It's Showtime Music History Podcasts

Leonard Bernstein’s New York, New York

On the morning of November 14th, 1943, Leonard Bernstein, the talented 25-year-old assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, got a phone call saying he would at last be leading the respected orchestral group — in six hours, that afternoon, with no time to rehearse. He later recalled, “I don’t remember a thing from that… Read More

It's Showtime Music History Politics and Protest

The Academy of Music: Where High Society and Music Mixed in Old New York

When the Academy of Music opened in 1854, New York City was just about to become the richest, most powerful city in the nation. It was, in fact, almost there. With the construction of the Erie Canal (which opened in 1825), the port city at the mouth of the Hudson River benefited greatly from the… Read More

Music History Podcasts Preservation

Last Dance at the Hotel Pennsylvania

PODCAST When it opened in 1919, the Hotel Pennsylvania was the largest hotel in the world. Over a hundred years later, its fate remains uncertain. Is it too big to save? (NOTE: Alas the hotel was torn down in 2023.) After the Pennsylvania Railroad completed its colossal Pennsylvania Station in 1910, the railroad quickly realized it would… Read More

Music History The Gilded Gentleman

The Opening of the Metropolitan Opera: A Gilded Age Drama, On and Off Stage

The opening of the new Metropolitan Opera at the height of the Gilded Age had perhaps more drama going on in the audience than on the stage. Carl Raymond, host of The Gilded Gentleman history podcast, revisits one of America’s most famous opening nights. The original Metropolitan Opera House — nicknamed the Yellow Brick Brewery… Read More

Music History Neighborhoods Podcasts Writers and Artists

Walking the East Village: Culture Among The Ruins 1976-1996

PODCAST The rebirth of the East Village in the late 1970s and the flowering of a new and original New York subculture — what Edmund White called “the Downtown Scene” — arose from the shadow of urban devastation and was anchored by a community that reclaimed its own deteriorating neighborhood. In the last episode (Creating… Read More

Music History

The NY Phil Story: A New Podcast Series from WQXR featuring the Bowery Boys

Here’s a podcast that we think you’ll love — The NY Phil Story: Made In New York, produced by WQXR and the New York Philharmonic. And one of the guest voices through the series is Greg Young of the Bowery Boys podcast! Here’s the trailer for the series: Greg is prominently featured in the newest… Read More

Music History

Forever Lena Horne: Nine New York places to celebrate her life and legacy

The superstar and civil rights activist Lena Horne had such a dynamic, multi-faceted and enduring career — starting in 1933, she worked regularly well into the late 1990s — that we all may have different views of who she was. Horne was one of the first African-American women to break through in Hollywood in the… Read More

It's Showtime Music History

The Ultimate Guide to Judy Garland’s New York: From the World’s Fair to the Palace Theatre

Frances Ethel Gumm was born 100 years ago (June 10, 1922) in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, a world away from the glamour of Hollywood and the lights of Broadway. Yet — as Judy Garland — she would change both places forever, becoming one of the most beloved entertainers in the world. And she remains beloved to… Read More

Black History Music History Podcasts Queens History

The Wonderful Home of Louis and Lucille Armstrong

PODCAST New York City has an impressive collection of historic homes, but none as unique and joyful as the Louis Armstrong House and Museum, located in Corona, Queens. What other historic home in the United States has aqua blue kitchen cabinets, bathroom speakers behind silver wallpaper, mirrored bathrooms and chandeliers over the bed? The Louis… Read More

Landmarks Music History Podcasts

The Dark, Glamorous, Sexy and Joyously Musical History of the Ansonia

PODCAST The strange, scandalous and sex-filled story of The Ansonia, an Upper West Side architectural gem and a legendary musical landmark. In the television show Only Murders in the Building, Martin Short, Steve Martin and Selena Gomez play podcasters attempting to solve a mystery in a building full of eccentric personalities. Their fictional apartment building is… Read More

Landmarks Music History

Making Music History at the Hotel Pennsylvania

The following article is an excerpt from a new Bowery Boys mini-podcast — following up on this week’s episode on the Hotel Pennsylvania — which has been made available to those who support the show (at the Five Points level and above) on Patreon. In the latest episode of the Bowery Boys podcast on the… Read More

Black History Friday Night Fever Music History

The story of Café Society where Billie Holiday found her song

There once was a modest basement nightclub in an old West Village building which opened the door to a revolutionary (and now obvious) idea in New York City music and delivered one of the most significant moments in all of music history. In the 30s Midtown Manhattan clubs were alight with the bourgeoisie, tuxes and… Read More

Bowery Boys Bookshelf Music History

‘The Search for John Lennon’: The short, surprising life of a music legend

John Lennon was shot and killed 40 years ago today out in front of his home at the Dakota Apartments. That fact you probably know. Many aspects of his later years — but most especially his death — have been replayed and mythologized upon the streets of New York City, the unique result of a… Read More

Museums Music History

Visit Bill Graham & the Rock and Roll Revolution before it closes

If you’ve listened to our show on Beatlemania in New York and you’re still in the mood for some 1960s music history, head on over to the New-York Historical Society to check out their harmonious exhibition on concert promoter Bill Graham. Bill Graham and the Rock and Roll Revolution summons the gods and goddesses of… Read More

Music History Podcasts

The Beatles Invade New York! Memories of Beatlemania from the fans who helped create it

PODCAST: EPISODE 346 How Beatlemania both energized and paralyzed New York City in the mid 1960s as told by the women who screamed their hearts out and helped build a phenomenon. Before BTS, before One Direction, before the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, before Menudo and the Jackson 5 — you had Paul, John, George and… Read More