music history

Janis Joplin's Lost Last Interview

Oct 7, 2013

A recently unearthed interview with Janis Joplin – which turns out to be the last interview she gave – reveals a woman struggling to make herself understood, at a time when women in the media were still largely defined by men.

Blank On Blank takes interviews like these and animates them for PBS.

Flickr Photo/Heath Alseike

Stephen Tobolowsky: From “Groudhog Day” To “Heroes”       

You might not recognize his name but you've seen Stephen Tobolowsky in countless Hollywood movies and television shows, from "Groundhog Day" to "Heroes." The character actor is also a popular storyteller, weaving tales for radio and podcast listeners on The Tobolowsky Files. Steve Scher talked with  Tobolowsky in 2011 live on stage at the Neptune Theater.  

Radio Retrospective: Making The First Sound Effects

It's often assumed that sound effects during radio's Golden Age were all made by a person, but that's a bit of a myth. Many were played from records to save time and space. Steve Scher talks with Producer Katy Sewall about how early sound effects were created and tips on making your own at home.

The History Of Guitars

Guitars are a powerful symbol. When lashed onto someone like Keith Richards or Jimi Hendrix, they epitomize hard-sounding, hard-living, loud rock. When plucked by a flamenco player, they can evoke sultry nights and romance. Where did the guitar come from, how has it evolved and are there any changes that we can expect to see in the future? Steve Scher talks with classical guitarist Steven Novacek; Ron Reed, instrument maker and manager of Dusty Strings Guitar Shop; Gene Nygaard, guitarist and maker of Zero Guitars; and Jay Boone, owner of Emerald City Guitars.

Seattle Rocks: The Conversation Takes A Look At Seattle Music

Aug 20, 2013
Flickr Photo/thecomeupshow

Seattle music is more than just grunge. The city is the birth place to a diverse scene and an eclectic group of musicians. From jazz to rap to indie to funk, Seattle has nurtured generations of bands and musicians. The Conversation explores the many sounds of the city’s musical history from Seattleite turned rock star, Duff McKagan, to current chart-toppers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

Sounds Familiar: Chopin's 'Funeral March'

Oct 2, 2012

KUOW Swing Years Host Amanda Wilde digs into the history behind the songs that sound familiar. This time out, we explore Chopin's “Funeral March.” Since it first appeared in the early 19th century, the famous tune has found its way into movies, cartoons, and funk and hip–hop music.  Amanda Wilde traces the lineage of Chopin's “Funeral March” with KUOW's Dave Beck.