The Music History Project Podcast Hits 50,000 Streams
The Music History Project (TMHP), a podcast sponsored by NAMM and produced and recorded by the NAMM Resource Center, has hit a significant milestone in achieving 50,000 streams. The bi-weekly podcast is curated utilizing recorded interviews with music industry icons from the vast repository of the NAMM Oral History Collection, pairs prerecorded content from interviewees with the commentary of the experts in the NAMM Resource Center to tell a unique story of our industry with each episode.
The Music History Project podcast debuted June 1, 2017 and is currently at 63 episodes to date. The podcast is recorded by the Resource Center staff: Music Historian, Dan Del Fiorentino; Resource Center Multimedia Coordinator, Michael Mullens; and Archivist and Oral History Coordinator, Michelle Schedler (Editor note: I served as Archivist and Oral History Coordinator prior to assuming my new role).
TMHP was conceptualized after Dan was approached by other NAMM colleagues with the idea of starting a podcast. The team realized that a perfect storm of passion for the collection, a desire to share the content with new audiences, and their own experience as podcast listeners existed in the Resource Center, which led to this new approach in sharing the stories of individuals and companies within the industry. Dan commented, “This has been a rewarding adventure for me as the podcast shows the depth of our collection, how so many interviewees can be linked together by topics. TMHP brings the staff together to produce meaningful programs that hopefully inspire listeners, as well as honor those who came before us.”
The first episode, “Sun Records Part 1” is, to date, the best-received episode garnering 2,727 streams. Sharing the story of Sun Records, the episode features content from iconic Sun names like Matt Ross-Spang, W.S. Holland, Carl Mann, Scotty Moore, Sonny Burgess, J.M. VanEaton, and Ike Turner (part two includes the addition of Roland James and Mike Battle). This episode is also Dan’s favorite: “It brought home the very reason the podcast was born. Connecting six interviews in a new, unique way brought shed new light on the importance of the Memphis based studio that birthed my love of Elvis!”
Michael stated that episodes “Favorite Webclips – Part 1” and “Favorite Webclips – Part 2”, both of which discuss the teams’ favorite webclips or segments of interviews published on NAMM.org, are his favorites as the episodes “give a different perspective into the NAMM Oral History program and show the ‘behind the scenes’ of what it’s like to capture the interviews.” In addition to this, Michael also shares that “it gives everyone on the podcast a chance to tell a story or reflect on a cool moment that happened with the Resource Center team.”
Michelle’s favorite episode, “Songwriting Teams,” “highlights the talent and fun that these teams had when they were writing and showcases the different styles that each iconic team had.” Michelle also has a soft spot for episodes “Motown – Part 1” and “Motown – Part 2” which focus on Motown as she grew up in Michigan and learning about the talent that emerged from her home state was a remarkable experience.
When reflecting on my time co-hosting TMHP, it is difficult to select a single episode that stands out from the rest. Each episode is either composed of content that captivated me or has a recording experience that created a lifelong memory. However, if I had to choose, my favorite episode is unequivocally episode 44, “NAPBIRT,” which details the National Association of Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT), the “unsung heroes” of the music products world. The information presented by the members of NAPBIRT in these interviews will be a bit of trivia that I carry with me for the remainder of my life and will long serve as a cornerstone of everything working on TMHP means to me.
Since the inception of the NAMM Oral History Program in 2000, the Resource Center team and its volunteers have preserved the rich history of the music products industry in over 4,000 first-person accounts; including stories from retailers, supplies, sales representatives, publishers, instrument and product creators, innovators, founders, and artists. Notable interviews include Henry Steinway, Les Paul, Sheila E, Henry Goldrich (Manny’s Music), BB King, Keith Emerson, and Marilyn Bergman (songwriter).
The Music History Project podcast can be found almost anywhere you listen to podcasts, including on NAMM.org. The Resource Center team highly encourages its listeners to not only rate and review the podcast, but to also send suggestions for future episodes to firstname.lastname@example.org. A thank you to those 50,000 streamers for tuning in twice a month to indulge in our passion for the music products industry and those who devote their life to bringing the joy of music to their world.