long hiatus. I want to say, like maybe five years, five or six years between those. And so I was, I think I was like early college when static and silence and third record, third final record of theirs came out. So I had the record and I was shocked to hear them on the radio because this was this group that I obsessively loved. But their lyrics are even though she has the super sweet voice. Their lyrics are really dark. [00:03:01][44.1]

Sloane Spencer: [00:03:03] They really are. She has the delivery not in the same style, but an analogy too. Like early Michael Stipe of Like You can get hung up in the loathing of what she’s saying and totally miss the words. [00:03:12][9.5]

BettySoo: [00:03:13] She’s one of those voices where you could sing along with every word and never think about what you’re singing. Oh yeah. Even if you’re a lyrics person, which is, you know, that’s crazy. But there’s something about their whole sound that I just like I love. But actually, and I love the darkness of her lyrics, like, I mean, to me, it feels so deliciously subversive to have this like, very innocent sounding voice that and I will say, I’m not usually a big, like female baby voice person, but hers is so natural. It’s just so effortless and unaffected that I love it. And yeah, I just loved that. Here is this like hit that was coming out and all my friends were like into this song and I was like, This is the same band that you guys make fun of me loving and. And I loved it because everybody was like, Oh, it’s such a feel good song. And like, there are like some people wind up with the one that they abhor, [00:04:05][51.7]

Sloane Spencer: [00:04:06] you know, like, just to me, it was like, [00:04:09][3.4]

BettySoo: [00:04:10] so great. But I don’t know. I just feel like they’re this band that pull the wool over people’s eyes in this very like charming way. [00:04:18][8.6]

Sloane Spencer: [00:04:19] Harriet Wheeler, the vocalist and songwriter of this particular tune, set in a bunch of interviews. She’s like, Well, we got the idea for the song from the early days of dating online in online dating. [00:04:31][11.5]

BettySoo: [00:04:31] Yeah, yeah, yeah. And and being horrified by the idea that I think I played. [00:04:36][4.8]

Sloane Spencer: [00:04:36] Yeah. So this is funny because this band is a very transitional band for me. It was the first time I really liked female vocals of any kind. It was the first time they really spoke to me since, like Linda Ronstadt days. Mm-Hmm. And here we are. Just like you described this really like lovely, kind of girly voice. And then what she was saying was not, and I was like, Oh, I am. Into this. [00:04:59][23.1]

BettySoo: [00:05:00] Yeah. Yeah, exactly, because the lyrics are so punk, you know, it’s like when the weather’s fine, when it’s sunny outside, I remember I kicked a boy until he cried and it could have been wrong, but I don’t think it was. He’s such a child. Like, That’s messed up. That’s so punk. [00:05:17][16.6]

Sloane Spencer: [00:05:18] You know, that is exactly what was the appeal for me. And so I, because of life changes, I have this whole gap of music from like ninety one ish till about 2001, I was just basically working myself to death in that time frame. And so I totally missed the fact that they had two more records after reading, writing and arithmetic. And so it wasn’t until I was working in radio and we were playing this one song summertime all the time that I was like, What record is this like? I recognize who this is, but just simply cultural cultural gap completely. [00:05:47][29.7]

BettySoo: [00:05:49] The record in between blind was like, I think it did really well in sales, and probably it was all folks like me who are obsessed with reading, writing and arithmetic, but I didn’t see or hear about it anywhere. Nowhere, zero. And I mean, of course, I was a kid, so I wasn’t reading like music rags or anything. But I mean, just in terms of like popular culture. I didn’t see it anywhere. I mean, it was on Geffen. It was a big thing, but it felt like unless you were already a diehard fan of the sundaes, it didn’t seem like it showed up anywhere. [00:06:21][31.4]

Sloane Spencer: [00:06:21] Yeah, I agree. It didn’t have a lot of chart or radioactivity internationally. Even sometimes there was that time frame where things were getting some European or British airplay that were not in the U.S. and vice versa. But it really just it kind of didn’t do anything. And that led to their not official hiatus slash large, long break until they finally did that third record in 97 did it in, 96 came out in 97. Yeah. So that’s so interesting how, you know, different songs and albums come into people’s lives at different times, but the ones that stick around and it’s like, why does this particular album or song or band stick with me? [00:06:57][35.7]

BettySoo: [00:06:58] Yeah, I don’t know if I can totally put my finger on everything about the sundaes, but they will always like I just know till the day I die. They will be a very special band to me, and I’m like, part of me really grieves the fact that they’ve said so many times. Like Now, really, it means a lot, but you guys want us back, but we’re done [00:07:17][19.1]

Sloane Spencer: [00:07:19] like it makes me very sad [00:07:19][1.0]

BettySoo: [00:07:20] at the same time. I have such respect for that. Mm-Hmm. You know that it’s like, Hey, it’s not about being a quitter. It’s just like we have other things we’re interested in doing in our lives now. And part of that is not being a public figure. And I think that is so brave and so like, self-possessed and beautiful. So I mean, I think it’s something that very few people can really do that it’s not like, Oh, we weren’t successful and we’re quitting or we’re bitter or, you know, like, it’s none of that. It’s like, Thank you so much. We are so lucky we’ve had a wonderful career and now we just want to have this kind of life. [00:07:58][37.8]

Sloane Spencer: [00:07:59] I am one of R.E.M. is number one fans, and so I 100 percent agree with that. I’m not one of those people who is begging them to get back together. I so respect the way they were, like, we have accomplished everything we attempted to accomplish creatively and we are done. Yeah, and we are moving on to other creative projects and thank you so much. I have huge respect for that, you know? I’m not going to knock anybody who is going on their third final farewell tour, you know, because pay your bills, do whatever. But from a conversation, [00:08:27][28.2]

BettySoo: [00:08:28] that is the thing that they are still most interested in doing and that they get the most joy from right and other people. They’re interested in a bunch of different things and they’re like, Life is short. I don’t want to have not pursued these other things I’m interested in totally. [00:08:41][13.6]

Sloane Spencer: [00:08:42] I quit radio like three times because I was tired of being in the public eye, and I’m live in a small town. It’s like a nothing. And so, I mean, I can’t imagine the life experiences that people have. You know, when people started, follow me around the grocery store to see what I was putting in my car. I was like, All right, I’ve had enough of this. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, totally. My husband would purposely like, grab, you know, depends and fill up the cart with a diabolical. Oh yeah, he thinks it’s hilarious. So here we are. But yeah, I have total respect for that, for accomplishing what it is you hope to accomplish and hoping for many more things to be able to do with the rest of your life that fulfill you in whatever way it is you define. [00:09:21][38.9]

BettySoo: [00:09:22] Exactly, exactly. [00:09:23][1.1]

Sloane Spencer: [00:09:25] A little side note for our listeners. You also I don’t know if you’re super organized or not, but you make a fantastic planner. I really like you to tell us a little bit about that. I don’t know if you’re going to do it again or not, but I bought one and it was awesome. And I use it. [00:09:36][11.9]

BettySoo: [00:09:37] I am, and it’s going to be improve. I am not super organized, which is why I have a lifelong obsession with planners and organizing systems because my default mode is chaos. So I’ve always needed good systems, good organizational planners and stuff. And and my whole life, I’ve kind of been obsessed with stationary bikes. You cannot drag me out. The office [00:09:59][22.7]

Sloane Spencer: [00:10:00] supply store, I became a teacher because I like colored pencils, [00:10:02][2.6]

BettySoo: [00:10:03] exactly, I’m like, Oh, I don’t have that kind of colored pen that does a different thing and I need it. So, you know, and so ever since I was a little kid, I was obsessed with organizers and like day planners and things like that. And like, if my parents had an all day planner that they had cast aside, I would like cut my own paper and punch holes in it and try to create my own little thing. And then, of course, I, you know, I’ve tried lots of planner systems from the stores over the years and spent many, many hours in stationery shops like looking at them. But then I never really found one that did everything I wanted. So I started years ago. I started making my own planner every year and especially when I’m on tour, people would peek inside or see me putting stuff in there and they’d be like, Oh my gosh, that’s so cool, will you make me one? And I was like, I don’t know how to make you a planner, like, this is what works for me. But then when the pandemic hit, I was like, Oh, like, now I can be still in one place long enough to think about, how can I make this useful for other people? And that’s what that’s what happened. I like went back. I grabbed like 10 different years of my planner and kind of sussed out, OK, how many pages do I usually devote to this, to this, to this and and created a planner that I call work play every day because my planner always functions as a whole life book. I work, stuff is in there, my creative stuff is in there and inspirational self-help stuff is in there. You know, everything goes in there so that I have this book at the end of the year that chronicles basically anything that I want to look up from that year, anything that I want to remember, it’s in there. And so it was really fun to share that with people, you know, and to see other people like you out of it. And the only thing that I that I was unhappy with was that because I was printing such a small number of books, there was no way that I could get it hardcover and spiral bound. The only way to do it and not cost like two hundred dollars a book was to do and I will say importantly and to have the high quality paper and printing inside that what I could do it inexpensively if I compromised on the paper, but that I was not willing to do that. So I had a paperback binding the first year. But for twenty twenty two, it’s improved in several ways. But the most significant way is that it’s going to have a hardcover and it’ll be spiral bound, so it’ll lay flat on your desk no matter where in the year you are. And I’m really excited about that. [00:12:24][140.9]

Sloane Spencer: [00:12:24] So I’m laughing at myself right now as I’ve gotten a big long desk set up in my studio and I have a weekly vertical calendar that is where I just think things through like that. I have to think on paper. And so that’s like color-coded thought process. Then I have my studio schedule calendar like up on the wall because I have to like visually look at that. I also use my phone. I also use the wordplay play every day. They all work together. And I know that there’s like rules behind like you should only have one planner, but the way I think has to happen separately and then I want it organized when I have it in the actual calendar and for what it works for me. So, you know, everybody find your method, [00:13:05][40.3]

BettySoo: [00:13:05] I’m with you and like, so while this is kind of my whole life book, I mean, I’ve had a desk job in the past where I really needed things in 15 minute increments reading. And so that’s why I mean, I say, like in the intro to the book, like, Hey, look, if you need that, if your work life requires that, then like, here’s this other planner that I really recommend that you use alongside this, just to have that planner just for that super scheduled stuff, you know, and that’s [00:13:30][24.7]

Sloane Spencer: [00:13:30] exactly what I do. That’s exactly what this is. It’s that work studio stuff that has to be organized because that’s other people’s lives matter related to those times. It’s not just me. It’s interesting to hear that you wouldn’t describe yourself as an organized person, because my obsession with planners and organizational systems comes from extreme A.D.D. and my need to have some structure because the main thing I learned in the pandemic is if I don’t have any structure, I will accomplish nothing at all in 24 hours. Nothing, not one thing. [00:14:02][31.4]

BettySoo: [00:14:02] Yeah, I will have been busy all day and I’ll get to the end of the day and go, What did I do? [00:14:07][5.0]

Sloane Spencer: [00:14:07] What I do? I have nothing to show, but apparently I didn’t just sit in this chair all day. [00:14:11][4.1]

BettySoo: [00:14:12] But yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah, I mean, I think what was helpful to me was that there are a lot of people who are super organized who love the planner. But what was more rewarding is how many people were like me who really struggle with organization and hearing that it was helpful to them was kind of the best. [00:14:27][15.9]

Sloane Spencer: [00:14:28] Definitely. So, yeah, it’s really interesting to me that the pandemic being such a strange time to be like, Oh, let me organize my time when I’m literally sitting at home. None of my public life is happening anymore. OK, maybe that’s just me. But yeah, it was a weird time to feel like I need to add some additional structure to what my life looks like, and I found the word play every day system to be quite useful for that. Where can people get it? [00:14:53][25.2]

BettySoo: [00:14:54] The website has work play every day. Oh, that’s exactly. That’s it, and you know, I will say, though, I think, yes, of course, when we’re super busy and when there’s a lot of outside stuff that has to make it onto our schedule, then we need some way to keep track of all of that. But I think maybe even more crucial, but at least as crucial is when we don’t have those outside structures and when we’re kind of in this amoebic void of boundaries and that implementing structure is even more helpful. [00:15:28][34.1]

Sloane Spencer: [00:15:29] Hmm. I had to have it. I literally couldn’t function. I surprised myself at how much I was struggling. Right? [00:15:36][7.1]

BettySoo: [00:15:37] You’re not alone. A lot of people experienced that this past year and a half. They had just as many things to do and maybe more for people who had to be home schooling and all this kind of stuff. But they didn’t have those normal changes of venue and, you know, kind of structural things in place that kind of break up their time naturally. They didn’t have their morning commute, their evening commute, you know, dinner plans, whatever school events like games, you know, just like things that you know, that all the other things have to be done between or with those deadlines, you know, like all of those external things, create this structure, and it’s kind of like a million different deadlines in your life. And for most people, that’s when we take action. That’s when we get things done. And without that external kind of exoskeleton of structure, it’s really hard to know how to prioritize things. [00:16:30][53.3]

Sloane Spencer: [00:16:31] Oh yes. I’m glad you’ve been living in my head for the last two years because a hundred percent on all of that. But yeah, and that’s exactly. And that’s exactly why when you I don’t know where you put something out there in Instagram or something at one point that you were thinking of doing this, I was like, Sign me up, take my money. I need this. It really was. It was like desperation. And then it was like a great system that worked in with laughing that use the word system because the family joke is, I have systems for everything that keeps me. So they’ll be like, Oh, mama has a system for that. Hold on. Yeah, but it’s true. That’s how I that’s how I deal with my aid. And it’s it’s fascinating that other people have ways of putting their life in order that apply for other people. It’s not just a personal thing, even though you know it does [00:17:16][45.4]

BettySoo: [00:17:17] it that way. Yeah, and it doesn’t matter like how smart you are, how skilled you are, how whatever like checklists and structures and systems help everybody. I remember years ago reading some article about how, like emergency rooms, when there’s the same article when they started implementing a checklist like they performed so much better, they had fewer misdiagnoses. They, you know, they had fewer like missed diagnoses, too. And I mean, and these are really smart, skilled people. You know, I [00:17:48][31.2]

Sloane Spencer: [00:17:48] read that exact same article, and they took the concept from pilots who have their preflight checklists. And they it was initially done as a study and the data was just overwhelmingly positive of like checklists work even at high levels, just like you say. [00:18:03][14.9]

BettySoo: [00:18:04] Yeah, exactly. So, you know, I feel like I can’t feel that bad about needing it because I mean, if er, doctors need it, then all right. [00:18:12][7.8]

Sloane Spencer: [00:18:13] And trust me, they’re way smarter than I. So like, I don’t even like blood on TV. I don’t even watch that. Yeah. Thank you for fixing people because I’m just going to call 9-1-1. [00:18:23][10.2]

BettySoo: [00:18:24] Yeah, exactly. [00:18:25][0.5]

Sloane Spencer: [00:18:26] BettySoo. I’m so excited to get a chat with you here about the Sundays summertime, y’all. If you were not familiar with the bands on the Sundays and I’m not sure how that’s even possible, but if you’re not that used to stylize it with all caps pretty full on life in the internet, used to have a lot more visual stylization for band names in particular, that made a difference at the time. That’s right, I had a favorite band out of Atlanta named the Rocket Teens, and their name at the time had a star between Rock A and 18s. And so, you know, the internet, you can’t be rock a teens with stars, the band styled in a different form, but nonetheless, it’s like, you know, those visual funny little things don’t always translate to modern dance. The Sun Summertime, it’s off of their third album. Y’all should definitely find it’s called static in silence from the Sun, as was summertime BettySoo. Find out more about BettySoo music BettySoo b e t y s o o BettySoo dot com and you’ve got a couple recent singles. [00:19:20][54.1]

BettySoo: [00:19:20] Yeah, yeah, I did a couple of covers this year songs about feeling pent up at home. [00:19:25][5.0]

Sloane Spencer: [00:19:26] I don’t know [00:19:26][0.3]

BettySoo: [00:19:27] where that inspiration came from. I did a Richard and Linda Thompson. I want to see the bright lights tonight and Rodney Crowell’s ain’t living long like this. And it was fun to record those. [00:19:36][9.2]

Sloane Spencer: [00:19:37] You can find those everywhere. So definitely check all of that out. Check out BettySoo is Trio Nobody’s Girl, which you can find out we are nobody’s girl dot com. And if you’re in Austin, Texas, Tuesday nights, hit it up at. Nobody’s happy hour BettySoo. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you. My pleasure. Take care. Thanks, Elizabeth Miles. Appreciate you being part of one history. You can find out. More about what we knew at one hit History.com, take it easy one. History is a comedy podcast. We’ve done slightly less research than your average or Wikipedia contributor or loose with the facts, and your mileage may vary. Thanks to Jacob Fervor, our theme music. You can find his catalog at Jacob FIR, not Bandcamp dot com. That’s Jacoby. If you are not Bandcamp dot com, thanks so much for our graphic design and logo from Keith Brogdon. You can find his work and thinking out loud design dot com. Our show notes are crafted by freelance writer April Blake, who you can find at the April Blake NJ.com. [00:19:37][0.0]

LadyCouch Loves You…and Tag Team “Whoomp! There It Is”

LadyCouch Loves You…and Tag Team “Whoomp! There It Is”

“Whoomp! There It Is!” is talking about their particular art scene as a whole, even though it’s more T&A based.  — Keshia Bailey and Allen Thompson, co-founders of jam band LadyCouch on their favorite one hit wonder by Tag Team

The conversation bounces around so much between Sloane Spencer and the co-founders of LadyCouch (Keshia Bailey and Allen Thompson) that who knows where it is while they talk about their favorite one hit wonder from 1993. But the Nashville duo finally lands on “Whoomp There It Is” by Tag Team. But don’t confuse it with 95 South’s “Whoot There It Is”, though the trio chats about the differences and similarities between the two. 

My philosophy is ‘hit’ is however you want to define it. It’s whatever it means for the conversation. — Sloane Spencer, host of One Hit History, on how loosely the podcast defines “hit”

Listen to see how the strip club scene in Atlanta in the 90s was essential to the music scene, the unlikely way the band got their party song on the streets, and how many musicians’ favorite one hit wonders come outside of the genre in which they perform and write. 

That recent Geico commercial has taken me back to the spring of ‘93.  — Allen Thompson (LadyCouch co-founder)


Music Mentions

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AI Transcript

Sloane Spencer  Hey y’all Sloane Spencer here you found us. It’s one hit history, the new podcast where we talk with music people about what’s your favorite one hit wonder. We’re fixing to jump in talking with our friends Keshia Bailey and Allen Thompson of the band LadyCouch. They got the new record out called future looks fun. It’s on Blackbird records. You can find it in all your favorite places where music is available. We’ll talk with them a little bit throughout the conversation about their own music as well and the cool stuff they have coming up. But first, let’s just jump right in some y’all. What’s your favorite one hit wonder.

Keshia Bailey Oh my god. This is so hard.

Allen Thompson So we’ve got a lot of favorite one hit wonders. But that recent GEICO commercial with tag team has taken me back to the spring of 1993. And made me really think about Whoop, there it is, by tag team versus Whoop, there it is by 95. Sell. The course is almost identical. Minus the spelling of the whoop and or WOOT in the title, subject matter. Kind of similar. I feel like tag jeans, the writings a little stronger. Lyrically, it’s a little bit more poetic. Both of them are you know, pretty much worldwide sports Hanson’s at this point. Yes, absolutely.

AT Anybody that has been to a football game or owns any of the 385 editions have now That’s What I Call Music, you’ve definitely heard

SS both songs platinum at the minimum, in fact, the whoop version of it multi platinum and the WOOT version, platinum, both of them and not 100. And just absolutely successful in and of their own right. But it’s been that continuation through sports and advertising that has made these songs of the millennium in many ways.

AT I mean, they open the door for Who let the dogs out many other one hit wonder classics.

SS We’re gonna feature the song, who let the dogs out on another one hit history, because there’s actually quite a bit more behind the scenes about that particular song as well. So hold those thoughts on that particular song. But yeah, but styling.

AT I mean, I’m interested, I’m looking forward to that episode.

SS It is nothing at all what you think that’s all I’m gonna say. This particular type of sound was that was coming out in the early 90s. I of course, very much associated with the Atlanta sound that was coming with tag team, they developed as like house DJs out of the strip club scene of Atlanta, which has been a vibrant musical and performance scene for many decades. If you’re not from Atlanta, or you haven’t been to Atlanta, or you missed Atlanta in the 90s I mean, that’s just what it was. They came up out of the DJ scene there at a club called Magic City and the day they recorded this they took it into the club to play it and got immediate response from the folks there and they were like heck yeah, we got to hit here and then no major labels would touch it because it was a different kind of sound that sort of southern bass thing that ultimately we all reflect on are like Oh yeah, that was a scene but they were opening that door but the major labels weren’t ready for this sort of positive party you know, Southern bass thing so they borrowed money from family pressed 800 copies on their own sold them in parking lots right away. And ultimately Mercury Records was like I think maybe the sky like used to work for stacks we’ll figure out how to market this for you. So they put our bell in charge. And there you are, number one, hot r&b Number two hot 100 multi cloud I didn’t realize that our bell was there, a&r is that insane? Ausubel big deal here?

AT Yeah, I mean, I didn’t realize that.

SS Yeah, nobody else would touch it. All the labels like couldn’t figure it out because they’re like, this is like a fun song. What do we do with that?

AT Well, that was a big issue and all over the East Coast. I mean, you know, what, Dre and DJ Quik and everybody else were doing in Los Angeles. Like that was pretty much the standard you had like the 2 Live Crew pockets in Miami and we’ll get to there we start talking about night five sound right because they’re Miami had all these things happening like in the Atlanta strip club scene and in New York, with Wu Tang and puffy and you know big and everybody like that but none of them had broke yet and everyone even the New York based labels like Def Jam was afraid to touch any of these

SS I definitely can’t speak to like the whole east coast West Coast thing that ultimately developed out of that I’m not an expert on it. The sound was different and it had a different thing behind it in a lot of ways that the industry was like we don’t know

Keshia Bailey (LadyCouch)  4:27   right? When we’re thinking of one hit wonders in our favorite one hit wonder speaking of bells and need award you can ring my bell and other hit Friday share the held it and that was the only one that was the top pin damn shame because she’s amazing you can amazing to one hit was ringing my bell. You mean my bed? 

AT We should probably cover that.

KB Yeah, we probably should actually that’d be really good little test to do. Nice transition from our bell to bell I got Time to say why isn’t anyone that’s why you’re here.

AT I love you. So yeah. Back into one hit wonder

 SS I adore one hit wonders so much so that it’s probably one of my favorite musical subjects. But what I really like about asking this question to music people is that almost everybody has mentioned something that is outside the genre of music that they write. And that aspect of it has been fascinating to me. You know, like, when you’re asking musicians about it, it’s kind of a different thing.

KB Like, just when we were like, we’re talking about Anita Ward, like ringing my bell. Yes, sorry. There’s so much of what she’s done that like, I love that I don’t like yes, that would not have been her one hit. But I don’t think about it. In those terms. It’s the same way. Like, I don’t think about the Grateful Dead as being a one hit wonder even though a touch of gray is the only hit

KB that you know, thinking of like the Verve, right? And doing bittersweet symphony. How many people covered that tune? That was the only song that they actually had?

SS My philosophy about this is hit is defined however you want to define it. So if it’s like the only song that your band is known for, so like, Aha, with Take on me would be a great example from the 80s. In the US, that’s the only song they’re known for. In Europe, they were a wildly popular band with dozens of popular songs. But they’re, that’s it, it is whatever it means for the conversation. But so this particular song that y’all chose the Whoop, there it is, which by the way has two different official titles of its own. You can have with one Oh, or so it’s either Whoop, there it is. Or it’s whoops, there it is. I think they’re getting credits under both. But then there’s also this one out of Miami by 95. South that is almost the same tagline, but the song itself is different. Woot. There it is, I don’t know this one at all. I had to go back and listen, and I was like, Yeah, that’s exactly the same. This is completely outside of my wheelhouse. The

AT subject matter is a little bit different like 95 shots like whoop, there it is definitely more female body appreciation.

KB Say in the sensory manner, by where I think, Whoop, there it is, is more talking about their particular art scene as a whole even though that particular art scene was also T&A based. They articulated it in a little bit more of a poetic way. For me growing up, my older brother had the Camaro with the bazookas and you know, we listened to so much to Live Crew and so much Miami bass wars and all that because you know, you got to shake that car. There it is, man before I was at work there it is, man. Oh my goodness, I wanted to become more of a lyricist. I appreciate the tag team a little bit more.

KB So you partied on party people now again, exactly. This is also very informative. This is good for me to know who has been doing the best to be really fun to you and I like it that’s why I didn’t want to do like any of the research or any of the talking together. This conversation to be exactly what this conversation

SS Keisha What is it you’re learning about your bandmate here through this conversation?

KB Lord have mercy!  Yes When I think I can’t learn anything else. I think the one thing that I constantly pick up from Allen and I’m very lucky enough

<horn honks, yelling>

AT our horn player is driving an Uber and he just pulled up

SS Welcome to Nashville, y’all.

AT Hey Kircher we love you. We are doing an interview talking about Santa.

SS What’s his favorite flavor?

AT Oh, this guy he loves

SS <aside> so we’re referencing our other podcast called bubble bottles which this band LadyCouch has also been on if you haven’t heard that, check that out. It’s at bubble bottles.com But right now we’re talking one hit history.

KB Oh with Allen  and one hit history’s The thing is, is that I was really good about explaining a 10 There have been so many times that I will think that a song that I think I’ve known my whole life. I said one thing and then Alan’s like quiche, what are you saying right? You think that’s not what they’re saying? Like think about it in this aspect. And I have to sit back and go How the hell did I not know this? And how did you know this without me? It’s the same with everyone. Just wonder why I didn’t pick wishing well or this love because I knew that you and I would just have the same things to say about Anita Baker Terence Trent D’Arby

KB also I have my brain. And I would pick wishing well He knows me on another level. I would have been super pissed if we hadn’t been talking about 10 shirt. Sorry, we were not doing that today. He was braids is not talking about Trent.

KB I will say that if you want to have us back to talk about Terrence Trent D’Arby. I’m so down.

AT Sweet love not this love. Sorry.

KB Yeah, you’re welcome.

AT That’s fine. I don’t want to talk about them really that much at all?

SS No, I have a bunch of one hit until they finally have a whole hit record for in years. One hit for 10 years. He’s gonna let me show I like him. Like,

KB I don’t even know if he’s there anymore. Anyway. So basically what I’ve learned  a lot about Allen through all of this, and in our one hit wonder drum, if you will, that a word? Sure. I know that I can call Allen and say, Have you heard this? Tell him I’ve been sleeping on what is this? Or Whoa, send me thing. And they’ll think I’ve heard this before. But I realized that this is the only song from said artists that has ever happened. And then I immediately started thinking, damn, I listen to this whole record. And then I listen to the record. And I go, No, yeah, listen to the whole record, you’re listening to this one song is great. I find my tune and I pick it. I mean, there’s certain albums that I like, he’ll devil or my albums, but I’ll listen to people long enough until that one song that really speaks to me. And then that song just becomes my song.

KB I know. And I enjoy that you chose Whoot. There it is,

AT versus whoop there. I think it’s important thing to talk about because like, I would be interested to know like, how these two apps feel about one another because you know, they’ve got to have been on a ton of bills together, especially like in the early 2000s and stuff.

KB So basically one’s a dance mix and one’s a studio mix.

AT Well. They’re different. They’re Atlanta versus Miami. Dance.

AT But they’re right down the road. They just changed it right. A P to a tee. Well, yeah, maybe they cheated off of one another. This would be like okay, Patti LaBelle and Dionne Warwick, same song and they refused. They didn’t know about each

SS other. Yeah, the songs like a month apart, but there’s no evidence that they knew each other ahead of time. They both were writing a song based on a commonly used phrase in their community. And just kind of riffing on the phrase. Yeah.

AT And like neither of them had any idea that it’s like Garth Brooks and Todd Snider would be right, you know,

KB like Okay, wait. Okay. Now my question is though, is the they both know what whoops, there it is. Was venue a very well was there it is. When it was there it is. Was it an object? What was there for it to be is? You think Lady cops could do a cover of boots? There it is.

AT I think we should do like we should merge the bus since we’re a jam band. We should do the segue you know with the arrow and setlist do woot. There it is in the Whoop, there it is into the other one. Absolutely. You should

KB know we do. We got to do salt and pepper after that, then. Yeah. I also want to back right into what a man I want to take a minute to get as much effective. That’ll go right into some

AT Oh, yeah, then no, I also would like to combine week by SWV with twice as hard by the Black Crowes because you know that all for the same the same person because they all all their voices, some say? Yeah, so like, I be really intrigued to like, show all of this weird neighborhood connections.

SS  This did not go where I expected.

KB Me either. And I’m so sorry.

AT I could probably write a dissertation on how like I think Chris Robinson should have been a member of SWV. Like you saying, it’s just like the other three goes left bam.

KB Oh, we definitely think better than the Alto.

AT My big theory with Athens is that there’s one teacher at UGA. That was a big Ethel Merman fan, which is why Fred Schneider and John Bell and Michael SIPE all kind of sing about the same thing. Todd Snider barefoot, walking out on stage. Time after time after time on Jan to hide his. I would love to see him walk out barefoot is all of a sudden, we’re getting in on an SWV song

SS all over the place with Keshia Bailey and Alan Thompson of Lady couch and they’re one hit wonder mirror twins of whoop there it is. And whoops, there it is by tag team and 95 South respectively. Future looks fine. Their brand new album is out now. They all got a cool video on the way real soon as well.

AT For our song do what you got to do. One of our very favorite artists we get to collaborate this guy name August Brisson. He’s from Estonia is one of our favorite anime And he has a second video that he’s worked on with us and we’re super pleased with it.

SS Very, very cool. So on the road and hanging out with us here at one hit history, Keisha Bailey and Alan Thompson of Lady couch. I’m Sloane Spencer, you can find us at one hit history comm you can support us at patreon.com/one Hit history, we also chatted with Keisha Bailey and Alan Thompson of Lady couch on our other podcast, bubble bottles. You can find it there and find out all their favorite flavors. Thanks for listening to other music. We appreciate you.

DISCLAIMER  One Hit History is a comedy podcast. All comments are made in fun and not necessarily factual.

M Lockwood Porter Loves Mazzy Star “Fade Into You”

M Lockwood Porter Loves Mazzy Star “Fade Into You”

It might be the best a tambourine has ever sounded on a song…it just sparkles.

Fade Into You,” Mazzy Star’s mid-90’s MTV classic is the rare one hit wonder that transcends time and place. The song is such a warm blanket of sound that it was featured on countless mix tapes in the 90’s, then placed prominently on every mix CD made by a sensitive guy in the early 2000’s, and still lives on an immeasurable number of streaming playlists.

(T)his song exists kind of out of time. It could have come out a couple years ago, or it could have come out in the 70s or the 90s.

In the latest episode of One Hit History, Sloane Spencer sits down with musician M. Lockwood Porter to discuss a song that arose from the tail end of the Los Angeles music scene known as the Paisley Underground. Mazzy Star is fronted by the tantalizing wallflower Hope Sandoval and though the song was everywhere in 1994, neither Spencer nor Porter became familiar with the hit until years later. Porter shares details about his forthcoming fifth LP, which includes contributions from John Moreland.

One of the things that makes this band so tantalizing is that my understanding is that Hope Sandoval is very shy and has stage fright…it just adds some mystery and depth to what you hear in the music.

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Thanks to Charles Hale for this episode’s show notes.  You can find his radio show at Ajax Diner Book Club and in an upcoming One Hit History podcast!

The Playlists

Music Mentioned in this Podcast

Interesting Links

If you liked this episode, you may enjoy our partner podcast, Bubble Bottles, asking music people, “What’s your favorite carbonated beverage?”

AI Transcript

Sloane Spencer  0:05  Well, hey y’all, this is Sloane Spencer, you found us at our new podcast one hit history. It’s where we talk with music people about their favorite one hit wonders. Well, we’re using the term hit really loosely, and we’re using the term favorite pretty loosely. And we’ve come across some incredible songs got a wonderful guest with us today, Mr. Lockwood Porter, a number of fantastic records that you can check out at his website am Lockwood porter.com, or, of course, our favorite band camp at a fifth album on the way in 2022. Want to hear more about that? Hello.

M Lockwood Porter  0:35  Hi, how are you doing?

Sloane Spencer  0:36  I’m great. How are you doing? Great. What’s up with this next record?

M Lockwood Porter  0:40  You know, it’s becoming a little bit of a cliche at this point. But it’s one of those lockdown records. Like so many other musicians, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands over the last year and a half, two years or so. And yeah, so for this one, you know, I just did a lot of recording at home, which I hadn’t really done very much before on my previous records. You know, it was usually three live in the studio with a band but this one, I rushed up on my engineering skills and I bought some microphones and working on songs throughout the lockdown and got them polished down, got about 10 that I really like and started recording those on my own and then actually sent them to John Moreland, to kind of help out with some production on his side. He did some bass and drums and vocals and guitar and stuff on it too. And actually, he’s going to be mixing it as well.

Sloane Spencer  1:39  Well, that’s big news. And I only knew some of those details. So that’s very exciting to hear those of y’all that are new to our podcast and aren’t familiar with my previous podcast Country Fried Rock, you definitely need to know am Lockwood porters musical catalog I definitely suggest that comedian and Mattias was the most recent full length, but great, great songs and John Morlin, of course, a brilliant songwriter. But what a lot of folks may not realize is his multi instrumental expertise and his home recording expertise and his production amusing as well. I think he’s actually recording his own record right now, too.

M Lockwood Porter  2:09  Yeah, he’s in the studio right now, which is really exciting in the throes and high in Tulsa heat, you know, he did pretty much all the engineering on that and play drums and bass. He’s he you know, he’s kind of his own rhythm section on those albums. And they just sound fantastic. So I mean, you can’t really do much better than that.

Sloane Spencer  2:26  Well, and I’m excited to hear what this brings to your record as you’ve had a lot of different experiences in recording and you know, when you come into a fifth full length record, it’s like on the one hand, you know what you do and you know what you do well, and on the other hand, it’s like everything about the last year and a half or so has been so not normal. Yeah, there’s always that influence.

M Lockwood Porter  2:45  Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I mean, just working so so much on my own and then sending the you know, obviously sending the tracks to John but in the past my process has been very collaborative with my band and it’s been you know, the same band since the beginning kind of adding members on. So it was pretty different to be flying solo for this one so much. In my mind, it’s kind of like like when Tom Petty started making you made like, Full Moon Fever, you know, without the Heartbreakers name attached to it in my head that was kind of like what I was doing. You know, like with John Moreland is my Jeff Lynne

Sloane Spencer  3:20  I totally get I get the vibe. I get all of it. Keep your eyes out for this coming our way. 2022 Yeah, very, very cool. So this is one hit history the podcast where we talk to you music people about their favorite one hit wonder so hit us what’s your favorite one hit wonder.

M Lockwood Porter  3:35  My favorite one hit wonder is fade into you by Mazzy star, just a song that share a lot of people love this song. But I’ve just loved it for a really long time. And to me, it’s like a perfect there was a period, you know, when I was in my late teens, early to mid 20s where I was constantly making big CDs, you know, for myself and for other people. It’s just like a perfect mix CD song creates such a vibe. I don’t know, it’s just a perfect song. There’s no notes on the song. I think they knocked it out of the park. And yeah, like, there’s so many cool things about it. Like first of all, for me, I guess the song became a hit on like MTV and on the radio around like 94 which, you know, I was seven that year and I did not have MTV. I didn’t pay attention to modern radio at the time. I was probably just listening to my parents, Beatles albums. I probably you heard this song many at least five years later for the first time on the radio totally out of context. So to me like this is a song that doesn’t evoke a specific time period. And it kind of sounds like it could have come out anytime in the last 50 years. Really it’s kind of a timeless sound.

Sloane Spencer  4:47  Absolutely. And you hit on so many things. So side note I love love, love the song to the point where I work in radio as my day job and I have been told maybe not fit into you every day. Yeah But nonetheless. So it’s a fascinating song in a lot of different ways. And I also was not familiar with it when it first came out in 94, I was leading the adult lifestyle where you are working a full time job, going to school four nights a week, and then working at the mall on the weekends. So like, I have this whole gap of music in the 90s that like, I never heard, never heard it. And I’ve talked about this in over the years in many ways, but it means I didn’t come to this song until maybe 10 years ago, this is a nude me song in a lot of ways, which is hilarious, because I love it so much. But Mazzy star as a band is really interesting as well. I also was not familiar with them other than this one song. And I mean, this is their only hit, but like I wasn’t familiar with where they came from and how all this happened. So it’s interesting that for both of us, it’s not only a one hit wonder, but it’s also kind of it out of context song that really does speak to both of us. And it does have that timeless feel and the sound and the production specifically really leads to that if you’re not familiar with Mazzy star spaded do you pull it up right away and listen real fast?

M Lockwood Porter  6:03  Yeah, the production is perfect. This song does what someone making records it’s like what you always want to do when you’re when you’re producing a song, which is you’re taking like a few simple elements like drums, acoustic guitar, slide guitar, piano tambourine, vocal, and you put them all together and all of a sudden, it’s like one instrument in one bed of sound where you can sit there and pick out the individual instruments, but it’s so much more than the sum of the individual parts. It’s it’s like this, you know, this wall of sound. It feels like a big warm blanket. Oh,

Sloane Spencer  6:42  good analogy. Wall of Sound in like a very delicate, enveloping way. That’s a great analogy.

M Lockwood Porter  6:49  Yeah. And it might be the best a tambourine as ever sounded on a song like this tambourine takes up so much Sonic space and create it just sparkles.

Sloane Spencer  7:01  It really does. It really does. I’m fascinated in the mythology around the band that for my research at least appears to have kind of developed after the fact as happens especially with one hit wonders such as this that really had such a really fabulous song wasn’t a novelty song at all was an amazing song. So oddly, here’s how I stumbled into the backstory on all of this. I follow a lot of other music people in social media Surprise, surprise. And someone with amazing musical taste is a guy named Nelson gullet out of the radio station web x in Knoxville, Tennessee, and he has a specialty show called Americana pulse. And he was doing a specialty about the Paisley underground. And he and I have a lot of overlapping musical tastes. And we’ve become good friends over the years. And I was like Paisley underground. I have never heard of this, like how can we be so aligned musically, and I literally have no idea what you’re talking about. And so we ended up with this massive, massive, like face to face conversation about the Paisley underground. Do you know any of this? This was completely new to me.

M Lockwood Porter  8:04  Yeah, yeah. You know, I think I probably learned about Paisley underground at some point in my early 20s. Just kind of like going back and trying to discover you know, the influences of bands. I like when one one band I really from that. Like the one that really stuck out to me is the dream syndicate that now called the days of Wine and Roses. antastic. Right. So good. You got some like rem and like feelies vibes, reminds me of one of my favorite bands television. Mm hmm. guitar work. It’s like exactly what you want out of early 80s DIY indie rock band.

Sloane Spencer  8:46  I was a huge fan of dream syndicate and the band rain parade, who were both early ones that this moniker of Paisley underground came around. But I really was not tapped into the rest of that part of the Los Angeles musical scene of the era. I’m from the southeast. And so like, I didn’t get it, that they had a scene, let alone anything else. And I know dreams and to get because of REM back in the day. Yeah. And so all that makes sense. But I didn’t realize that it was a community of musicians and music sounds that continued even though they were not musically as similar to one another as like the Chapel Hill crowd or the Athens, Georgia crowd of the era. Right? They still were connected with one another in a similar way. And somehow I completely missed all of this at the time. This is as I say, new knowledge for me.

M Lockwood Porter  9:34  Yeah, yeah. Yeah, there’s another band I really loved. I think we’ve kind of around LA at that time. Green on red. You know, that’s yeah, they’re so good. It’s just chuck profits first band, but he was mainly the lead guitar player, not the singer songwriter, their album gas, food lodging. I did that with that album for the last several months. And like you said, kind of sonically, they don’t sound anything like dream syndicate or rain pray they’re a little more 20 But yeah, I’m kind of fascinated by that time period in LA as well. He also has x, you know, yeah, this weird thing about like people in Mazzy star hanging out with, you know, the guys in x fourth of

Sloane Spencer  10:12  July is one of my all time favorite songs. So I like the sad ones. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So not to get to like, add, here’s the backstory. But I’m interested in how this happens with bands, especially when you’re coming from a community of music people that have a lot of overlap as happens. And so kind of the next wave after rain parade and dream Syndicate, etc, was a band called Opal, who I was familiar with, but not super knowledgeable about and open. The only reason I knew them as they were on Rough Trade. And I’ve always been a person who follows record labels and sees who they sign and that sort of thing. So they’re in the middle of a tour opening up for Jesus and Mary Chain, who I also was a fan of great band, behind the scenes, they had some band issues going on, and their vocal is left mid tour. And that’s how hope Sandoval initially got connected with David Roback. Of Opal was that basically, she had been in like a high school band that opened up for all of these bands locally, but not on tour. And then she school was not a good fit. And she had sort of just like left school and was just sort of playing locally in the Los Angeles area. And she came on board as their vocalist midway through that tour with the band Opal. So she was not on any of their records. But she was on the rest of this massive Jesus and Mary Jane tour. And as Opal dissolved after that tour, that’s when Mazzy star became a thing. So there’s like some overlap of those two bands, even though they’re actually quite different.

M Lockwood Porter  11:40  Yeah, it’s so interesting, because Mazzy star sounds nothing like nothing, you know what I think of as like the Paisley underground sound, the totally different thing. Like how did that happen?

Sloane Spencer  11:51  Truly, I’m fascinated that by that, because you go back to what you know. And of course, for me, you could very much hear that jangle pop sound from Athens, Georgia stuff and that Chapel Hill stuff had a very distinct kind of retro sound with what Dexter rom whoever was doing and it went in different directions, but they definitely had a regional sound of folks who were musically influencing one another, even unintentionally, but this one in particular, I am totally, totally fascinated by because it was completely outside of my knowledge base and wheelhouse maybe five years ago ish, I heard solid rumor from folks who would definitely be firsthand in the know that there was talk of them getting back together and going on tour again. And then that never happened and hope Sanibel had that obtainable in the warm inventions. I think it was the warm something. Yeah. Hope Sandoval in the warm inventions. She did a little some solo stuff, but that I had heard was supposed to continue and expand and have some reunion stuff going on. And and it did not. And I now know, in retrospect that David robeck was quite ill with cancer, and he ultimately passed away last year, which is such a sad, sad news. Yeah,

M Lockwood Porter  12:57  yeah. Something that makes the song in this band so tantalizing is my understanding is that hope Sandoval is is very shy, and yet has stage fright. And that it prevented them from touring more and kind of reuniting, you know, like they had a few quasi reunions in early 2010. They played some shows in California, I know. But like, it always kind of got shut down before it turned into a bigger thing. I kind of really like that, because I don’t know, it just adds some mystery and depth to what you hear in the, in the music, especially in this time now where even the biggest artists have to be self promoting. And like, being a brand on social media and engaging with their fans, wasn’t it kind of nice when you could just have like a really shy, wallflower type person putting music out there that got really huge. I mean, I relate to being that kind of person in many ways. And I relate to the kind of art that kind of person is going to make. And the person that is like, Oh, great, I get to put myself out there 24/7 On the media, like, I just feel like you’re going to inherently have a different view of the world in a different way of seeing things.

Sloane Spencer  14:11  Oh, yeah, you are speaking deeply to me here. As I joke. I always say I went into radio for a reason. I didn’t want to be in front of the camera. I didn’t want to have my face out there. And personally, all of my creative energy get transferred through the microphone, and then I want to shut it off. Yeah. For folks who have not met me face to face. I’m pretty reserved like, and it’s not cold. It’s just that in terms of personality, like I love sticking it all into the microphone, and then I love being done. Yeah, it’s

M Lockwood Porter  14:45  like like that. That’s why I started writing songs because I have the stuff I want to express. And this is the way I feel comfortable expressing it. But now I need to express it in all these other ways, as well. That doesn’t work that well for me

Sloane Spencer  14:59  such things necessary beast for all of us at this particular moment in the world, and I personally just sort of ghosted Facebook several months ago and personally thrilled, however, you find that there other social media outlets, there are pluses and minuses, as we all know, but you miss out on some stuff. Because the one thing that that particular Evil Empire does well, is events. Yes, you can really learn what’s happening. So I have found that I have, I have missed some significant things, not that I was going anywhere, but in terms of awareness that I would have followed up on. Because the ability to bubble up events through say, Instagram, or tick tock or Twitter is very different. So you know, not to get too much off on the tangent about social media and how it’s impacted all of us who are in creative fields. But it’s also a massive obligation to keep that persona and name out there that really does directly impact DIY artists in significant ways.

M Lockwood Porter  15:57  Totally. Well, it makes you wonder if a band like this would have had a huge hit today, you know, yeah. fade into you would have been so massive. Now, I kind of think you probably wouldn’t,

Sloane Spencer  16:09  yeah, especially someone who didn’t want to put their life out there in a robotic manner. There is one amazing live. I mean, there are many, I’m sure. But there’s one particular amazing live version of Faden to you that I will link to in the podcast notes, because it’s such a great encapsulation of how beautiful it sounds, and how clear it is that performance is of no interest to Sandra ball.

M Lockwood Porter  16:32  Yeah, yeah, I saw I don’t know if it’s the same one. But I saw a clip of her on YouTube of him playing on YouTube. And she, she looks very nervous. You know, there’s something about that, where it heightens the intensity of the performer. Right? You feel like there’s something on the line, you know?

Sloane Spencer  16:50  Oh, yeah, absolutely. Did you know there are two different official versions of this video? I did not.

M Lockwood Porter  16:56  I just saw that on Wikipedia when I was looking at it before. Calling you Yeah. You know, many years later on YouTube, I probably watched the first music video segments, black and white, right.

Sloane Spencer  17:08  Like I said, I came to the song much later. And so just in my, like, general awareness of this song, it’s the fuzzy color one with the Joshua Tree stuff that I’m familiar with. Yeah, not familiar with this black and white version at all. Even after pulling it up. I was like, Nope, never seen it.

M Lockwood Porter  17:23  I wonder if like people listening who, you know, were really tuned in to MTV on a day to day basis that have a totally different impression of this song has Oh, that is the quintessential mid 90s. So to me, this song exists kind of out of time, like, you know, it could have come out a couple years ago, or could have come out in the 70s or the 90s. Well, you know,

Sloane Spencer  17:43  I am a person who is very much a product of the early days of music videos. And in fact, before MTV, even became MTV, we had local video channels. We had something called Star 69 in Atlanta before MTV started that, frankly, was better. It had amazing programming, certain songs. I hear three notes, and I see the whole video in my head. I mean, that’s so I hope that our people were that there’s an association like that for them as well with whichever version of this song. Yeah, I’m sure. It was huge. Yeah. And I can’t believe that I missed it. That’s one of the things that I’m like, How did I miss something that I like so much?

M Lockwood Porter  18:15  Yeah, totally. I have two pseudo connections to the song. Or to the band at least? Well, their first album. So tonight that I might see is their second album. That’s what phase two is on. But it recorded at Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco, which is a place that I’ve done a lot of work. I recorded 27 there, and then various overdubs and stuff for other records. They’re pretty cool to see. I mentioned, they did a little short tour in California in the early 2010s. And I remember that because for that tour, they had a guy named Josh Guinea play metal steel with him, and he played pedal steel on my first album. Oh, that’s cool. Yeah. Yeah. So I didn’t even know that I’ve been obsessed with the song for years. And I was like, wow, I actually have kind of like, like, maybe one or two degrees of separation from this band. That’s awesome.

Sloane Spencer  19:08  Because I’m so like, not knowledgeable about who knows who in that particular scene. That it’s fascinating to me like with the Nashville scene, like I’m pretty hip to like, who played what, on what record? And a lot of them Yeah, of all of that. But this is just so out of my personal wheelhouse, that it’s like, wow, that’s awesome.

M Lockwood Porter  19:26  Want to talk to kind of weird because like you said, there’s such an LA band. And, you know, there’s some there’s some kind of interaction between LA and San Francisco, but it’s not that close.

Sloane Spencer  19:38  I mean, they’re so far away from one another first of all,

M Lockwood Porter  19:40  yeah, yeah. I mean, if you’re on the West Coast, it’s still like the big city you tour are further apart than they are in the east. So I have a long drive from San Francisco to Portland. You just get used to doing that a lot. But yeah, exactly. But yeah, I don’t think of this band as having such a SAN Francis SCO connection but I get

Sloane Spencer  20:01  no, that’s really exciting. I love hearing stories like that. Yeah, so M Lockwood Porter, we’re really looking forward to what happens with this fifth full length album coming our way in 2022 folks can stop by M Lockwood porter.com. Find out more definitely catch up on that back catalogue. And don’t miss a minute. And thank you so much for joining us on one hit history and talking about one of my favorites Mazzy star’s fade into you. Of course, stick around y’all. There’s always lots more in our archives. You can find them at one hit history.com You can support us at patreon.com/one Hit history where you’ll hear some bonus episodes from several of our favorite guests. Stick around, and thanks for listening. Thanks to Jacob for our theme music you can find his catalogue at Jacob Farrar not bandcamp.com That’s jcovfurr.bandcamp.com Thanks so much for our graphic design and logo from Keith Brogdon. You can find his work at thinking out loud design.com One hit history is a comedy podcast. We’ve done slightly less research than your average Wikipedia contributor or loose with the facts and your mileage may vary.

Rachel Cholst Loves Cowboy Mouth “Jenny Says”

Rachel Cholst Loves Cowboy Mouth “Jenny Says”

The shows themselves have this glue of positivity, connecting all the songs, and this idea that you can do anything, and you can get through these difficult times.

Some songs are so cathartic and just speak right into your heart at the right time in your life, as Rachel Cholst feels about Cowboy Mouth’s classic song “Jenny Says.” Listen and learn some obscure tidbits of info about the energetic, New Orleans-based band.

I know they have a reputation that it’s a frat boy band, but there are a lot of people out there for whom they’ve done so much. And I hope that also is a part of their legacy.

Cholst, a well-known freelance writer and creator of queer country music zine Rainbow Rodeo and the Adobe & Teardrops blog discusses the effect the Cowboy Mouth has had on her life, music, and social justice-focused activities with host Sloane Spencer.

90s college rock has a very specific sensibility where it’s happy and sad at the same time. And when you’re 12 going on 13 — yeah, that hits.

Don’t forget to give One Hit History a five star rating! 


Music Mentions:

Enjoy this playlist featuring some of the artists we talked about in this episode.

Enjoy the on-going One Hit History playlist, featuring the songs featured on the episodes.

AI Transcript

Sloane Spencer  0:00  Hey y’all Sloane Spencer here you found us it is one hit history. We’re real easy to find online one hit history.com or support us at patreon.com/oneHithistory. I’m talking with somebody today who is a music person that if you don’t already know you should, behind some incredibly important and fascinating outlets, Adobe and Teardrops and Rainbow Rodeo the zine you definitely need to know. Rachel Cholst. Hello.

Rachel Cholst  0:26  Hi. Thank you so much for having me and for that really generous introduction.

Sloane Spencer  0:32  Well, absolutely. So real quick before we jump into the big question and the fun part of this, creatively, what have you been working on lately?

Rachel Cholst  0:40  That is a rueful laugh. Because I’ve mostly been writing essays since I’m working towards my MSW. And after about five years of doing freelance journalism on tight deadlines, while working a full time job writing like a five page paper double spaced is like really nothing to me. No, but time and energy.

Sloane Spencer  0:59  Definitely, definitely. So give people the quick rundown on what Adobe and Teardrops is.

Rachel Cholst  1:04  Sure. So I began Adobe and Teardrops in part inspired by the band we’re going to be talking about cowboy mouth around is a lyric from one of their songs Man on the Run. Yeah, that was always meant to be a space to focus on artists who were flying below the mainstream sonically, of course, I think it’s sort of getting more of a resurgence. But in the early 2010s, there was a lot of crossover between punk and country that I’ve found really excited. But then also artists who are generally marginalized by the music industry. So women, LGBTQ people, BiPOC people then to really shine a light on those artists within the Americana world.

Sloane Spencer  1:45  Definitely. And so their extensive online assets that you can investigate regarding Adobe and Teardrops, and that’s interesting that you say this, because punk is how I found country as well, I did not grow up with country and have zero background in it other than that, that I’ve discovered through that kind of punk country world. So I did not realize we had that in common. And then rainbow radio is a great, and you’ve got one gorgeous issue.

Rachel Cholst  2:07  Thank you. We are working on issue number two, but the explanation is going to be a lot simpler. It’s a zine by and for and about queer country music.

Sloane Spencer  2:14  And you are in the midst of a wonderful community of that where you are as well.

Rachel Cholst  2:18  Yes, yeah, I’ve been writing for a number of publications that all promote diversity within Americana, and country music such as no depression and the boot. And I’ve written for country queer in the past, but I’m no longer writing with them.

Sloane Spencer  2:33  So really wonderful content out there. And Rachel is easy to find online. And you definitely should check out her amazing both interviews and written content that is available as well. So this is probably I have two favorite questions to talk with folks about music people in particular, like hanging out backstage or when you have that weird like awkward like the sets delay 15 minutes, what are we going to talk about, because then I have to emcee this event. And my two favorite questions are two new podcasts. And this one is what’s your favorite one hit wonder.

Rachel Cholst  3:04  I can probably with many like true one hit wonders like off the top my head just nostalgia for 90s rocks, because that’s one I was like a younger person, my tweens and teens, but for today I chose Jenny says by cowboy now, what is not even my favorite song by them, but I think it’s the song that they’re the best known for. And one could argue they were a one hit wonder, and especially the SE with that song. So absolutely.

Sloane Spencer  3:29  So here’s the interesting thing. I know this song as a dash rip rock song. Ah, so I I’m quite a bit older, and I came up as a huge fan of Dash rip rock. We used to go see them a lot. Although they are from Louisiana. I’m from Atlanta, and they had a big hub in Atlanta. In fact, there was this great 688 club where you go see all the great shows. And then 688 Records put out some compilation albums, one of which had a couple of songs from a band called arms akimbo a couple of songs from a little band called drivin n cryin and a couple of songs from dash rip rock on it. And so dash were like we would they came through town monthly and we wouldn’t go every time.

Rachel Cholst  4:09  So the connection between dash rip rock and cowboy mouth is that Fred LeBlanc was from New Orleans was the drummer for a data proc briefly, briefly. And I got the contributed, Jenny says. And then he left to start his own band where he could be the frontman and the drummer. That was Yeah, boy, though.

Sloane Spencer  4:27  I remember all of this happening as they came through town and they suddenly had this new drummer, they did play that song it was almost identical to the version of it that we all know now, a little more of a dash take on it, but he was drumming and it was him on the vocal and then it came out on their album ace of spades. And then very quickly, this is like approximately 1989 I’m gonna guess very quickly. Cowboy mouth was a thing and was coming through town and they were much more what you see when you think of like from blah, blah stage persona. Now

Rachel Cholst  4:59  Yeah, like It’s also like a huge country influence the act of John Thomas Griffith, who is still playing guitar and one of the founding members like he hung out with all the country people. He was telling me one time, he was like, Oh, I live in a house with him. And this person, this person, I was like, holy shit. And then Paul Sanchez was also part of the founding trio. And I think the timeline was he had been up in New York, where I’m from trying to get into the folk and anti folk scene, and then came back down to New Orleans, and he had already been John Thomas. So they all ended up doing cowboy math together. And I don’t think any of them really expected it was going to last I think there’d been some long standing personality clashes conflict, basically propelled the band for about 15 years before I left,

Sloane Spencer  5:47  they were kind of known for that being part of what was going on with the band.

Rachel Cholst  5:50  Yes, I hadn’t, you know, when I was a kid, so I was blissfully unaware, even though I got very involved in all the various cowboy mouth message boards

Sloane Spencer  5:59  that there were, oh, so this is fascinating to me. So the version of Jenny says from Cowboy mouth, when you think of it in music, cultural history right now is the version they released in 96. That actually did chart in 97. So technically, it is their one hit. Although my definition of one hit wonder is, what is that one song This band is known for? And this is very much it, I think, to this day, they still close out all their shows with it.

Rachel Cholst  6:23  Oh, yeah, totally. So it’s hard every time to

Sloane Spencer  6:27  just type in cowboy mouth. Jenny says live and just watch some videos, you’re gonna be like, I’m gonna watch this 25 times in a row.

Rachel Cholst  6:33  Yeah, if you’ve never heard them before, you probably want to watch them first, as we can see, because Fred already recorded the song with Dash Rip Rock, and then he recorded it with cowboy mouth, but they recorded that song like twice, so he often will go back to older material, and we record it, I think that was a motif with the band. And part of it was, I think, artistic reasons, but also like financial considerations as well, they jumped around to different record labels.

Sloane Spencer  6:59  Various labels work in very different ways. And that has drastically drastically changed over the last several decades. And many bands that you probably know in love from, say the 80s, and 90s, are getting nothing off of the recordings that they made at that time. And that’s why a lot of bands go back and re record among other things. They deserve to be compensated for their art,

Rachel Cholst  7:16  right, like Taylor Swift, you’re recording all of her album. I mean, she could do that, because she can I know, count by mouth did eventually buy their masters from MCA back. Yeah, I mean, it was really tough for them for a while. I interviewed Fred and JtG last spring, you know, when we’re all in lockdown. Right? So cool to have, you know, 90 minute conversations with both of them. And then separately, it was fascinating. They were both saying actually what they saw.

Sloane Spencer  7:46  Let’s do let’s dive deep into this. So my cultural knowledge of Jenny says is pretty limited to the early part of it. And honestly, although I saw cowboy mouth maybe six years ago, I’m not super aware of them and their songwriting within the community of kind of the punk country world. How did you as a New Yorker end up a fan of cowboy mouth from north?

Rachel Cholst  8:11  Yes. So I think the short version of the story was I just sort of fallen into classic rock on my own. I mean, other than the Beatles and The Beach Boys, it wasn’t really something my parents listened to. I don’t think they were like into that music when it was popular. My mom loves classical music, and my dad has so many Kenny G albums and but I got into classic rock and especially like the sort of Heartland rock and Southern rock of like John Mellencamp, particularly for somebody who’s not Bruce Springsteen.

Sloane Spencer  8:40  Okay, this is interesting. So what Melanie was speaking to you, I have to know this jack and Diane, that was like, okay, so not like anything done with the night or something like that? No.

Rachel Cholst  8:49  And then when I found out he had done all those other sounds like oh, yeah, like, Okay, so anyway, I went to this summer camp in New Hampshire that has a different name now, but it used to be called interlocking and then after, so there’s the interlocking in, whereas Minnesota that yeah, no, this was not it. So they’ve changed the name now and the original families hold it. But the point is that one of my counselors who I’m still Facebook friends with, I don’t know she was in her like, mid 20s or something. And she was in between apartments. So she packed up her and brought it to camp. Awesome. Just had it and so when we were getting up in the morning, and like sweeping like the little cabin and making her beds and stuff, she would play music, and one of the album’s she put on was word of mouth by cowboy mouth. And like that was it was over. She I mean, she also played stuff like train before they were super popular. Better than ever, like guessing from the music. She had like Toad, the wet sprocket and stuff she was into, like college run from the south. We listened to all of that, but there was something about cowboy mouth that really spoke to me and I think it was the gesture towards country music.

Sloane Spencer  9:54  So this is fascinating on a lot of different levels because I’ve always been like a music fan and my parents are big music fans. So I grew up with a bevy of both classic rock and r&b, specifically in our household and old school. So, so that was our background. But summer camp was a huge influence on me musically, as well. I went to an academic camp on a college campus. And I discovered college radio when I was like 10. And became absolutely obsessed. And so it’s interesting how it’s kind of like that right time of life that suddenly like, this random man speaks to you deeply, you know?

Rachel Cholst  10:34  Yeah. And then like, 90 of college Rock has like a very specific sensibility where it’s like happy and sad at the same time. And when you’re 12 going on 13 Like, yeah, that hits.

Sloane Spencer  10:49  So I’m absolutely fascinated by the fact that cowboy mouse is the one that ultimately spoke to you. And really, from what I know about you, and your work, musically, has a foundational band, would that be appropriate to categorize? Yeah, totally. This has stuck with you, all of this time. How has Jenny says and or cowboy mouth kind of evolved for you in the influence in things that are still of interest to you about it.

Rachel Cholst  11:16  One thing that’s really important to understand about cowboy mouth is that the music isn’t the only part of experiencing the band. But Fred, as the front, man, we like the whole stage patter, almost like there’s this one press clipping that they keep using about how like it is sort of rock and roll gospel, like the songs are sad, because they are rock and country songs. There’s a lot of breakups and heartbreak between like three of them. Their process was that they didn’t really write songs together as a band so much again, because I think of the personality conflict, John and Paul would write a lot of stuff together. And then Paul would also bring in stuff he, then then David write some songs on their own. And then Fred would write songs by himself, and then did bring them together and like record, the ones they all really liked. And then they all have like their own separate thriving solo careers as well. So that’s, that’s where they were the rest of it. It’s democratic. And it makes sense, right, like, do stuff, some stuff by yourself. And I didn’t know because we couldn’t stand each other. But the shows themselves have like this glue of positivity, like connecting all the songs, and this idea that like, you can do anything, and you can get through these difficult times. And now look, we’re all here at this rock show. And we’re gonna live for the moment like right now, and celebrate life. And all the hard parts of that. And all the joyous parts of this read has like this knack of finding people who are shy and timid in the audience, especially kids. And by bringing them up on the edge and making them feel amazing. And I was never one of those kids, but because I think you could tell that my sister and I were too shy, but you know what I mean? Like, being at those shows just felt so good, and so nice. And again, once you’re like a preteen and a teenager, and you’re like thinking that maybe you’re gay, and you’re not like the other kids, and everything’s hard, like, that was like a really important thread to hold on to. It definitely shaped me as a person. And then hopefully, how I approach music and my other like, social justice related activities, this idea that like things are hard, and things are sad. And that’s part of life, but so are like the uplifting parts. And they can both can be true at the same time. And you always have to instill that sense of hope and celebration and everything.

Sloane Spencer  13:31  One of the things that I frankly was always confused about with the band, there shows even now, well, COVID is weird work. Their shows are really fun and uplifting. And of course, their lineup is morphed over the years. But you know, even back in the day when I would go see them on a regular basis. They were really known for their interpersonal conflict and large clashing egos, offstage and I was always really surprised when I saw them play because they were, I had fun every single show. And I’ll contrast that with like the Robinson brothers who I knew back when they had a band called Mr. Crows garden even back then you were waiting for the brotherly fistfight every night. So those shows weren’t always fun. I think cowboy mouth really has found some way to use the creative tension in a way that brings a positive experience for the audience. And there aren’t a lot of groups with genuine true longtime conflict like that. Who can who can do that?

Rachel Cholst  14:25  What was interesting about talking with Fred and John Thomas, are you gonna buy grabber JtG? separately? And I was like, joking about the lack of press training, but like, yeah, they talked about that conflict. very candidly, I think there’s a lot of emotions around it. I have not spoken with Paul about it. Specifically, if you follow him on social media, he makes his feelings very known. He and I have like a weird personal connection where it turned out that my fourth grade teacher who was the one who inspired me to become a teacher, he worked on a movie with Paul And they had stayed friends. And how could I have known that right? I got in the band when he was my teacher. But then I think I mentioned to him because I do this from the sound Hey, did you know this band cowboy mouth? And he’s like, holy? He didn’t say that. Because the teacher was like, Of course I do. I knew Paul. And I was able to, like, pass a couple messages back and forth between them. A small world. Yeah, it’s weird like that. Right. And then the other weird thing is that Paul lived when he was in New York City lived like in the neighborhood I live in now, which again, Manhattan is only 24 miles long. But you know, for musicians who weren’t living in Inwood, and Washington Heights. So no, I have not formally interviewed Paul, I know he was going through a lot of personal difficulties in the spring of 2020. So I didn’t really want to bother him. But back to the two interviews that are recorded, and that I’m not telling you to go find them on my podcast. Where can people find those conversations? I think the easiest way would be to go to Adobe into your drops. And then search John Thomas Griffith and search Fred LeBlanc, because I tack them on to like the podcasts. So there’s like 40 minutes of music, and then these interviews that are also pretty long, but you can skip around.

Sloane Spencer  16:09  If you want to be able to hear this conversations, you should definitely check our show notes will have those links available for you right there at one hit history calm.

Rachel Cholst  16:15  Yeah. And so I think like the biggest takeaway I got from the two interviews was that Paul does see himself as a songwriter. And I think JtG does, too. And Paul was always really focused on the band being like an outlet for creative expression, and pretzel the band, as the show this experience that you go to, I think the conflict was around what is the mission of this band and what is supposed to happen on stage. Ah, so you’ll see in like the later albums, the album’s like, oh, and Lulu shop going forward from there, because they haven’t really had that many since then, you can see that the songs are very much intended for a live show and to be sung along to. And so in my opinion, they do lose some emotional depth. And that when Paul, they’re just not the same. They’re catching on. But I think that’s also maybe why they haven’t recorded that much original music in the last 10 years.

Sloane Spencer  17:12  As I said, I saw them about six years ago, is the most recent time, it was clear that the bulk of the set was we are bringing you the songs that by the second course you can all sing along with us even if you’ve never heard it before, like it was that kind of performance.

Rachel Cholst  17:25  Yeah, yeah. And I think like, they’re definitely some cool songs post, like 9099, or whatever. But I think flu shot is probably like their last great album. And that was definitely influenced by Hurricane Katrina. They’re all from New Orleans. And, you know, it’s a huge part of the band’s identity. And of course, the identity of the people in it as a result of the hurricane. Maybe the attitude softened, and there was more collaboration, co writing, and you can hear that drinks throughout the record, in my opinion.

Sloane Spencer  17:56  So I’ve never survived Hurricane on the level of Katrina, but I do live in hurricane zone where we deal with small scale hurricanes seasonally. And it’s it’s very much a part of life here of being prepared for your hurricanes. And you have hurricane shelves and hurricane bug out bag and a plan and all that kind of thing. But of the folks I know who survived Katrina specifically, I think it was a for every one of them that I’ve spoken to about it specifically, it was definitely a life changing experience, even for the people who were not directly impacted by the flooding in the aftermath. It was reevaluate your life experiences, which I feel like a lot of folks I’ve talked with are experiencing now through COVID as well.

Rachel Cholst  18:33  Yeah, Paul off everything. And then you hear that some of the songs, it is interesting to listen to Fred’s interview, because he talks about during that time period, the band was in debt, I think, from trying to buy back MCA masters. And I think once the, we’re all in this together, kind of faded away. And Paul was like, what is happening with my life? Like, I’m not to speculate too much, you know, revive some of the tensions and there’s never been like one dedicated bass player. And then when Paul left again, with like, bringing in new guitars, I think there were some interpersonal tensions around like, who was on whose side? Sure, but for a while, they hired a number of women basis. And that was really neat to see. And then it turned out that at least two of those women thesis were also queer. And I was like, Oh, hey, to role models now. So that was also great as a little baby gay. I connected to Mary and Sonia. And then when I heard their own music, I was like, oh, yeah,

Sloane Spencer  19:34  representation really matters. And as women rock fans or women music fans of popular music of any kind, you know, I can name for you the first women guitar players and women bass players that I ever saw because that was like, a novelty in the best way of like, holy cow, like a woman can play a bass. That’s awesome. And I didn’t even know that was possible.

Rachel Cholst  19:58  Yeah, I mean, I bought a bit because of them. Mary, listen, you know good old New Orleans French name if you look up her music, it’s sometimes under very less saying La SA and G and Sonia tetlow inspired by them as Sonia was in a band called FTB. That was that sort of Achensee and I listened to that band’s first album again recently. Like, I’m still feeling like experimental expansive, like Ani DiFranco kind of rock like rock and roll. I know that they hung out a little bit with the Indigo Girls, for me. So I would definitely recommend those albums too. They’re like on sort of haphazardly on like Bandcamp and Spotify. Like if you search STB, you’ll find them. Maybe if you search Sonia tetlow. And she had her own recent records to Sonia also inspired me to start Adobe and teardrops because I didn’t realize what it would be like to be a music blogger. So I kept writing the Brian childs on nine bullets being like, Yo, you should check this person out. You should check her out. I promise. I’m not a publicist. I’m a fan. Yeah, no, it was a yellow. But I also didn’t know that he was getting like hundreds of these emails a week, if not, okay. And so I was like, Oh, he’s not responding to me. And I’m feeling like nine bullets isn’t writing about as many women as I would like to see, I should start my own blog.

Sloane Spencer  21:19  So this is kind of cool, because I will say that I have since become friends with Brian Childs, the founder of nine bullets, if you’re familiar, which is named from a drive by trucker song, they weren’t quite influential in the early music blogger sphere in which we all sort of overlap with one another. But Brian was really supportive when I was starting my other project Country Fried Rock, like really helpful. And I now realize in retrospect, I asked some really inappropriate questions musically, and like professionally, and I was not aware of that. They were not questions you should ask somebody. Like, I just didn’t know that yellow flag thing.

Rachel Cholst  21:55  Yeah, I mean, I do want to say it was like nine bullet doesn’t writing like about woman. That’s not because of any kind of editorial choice or any, like direct sexism or anything like that everyone who’s written for them is like an amazing human. I think it’s just like we were saying representation matters. And sometimes you do gravitate towards music that you can identify with. And most of the writers are men. So that must always be your music by men. And that kind of implicit sexism that we’re all a part of. So I definitely don’t want to make it sound like I’m bad mouthing them, or that Brian was ignored if

Sloane Spencer  22:25  I’m guilty of being part of this machine as well. My personal preference happens to be a particular kind of punk country influenced music that does tend to be extremely straight white, male crafted, or by white male crafted, and I’m very aware of my own implicit bias in amplifying and platforming a narrow version of what is out there as well.

Rachel Cholst  22:49  Yeah. So you know, they’re, they weren’t doing anything differently than anybody else.

Sloane Spencer  22:55  I did not know of this era of cowboy mouth when they had Mary and Tanya playing bass at different times. And really, there’s been a rotating cast of characters through the band at different times. But it sounds like they’ve really been sort of a touch point for you, musically.

Rachel Cholst  23:11  Yeah, I mean, and also, I think, just as a person, because there’s like research or statistic or something that says, like you pretty much like glom on to one musical style when you’re a teenager. And that’s kind of just what you listen to forever. Yes. Even if you listen to other stuff, with what you go back to as like your comfort food. I’m guilty of this. Yeah, because I think just like, the values that the band had the kind of attention to how they interact with their audience during concerts. They were the first band I saw it live. That’s totally shaped my expectations of like, what a band should be like. We were kids, right. And they kept changing the age limit on these shows. By the time I turned 16 was 18 Plus, and by the time I turned 18, plus it was 21. Plus, oh, my parents would take us to these my dad went with us to a show like the night my grandpa’s his mother died.

Sloane Spencer  24:08  Oh, my goodness. So we have this uncommon in that my parents took us to shows starting when we were really little because they knew they were going to be out too late for a babysitter. So my parents would like to take us to rock clubs, and we would sleep like in the venue. I’ve seen all kinds of shows. And then ancient history. It’s probably illegal to do this now that my dad used to drop me off at the 688 Punk club in Atlanta and say, I’ll be waiting out here. Just come wake me up when you’re done. As a parent of a now 18 year old, there is no way I would have let my kid do that. Now.

Rachel Cholst  24:46  I’m glad he trusted you.

Sloane Spencer  24:48  Rachel Cole’s of Adobe and teardrops and the rainbow rodeo zine. Thank you so much for sharing with me about Jenny says and cowboy mouth. Thank you.

Rachel Cholst  24:58  Thank you. Yeah, I know they have a rabbit It’s kind of like a frat boy band but there are a lot of people out there for whom room they’ve done so much. And I hope that also it was a part of their legacy.

Sloane Spencer  25:08  Absolutely. So if you’re not familiar with man, definitely go and check out some of these YouTubes particularly of Jenny says, and then when things start getting back to whatever normal is going to be in the future, go see a show you can find out more about what we have to offer for you. At one hit history dot com you can support us at patreon.com/one Hit history. Thanks for being with us.

Chad Cochran Loves Thomas Dolby “She Blinded Me with Science”

Chad Cochran Loves Thomas Dolby “She Blinded Me with Science”

One Hit History: Chad Cochran Nerds Out on Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me With Science”

Chad Cochran, AKA Cowtown Chad, is a noted rock photographer and visual artist from Cleveland. His latest project, I Didn’t Want to Tell You, focuses on normalizing the conversation about mental health.

This week on One Hit History, Chad nerds out with Sloane over his favorite one hit wonder — “She Blinded Me With Science” originally released in 1982 by Thomas Dolby. Part of Dolby’s appeal is over his pure love of music in all its forms, which eventually led him away from the stage and into being an audio professor, and founding a technology company that created the iconic and polyphonic Nokia ringtone that was part of the soundtrack for the 90s.

List of links

Music mentions

  • Oingo Boingo
  • Foreigner
  • Soft Boys
  • Chic/Nile Rodgers
  • Orleans
  • Roger Waters/Pink Floyd
  • Def Leppard
  • George Clinton
  • Duran Duran — Annie Zaleski (author of Duran Duran Rio book)
  • Flaming Lips
  • Talking Heads

Don’t forget to give One Hit History a five star rating! 


Sloane Spencer
I should maybe not tell a funny story on myself. So I got into a huge bar disagreement with somebody about “She Blinded Me with Science” because the person that was talking to me kept insisting that it was by Oingo Boingo, and I kept saying, “It’s Thomas Dolby!” And I was like, ready to get in a fist fight in a bar with some huge dude that this was Thomas Dolby and not Oingo Boingo. I should probably be way more embarrassed about that than I am….

This is Sloane Spencer.  Y’all might know me from my decades in radio, and you might know me from my pioneering podcast, long form interview, conversations with “musicians you don’t know you love yet” called Country Fried Rock. And also I’m an adult living with ADD — and that means that when I get inspiration, oh my God, I’m going to do four things, and I’m going to do them all in the next 48 hours.

And that is where this new podcast is. It’s called One Hit History, where I talk with music people about their favorite one hit wonder. So of course I hit up some of my favorite friends first to get us started. (I also like alliteration. If you don’t know that already.) You can support us on Patreon at patreon.com/onehithistory, where you’ll find bonus content and episode outtakes — and no, I’m not afraid to make fun of myself.

Or just listen on our website OneHitHistory.com or your favorite podcast app. It seems a little silly, but especially for a new program like this, those five star ratings and reviews really help.
So we’re going to chat with Chad Cochran. You might know him better as CowtownChad, a noted rock photographer and visual artist, been around the scene for quite some time with some amazing work and an incredible multimedia project called “I Didn’t Want to Tell You.” Let’s have him tell you a little bit about what’s going on these days.

Chad Cochran
Right. And Hey, thanks for having me. I’m excited to do this One Hit Wonders. It’s one of those things that I’ve always found completely fascinating. So when you messaged me and said something about this, you didn’t have to say anything. I was immediately ready to go.

Sloane Spencer
So I appreciate that about you and the fact that you are one of the people that I can text, like this five sentence text, and like, “Hey, by the way, you don’t have to answer me til later.”

Chad Cochran
Thank you. Yeah, and you as well. I know that we both use each other as sounding boards and I always appreciate that very much, so very much.

Sloane Spencer
So Chad Cochran, what project are you working on these days?

Chad Cochran
So the big thing I’m working on right now is I’m switching studios. So not as much projects as I normally am working on.

I can say that I’m excited that I picked up some work and it’s exciting to hopefully be towards the back end of the pandemic. And people are starting to have little more normalcy in their lives and touring is kicking back in. And so that’s making people get back on the road, which means they’re usually passing through or gives me the opportunity to also travel down to Nashville, which I was just recently at AmericanaFest and did a bunch of portraits down there.

But yeah, the big news is I had a wonderful experience at 70th street studios in Cleveland for a few years. And great news is that I have kind of outgrown the space. So I need a place that’s a little bit bigger and I want to get more into creating my own backdrops and my own things that are incredibly unique.

And I was a little bit limited with my ability to do that at that studio. And so starting in December, I will be moving to the east side of downtown Cleveland. It’s a great area and I’m excited to start something.

Sloane Spencer
This is exciting news and perhaps a great way to incorporate some of that visual art that you, how I first got to know you.

Chad Cochran
Absolutely very cool stuff.

Sloane Spencer
So Chad Cochran is known primarily as CowtownChad and Cowtown is the alternate name for Cleveland, so you can look him up real easily online: CowtownChad.com. We’ll talk more about what y’all can do if you are interested in reaching out to Chad at the end of the program. So let’s jump right in to One Hit History here.

What’s your favorite one hit wonder?

Chad Cochran
So the deep breath is needed because there were so many to choose from. Like, I love this subject. It is so good. Like that’s what I told you. Like when you messaged me, I’m like, I totally want to do this. Because I grew up around kind of like that yacht rock, one hit wonder type music, like Orleans, although Orleans had a couple of songs, but like Fireball, like those kinds of bands, like immediately came into my head because that was more like growing up in my parents’ era.

I tried to do it in more of a formative time. So I instead switched to the early and by early, I mean, very early MTV era. And I went with, “She Blinded Me with Science” by Thomas Dolby.

Sloane Spencer
You’re talking my language!

Chad Cochran
… and I did a little homework. In my brain, but I kind of knew how old I was when that came out. And I kind of remembered that. So I would have been around 10 or 11 when that song came out and MTV debuted August 1st, 1981, that song was released, I think in August of 1982. So very, very early in the MTV phase.

Sloane Spencer
When you mentioned to me a list of a few songs you might want to talk about, I happened to be obsessed with every song you mentioned.

So I was like, oh, well, we can talk for a long time about this. This is all about the synth pop. We got this down. It reminded me of so many different, funny stories. One of which was I was talking with a friend who was getting her PhD. Acoustical architectural design. I hope that I’m naming this specialty correctly.

Chad Cochran
I think I know you’re going with this and this is great.

Sloane Spencer
This totally blew my mind. I was talking with this person, this person that I know’s specialty is designing acoustics of buildings for specific, very science-y and way out of my league, way, way out of my league. But this person was like, yeah, I’m getting my PhD at Johns Hopkins, and you won’t believe who my professor is.

And I’m like, “I literally have no idea.” I was like, “I can barely adjust the audio in my own programming,” and she said, “Thomas Dolby.” And I was like, “You are full of <expletive>!”
I said, “His name’s not even Thomas Dolby, whatever. It just was a guy who had some ridiculous video at MTV.”

And she’s, “No.”

And I was like, “Well, he’s not the guy who invented Dolby. That’s Ray Dolby.” And I know that because I like trivia. Okay. It is Thomas Dolby, professor at Johns Hopkins University! Been there since 2014, moved into a subspecialty in 2018–pandemic aside– has like dozens of audio patents, all kinds of stuff, and came into music because he was a computer geek.

Chad Cochran
And so, so let’s talk about that because I knew he was a professor. I don’t know why. I mean, you and I were the same way, like, you know, both way off the charts, music nerds, also, uh, dealing with ADD. And I remember that he was a professor now, granted, that’s all I had. And so I looked it up and his early career, he was a professor at the university of London.

He also taught at Oxford as well as Trinity College at Cambridge. So he has that. And then I also knew that he was heavily involved in the tech industry. Like I remember that that happened. And so in 1990 he created a company called Beatnik, a Silicon Valley based company. And it was like, it was a software company that the technology was used to play internet music.

And there was some connection with Nokia phones and stuff too that I can’t remember all that stuff, but turns out to be an incredibly fascinating guy.

Sloane Spencer
Fascinating dude! I didn’t know any of this stuff either. I knew like the music ephemera, so stuff like his collaborations, both in producing and composing stuff for like David Bowie, Roger Waters, Pink Floyd, Nile Rogers and Chic, and you know, stuff like that. Cause that’s the kind of trivia that I enjoy and absorb. He worked for like Foreigner and the Soft Boys.

Chad Cochran
Like all kinds of cool people, Def Leppard, George Clinton, like all kinds of stuff. You just would never. So many of the one hit wonders. I think when they make their mark, you just anticipate that that’s it.
Like they have now gone back to flipping burgers or working in a factory or being a school teacher or whatever it is, but there’s a lot of things. Have gone on to have very robust careers, so much more interesting than I ever expected.

Sloane Spencer
I really, truly thought that it was like a fake thing developed solely for the sake of MTV. I had no idea.

Chad Cochran
Had someone told me that he was a caricature, I would believe that.

Sloane Spencer
I’m thinking like Max Headroom.

Chad Cochran
If you watch that video, so the radio version is 3:42. There is an extended version. That’s 5:09.

Sloane Spencer
You know, what’s weird about that? He developed and storyboarded the video first, then wrote the song.

Chad Cochran

Sloane Spencer
Isn’t that fascinating?

Chad Cochran
And if you go back and watch the video, it’s horrible. Like so bad as being so good, right? I mean, it may be horrible is the wrong term. It’s just very…period specific, right? Like, you know, there were other videos being made. Michael Jackson was making amazing videos. Duran Duran was making amazing videos and

Sloane Spencer
Don’t y’all go knocking Duran Duran.

Chad Cochran
I know I was a huge fan. I was a Seven and the Ragged Tiger..Rio…all that I was very into.

Sloane Spencer
If you’re a Duran Duran fan, or closet Duran Duran fan, check out Annie Zaleski’s new 33 ⅓ book about Rio.

Chad Cochran
Annie, also a Clevelander.

Sloane Spencer
It is a small world.

Chad Cochran
It is a small world. So I also looked more stuff up on the video.

I know the song also peaked at number five on the U S charts. So let’s talk about the actual song. This song, you’re right, very heavily rooted in synth-pop like not surprising that it comes out of the UK, seems very in alignment with a lot of the music that was coming out, but this song was weird.

Like it is, it’s a weird song. Like it’s, it’s not an anthemic song. It doesn’t have a huge chorus you could really get behind. It was…

Sloane Spencer
Structurally, it’s all over the place.

Chad Cochran
Yes. Yeah. Like it’s a weird song. His voice is weird. He incorporates a lot of like noises and it was kind of like my gateway into that kind of music that was kind of on that slant.

It reminds me of what, like Talking Heads. You know, it made getting into the Talking Heads a lot more accessible because that made sense to follow that path. And then maybe later people like the Flaming Lips or more current, I just thought it was weird.

Sloane Spencer
Interestingly, I remember when this song came out well, mainly because I also have cousins that are English and who still live in England. And we were visiting them at the time that this was a huge video hit in the U S and “She Blinded Me with Science” was not a huge hit in the UK at all. It barely, I don’t even think it hit the top 50. It was not the big hit there at all that it was here. The main thing that it was known for was that the dude who goes, “Science!” which of course I’ve now been quoting for the last, however many decades.

That guy was like a TV personality from like the mid 1950s all the way up through that time. So generations of people knew who he was, and they thought that was funny. Like the song itself was a nothing.

Chad Cochran
Okay. So I had to look it up.
It’s a guy named Magnus Alfred Pyle.

Sloane Spencer
What a great British name!

Chad Cochran
He was a British scientist and TV presenter who repeatedly interjects “Science!” throughout the song.

Sloane Spencer
“Good heavens,. Ms. Sakamoto, you’re beautiful!” I don’t even know that that’s the right words, but it’s close to that.

Chad Cochran
No, that’s exactly it because I’m looking at it, and it has it quoted.

Sloane Spencer
I’m going to be that old person in the old folks home, just randomly quoting like MTV lyrics and the Clash. It’d be like, “Whatever Ms. Spencer.”

Chad Cochran
Yeah. You can only hope there’s going to be somebody our age that will go, “No, no, no, no. It’s a song. It’s their song lyrics.”

Oh man. So thank you so much for bringing this one up. And I know that we talked about a bunch of other songs and I’m excited to hear your other podcasts episodes to see who picked up what songs.
I will at least say one of the other ones was, “Oh, Sheila,” by Ready for the World. Are we allowed to deviate off of my topic and talk about it?

Sloane Spencer
So here’s what we’re going to do.
I really want to talk with you about “Oh, Sheila.” So let’s make that be a bonus content thing that we’ll do.

Chad Cochran
Okay, cool.

Sloane Spencer
That song turned out to be super interesting when I went to do it.

Chad Cochran
Oh, really? I haven’t done any research on that one. I will commit to you to pulling out my 45. Cause I know I have that somewhere in the original sleeve.

Sloane Spencer
You should hang on to that.

One Hit History. Chad Cochran, CowtownChad, thanks so much for joining us. Where can folks find out more about your work and what you do?

Chad Cochran
They can find me on all social media at CowtownChad, or they can go to the website cowtownchad.com, it will link you to all my social media pages, as well.

My “I Didn’t Want to Tell You” series, which is a mental health series that I started a few years back, and all of the stories can be found on the link through my homepage. Again, it’s cowtownchad.com.

Sloane Spencer
And can folks reach out to you to hire you?

Chad Cochran
Absolutely. Email Cowtownchad@gmail.com. And that link is also on all of my social media accounts. So you should be able to find it pretty easily.

Sloane Spencer
Chad Cochran, AKA CowtownChad, and Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me with Science.” It’s One Hit History, and I’m Sloane Spencer. Thanks for listening.

DISCLAIMER:  This is a comedy podcast and is meant for fun. Anything said here is for entertainment only and not necessarily true or even the real opinion of the host or guests.

Holly G Loves Linda Martell “Color Him Father”

Holly G Loves Linda Martell “Color Him Father”

Holly G has been quite busy during the pandemic times — she created the Black Opry in April 2020, while the rest of us were still wiping down our groceries. With a goal of inviting everyone sitting outside the traditional Nashville music table, the Black Opry has taken off, from New York to an upcoming Nashville show in December. 

Holly G discusses her favorite one hit wonder with Sloane Spencer, and shares an unlikely history of how Linda Martell came to record her one hit wonder, “Color Me Father.” Plus, they discuss the politics of country music in a musical scene where some got unfairly pushed aside over the years, and how the Black Opry hopes to diversify Nashville in short order. 

List of links

Music mentions



[00:00:00] Sloane: Hey, y’all, this is Sloane Spencer, and you found us at One Hit History. You might know me as the founder of the pioneering long form Americana podcast called Country Fried Rock, which these days is really just sort of my online Twitter persona. One Hit History asks music people, “What’s your favorite one hit wonder?”

[00:00:19] This has been my favorite backstage conversation for nearly 25 years. It always brings up incredible deep conversation and connections with music. It’s a nice short story because the person that we’re chatting with today, I found via Twitter, which has the great retweet feature and amplifies incredibly important content — sometimes.

[00:00:41] And I got lucky with this one. We’re chatting with Holly G of Black Opry. Gonna have Holly tell you more about what they have going on these days. And if you’re not already following them, stop by BlackOpry.com.

[00:00:53] Tell me what you’re up to these days. 

[00:00:56] Holly G: Yeah, I just started Black Opry actually in April of this [00:01:00] year. Is it still 2020? Yeah. And everything kind of like spiraled out of control in the best way. I had all these plans, like two or three years down the road, and everything that I had planned for so far away has begun to happen. We just did AmericanaFest back in September and we rented a house and we invited everybody that was a Black person in country, music, BiPOC, queer people, anybody that was sitting on the outside of the Nashville table.

[00:01:25] We invited everybody over and everybody jammed out, hung out, made connections. And three days later, after leaving AmericanaFest I got a call from Lizzie No, who’s one of the artists that I cover and she’s amazing. And she was like, “Hey, can we do a show in New York?” So we did our first Black Opry Revue on October 5th in New York.

[00:01:43] And since that show we’ve actually just booked another show. So December 18th — you are the first person I’m announcing this to — December 18th we are going to be at the EXIT/In in Nashville. So we’re super excited!

[00:01:55] Sloane: just got like full body goosebumps on all of that. Congratulations. [00:02:00] 

[00:02:00] Holly G: Thank you so much.

[00:02:02] It’s been a wild ride. My whole, you know, connection with country music has been very strained over the years as a Black woman who loves country. I never saw myself in it, so I haven’t been able to interact with the culture very much. So to launch Black Opry as a place, mainly just for me to be able to stop bugging my friends about country music.

[00:02:22] And now all of these people have shown up during AmericanaFest week. I got to have lunch with Leslie Fram from CMT, and I grew up watching. So it’s just like, everything has come full circle and it’s been super, super cool. And, you know, for as many people as there are, that are kind of gatekeeping country music, like I’ve been lucky to find the few that are trying to make it a better place.

[00:02:45] So we’ve been teaming up with those guys and we’re kind of knocking down doors. 

[00:02:50] Sloane:  That is fantastic. So in my day job life, I spent 10 years working in pop country radio, and I have zero background in country [00:03:00] music. I did not grow up with country music. I would not describe myself as a fan of country. And so I’ve really had to learn a lot of this.

[00:03:06] And the specific tweet that led me to finding you was related to a subject and a song that I knew nothing about. Well, let me take that back. I knew the song, but I didn’t know this version of the song. So Rissi Palmer, I believe, amplified the story of Linda Martell. Can we talk about this song? Is this going to be your one hit wonder?

[00:03:27] Holly G: Yes. First of all, I just want to say Rissi Palmer. I call her that patron saint of the Black Opry because I did not know there were so many people of color working in country music until I discovered her. And I also discovered Linda Martell through Rissi Palmer, who has an Apple Radio show called “Color Me Country,” which it named from

[00:03:46] Linda Martell’s one album that she was allowed to make during her time in Nashville, full circle. 

[00:03:52] Sloane: And this is such an amazing story. I didn’t know this story at all.  I knew that song though, because I’ve lived in [00:04:00] South Carolina, most of my life and the version of that song by the Winstons of “Color Him Father” is to this day, very, very popular in the South Carolina beach music scene.

[00:04:10] I grew with that version of that song imbued in my head and my body. And it’ll make me cry every time I hear it. There’s just something about the lyrics that are just incredible. Richard Lewis Spencer, wrote it. The interesting part of this story is how Linda Martell came to record “Color Him Father.”

[00:04:27] Holly G: I’ve been wondering about that because I discovered the song through Rissi as well.

[00:04:31] Sloane: Well I was not familiar with Linda Martell at all.

[00:04:33] Holly GI wasn’t either, as far as I knew before, like this past year, the only Black people I knew that had anything to do with country music were like Darius Rucker and Jimmy Allen and Mickey Guyton, those were the only ones I knew. And I started researching and that’s what actually led me to start Black Opry, because I was like, there’s no centralized location for this information.

[00:04:52] And I found Rissi and I followed along with what she was doing. And when she, when I heard the story of how she knew. Color Me Country, on her radio show. [00:05:00] I started looking into Linda Martell more. There’s something about that song. She has like a push and pull in her voice and it’s almost hypnotic.

[00:05:09] It just sounds like a little wave throughout the song. And I just love it. And I wondered was that because the way she sings it, it sounds like it’s something very personal to her. Then I realized it was a cover, but I don’t know the story of the cover. I’m really excited to hear that. 

[00:05:24] Sloane: So this one is fascinating.

[00:05:25] And as I said, when we were first talking, I have known the Winstons’ version of the song my entire life, never heard of Linda Martell. Never heard her take on it until this whole Twitter exchange came up and I went and listened to it. And Linda Martell’s voice, this is a beautiful country take on it.

[00:05:41] And I love cover songs that become their own thing, which is exactly what this one does. It’s a beautiful 1970 take, very country, very accessible in her voice. It does — it pulls you in and it lets you go and it pulls you in and it lets you go. And the [00:06:00] story, just if this song doesn’t make you cry, there is something wrong.

[00:06:04] I mean, every time I hear it, it’s just in her voice. Just bring something so fresh and new. And I was like, I have got to start learning about this in the first thing that I discovered as I started Googling her back when this whole exchange was going on, they were like, oh yeah, by the way, she lives in South Carolina.

[00:06:18] And I was like, shut the front door. I have lived here. Most of my adult life and I have never heard of her. Nobody is amplifying what she did, what’s going on. And so I started looking into it and so things don’t necessarily go in what would be the logical order. The first thing I found was her granddaughter was in the process of trying to raise funds for a documentary to highlight Linda Martell’s career.

[00:06:41] And by the way, y’all should look that up because it’s still in process and there’ve been some funds that came to it from CMT. We’ll talk about the CMT connection in a minute, but the granddaughter is Marquita Thompson, and you can just kind of Google their names and that GoFund me will come up. So Linda Martell grew up in Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina, which is even now [00:07:00] extremely rural.

[00:07:01] It’s only about 45 minutes outside the capital, Columbia, but it is a very, very rural part of our state. And she grew up singing, gospel music and R&B music and she and a cousin and a sister started a girl group when they were in late high school and nothing happened. And someone heard her singing gospel music down —

[00:07:24] It’s always referred to as “at an air force base” and given the geography, it has to be Shaw Air Force Base because that’s down in Sumter, which is geographically the same part of the state. And someone heard her singing and was like, “You have got to do country music.”

[00:07:40] And she really thought it was just some huckster and completely blew it off for quite some time. And this person kept reaching back out to her and kept reaching back out to her. Well, turns out this person was kind of a Hitmaker from Nashville and was legit. And they brought her up to Nashville to record this country album.

[00:07:58] And he was a [00:08:00] Hitmaker his name was Shelby Singleton. He was a producer of all kinds of stuff with like Ray Stevens and Jerry Lee Lewis and Roger Miller, Charlie Rich. So he was legit and they recorded this gorgeous record and she was on the Grand Ole Opry. She was the first Black woman to be on the Grand Ole Opry stage.

[00:08:18] And we’re talking 1970 here. We’re not talking 1920. This is unbelievable. She ultimately went on to be on the Grand Ole Opry for about 12 times. One little side note about the Grand Ole Opry. They don’t, to this day, they don’t keep track of how many times people are on there. The Opry has no record of this.

[00:08:37] I find this bizarre. At any rate, she was on the Opry. I mean, this song was huge. It was a massive hit. As you can anticipate when it got time for touring in 1970, you’re going to take a country singer to places like Oklahoma and Texas and audiences were very much representative of where they [00:09:00] really were, which was systemic pervasive racism.

[00:09:03] And her career, in my opinion, was stymied and ultimately stifled directly because of systemic and pervasive racism of the community, the fandom, the business itself, and of the people who were actually working directly with her. 

[00:09:18] Holly G: Yeah, we should be saying Linda Martell’s name. She should be like one of the greats.

[00:09:23] Like we should be talking about her the same way that we talk about all of the other greats, because you know, she had that trajectory to get exactly to where all of her white counterparts went, but she just got stuffed aside. 

[00:09:37] Sloane: When people are like, oh, you know, maybe she just wasn’t ready for the success that she saw.  I’m like, no, the record label she was on was called Plantation.

[00:09:47] Holly G: Yeah, that was it. Right there. 

[00:09:49] Sloane: Come on. Just, you don’t even have to say anything to her face for her to know that she is working in a racist business and racist world and the people right there who own the company that [00:10:00] are supposedly amplifying the art she’s making are also at the same time saying to her,

[00:10:04] “Yep. We own you.” And they did. 

[00:10:07] Holly G: I mean, that was the only relationship that they really knew how to have with Black people back then, you know, had to be ownership and not much has changed with that today. If you look at, you know, recently there was a drama around Kacey Musgraves not being eligible for country music Grammy.

[00:10:24] And the head of the label wrote a letter to the Recording Academy and basically credited Kacey Musgraves with Mickey Guyton’s success this year. She said, you know, my artist, Mickey Guyton is only doing what she’s doing now because of what Kacey did. And I’m like, no Kacey Musgraves does not own Mickey Guyton’s story.

[00:10:43] The president of the label doesn’t own Mickey Guyton’s story. Mickey Guyton is responsible for exactly all of the successes she’s had based on her work and what she’s done. And it’s like, anytime, a Black woman gains any type of ground or footing the white people in the industry tried to find a way [00:11:00] to like leash it back to a white person so that they can validate it.

[00:11:04] And I’m hoping that soon we can get to a point where we’re validated on our own merit and our own talent. I mean, if you look at what Mickey’s done, she deserved that. And she did that on her own label. She wants to talk about what they’ve done for her. They let her sit on the label for 10 years and do nothing.

[00:11:18] I wouldn’t be bragging about that. Look at the success that she’s gotten just in this year. But the first year she got to Nashville, she got signed, she’s done the White House, she did all of the things and she was putting out the songs, “Better Than You Left Me” came out, I think, a couple of years later, but she was writing really, really good music.

[00:11:37] So, you know, the fact that it took so long is a reflection of the label, not a reflection of her talent. 

[00:11:42] Sloane: Absolutely. And having worked in pop country music on the radio end of this for a decade, I can speak to the fact that country music specifically does have its own world of the way it operates. And they very much control the careers of [00:12:00] those who find themselves in it.

[00:12:02] Holly G: They make it seem like there’s a path. And if you do these things, that’s the path. But the parts that they don’t tell you is that every step of that path, there are people there that you have to be in with that will kind of pull the levers to say whether or not it goes well. And most of it is money driven, but I mean, even if you make the money, if you’re not what they want to see, it’s not going to work.

[00:12:24] You can’t convince me that Linda Martell wouldn’t have made them a ton of money. 

[00:12:29] Sloane: I agree with you so much, especially after having worked in this field for as long as I did and kind of coming at it originally as an outsider, because my experience had been in other parts of music that function similarly, but not the same.

[00:12:41] And just as a little side note, if you have not read the actual text of what that record label executive wrote about the Kacey Musgraves, supposed snub by the Grammy’s, but then what the exec specifically and in written word wrote about Mickey Guyton, it is shocking. It’s worse to actually read the [00:13:00] real full document.  We are not making this into more than it was. 

[00:13:06] Holly G:  I paraphrased it very nicely for her, but it just, it really just reminded me. She is doing exactly what they did. She was trying to do exactly what they did to Linda. She’s putting her in that same context. Like, this is our property and look how good it’s doing now that we’ve dragged it along with the white lady in that.

[00:13:23] What happened? 

[00:13:24] Sloane: What happened with Linda Martell’s career is that the record label saw some early success with Jeannie C Riley’s “Harper Valley PTA,” and they basically shoved Linda Martell aside because they felt that Jeannie C Riley was more marketable. 

[00:13:37] Holly G: That’s exactly what happened with the Kacey and Mickey thing.  They came to Nashville right around the same time. 

[00:13:46] Sloane: Exactly. I a hundred percent agree, especially having seen this happen over and over and over again with brilliantly talented folks, looking back with the, you know, 51 years or so of 2020 vision, so to speak with [00:14:00] what happened with Linda Martell, and now being able to see the bigger picture of what happened.

[00:14:02] She literally was just shoved aside because she was the Black lady.  It’s stunning. It’s so interesting to me how such an important, not only event, but the multiple events that being on Hee Haw was a big deal.  I mean, multiple visits and being on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, having a number one hit, these things are really, really big deals in and of themselves.

[00:14:23] But the fact that those stories can be squashed and swept aside so easily, as well, is really shocking. 

[00:14:30] Holly G: Yeah, I think that reflects back on what you said about it being important for, you know, the Grand Ole Opry to collect data, because it makes me wonder how many other Black country stars we could have had, because I’m sure that she’s not the only one that got pushed aside.

[00:14:45] That way, the narrative has told us, country music is a very conservative, white genre. But the more research that I’ve done over the past year, the more things I’ve learned. Black people started it, white people that we know to be the pioneers of country music learned all of it from Black [00:15:00] people. So I have a hard time believing that there were no Black people that were actually pushing themselves forward as artists.

[00:15:07] We just don’t have the data.

[00:15:07] Sloane: Right. Southern art and Southern music specifically had community bases of how they started. And then what happened when they became commercialized and how that changed. And a lot of it is that commercial structures very intentionally left Black people out of the story. 

[00:15:24] Holly G: Oh, we’re not marketable.

[00:15:26] SloaneI want to be sure that y’all go and check out. Linda Martell’s take on “Color Him Father.” It is a gorgeous song, originally released in 1970; the album, as we said, was called “Color Me Country,” which is also the honorary aspect of the name of Rissi Palmer’s radio show on Apple. So y’all should definitely check all of that sort of stuff out.

[00:15:46] I want to talk real quickly about the guy who wrote the song. Richard Lewis Spencer, really interesting musician. Started playing tenor sax with Otis Redding, his band, the Winstons, backed Curtis Mayfield for a long time. He won a Grammy [00:16:00] for his version of the song, which, as I said, is the version of the song that I grew up with.

[00:16:04] And little bit of like music ephemera and trivia that you just might win trivia night over one night, he is the guy and his song is known for what is called the “Amen Break.” And if you know about music sampling, this is the most sampled drum beat. Which is really interesting to me, because I grew up singing this particular song in church.

[00:16:24] And I didn’t realize that it’s a relatively new song from like the early 1960s. I had no idea. So I grew up in the seventies and eighties singing this exact song in church. And it’s the song that’s “Amen.” And I am not a singer by any means, but if you pull up the Winstons “Amen,” you’ll find it, but it’s super, super famous and recognizable.

[00:16:42] So it’s the same guy. It’s just a really interesting connection to where music sources overlap with gospel and ultimately R&B. And obviously he spent a long time in the soul world into the funk section, working with Curtis Mayfield. Absolutely fascinating. Definitely check those songs [00:17:00] out. So tell us more about what’s up with Black Opry.

[00:17:04] Holly G: I’m just trying to, you know, create as many opportunities as I can for all of these artists that I’m finding, because I mean, it’s not just the Linda Martell’s that got overlooked in the past, there are tons of current artists from every decade as good as Linda Martel. There’s Frankie Staton, who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

[00:17:28] And she’s actually going to be a special guest at the Black Opry Revue. Frankie Staton has been making music since like the seventies and she started the Black Country Music Association back in the nineties. And they would do showcases at the Bluebird, and, you know, she kind of paved the way for everything that I’m doing right now.

[00:17:42] I didn’t know that that existed when I started what I was doing, but as I started researching, you know, figuring out who she was and I met her and I’m like, “Oh my God, you are the reason that I’m able to do this, because you did it all these years ago!’ And she’s incredible. And she came and she hung out with us at AmericanaFest and it was [00:18:00] shocking for her because we had a house full of Black country musicians.

[00:18:03] And she was like, I did not think that I would see this in my lifetime. There’s so many of you guys and you’re all together, and there was so much respect and just peace and love in that room. And everybody kind of took turns playing and you could see how much they admired each other when they were. We had some of the more successful musicians, Brittany Spencer, Raina Roberts.

[00:18:25] They came by and hung out with us. And then we had people that there was one young lady that came and that was the first time she’d ever played a song in front of anybody. Wow. And everybody was able to absorb all of that and you could see all these different generations. Miko Marks came by and Miko came to Nashville, you know, way back in the early two thousands and tried to make a go at a country career.

[00:18:47] But she was pushed out of Nashville because she was a Black one. And now here she is 13 years later coming back onto the scene and killing it just like she was doing before. But you know, now it’s opened up a little bit more. [00:19:00] Rissi stopped by for a little bit to have brunch with us. I mean, there was just so many different songs telling the story.

[00:19:05] It felt like it was one long story and we just had people from so many different places on that story. All on that one. Honestly, I’m not, I don’t come from the music industry background. I’m a music super fan. It’s always been the way that I’ve connected with other people in the way that I understand myself and the world around me.

[00:19:21] So I feel like I’m living every music fan’s dream. Imagine if you find a song and you absolutely love it. And instead of putting it on repeat, you can call the person and ask them a million questions about it. Nobody’s gotten annoyed with me yet, but that’s basically what I’m able to do right now.

[00:19:40] Sloane: Incredible. Really cool. Yeah. When we were first talking today, you mentioned Lizzie No. Now I just met Lizzie No earlier this month for the first time — saw an amazing outdoor festival — totally packed, completely silent, listening to her play. 

[00:19:59] Holly G: She like hypnotizes you. She plays — for anybody not familiar with her — she plays the guitar, but then she also has a traveling harp. Like I didn’t even know that existed. Mesmerizing. 

[00:20:11] Sloane: We do have plans to chat with her soon on this or one of the other programs, (which I also have another podcast called Bubble Bottles, where my other favorite backstage conversation with musicians is:  what’s your favorite carbonated beverage?

[00:20:22] Because a lot of people are obsessed with weird carbonated beverages. Like I am. So that’s a whole ‘nother subject.) Lizzie No is incredible and you’ll definitely need to check out her music and she’s got a new record coming out.  

[00:20:32] Holly G: She’s actually also one of the funniest people I’ve ever met in my life. You cannot be around her and not laugh.

[00:20:38] And she makes these really off the wall jokes with a completely straight face. She’s multi-faceted. And she has been such a wonderful pivotal part of everything that we do. And I found her before I started Black Opry. I actually didn’t know she was a musician when I started following her. She’s really cool.

[00:20:58] I really wanted to be [00:21:00] friends with her. And then I started looking into her music and I was like, well, I’m happy to be friends with them really fast because she’s going to be famous soon. Luckily she did not block me. I actually did end up being friends. She has been such an integral part. She hung out with us.

[00:21:15] She actually stayed at the house with us. And Lizzie is a reason why we were able to do the first Black Opry Revue. So I’ll tell you the full story. Lizzie had a date in New York. She had two dates in New York and one of the dates, she had another person on the bill and the other person had to back out at the last minute.

[00:21:34] So instead of calling up, you know, musicians everywhere — and I’m sure there are any number of people that would drop whatever they’re doing to play a show with her — but instead of doing that, she actually called me and she said, “Hey, can we do a Black Opry Revue? I want everybody that played at the house to come play with me on stage.”

[00:21:51] Wow. So instead of having one other person play a set, she actually sacrificed her entire set. And we took the night and we put everybody on stage in a [00:22:00] songwriter’s round like they do in Nashville, taking the country music format to New York, and they loved it. 

[00:22:06] Sloane: There’s a lot of video out there about that. Y’all you should definitely look it up, Black Opry Revue R E V U E you’ll find it real quickly. 

[00:22:13] Holly G: Lizzie insisted on spelling it that way; you gotta be old timey, right?

[00:22:20] It’s such a testament to the connection that these artists all have when they’re able to meet each other and be in community with each other that they’re willing to sacrifice, you know, stage time is a big deal, especially, and she was like, no, I want to, I want to do this with my time. It was amazing, but now so much has grown from that.

[00:22:37] Sloane: Wow. <pause> I am a cis het middle-class white woman who lives in the South, and one of the things that I say amongst my friends often is, you know, there are ways that you can amplify what’s happening for other people. And one of the main ways you can do that is by stepping aside and letting someone else have the seat at the table.

[00:22:58] And she certainly didn’t have to do that, but that’s also where people like me need to be able to find those voices. So I’m speaking here mostly to the white audience who is listening. There are times when you need to step aside and give someone else the seat at the table in order to do that. There are opportunities that come our way, where that may not initially come to folks’ minds and what a difference that that can make.

[00:23:20] So keep that in the back of your minds, for those of you who maintain the power and hold the power, and don’t realize the ways that you can improve the world. By stepping aside, 

[00:23:30] Holly G: Rissi had Cam and Maren Morris on one of her shows, and one of the things that they both talked about, that they could do with their power is, you know, they have enough success now to where if they get booked or get offered a booking for a show and they notice it’s an all-white bill, they were like, we need to speak up and say, no, we need more people of color on this bill.

[00:23:52] We need more women on this bill, whatever it is to make things more diverse. And I don’t think people always realize when and where they have power. Because, [00:24:00] especially as women, we’re usually, you know, told any little bit that we get is a gift. So sometimes it’s not second nature for us to ask for more, especially for somebody else.

[00:24:10] But that’s the only way that all of us get anywhere is when we pull up the people that are oppressed a little bit further than us. And then everybody gets pushed forward. 

[00:24:19] Sloane: Absolutely. I agree. And I have been part of the community that did not do the right thing at different times. And I found myself creating my own situation, where I was continuing to do similar things with my previous podcast, in that it became “the white guy podcast.”

[00:24:37] And I didn’t know how to undo that. So, I stopped it because I didn’t know at the time how to change what I was doing. And instead I just quit and stepped aside completely from podcasting in order to find a way that I could be much truer to what I truly believe in amplifying voices, where I have the [00:25:00] platforms and the power to do so.

[00:25:01] And so that’s kind of what led to the rethinking that ultimately led to this podcast, One Hit History, but it was a long time in coming. Some of the thoughts behind it and where I was in my growth personally. 

So, Holly G of Black Opry and Black Opry Revue, again, going to have that incredible show in Nashville at the legendary EXIT/In December 18th.

[00:25:21] You heard it here. Thank you so much for joining us today and talking about Linda Martell’s country version of “Color Him Father” from 1970. 

[00:25:29] Holly G: No problem. It was so much fun. 

[00:25:31] Sloane: You want to find some outtakes from our conversation,

[00:25:36] you can find them at patreon.com/onehithistory. All of our podcasts are available in your favorite podcast locations. Go ahead and subscribe and give us those five star reviews. Believe it or not, they make a huge difference for small podcasts like this. Buy the music from the artists that we have talked about today, Brittany Spencer, Raina Roberts,  Miko Marks. Rissi Palmer, Lizzie No, and many others.

[00:25:56] And of course, go back and look for that Linda Martell record “Color Me Country.” This has been One Hit History with Holly G of Black Opry. Thanks for listening.

DISCLAIMER:  One Hit History is a comedy podcast. What you hear may or may not be true and is all for fun. All comments are the opinions of the host and guests.

One Hit History Trailer

One Hit History Trailer

What’s your favorite one hit wonder?”

We ask music people that very question in each episode of One Hit History podcast. From Rock & Roll Hall of Fame archived photographers pondering 1980s dance tunes to musical social movement creators reviving a lost country legend, One Hit History dives in to how those songs made us feel and why they stick with us now.  We’re like if Pop Up Video and Cocaine and Rhinestones fused, and did less research than your average Wikipedia contributor.  Our secret goal:  help you find music you love and have fun.

New episodes launching late January 2022.

Sneak peeks, outtakes, and bonus episodes available now on Patreon.com/OneHitHistory.

Our ever-expanding One Hit History playlist

DISCLAIMERThese comedy episodes are for fun and are based solely on personal opinions of the host and/or guest, and do not claim to be fully factual or anything other than a good time.

OHH Trailer Transcript

Hey, welcome to One Hit History where we talk with music, people about their favorite one hit wonders. I’m Sloane Spencer.

You might know me as the host of Country Fried Rock or from the variety of radio stations I have worked for over the last many decades. Thanks so much for coming to see what we’re doing here.

I have a secretly subversive life goal of turning you on to your new favorite band. So we’ll be doing that with these conversations in the upcoming, One Hit History podcast.

You can find us on Patreon at patreon.com/onehithistory or our brand spanking new website, OneHitHistory.com.

We have another new podcast coming your way as well.

So if you want to find out my vibe, check out the hundreds of past episodes of Country Fried Rock, or our other new podcast called Bubble Bottles, mainly because I like saying “Bubble Bottles.”

It’s where I talk with music people about their favorite carbonated beverages. I have a secret love for weird hyper-local carbonated beverages, particularly ginger ale and root beer myself.

And again, these conversations will be coming your way with the ultimate goal of turning you on to your new favorite band. You’ll be able to find that one on Patreon, as well. It’s Bubble Bottles, patreon.com/bubblebottles or BubbleBottles.com. I’ve also been told that my voice is a great one for turning the volume down and going to sleep. So, you’re welcome.

Hit that subscribe button on your favorite player, and we’ll be right back with you real soon. Y’all come back now, you hear?