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FROM THIS EPISODE

On today’s special all-music edition of Press Play, we talk about the beginning and end of the funkiest show on TV. Plus, we delve into two musical mysteries, and we look at the science behind the songs that get stuck in your head.


Banner Image: David Byrne performing as part of ATOMIC BOMB! Who Is William Onyeabor? at the Greek Theatre; Credit: Larry Hirshowitz

Producers:
Andrew Walsh
Christian Bordal
Matt Holzman
Jolie Myers
Anna Scott

Four Decades of Soul Train 14 MIN, 54 SEC

The funky TV show Soul Train was one of the longest syndicated shows ever created. It lasted from 1971 to 2006. It was the brainchild of Don Cornelius, who became TV royalty as Soul Train rode to the upper echelons of TV. We talk to the author of a new book that chronicles the show and how it became so successful.

Guests:
Nelson George, author, 'The Hippest Trip in America' (@nelsongeorge)

Your Brain on Music 11 MIN, 22 SEC

Just what’s going on in our heads when a song gets stuck there? And why do we keep returning to our favorite songs over and over and over again? We take a look at the latest science on how music interacts with our brains.

Guests:
Elizabeth Margulis, University of Arkansas

Mystery of a Rare Record 14 MIN, 24 SEC

We untangle the mystery behind an extremely obscure record that has become one of the most sought-after artifacts for some music collectors. The artist went by the name “Lewis,” and nobody could track him down.

Lewis

Guests:
Jack Fleischer, writer and record collector

More:
Lewis and Mystery in the Age of Information

Who is William Onyeabor? 10 MIN, 31 SEC

This past May, David Byrne of Talking Heads and a group of musicians got together at the Greek Theater to play the music of William Onyeabor. Who is William Onyeabor, you ask? He’s one of the most mysterious figures in music. He was a businessman who created his own style of afro-synth funk in Nigeria in the 70’s and 80’s. He put out eight albums on his own label and recorded them in his own studio. He lives in a home he calls his “palace.” In this segment, we talk to someone who knows as much about Onyeabor as anyone.

You can find more pictures from the ATOMIC BOMB! performance at the Greek Theater here.

Guests:
Uchenna Ikonne, DJ and music writer

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