Monday, April 20, 2015

You Must Remember This

It should come as a surprise to no one that I'm somewhat obsessed with TV and movies, and am therefore always up for a good story about Hollywood. I've recently found myself digging into several excellent Hollywood stories -- some factual, some fictional. This is one I highly recommend.

Billing itself as an exploration of the secret and/or forgotten histories of Hollywood's first century, "You Must Remember This" is a storytelling podcast featuring familiar characters in unfamiliar circumstances.

Each week (with occasional hiatuses), creator-writer-narrator Karina Longworth delves into the life of a prominent figure from Hollywood's past, bringing to light some of the more obscure aspects of their biographies.

Dispensing with cradle-to-grave narratives, Longworth typically hones in on a few specific years from her subjects' lives, wrapping her stories around definitive relationships or a significant work (Bacall after Bogart; Streisand's "A Star Is Born").

One of the most appealing aspects of this series is the balance between the well-known and the unknown. Take Frank Sinatra, for example. Nearly 20 years after his death, he remains a prominent figure in popular culture. But how many people are aware of his triple album "Trilogy: Past, Present and Future," the last 40 minutes of which find him singing about visiting each of the planets in our solar system? It happened!

Some episodes are one-offs, while others are grouped into thematic miniseries (such as "stars during times of war," which has dominated the podcast for most of this year so far). But each episode tells a self-contained story, making it easy to jump in at any time.

"You Must Remember This" is a priority listen for me; as soon as it downloads, I hit play.

Click here for the official website.

To subscribe on iTunes, click here.

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