This particular podcast episode found its inspiration in one of the Spotify-exclusive Rock Pop and Roll Radio Shows that we’ve made. They live on Spotify and were created to give me a chance to make an old-school radio show. Listen for 90 minutes to one and hear stories plus the whole song, something we don’t do on the podcast. A callback to the great radio of the 70’s and 80’s.
I was working on a podcast about Minneapolis roots rock/heartland rock bands and how they were oddly influential in the 1980’s musical landscape. Then I remembered this Prince Spotify radio show I produced and thought – hey – this is part of the story. How Prince – who music listeners know is from Minnesota – and a bunch of white kids with guitars could exist and, in a sense, inspire each other.
Prince was a mashup of what he heard growing up. That was his secret to crossover success. Filmmaker Philip Priestley, who made a 2008 documentary comparing the careers of Prince and Michael Jackson, said that growing up in Minneapolis helped Prince to create a new sound. “He grew up listening to a lot of radio which was other stuff than black soul music and rhythm and blues,” Priestley said. “He was listening to rock — white rock — which explains why he was so unique musically. “He fused a black American tradition — rhythm and blues, soul, funk, jazz — with white rock.”
That’s what we peel back here, trying to figure out the connection between it all.