Entertainment

The Story of a Song: “Play That Funky Music”

The founder of the band Wild Cherry and the creator of the iconic song “Play that Funky Music,” Rob Parissi, joins Tim to do an anatomy of a funky song. That funky song, which has been named one of the top 100-performing songs of all time. Rob tells stories and gives a hint why new generations are embracing it even today.

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The Rise of Rush Limbaugh & Conservative Talk Radio

Brian Rosenwald joins Tim to talk about the rise of Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio. Brian is the co-editor of a daily Washington Post history blog called “Made by History.” He’s a Scholar in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania. He’s also the author of a new book called: “Talk Radio’s America: how an industry took over a political party that took over the United States.”

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The Philosophy of Mister Rogers

Bill Isler joins Tim to talk about his friend and colleague and Fred Rogers and the film “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” starring Tom Hanks and where Bill serves as an important character in the movie. Bill sheds light on the Fred Rogers the man, his philosophy and his unquestionable legacy.

 

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YouTube Creator: The Kavalier

He’s an up and coming YouTube creator better known to his 100,000 subscribers as The Kavalier. Jon Shanahan joins Tim to talk about what it was like to come up with this YouTube concept, and then come up with a successful strategy to build a large following as a full-time YouTuber.

 

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Our Top 10 Moments of 2019

In this episode, Tim revisits the Top 10 moments in the Shaping Opinion Podcast for 2019. Which one was your favorite? Find out if your fellow listeners selected it in their Top 10!

 

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Hanukkah, The Festival of Lights

Rabbi Seth Adelson joins Tim to talk about the story of Hanukkah, its history, its traditions and its meaning. Rabbi Adelson serves the Congregation Beth Shalom in Pittsburgh.

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Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

Jim Temple is the grandson of Virginia O’Hanlon, who wrote a letter to the New York Sun that would lead to an editorial that would cement Santa Claus in the minds of children of all ages for generations.  Jim joins Tim in this episode to talk about the lasting impact of that letter and the editorial. This is that now iconic editorial that features those legendary words, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

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She was Cousin Catherine in “Christmas Vacation”

Miriam Flynn is an actor and voice actor best known as Cousin Catherine in the National Lampoon Vacation series of motion pictures. She joins Tim to talk about here work on the National Lampoon Christmas Vacation movie, her own memories and how the film has found a way into America’s holiday season entertainment traditions.

 

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He Directed “Christmas Vacation”

Plan on watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation this holiday season? Listen to the film’s director Jeremiah Chechik talk about the impact that movie has had on him and on our holiday entertainment traditions. He’ll talk about the making of the film and why the Griswold Family have become a staple in holiday viewing.

 

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Why We Eat What We Do at Thanksgiving

Food PR expert Mary Barber joins Tim to tell the origin stories behind our Thanksgiving foods, from regional favorites, to some items that trace their “roots” back to that first Thanksgiving in 1621. Listen to the story behind your Thanksgiving table.

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Post-game Staple: The Locker Room Interview

Veteran sports columnist Gene Collier joins Tim to talk about the ubiquitous locker room interview and how it changed the way the world learns about and sees sports. Gene tells stories of his own memorable experiences as a journalist interviewing athletes and coaches before and after some of the biggest events of their lives. In this episode we talk about the first locker room interview pioneer, and the time when female journalists gained access to team locker rooms.

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The Fortune 500

Fortune Magazine CEO Alan Murray joins Tim to tell the story behind the Fortune 500, its history, its significance today, and what it has said over the years about America’s and the world’s business evolution.

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The Last Pirate, The First Celebrity Gangster

Author Rich Cohen joins Tim to talk about his latest book called The Last Pirate of New York. As the title would suggest, it’s about the end of the days of pirates in New York, and the birth of the celebrity gangster, all in the story of one man, Albert Hicks and the grisly case in 1860 that changed the way Americans saw crime.

 

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E.B. White’s Timeless Words on Democracy

Writer and editor Martha White joins Tim to discuss her work on the new book called, “E.B. White On Democracy,” a collection of her iconic grandfather’s essays, poetry and letters on democratic society. E.B. White wrote the children’s stories of Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little. His work on the book The Elements of Style is iconic. But he was best known during his lifetime as an essayist, a poet and a writer for The New Yorker and others.

 

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Time Machine: RCA Studio B

Country music historian John Rumble joins Tim to talk about Nashville’s legendary RCA Studio B, where music history was made on a regular basis. John is a senior historian at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. In this episode, we talk about a humble little recording studio that changed the course of country music history, and made the careers of many entertainers within and outside of country music.

 

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Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe

The COO and General Manager of Nashville’s famous Bluebird Café Erika Wollam Nichols joins Tim to talk about the Bluebird, its storied history and how this little place in a strip mall has impacted country music, songwriting and our culture.

 

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MTV: When Video Killed the Radio Star

Los Angeles Times music editor and author Craig Marks joins Tim to talk about the birth of MTV and how it changed culture, music and television. Craig is a co-author of the book, “I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution.”

 

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In Search of Kindness

Mary Latham is on a mission to collect stories of kindness from all 50 states in the country for a once-in-a-lifetime journey. She joins Tim to talk about what and who inspired her mission and tells many stories she’s learned 41 states into her trip.

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America’s First Family of Fireworks

Dr. George Zambelli, Jr., Chairman of Zambelli Fireworks, joins Tim to talk about fireworks, America’s 4th of July tradition, his family’s role as the “First Family of Fireworks,” and the American dream. Since 1893, Zambelli Fireworks has dazzled millions, including every president since JFK. There is a good chance that if you watch fireworks this July 4th, you’ll be enjoying that “Zambelli magic.”

 

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The American Flag: A Biography

Historian, professor, and podcaster Greg Jackson joins Tim to discuss the story of the United States flag, its history, its meaning and what it represents, and just why and how it stirs such strong emotions throughout society. Later in the episode we have a special feature you won’t want to miss.

 

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Hollywood Confidential: America’s Celebrity Crisis Manager

Hollywood publicist, crisis manager and author Howard Bragman joins Tim to talk about what it’s like to handle public relations for celebrities, particularly when those celebrities find themselves at the center of controversy. For decades, Howard has been the go-to guy in Los Angeles and nationwide for celebrity crisis management.

 

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America’s New Arrivals

The host of the popular new podcast ‘How To Be American,’ Brendan Murphy joins Tim to talk about America’s immigration heritage as seen through the rooms of a couple old tenement buildings on the Lower East Side of New York City. Brendan is an educator at the Tenement Museum.

 

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Grammy Winner Tim O’Brien: American Bluegrass

Grammy Award-winning bluegrass songwriter and performer Tim O’Brien joins our Tim O’Brien to talk about his own musical journey and about America’s bluegrass musical heritage.

 

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A Hershey Story

Pamela Whitenack, Director Emeritus of the Hershey Community Archives, joins Tim to talk about the story behind Hershey, the iconic candy brand, the company and the small town in Pennsylvania, all the vision of one man, Milton S. Hershey.

 

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If the Stanley Cup Could Talk

Hockey Hall of Fame curator and Keeper of the Cup Philip Pritchard joins Tim to talk about the history and lore of the Stanley Cup and how it’s unique among all professional sports trophies with its own personality, and the stories it could tell. Wherever the Cup goes, Phil goes with it as the Keeper of the Cup.

 

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Woodstock: Then & Now – Episode 56

Rolling Stone journalist Andy Greene joins Tim to talk about plans to mark the 50th anniversary of Woodstock and the legacy across generations left by that iconic original event in 1969.

 

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The Lasting Impact of Ferris Beuller

Jen Chaney joins Tim to talk about a cult classic film that its fans have to watch over and over. Ferris Beuller’s Day Off. Jen is a TV critic and pop culture journalist who’s contributed to the Washington Post, the New York Times, New York Magazine’s Vulture specialty publication, and WTOP Radio in Washington, D.C. In this episode we talk about how a teen movie left an indelible mark on pop culture.

 

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“Blood Code:” SEGA v. Nintendo

Author Blake Harris joins Tim to discuss the story behind his book, which is being turned into a television series: “Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation.” Blake tells the story of when Sega and Nintendo battled Nintendo throughout the 1990s for video game industry dominance, and for the hearts, minds, and the fingers of a new generation.

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When Nike Reshaped Marketing with “Just Do It.”

Liz Dolan joins Tim to talk about one of the most well-known advertising taglines of all time, Nike’s “Just Do It.” Liz was Nike’s head of PR and then Marketing for the ten years when the legendary changed everything for the company and the way companies market themselves. We talk with Liz about the story behind Nike’s marketing genius, line and the impact it’s made beyond athletics.

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Groundhog Day

Groundhog Club Inner Circle member John Griffiths joins Tim to talk about Groundhog Day and why a little town called Punxsutawney becomes the epicenter of weather prognostication one day a year. John is the handler of Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania ground hog famous around the world for predicting whether or not we have another 6 weeks of winter. February 2nd is better known as Groundhog Day.

 

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All Star: The Chuck Taylors Story

Author Abe Aamidor joins Tim to talk about those iconic Chuck Taylor Converse All Star shoes. The Chuck Taylor story, how he was the first to have an athletic shoe named after him, and how a classic basketball shoe came to stand for rock and roll, the counter culture, and today a major fashion statement. We talk with Abe about his book, Chuck Taylor All Star: The True Story of the Man Behind the Most Famous Athletic Shoe in History.

 

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Remembering AOL Instant Messenger

Aja Romano, a culture staff writer for Vox, joins Tim to discuss the impact AOL Instant Messenger had on the way we communicate and on many peoples’ formative years. The two talk about those colors, those sounds, the dos and don’ts of AIM ands the legacy it left for social media habits we carry on today.

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2018: Moments to Remember

In this episode of the Shaping Opinion Podcast, we’re doing something different. This is our Year in Review episode. 2018: Moments to Remember. We’ll go back and highlight some of the great moments we’ve had so far in our first year.

 

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New Year’s Eve

Alexis McCrossen, a professor at SMU and an expert on how cultures have marked time in history, Joins Tim to talk about our New Year’s Eve traditions with a special focus on the story behind that Times Square Ball Drop.

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True Story: Santa Claus

Author Gerry Bowler joins Tim to discuss the story of Santa Claus. Gerry is the author of the book entitled, “Santa Claus: A Biography.” He talks about everything from Santa Claus’s birth and evolution over the centuries, to his role in modern day culture. Santa Claus the philanthropist, Santa Claus the gift giver, and Santa Claus the ad man.

 

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The Sears Wish Book

Writer, editor, producer and actor Jason Liebig joins Tim to talk about the Sears Wishbook. Jason is the creator of a website called WishbookWeb.com, which has archived complete, high-quality scans of Sears Wishbooks and other holiday catalogues going back to 1933. In this episode, we talk about a holiday tradition sure to bring a smile to your face.

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The Jetsons: How’s that Future Going?

Author Danny Graydon joins Tim to talk about the classic cartoon The Jetsons and how a children’s television program from the 60s could have had such staying power after only one season, and some of the many visions of the future depicted in the show. What’s our progress been towards becoming the world of The Jetsons?

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Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Author Robert Grippo joins Tim to discuss the story of the most famous parade in the world, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Robert and Tim talk about the parade’s history, its role as perhaps one of the most notable PR events ever, and how the event has become ingrained in America’s consciousness and the official kick-off of the nation’s celebration of the Holiday Season.

 

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The Circus: How it Fed America’s Imagination

Writer, producer and director Sharon Grimberg joins Tim to discuss her latest production for American Experience on PBS called “The Circus.” Sharon talks about how the circus played a unique role in introducing Americans throughout the country to the world beyond, and in the process, helping to define American culture, and feed a growing nation’s imagination. For many decades before mass media, the circus brought to your town sights, sounds, smells, a complete sensory experience you might only get one day a year, if not once in a lifetime.

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Going Head to Head with the NFL

Former college All-American, NFL linebacker, and one of the NFL’s most prominent player agents Ralph Cindrich joins Tim to give his unique perspective of the NFL. Ralph spent 40 years in locker rooms, on fields and in negotiations with the owners during the league’s meteoric rise.

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BEATS: ‘Dad, Can I Have $400 Headphones?’

Business writer and author Jeff Haden joins Tim to tell the story of Beats. Those expensive headphones that are about more than sound. They’re fashion statement. Jeff is a contributing editor for Inc..com, and he’s the author of the book, The Motivation Myth: How high achievers really set themselves up to win. Today, we look at a case study on winning in business in the high-end headphone market and how it changed the way we look at sound.

 

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Freedom Car: The Story of the Ford Mustang

Automotive historian John Heitmann joins Tim to discuss the Freedom Car, the Ford Mustang and its  role American lore. John digs into the history of the car, its place in popular culture and recent events surrounding the emergence of the long lost and iconic “Bullitt Mustang.”

The premise of our podcast is simple. We talk about the people, events and things that have shaped the way we think. In this episode, John tells the story behind the car that some vintage collectors say is an iconic American symbol of freedom, but all describe it in one word – cool.

 

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The Monopoly Story

Veteran board games executive, entrepreneur, game designer and Monopoly game expert Phil Orbanes  joins Tim to talk about his life-long affinity for one of the world’s most beloved board games, Monopoly.  Phil tells the whole story behind the game.  And  he talks about what the Monopoly game teaches us “off the board” in life and in business.

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The Man Behind the Emoticon :-)

Artificial Intelligence pioneer and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) researcher Scott Fahlman joins Tim to discuss how a few minutes of humor turned into a worldwide phenomenon when he created the first Internet emoticon. Actually, it all started before the Internet was a thing.

 

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The Roads that Brought Us Together

Advertising veteran and author Richard Ratay joins Tim to talk about how America’s new roadways brought the country and families closer together. The conversation ranges from homespun stories of family on the road, to how pop culture was influenced by America’s growing super highway infrastructure, as they talk about Richard’s new book, “Don’t Make Me Pull Over: An informal history of the family road trip.”

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The Beatles Break Apart

Award-winning author and music industry veteran Bob Spitz joins Tim to discuss the break-up of The Beatles, a watershed moment in the history of rock and roll, and how it impacted the music and entertainment and American culture for decades to come.

 

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Arnold Palmer: Golf’s Sports Marketing Pioneer

Author Chris Rodell joins Tim to discuss his 20-year relationship with Arnold Palmer as covered in his new book “Arnold Palmer: Homespun Stories of the King.”  Chris talks about what he learned from Arnold Palmer’s example in golf, in business and in life, and what Palmer’s legacy means to professional athletes today.

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Do Sharks Need a PR Agency?

Writer Jason Bittel joins Tim to discuss how Shark Week, Jaws and other media may have created some off-target myths around sharks, while at the same time, driving more interest in shark research. This is Our Shark Show.

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Bob Hope’s USO Legacy

Journalist Kurt Jensen joins Tim to discuss Bob Hope and his USO legacy. The Hollywood legend literally delivered ‘hope’ to generations of troops stationed overseas from World War II to Desert Storm in the early 1990s.  For all that he achieved in Hollywood, perhaps his most lasting legacy is coming to define what it means to “support our troops.”

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C-SPAN: Window to Washington

Jeff Cohen joins Tim to take a closer look at how C-SPAN opened the door to a 24/7 window to Washington, D.C., changing the way Americans see Congress and, in some instances, how Congress presents itself to the country.

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