5 Questions For Lost Notes Executive Producer Nick White

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I know you’re already subscribed to KCRW’s newest music podcast Lost Notes which focuses on the greatest music stories never truly told, but JUST IN CASE you’ve somehow forgotten to click that button here’s the link once more so you can get that taken care of now. If you haven’t listened to the show at all yet, I must admit I’m a bit envious because this series will make for a fantastic binge listen. And to intrigue you further, I recently sat down with Lost Notes Executive Producer Nick White to ask a few questions about how the podcast came to be, which stories were the most surprising, and what might be coming next. Also, be sure to follow and groove to our Lost Notes Spotify playlist. It contains SO MANY jams.

1. Where did the idea for the series come from, and what were the steps you took to bring it to life?

I’ve worked on another KCRW program called UnFictional for a number of years now. If you haven’t heard it it’s hosted by Bob Carlson and features amazing documentary storytelling from independent producers all over the world. Everytime we would feature an episode about music – like The Lost Genius of Judee Sill (produced by Eleanor McDowall/Falling Tree) – or Nature Boy (produced by Eric Molinsky) – I noticed our audience would get really excited. Those stories just seemed to have a lot more engagement than many of our other episodes. Probably because so many KCRW listeners are such music fanatics.

Then I thought: ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a whole series with those kinds of stories?’ We made two pilots (the first two episodes in the series), our bosses at KCRW liked them, and so we decided to make more.

2. How did you select the stories featured this season?

Myke Dodge Weiskopf and I put out a call for pitches to KCRW’s network of independent producers. First and foremost we wanted episodes that featured an engaging story. Even if someone pitched us an episode about a completely amazing record or band, we didn’t go forward unless there was a really cool narrative that people could latch onto.

It was also really important for us to feature a diverse set of genres and contributors. So much of what’s been written and told about music history focuses on men, mostly white, in classic rock acts between about 1960 and 1980. Don’t get me wrong – I love a ton of music from that era (and our Louie Louie episode falls smack dab in the middle of it) but there were are a ton of other corners to explore.

3. Without giving away any spoilers, which episode surprised you the most?

Before we started I knew the least about Richard Parks’ story about the million dollar flexi disc from McDonald’s. It’s also our only episode where the story unfolds in real-time, on tape. Most of our other episodes are reflections on things that had already happened.

4. Is there a particular band or song that you’ve become completely obsessed with because of Lost Notes?

I totally, unironically love New Edition now.

5. Is there anything that you can tease for us about season two?

We’re still focused on wrapping up this season. The finale is about an amazing dancer-turned ethnomusicologist named Aisha Ali.

I’m optimistic that we’ll get the chance to make another batch of stories soon. Meantime this summer we’re going to share a few bonus episodes with some of our favorite music documentaries that have been featured on other shows.

If you have ideas for stuff we should cover please do email ipp@kcrw.org.