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Episode 47 : Loleatta Holloway audio + Robert Hunter R.I.P. + Phil Symes

4 October 2019

Content warning: This episode contains a description of violence that some listeners may find distressing.

In this week's episode of the Rock's Backpages podcast, RBP's Mark, Barney & Jasper pay tribute to Robert Hunter, discussing his role within the Grateful Dead and how he helped unlock Jerry Garcia's voice with his lyrics.

Featured writer for the week is Phil Symes with three articles: Neil Diamond is mocked and disparaged by your hosts; a young Michael Jackson talks on the phone about his sideline solo career; and Sylvia (Robinson)'s 1973 smash 'Pillow Talk' is acknowledged as the American version of 'Je t'aime (moi non plus)'.

Your hosts then listen to a clip from the week's audio interview, in which disco diva Loleatta Holloway talks to Cliff White about the transition from gospel to secular soul – and the attendant issues. Mark argues that Holloway's gospel roots enabled her to succeed as the euphoric disco chanteuse whom Black Box sampled (sans permission) on 'Ride On Time'.

Mark presents his highlights from the week's new library additions, including the earliest mention on RBP of songsmith Randy Newman (in a Cilla Black interview); a contemplative Bill Withers talking to Disc's Robin Katz; and the violent tale of Coxsone Dodd attacking Joe Higgs over royalties. Jasper brings tales from the deep with Laurie Anderson's take on Melville's Moby Dick; Coldplay supported by Jay-Z; and just how streaming is skewing the pop charts.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Italian language consultant: Giacomo Bruzzo of RareNoiseRecords