The Pop Chronicles (1969 - 1971) were two radio documentary series which together "may constitute the most complete audio history of 1940s-60s popular music." Both series were produced by John Gilliland. Many famous musicians were interviewed on this program.
The Pop Chronicles
- ... And this is the origin of pop music: it's a professional music which draws upon both folk music and fine arts music as well.
- A singer ... is no more than an actor set to music.
- I learned more from Chuck Berry about America than I could have from the U.S. Information Service in London.
- Eric Burdon, Show 5 - Hail, Hail, Rock 'n' Roll: The rock revolution gets underway. Part 1, interview recorded 11.20.1967.
- Rock and roll is a music, and why should a music contribute to ... juvenile delinquency? If people are going to be juvenile delinquents, they're going to be delinquents if they hear ... Mother Goose rhymes.
- American country music ... was and is ... the soul music of white people.
- John Gilliland, Pop Chronicles, Show 9 - Tennessee Firebird: American country music before and after Elvis: Part 1, originally aired April 6, 1969.
- Elvis changed the country music scene quite a bit; he almost put country music out of business.
- Chet Atkins, Pop Chronicles, Show 9 - Tennessee Firebird: American country music before and after Elvis: Part 1, interview recorded January 1968.
- You can't make a hit record out of nothing. ... It's baseless to think you can make any recording a hit, just by playing it over and over and over again.
- Dick Clark, responding to payola charges, Pop Chronicles, Show 12 - Big Rock Candy Mountain: Rock 'n' roll in the late fifties. Part 2, interview recorded 3.11.1968.
- Now my attitude is very simple: I must do what artistically pleases me.
- Bobby Darin, Pop Chronicles, Show 13 - Big Rock Candy Mountain: Rock 'n' roll in the late fifties. Part 3, interview recorded 11.5.1967.
- The things that were happening in 1955 were cosmic ... in terms of music history.
- Frank Zappa, Pop Chronicles, Show 14 - Big Rock Candy Mountain: Phil Spector & Frank Zappa review the '50s, interview recorded 3.5.1969.
- But now if I can wrap myself up in that song, and when that song gets to be a part of me, and affects me emotionally, then the emotions that I go through, chances are I’ll be able to communicate to you. Make the people out there become a part of the life of this song that you’re singing about. That’s soul when you can do that.
- God would be a very selfish god if he gave all the soul to one race. ... When one sings from the heart and it reaches another heart, that's soul.
- I went to jail for 11 days for disturbing the peace; I was trying to disturb the war.
- Joan Baez, Pop Chronicles, Show 19 - Blowin' in the Wind: Pop discovers folk music, interview recorded 12.3.1967.
- I enjoyed all the records very much. I made them all from the heart. I made them all with art in mind, and all to reveal a picture of where I was when I made them.
- Phil Spector, Pop Chronicles, Show 21 - Forty Miles of Bad Road: Some of the best from rock 'n' roll's dark ages, interview recorded 8.1.1968.
- I ... started out to become a jazz pianist; in the meantime I started singing and I sang the way I felt and that's just the way it came out.
- Nat King Cole, spoken in VOA interview broadcast on Pop Chronicles, Show 22 - Smack Dab in the Middle on Route 66: A skinny dip in the easy listening mainstream.
- The day you open your mind to music, you're halfway to opening your mind to life.
- Pete Townshend, Pop Chronicles, Show 23 - Smack Dab in the Middle on Route 66. Part 2, interview recorded in London 2.5.1968.
- I was looking for a name like the Crickets that meant two things, and from crickets I got to beetles. And I changed [to] B E A because ... B E E T L E S didn't mean two things, so I changed ... the E to an A. And it meant two things then. ... When you said it, people thought of crawly things; and when you read it, it was beat music.
- We knew that America would make us or break us as world stars. In fact, she made us.
- I used to get mad about people recording my things; now I got a new thing going. ... I don't get mad about them recording my material because they keep me alive.
- Bo Diddley, Pop Chronicles, Show 29 - The British Are Coming! The British Are Coming!: The U.S.A. is invaded by a wave of long-haired English rockers. Part 3, interview recorded 3.17.1968.
- What I wanted to do with Bobby was just to get him to sound in the studio as natural, just as he was in person, and have that extraordinary personality come thru. ... After all, he's not a great harmonica player, and he's not a great guitar player, and he's not a great singer. He just happens to be an original. And I just wanted to have that originality come thru.
- John Hammond (Bob Dylan's first producer), Show 31 - Ballad in Plain D: An introduction to the Bob Dylan era. Part 1, interview recorded 10.4.1968.
- In the largest sense, every work of art is protest. ... A lullaby is a propaganda song and any three-year-old knows it. ... A hymn is a controversial song--sing one in the wrong church: you'll find out. ...
- I like them all. ... They're all pictures of me when I wrote them. ... I have no favorite songs.
- Here, I'm going to make you a big star ... and you don't have to pay any dues. ... For that, you're going to get no respect from your contemporaries. ... To me, that was the cruelest thing.
- Phil Spector on The Monkees, Pop Chronicles, Show 44 - Revolt of the Fat Angel: Some samples of the Los Angeles sound. Part 4, interview recorded 8.1.1968.
- The softer you sing, the louder you're heard.
- Soul is truth, ... no matter where it comes from, no matter how it is presented.
- Lou Rawls, Pop Chronicles, Show 52 - The Soul Reformation: Phase three, soul music at the summit. [Part 8], interview recorded 10.12.1967.
- ... I just know that, right now, ... the biggest record selling business there is is rock and roll.
- Rhythm and blues used to be called race music; ... this music was going on for years, but nobody paid any attention to it.
- "Ray Charles, Show 55 - Crammer: A lively cram course on the history of rock and some other things, interview recorded 3.8.1968.
Pop Chronicles the 40s
- I went to hear Father Divine and he had a sermon and his subject was 'you got to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.' And I said 'Wow, that's a colorful phrase!'
- Johnny Mercer interview by Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40's: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40's. Mind's Eye. ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC 31611854. Tape 1, side B.