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Pop Chronicles

The Pop Chronicles
"The 'Pop Chronicles' Team" circa 1970.[1] From left to right are John Gilliland, unidentified, Sie Holliday, Chester Coleman, and Thom Beck. Courtesy of The John Gilliland Collection.
Home station KRLA
Syndicates Armed Forces Radio
Creator(s) John Gilliland
Producer(s) Chester Coleman
Narrated by John Gilliland, Sie Holliday, Thom Beck
Air dates 1969 to c1971
No. of episodes 55
Other themes The Chronicles of Pop by Len Chandler
Website The John Gilliland Collection

The Pop Chronicles are two radio documentary series which together "may constitute the most complete audio history of 1940s-60s popular music."[2] Both were produced by John Gilliland.


  • The Pop Chronicles of the 50s and 60s 1
  • The Pop Chronicles of the 40s 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
    • Online sources 4.1
    • Print sources 4.2
    • Notes 4.3

The Pop Chronicles of the 50s and 60s

Inspired by the Monterey Pop Festival,[3] the Pop Chronicles of the 1950s and 1960s was originally produced at KRLA 1110 and first aired on February 9, 1969.[4] John Gilliland narrated the series along with Sie Holliday and Thom Beck (pictured).[5] Also performing interviews were Dick LaPalm, Lew Irwin, Harry Shearer, Mike Masterson, and Richard Perry.[6] The show's brief recurring theme song “The Chronicles of Pop” was written and performed by Len Chandler.[7] The engineer and associate producer of the series was Chester Coleman.[8][9]

KRLA 1110 originally broadcast an hour a week of the Pop Chronicles,[8] which were later syndicated[1][10] and broadcast on Armed Forces Radio.[11] The photo above indicates that it was broadcast on KABC-FM sometime before that station became KLOS.

The University of North Texas Music Library has made the Pop Chronicles available online[3] since June 2010.[12]

The Pop Chronicles of the 40s

The Pop Chronicles of the 1940s was produced by John Gilliland and broadcast on KSFO (AM) while he worked there beginning in 1972[10] and 1976.[13] To promote the show, KSFO "had a 40's month celebration with a dance remote and a jitterbug contest at Union Square."[14] This was also syndicated[14] and broadcast on AFRTS.[15] In 1994, an edited version was released as the four cassette audiobook Pop Chronicles the 40's: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40's.[16][17] This was later rereleased as The Big Band Chronicles.[18][19]

Pop Chronicles the 40s
Cover of Pop Chronicles the 40's: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40's ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8.
Home station KSFO
Syndicates AFRTS
Creator(s) John Gilliland
Narrated by John Gilliland
Air dates 1972 to 1976
No. of episodes 24

After his death, Gilliand's sister donated the Pop Chronicles tapes to the University of North Texas Music Library where they form The John Gilliland Collection.[2]

See also


Online sources

  • The Pop Chronicles audio at the University of North Texas Music Library
  • The Pop Chronicles Presents The Forties originally broadcast Sunday, November 5, 1972
  • "Index to Interviews at the John Gilliland Collection". The  
  • Los Angeles Radio People, B
  • Los Angeles Radio People, G
  • The Man on the Beat: John Gilliland and The Pop Chronicles, 2008 Association for Recorded Sound Collections conference presentation by Andrew Justice and Jonathan Thorn (audio).

Print sources

  • Gilliland, John (1997). "On Chronicling Pop". In Barrett, Don. Los Angeles radio people: Volume 2, 1957-1997. Valencia, CA: Db Marketing. (The pages in this book are not numbered, but Gilliland's essay is located between the E and F entries.)  


  1. ^ a b "Billboard - Google Books". 1970-09-26. Retrieved 2011-01-04. 
  2. ^ a b "ARSC Conference 2008 - Session Abstracts" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-07-13. 
  3. ^ a b "Explore the holdings of UNT Music Library: List View UNT Digital Library". 2010-08-14. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  4. ^ "CLASSIC DJ & RADIO SCRAPBOOK: KRLA POP CHRONICLES Program, 1969 (1 of 2)". Retrieved 2009-07-13. 
  5. ^ "Los Angeles Radio People, Where Are They Now, G". Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  6. ^ "Index to Interviews — University of North Texas Libraries". 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  7. ^ "Index to "Pop Chronicles" — University of North Texas Libraries". 2008-07-24. Archived from the original on 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  8. ^ a b * 
  9. ^ "CLASSIC DJ & RADIO SCRAPBOOK: KRLA POP CHRONICLES Program, 1969 (2 of 2)". Retrieved 2009-07-13. 
  10. ^ a b MacKenzie, Bob (1972-10-29). "Radio Returns to the '40s" (PDF).  
  11. ^ Gilliland, John (2008-08-18). "Pop chronicles. 36 (RU 11-1 [Sept. 1970]) []". []. Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  12. ^ "Statistics: John Gilliland's Pop Chronicles UNT Digital Library". Retrieved 2013-07-24. 
  13. ^ "John Gilliland - Pop Chronicles: The Forties". Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  14. ^ a b "12-Hour Special Spots Forties' Music & Events". Billboard - Google Books. 1973-01-13. Retrieved 2011-01-04. 
  15. ^ Gilliland, John (2008-08-18). "Pop chronicles of the 40's. 1 (RU 14-76 [Apr. 1976]) []". []. Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  16. ^ Gilliland, John (2008-08-18). "Pop chronicles". Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  17. ^  
  18. ^ Ruhlmann, William. The Big Band Chronicles > Overview at AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
  19. ^ "The big band chronicles". Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
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