Last week’s podcast highlights centered around the theme of firsts: the first all-female radio station, the first openly gay star in Hollywood, a first attempt at a love letter, and the first episode of a new podcast. But the week also featured one important last: the last episode of a podcast that often featured stories about internet firsts. Get your fill of groundbreaking firsts (and a last) with these podcasts from last week.
Fugitive Waves: Last week’s Fugitive Waves was the first of a multi-part story on the first all-female radio station in the United States, WHER in Memphis, Tennessee. Amazingly, hosts Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva say they’ve been working on this story for 20 years, and in that time, they’ve interviewed a number of people who were involved with the station, some of whom have since died. Now, 60 years after the radio station began in a Memphis Holiday Inn, the Kitchen Sisters are sharing the story with their listeners. Part one focused on the origin of the station, which Sun Records owner Sam Phillips started with money he’d earned from the sale of Elvis Presley’s contract.
You Must Remember This: Season Five of You Must Remember This is now in full swing, and for the fifth episode of the fifth season, host Karina Longworth told the story of the actor who many claim was Hollywood’s first openly gay star, William “Billy” Haines. Longworth traced Haines’ career, from his early days in New York, to the height of his popularity as the biggest box office star in 1929, to the end of his acting career only four years later. The real story, though, was Haines’ long and open relationship with his partner, Jimmy Shields, which likely accounted for the end of Haines’ acting career, but which Haines never tried to hide.
Mortified: Last Monday’s episode of Mortified, the podcast that features adults sharing the embarrassing creations of their youth, brought the heart-touching stories of Colin, a man who had a speech impediment growing up. The stories, taken from love letters and essays written by young Colin, centered around Colin’s struggle to communicate with girls. As you might expect, they had their funny parts, usually involving the grand flourishes in language used by the young Colin. But with every laugh you’ll find yourself cringing with sympathy and rooting for the boy behind the words. And in the end, after hearing adult Colin reflect on his younger self, you’ll feel like the boy did win.
The Garbage Time Podcast: Just a few months after starting a television show on Fox Sports 1 called Garbage Time, Katie Nolan kicked off a new podcast last week with the same name. According to Nolan, the podcast is intended to pick up where the 30-minute TV show leaves off, and will include sports chat between Nolan and her producers as well as interviews with people from the sports world. The first episode included an interview with one of Nolan’s sports broadcasting idols, Rachel Nichols. The two talked about the role of women in the world of sports journalism and Nichols’ experience going from a dedicated sports network to a news network, and they dared to debate the ever-popular question, “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” New episodes will be released each Thursday.
Sideshow: Host Sean Rameswaram closed out his internet culture podcast last week, ending it with the story of how he started his own creative path on the internet. Rameswaram talked with his group of friends from high school with whom he first started creating things for the internet, from comedy sketch videos to rap songs. The episode featured clips from those early creations and a discussion between the friends, who reunited for a new rap song to send Sideshow off into its own place in internet history. Sideshow fans can take comfort–Rameswaram indicated he’s developing a new show he expects to launch early next year.