In this debut episode, Chris Molanphy tells the story of “Red Red Wine,” a song written in the 1960s by a certain journeyman singer-songwriter who loves a Hot August Night. Improbably, it became a reggae song, before the ’60s were even over—and then, even more improbably, in the 1980s it was transformed into a lilting, toasting reggae-pop global smash. And it would have been a flop in America if it hadn’t been for an enterprising DJ who ignored the record labels and picked his own hits. With this song, he even started a two-year fad and a radio mutiny.
Podcast production by Steve Lickteig.