The Organist is still in off-season hibernation, but we emerge for a moment in order to showcase KCRW’s newest podcast: Lost Notes. In this episode, writer Donnell Alexander examines the racial politics of a strange chapter of early 80s pop-music history. To white America, Boston’s music scene was synonymous with the hard rock of Aerosmith and J. Geils Band. But alongside rock and roll was a vital tradition of talent shows in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood which birthed the careers of Donna Summer and New Edition—a group perhaps best known for launching Bobby Brown and Bell Biv DeVoe. Through the lens of New Edition’s tumultuous career, Donnell Alexander lovingly, trenchantly, and often hilariously describes the group’s collaboration with Monkees’ songwriter Bobby Hart; Michael Jackson’s offer of clemency when New Edition faced a career-ending copyright-infringement suit; and how the boy band’s perceived betrayal of their roots at the height of the Celtics-Lakers rivalry drove a painful wedge into their fanbase.
The Organist will be back with new episodes on June 28, 2018.
Produced by Donnell Alexander.
Lost Notes is produced by Myke Dodge Weiskopf and hosted by Solomon Georgio. Its executive producer is Nick White.