Lost Notes

Lost Notes

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A collection of the greatest music stories never told. Music journalist and author Jessica Hopper takes the reins for season two.


BONUS: Power to the People
Jun 18 • 35 min
The new season of Lost Notes will be here in September. Meantime, this summer, we’re sharing a couple of bonus episodes. Fifty years ago, an unlikely musical group evolved out of the Oakland chapter of the Black Panther Party. They were called…
Song of a Gun
Jun 13, 2019 • 28 min
As long as there have been guns, there have been songs about guns. But American culture’s relationship with guns is changing. Does popular music reflect that? We take a look at the history of music’s relationships with guns, and gun control…
Beyond Disco: Nermin Niazi and Feisal Mosleh
Jun 6, 2019 • 33 min
In the early ‘80s, two teenage siblings in London recorded an album that fused Pakistani pop and British New Wave. It became a perfect harmony of the two worlds they lived in. This is the story behind their lost masterpiece.
Imagining Billy Tipton
May 30, 2019 • 27 min
Jazz pianist Billy Tipton has been celebrated by some as a trans pioneer – but his story resists an easy telling.
More on John Fahey and Legacy
May 28, 2019 • 13 min
As a supplement to our episode on John Fahey, we share a conversation between Jessica Hopper and Carla Green about artist legacies in the era of cancel culture and #MeToo.
Living with John Fahey aka A Room Full of Flowers
May 23, 2019 • 38 min
John Fahey’s guitar playing influenced the sound of the American underground for generations. But how does that legacy change when you hear from three of the women who knew him best?
A Castle On Top of A Hill: The True Story of Fanny
May 16, 2019 • 34 min
The rock band Fanny ruled the Sunset Strip in the 1970s, and they were supposed to be the next big thing. They explain the price women pay for being ahead of their time.
Sonic Sculptor: Suzanne Ciani
May 9, 2019 • 39 min
Synth pioneer Suzanne Ciani used an esoteric instrument to design some of the most well-known commercial sounds of the 20th century.
To Chan Marshall: A Letter to Cat Power
May 2, 2019 • 22 min
Poet and author Hanif Abdurraqib’s letter to Cat Power about how her album The Greatest worked its way into his life.
Teenage Offenders: Reckoning with a Punk Past
Apr 25, 2019 • 41 min
The Freeze were an early American punk band. Now, 40 years later, two members reckon with the lyrics they wrote as teenagers.
Season 2 is Coming Soon
Apr 3, 2019 • 2 min
On this season of Lost Notes, the music journalist and author Jessica Hopper is looking at artist legacies. How do they hold up? How do they change over time? Learn how decades on a song can find new meaning, something different than when it was…
Reissue: Unfictional - Nature Boy
Jan 31, 2019 • 28 min
The strange story of the postwar pop standard “Nature Boy” and its enigmatic creator, eden ahbez.
Reissue: Heat Rocks - Cymande
Oct 10, 2018 • 41 min
Legendary DJ/crate-digger Cut Chemist professes his love for Cymande’s 1972 self-titled debut.
Reissue: The Dove
Aug 21, 2018 • 12 min
A global pop icon appears in a most unexpected place in this story from Pod Planet’s Clive Desmond.
Reissue: Mad About The Boy
Jul 31, 2018 • 29 min
We resurface a story from Falling Tree Productions that takes a look at the empowering flip-side of pop fandom.
Searching for the Root: The Incredible Journey of Aisha Ali
May 24, 2018 • 30 min
In the wake of the swinging ‘60s, a young woman named Aisha Ali travels to North Africa in search of her roots. There, she single-handedly documents hours and hours of music and film from Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt … much of it…
A Million Dollars Worth of Plastic
May 17, 2018 • 33 min
In 1989 McDonald’s ran the biggest flexi-disc promotion ever, sending out 80 million discs (playing the “Menu Song”) as inserts in newspapers all over the country. A very special copy of this record was almost burned to heat a family home in…
Shaggs’ Own Thing: The Story of the Wiggin Sisters
May 10, 2018 • 31 min
One of the most unlistenable bands of the ‘60s became a cult favorite decades later, gaining praise from the likes of Frank Zappa, Kurt Cobain and Sonic Youth. But did the Wiggin sisters from Fremont, New Hampshire even want to be in a band in the…
Johnny Tried: The Ballad of Glen Sherley
May 3, 2018 • 36 min
When Johnny Cash played his iconic concert at Folsom Prison he covered the song of one very talented inmate. Johnny pulled some strings, plucked Glen Sherley from prison and brought him out on the road. Did this turn of fortune wind up helping or…
New Edition’s Neighborhood Secret
Apr 26, 2018 • 32 min
The boys in New Edition were basketball fans from Boston - Celtics country. So what happened when they hung out with the L.A. Lakers in a music video during the height of the 1980s Celtics/Lakers rivalry?
Electricity: Conversations With Captain Beefheart
Apr 19, 2018 • 35 min
In this intimate radio portrait of one of music’s most legendary eccentric geniuses, writer Kristine McKenna offers you a visceral experience of what it was like to be friends with Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart).
Louie Louie: The Strange Journey of the Dirtiest Song Never Written
Apr 12, 2018 • 31 min
An FBI Investigation, an engagement ring, wine coolers… the surprising story behind the ubiquitous anthem that every teenager bangs out on their first guitar.
Outlaws of the Airwaves: The Rise of Pirate Radio Station WBAD
Apr 12, 2018 • 26 min
Pirate radio station WBAD in New York was a beloved source for fans of underground, unsanitized hip-hop in the 1990s, but how high could this illegal operation fly while also staying under the radar?
Introducing Lost Notes
Apr 5, 2018 • 2 min
Hear a preview of Lost Notes, an anthology of some of the greatest music stories never truly told. Top journalists present stand-alone audio documentaries that highlight music’s head, heart and beat, with host Solomon Georgio as your guide.