Portugal Once Moved Its Capital City To South America (Cool Weird Awesome 791)

It’s Portugal Day, and no doubt there will be celebrations across the country, including the capital city, Lisbon. Though there was a time in the 19th century when the capital of Portugal was not only outside Lisbon, it was outside Portugal.

James Harrison May Have Been The Best Blood Donor Of All Time (Cool Weird Awesome 769)

Today in 2018, Australian James Harrison gave blood for the last time. He had donated about once a week for some 60 years, and because his blood included a rare antibody, his donations helped save millions of lives.

By |2022-05-11T08:57:14-04:00May 11, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , |

Rock Fans In The Soviet Union Turned Old X-Ray Plates Into Bootleg LPs (Cool Weird Awesome 756)

In the 1940s and 50s, some people in the Soviet Union broke the law and produced makeshift records on old X-ray plates just to hear Western music that the government censored.

By |2022-04-15T08:46:27-04:00April 15, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

In Sweden In 1712, February Had 30 Days (Cool Weird Awesome 721)

Most years February is 28 days long. Every fourth year it has 29. But one time, in one country, for one year, there was a February 30th.

By |2022-02-28T09:46:16-05:00February 28, 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: , , , , , , |
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