One Of Aerosmith’s Biggest Hits Happened Partly Because Of A Mel Brooks Movie (Cool Weird Awesome 751)

Today in 1975, Aerosmith released the landmark album “Toys In The Attic.” One of the biggest hits from that album got its name from an unusual source - the Mel Brooks movie "Young Frankenstein." Plus: this weekend in New Mexico it's the Las Cruces Space Festival. 

By |2022-04-08T08:39:23-04:00April 8, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Keith Jarrett Improvised A Classic Live Jazz Album On A Not-Quite-Right Piano (Cool Weird Awesome 701)

Today in 1975, one of the best selling jazz albums of all time was recorded - a live concert in Cologne, Germany by pianist Keith Jarrett. And it almost didn't happen at all.

By |2022-01-24T06:55:16-05:00January 24, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

When Johnny Cash Came To Folsom Prison (Cool Weird Awesome 694)

Today in 1968 Johnny Cash recorded “At Folsom Prison." Today it's arguably his most acclaimed album ever, but it only came about as a last resort.

By |2022-01-13T06:31:43-05:00January 13, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

Washington Phillips, A Legendary Gospel Musician Surrounded By Musical Mysteries (Cool Weird Awesome 692)

Today in 1880 was the birthday of Washington Phillips, a musician who made some astonishing music in the 1920s, but we know very little about his life and his music - we aren't even completely sure what instrument he played.

By |2022-01-11T06:42:14-05:00January 11, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

The Glass Armonica, A Musical Instrument Invented By Benjamin Franklin (Cool Weird Awesome 689)

Today in 1706 was, at least by the old calendar, Benjamin Franklin's birthday. Here's the story of how he once invented his own musical instrument, one for which great composers wrote music.

By |2022-01-06T06:50:00-05:00January 6, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

How The Beatles Stitched Two Takes Of “Strawberry Fields Forever” Into A Rock Classic (Cool Weird Awesome 677)

Today in 1966, the Beatles were trying to make one great take of their new song “Strawberry Fields Forever,” and with help from producer George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick, they ended up making that one great take out of two half takes.

By |2021-12-22T07:44:36-05:00December 22, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Scott Joplin, The King Of Ragtime, Also Wrote Operas (Cool Weird Awesome 663)

Today in 1868, at least on paper, Scott Joplin was born, though his actual birth date is probably a different day. He's best known for his groundbreaking ragtime works like "Maple Leaf Rag" and "The Entertainer," but Joplin also wrote two operas. Plus: today in 2013, musician Dave Mustaine of Megadeth composed an unforgettable tweet about a "cool building" in Wisconsin. 

By |2021-11-24T06:53:57-05:00November 24, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , |

A Liner Note Detective Wants The World To Know Something About The “London Calling” Cover Photo

The famous cover of The Clash's landmark album "London Calling" was taken on September 21, 1979, according to the liner notes. Except that Dave Marin, a concertgoer who was there when the photo was taken, has a concert stub that says September 20th. And he's spent decades trying to get the world to notice that the album credits are a day off. Plus: today in 1940, a bomb explodes in London, and the locals decide to turn the crater it left behind into something special. 

Two Tortoises Orbited The Moon Before Humans Did (Cool Weird Awesome 612)

Apollo 8 brought the first human astronauts to lunar orbit in late 1968, but a few months beforehand, the Soviet Zond 5 mission sent two tortoises (and a few other living things) for a trip around the moon. Here's what happened. Plus: today in 1890, Mexican singing and songwriting great Maria Grever was born. Whether or not you know her songs, you know a phrase that comes from one.

By |2021-09-14T07:42:30-04:00September 14, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

Germany Schaefer, The Baseball Player Who Stole First Base (Cool Weird Awesome 588)

Today in 1911, a very strange thing happened in a baseball game: a guy on second base ran backwards and stole first base, the base he'd just been on. Here's his very unusual story. Plus: today in 1901 music legend Louis Armstrong was born in New Orleans, but if you want to take part in events to commemorate his birthday, you’re a month late.

By |2021-08-04T07:10:52-04:00August 4, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |
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