How Good It Is

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62--Almost Christmas
62--Almost Christmas
There are a bunch of songs in the canon of Christmas songs, whose lyrics don't stand up to close examination. This week we look at several "Christmas" songs that don't really appear to be about Christmas.
61--Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Indian)
61--Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Indian)
John D Loudermilk wrote a song that's nearly devoid of actual facts. When it became a hit, a couple of interviews he did about that song turned out also to be mostly devoid of facts.
60--Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
60--Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
Neil Sedaka spent a bunch of time in the Top Ten, but this was his first trip to the Number One slot. And he took the song to the Top Ten again several years later with a vastly different arrangement.
59--Another Brick in the Wall
59--Another Brick in the Wall
Pink Floyd wasn't a band keen on releasing singles, since they viewed their albums as fully realized creations that needed to be taken as a whole. But a couple of tweaks to a song by an uncredited collaborator almost certainly was the impetus for turning it into a Number One hit worldwide.
58--Alice's Restaurant Massacree
58--Alice's Restaurant Massacree
No, that's not a typo; "massacree" is a real word, and it's part of the Arlo Guthrie song that has become a Thanksgiving tradition at radio stations nationwide.
57--Shel Silverstein, Part I
57--Shel Silverstein, Part I
Shel Silverstein was a poet, a cartoonist, a humorist and a songwriter who wrote more hits than most people would suspect.
56--Shout
56--Shout
The Isley Brothers' first charting hit from 1959 got its start not as a song, but as a bit they'd do to extend another song they were already singing in concert.
55--Ghostbusters
55--Ghostbusters
Ray Parker Jr wasn't the first person approached to come up with a pop song to support this film, but he was the last, and the best.
54--Walk on the Wild Side
54--Walk on the Wild Side
Lou Reed's signature song (he once joked that he knew his obituary would start with "doot, di-doot, di-doot...") has its origins in people he knew and worked with at Andy Warhol's studio, The Factory.
53--Both Sides Now
53--Both Sides Now
One fine evening in 1967, Judy Collins gets a call from Al Kooper and Joni Mitchell, and it turns into her first Top 40 hit.
52--Into the Night
52--Into the Night
Benny Mardones may be the only person to be a one-hit wonder twice, charting two times with the same version of the same song.
Episode 52--Into the Night
Episode 52--Into the Night
Benny Mardones may be the only person to be a one-hit wonder twice, charting two times with the same version of the same song.
51--Barbara Ann
51--Barbara Ann
This hit from early 1966 isn't quite the spontaneous fun party it sounds like.
50--Exchange Students
50--Exchange Students
This week we take a look at a bunch of artists who made it into the higher tiers of the Hot 100 with songs that weren't recorded in English.
49--School's Out
49--School's Out
Alice Cooper's biggest hit was inspired by two things: Old movies and the last three minutes of the school day.
48--Under the Covers, Part 3
48--Under the Covers, Part 3
It's been a while since we took a look at a bunch of songs that you may not realize are covers of other artists' work.
47--Remembering Aretha Franklin
47--Remembering Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin died on August 16, 2018. This week's show takes a look back at the life and music career of the Queen of Soul.
46--Mellow Yellow
46--Mellow Yellow
Donovan struck lucky a couple of times with this song: first, it was the beginning of people looking into the deeper meaning behind absolutely every lyric. Second, the song got a weird boost from a practical joke being played by an underground newspaper out of Berkeley.
45--Rapture
45--Rapture
Disco was on its way out, to be replaced by Hip-Hop or New Wave, depending on the clubs you frequented. Blondie's last major hit in the US was a track that departed from their previous style and broke a few barriers along the way.
44--Smoke on the Water
44--Smoke on the Water
After a mishap during a Frank Zappa concert destroyed the space that Deep Purple was going to use for a recording space, the band had to scramble to find a new space. Once they'd found it, they wrote a song outlining the story of the accidental arson and the search for a new location. While they didn't have big hopes for the song, it became their biggest hit.
43--Where Did Our Love Go
43--Where Did Our Love Go
The Supremes were doing so poorly on the charts that people around Motown were calling them the "No-Hit Supremes". Then along came a song that nobody at the label wanted to record, and the Supremes, backed into a corner, recorded what turned out to be their first Number One hit.
42--Baker Street
42--Baker Street
In 1978, Gerry Rafferty was finally untangled from the legal squabbles created by the multiple breakups of Stealers Wheel. He took the experience and turned it into a monster hit, but there are a couple of intriguing controversies surrounding the song.
41--Summertime Blues
41--Summertime Blues
The song that cemented Eddie Cochran's place in the Rock and Roll firmament was written in about an hour by a 19 year old Cochran and his manager.
40--Murray Head
40--Murray Head
Murray Head is another one of those famous guys whose name is known to few. He had two hit singles in the US, 15 years apart and very different in style, tone and content, but which have something very peculiar in common.
39--Under the Boardwalk
39--Under the Boardwalk
One of The Drifters' bigger hits might have been a sequel to one of their earlier songs, but it was definitely a prequel to one of their later songs.
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Podcast Details
Started
Aug 18th, 2017
Latest Episode
Dec 23rd, 2018
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
64
Avg. Episode Length
13 minutes

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