Back in the late 1970s, the BBC debuted a science education show entitled Connections. The host was James Burke, an affable professor-ish guy, usually dressed in a beige polyester leisure suit who gave the term “interdisciplinary” a whole new meaning.
Burke’s thing was to take disparate developments in society, science, and technology and show how they were actually interconnected in ways that led to innovations and progress in the modern world. Nothing, he de contented, existed in isolation over the long term.
One show connected the invention of the cannon to the first movie project that appeared in the late 1800s. There were obviously a lot of steps in between, but Burke was able to draw a very clear line between the two. Another episode demonstrated the few degrees of separating between drinking gin and tonics to astronomers discovering the true size of the universe.
And then there was this: The most perfectly timed on-off TV standup shot.
Connections remains one of my all-time favourite TV shows. And if I’m honest, more than a little of this program is inspired by the way James Burke was able to tie things together in such brilliant ways.
I’ve always wanted to create a proper Connections-type show, but it’s been hard. So much knowledge, research, analysis, creativity, and synthesis are required. But I think after many years, I’ve cracked it. I hope I can do things justice.
Here is my attempt to create some James Burke-like connections between rock music and some seemingly unconnected inventions, events, and discoveries from the past.
Songs heard on this show:
- Stereo MC’s, Connected
- Nirvana, Heart-Shaped Box
- Soundgarden, Black Hole Sun
- Red Hot Chili Peppers, Higher Ground
- U2, Helter Skelter (Live)
- Oasis, Rock’n’Roll Star
- Specials, Concrete Jungle
- Evanescence, Bring Me to Life
Here’s a playlist from Eric Wilhite.
The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:
We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor, Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s, and anywhere else with a transmitter and I’ll see what I can do.
© 2023 Corus Radio, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.