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What makes a song a smash? Talent? Luck? Timing? All that—and more. Chris Molanphy, pop-chart analyst and author of Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” series, tells tales from a half-century of chart history. Through storytelling, trivia and song snippets, Chris dissects how that song you love—or hate—dominated the airwaves, made its way to the top of the charts and shaped your memories forever.
 
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Hit My Music

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Hit My Music

David W. Kincannon II

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Hit My Music is an interview podcast that looks at the world of wrestling through the lens of music. Every two weeks, David Kincannon (Podvocacy, Everlasting Minute) sits down with someone from the world of wrestling to get insights into their taste in music, their favorite wrestling entrance themes, and the entrance themes they've used throughout their careers.
 
You grew up on the mellow sound of New Age. You love what’s playing in today’s hip hotels. But while you were working on your career and relationship...electronica happened. New Age metamorphosed into Chill and Downtempo and you need a guide to new music. You need George Feil, better known as Star-D, a San Francisco DJ whose chill sets containing trip hop, acid jazz, bossa nova, and tribal and ambient dub, and dance sets featuring progressive house and breaks, will delight you and fill your ...
 
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So, sure—Billy Joel’s first Top 40 hit, way back in 1974, was “Piano Man,” and the nickname stuck. But for a guy who became famous sitting behind 88 keys, few of his biggest hits are really piano songs. In fact, on all three of his No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, keyboards are not the primary instrument. The truth is, Joel isn’t the Piano Man,…
 
After the so-called-but-not-really “death” of disco, dance music in the 1980s moved to its own beat. There was synthpop, electro, hi-NRG and house. But the scrappy genre that seemed to pull it all together was called freestyle—a breakbeat-tempo, Latin-flavored genre fortified with dizzying, proudly synthetic beats. Freestyle grew out of the clubs a…
 
After the so-called-but-not-really “death” of disco, dance music in the 1980s moved to its own beat. There was synthpop, electro, hi-NRG and house. But the scrappy genre that seemed to pull it all together was called freestyle—a breakbeat-tempo, Latin-flavored genre fortified with dizzying, proudly synthetic beats. Freestyle grew out of the clubs a…
 
Welcome back to Hit My Music. I want to apologize up front for the fact that I sound like Clint from Hershey, PA...I was diagnosed with Covid this week, but I wanted to get the episode out while it was still somewhat topical. This episode represents a bit of a shift in the podcast. There's no guest this week, just me, talking about some different p…
 
For decades, British alt-pop goddess Kate Bush had never had a Top 10 hit in America. Now, in 2022, she finds herself in the Hot 100’s Top Five—and television got her there. Her classic “Running Up That Hill” is featured prominently in the latest season of Netflix’s hit ’80s horror fantasy show Stranger Things. This puts Bush in a long lineage of h…
 
For decades, British alt-pop goddess Kate Bush had never had a Top 10 hit in America. Now, in 2022, she finds herself in the Hot 100’s Top Five—and television got her there. Her classic “Running Up That Hill” is featured prominently in the latest season of Netflix’s hit ’80s horror fantasy show Stranger Things. This puts Bush in a long lineage of h…
 
What was in the water in Virginia Beach? Starting in the ’90s and peaking in the ’00s, Pharrell Williams, Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley and Missy Elliott—friends and family from the Tidewater Region—made nerdy pop normal on the charts. Their productions whirred, gurgled, pinged and rumbled—the handiwork of studio geeks—while their lyrics embraced the …
 
Thank you for downloading Hit My Music! This week, my guest is El Numero Uno, Ichiban, Number One...Jaden Newman. This young man from Tennesse has experience beyond his years, and we talk about how he started, specifically first theme songs, and how they fit with his initial gimmick. We talk about how a public version of a personal life can influen…
 
What was in the water in Virginia Beach? Starting in the ’90s and peaking in the ’00s, Pharrell Williams, Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley and Missy Elliott—friends and family from the Tidewater Region—made nerdy pop normal on the charts. Their productions whirred, gurgled, pinged and rumbled—the handiwork of studio geeks—while their lyrics embraced the …
 
In the 1970s, a song about protesting truckers topped the music charts in multiple countries, and kicked off a pop culture craze for CB radios. In early 2022, that same song became an anthem for a new trucker-led protest movement in Canada and the US. How did C.W. McCall’s “Convoy” come to exist, and what had it been trying to say? For this episode…
 
Five years ago this month, Hit Parade launched on the Slate podcast network. What have we learned in that half-decade? And what episodes did you love the most? We asked you to vote—and the results may surprise you. Sure, you enjoyed our shows about Madonna, Nirvana, Whitney, Mariah, Bruce, Stevie and Janet. But even more than that, you loved our ne…
 
Five years ago this month, Hit Parade launched on the Slate podcast network. What have we learned in that half-decade? And what episodes did you love the most? We asked you to vote—and the results may surprise you. Sure, you enjoyed our shows about Madonna, Nirvana, Whitney, Mariah, Bruce, Stevie and Janet. But even more than that, you loved our ne…
 
We're back! This week's episode features my conversation with former Ring of Honor staple, and one of the longest tenured members of the Embassy, Ernie Osiris. This is a fun conversation, and features talk of a lot of different artists, but it's clear that Ernie has his foots firmly planted in hip hop and rap. In addition to being a fun conversatio…
 
The early ’70s was a great time for R&B queens on the charts: Roberta Flack. Dionne Warwick. Patti LaBelle. Chaka Khan. They had come through the ’60s—Dionne as a smooth pop-and-B star, Patti as a girl-group frontwoman, Roberta as a cabaret pianist—and found themselves in a new decade with limitless possibilities. Flack turned folk songs into chart…
 
The early ’70s was a great time for R&B queens on the charts: Roberta Flack. Dionne Warwick. Patti LaBelle. Chaka Khan. They had come through the ’60s—Dionne as a smooth pop-and-B star, Patti as a girl-group frontwoman, Roberta as a cabaret pianist—and found themselves in a new decade with limitless possibilities. Flack turned folk songs into chart…
 
Thanks for downloading episode 14 of Hit My Music. This week's guest is Kevin "The Man" Graham, who I got to know when we were opponents during the Tournament of Champions on The A Show, on CKCC Radio. Kevin was a staple in east coast independents throughout the 2010s, and can now be found on Brain Wreck TV on YouTube. In our conversation, Kevin an…
 
Today on Hit Parade, we continue tracing the history of the remix. From Jennifer Lopez to Billie Eilish to Lil Nas X, the remix has become a ubiquitous part of contemporary pop chart battles. In part 2 we continue to story of how the remix became the defacto mode of reviving flagging singles, resulting in some of the most dominant pop songs of all …
 
Today on Hit Parade, we trace the multifarious history of the remix: a musical term with a universe of meanings. Rethinks. Reboots. Reinventions. Re-recordings. Even instances where the so-called remix came before the supposed original. (How is that even possible?) In a way, the most pivotal “remix” in chart history was the one so transformative, i…
 
Thanks for downloading Hit My Music! This week's episode is a special episode, as I've gathered four additional wrestling content creators to talk about one of our favorite genres of music, ska. Ed from Pod Van Dam, Chris and Matt from The A Show, and Peter DeLonge from Peter DeLonge Talks on YouTube (links below) have joined me for a really fun di…
 
Thank you for listening to Hit My Music!This week, I have the pleasure of speaking with “The Weirdster” Evan Ambrose. He has some interesting taste in music that starts with Don McLean and winds through ska, folk punk, and Italo Disco. As always, we talk about entrance themes, but not just Evan’s. We go down a weird rabbit hole dissecting the lyric…
 
In part two of our deep dive into Daryl Hall & John Oates' genre-defying streak on the pop charts, Chris Molanphy argues they were also more cutting-edge than you may realize, essentially inventing their own form of cross-racial new wave after spending the ’70s trying everything: rock, R&B, folk, funk, even disco. At their Imperial peak in the earl…
 
Thank you for downloading Hit My Music! You may have seen this week's guest on AEW programming, or all over promotions that have been affiliated with IWTV during his career. He is the champion of the 1%, Logan Easton Laroux. In my discussion with Logan, we talk about trying to play the drums, uncles with massive cd collections, and Soundcloud rappe…
 
Daryl Hall and John Oates: Their songs were earworms, their videos cheap and goofy. John Oates’s mustache and Daryl Hall’s mullet are relics of their time. And…for about five years, their crazy streak on the pop charts was comparable to Elvis, the Beatles and the Bee Gees. They were also more cutting-edge than you may realize, essentially inventing…
 
Hey Hit Parade fans! Here's an episode from another show we think you’ll like. Slate's history podcast One Year introduces you to people and ideas that changed American history, one year at a time. The new season of One Year covers 1995, a year when homegrown terrorists attacked Oklahoma City and America went online. This episode is about “Macarena…
 
Thanks so much for downloading this episode of Hit My Music. My guest this week is none other than the Broadsword of Nazmaldun himself, Hallowicked. He graciously allowed me, the one known as Swinetooth, to interview him about all things music. In our conversation, we talk about the magical properties of music, and those who make it. We talk about …
 
In part 2 of this holiday episode of Hit Parade, Chris Molanphy dives deep into radio, streaming and Billboard chart data of some your favorite holiday hitmakers to compare their long legacies to the majority-merry ways they are consumed today. And none has been more condensed by Christmas than another artist who was once famous enough to go by her…
 
As always, thanks for listening to Hit My Music. This week, my guest is former ROH wrestler and manager, Shane Hagadorn. Listen in, as we chat about his varied musical history, and discover that we have a lot in common musically. Later, we talk about finding the right song for a character after using a "wrong" song, checking off a bucket list item …
 
Bing. Nat. Dean. John and Paul. Darlene. Mariah. Ariana. Musicians so famous, with so many classic hits, you don’t even need their last names. Now here are a few more, with fewer hits: Vince Guaraldi. José Feliciano. Donny Hathaway. The Waitresses. What do all of these acts have in common? Years from now, each of them may be known primarily for a s…
 
Episode 7 was a wild one. In a completely different way, episode 8 is just as wild. My guest this week is The Wrestling Genius, Daniel Makabe. He doesn't have the manic energy of Wes Barkley, but he does have an eclectic taste, and quite a musical journey. Whether it's starting out listening to Aerosmith, starting a Neutral Milk Hotel cover band, o…
 
In Part 2 of this episode, Chris Molanphy continues his analysis of how Cyndi Lauper, Aimee Mann, and The Bangles, three contemporary female acts with rock foundations and pop sensibilities, progressed out of their distinctive rock scenes and into the spotlight. They found critical and commercial acclaim and remain influential decades later, in a v…
 
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