Music industry orthodoxy has it that you sell lots of albums by having a good looking woman on the cover. Certainly, there's no shortage of records with women of memorable appearance on the cover. Usually, we have no idea who they are and know nothing about them. But sometimes, the woman on the album cover is a big story in her own right.
Who is that woman on the cover? In memory of Sally Grossman.
Listen to my ABC Radio piece here.
In 1963, Philips launched the audio cassette, a compact recording and playback format invented by Lou Ottens.
It was the first truly portable music format. Cassettes could record or be played on relatively small, battery-powered devices. The audio quality wasn't great, and sometimes the tape broke or got tangled in the machine. But the cassette changed everything - for the better.
We could record new music straight off the radio, we could compile songs into themed mix tapes for road trips or to share around. Making a mix tape is a fine art. I'm sure many radio industry folk learned about music programming by making mix tapes when they were spotty teenagers. I know i did.
Lou Ottens died in March. He was 94. In Lou's honour, I've digitally restored a 1981 mix tape I made for a road trip to Melbourne.
And here's a Spotify of that long-ago mix tape.
In the 1950s and 60s, successful songs had sequels. Part two. What happened next? Like authors and film-makers, songwriters and bands looked to repeat success.
It didn’t always work – but sequel songs were often very big hits, sometimes bigger than the original.
Let's Twist Again, Bye Bye Johnny, Judy's Turn to Cry. There are many more, including Harry Chapin's Sequel, the sequel to his hit song Taxi.
The sequel song is a rare thing today, but at its peak, this was a fun and sometimes brilliant musical genre.
Listen to my exploration of sequel songs
Richard is a writer, podcaster, radio and TV broadcaster, an editor, and a lover of music. He tells the stories of how great songs are made, and of the people who make them.