Everyone has at least one favorite song, but which ones have changed your life? Host John Asante talks with musicians, creators, and music lovers about their most cherished music memories -- and how discovering the perfect tune at the right time can make a world of difference.


  • 13 | The Who - Cut My Hair

    13 | The Who - Cut My Hair

    15/10/2018 Duração: 25min

    As a Black kid growing up in a tumultuous home environment in 1970s Hollywood, singer-songwriter The Reverend Shawn Amos faced an identity complex. But when a friend introduced him to The Who's "Quadrophenia," he connected with one particular song about rebellion on a personal level. "Cut My Hair" helped Shawn find clarity, and eventually, his true love: playing the blues.Listen "Cut My Hair" and all the songs featured on the show on our Spotify playlist. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

  • Coming Soon | Season 2!

    Coming Soon | Season 2!

    01/10/2018 Duração: 02min

    Play It Back is *finally* back in action -- Season 2 drops this October! Check out this trailer for a taste of what's coming up. Get ready for a bunch of new stories about powerful songs from groups like The Who, Geto Boys, Radiohead, and Dixie Chicks that have changed the lives of music lovers far and wide.In the meantime, revisit episodes from Season 1, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

  • 12 | Count Frank - Yellow Bird

    12 | Count Frank - Yellow Bird

    25/05/2017 Duração: 25min

    Music producer Benjamin de Menil's earliest music memory was hearing “Yellow Bird” played by a steel drum band in Jamaica. The experience was a formative one, kindling a raging love affair with Caribbean arts that would lead to his eventual career as a label owner, producer, and academy founder specializing in bachata, the popular traditional music of the Dominican Republic.

  • 11 | Culture Club - Time (Clock of the Heart)

    11 | Culture Club - Time (Clock of the Heart)

    27/04/2017 Duração: 24min

    In grade school, the moment storyteller Marc Abbott fell in love with a particular Culture Club song, he just had to put it on a mixtape to impress a lucky girl. He was willing to go great lengths to record it at just the right time -- even if it meant messing with his father’s sacred music collection.

  • 10 | Ray Charles - Georgia On My Mind

    10 | Ray Charles - Georgia On My Mind

    23/03/2017 Duração: 38min

    Musician, chanteuse, book lover, and performer extraordinaire Susan Hwang helps us celebrate our one year anniversary by sharing personal stories about her dad, Ray Charles, and the American dream.

  • 9 | Peggy Lee - Is That All There Is?

    9 | Peggy Lee - Is That All There Is?

    23/02/2017 Duração: 25min

    At the age of 5, writer Jamie Brickhouse became obsessed with Peggy Lee and her song about escapism by means of “breaking out the booze and having a ball.” The song served as Jamie’s guide to several nights of debauchery while living in New York City. But things changed dramatically the night he drunk dialed the dazzling pop icon.

  • 8 | Dolly Parton - Coat of Many Colors

    8 | Dolly Parton - Coat of Many Colors

    26/01/2017 Duração: 26min

    Native Kentuckian storyteller, choreographer, and live performer Mark Lamb counts the ways that he’s flown on the tails of Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors.” In his warm ‘n’ buttery voice, Mark waxes reminiscent about his brave journey from being a faux fur-sporting third grader, to a fully actualized performance artist and creative soul out and about in NYC today.

  • 7 | Holiday Special

    7 | Holiday Special

    25/12/2016 Duração: 27min

    In this extra special episode of Play It Back, co-hosts John Asante and Jia H. Jung revel in the holiday spirit by rapping about their favorite (and most loathed) songs of the season. Add your choice picks to the official Play It Back Holiday Playlist Spectacular on Spotify ( just in the nick of time for Christmas, Chanukah, and the shiny New Year! (Photo: John Asante rockin' the sweater vest/peacoat combo, looking for that special girl to give that flower back in 1991.)

  • 6 | Electric Light Orchestra - Mr. Blue Sky

    6 | Electric Light Orchestra - Mr. Blue Sky

    05/12/2016 Duração: 23min

    When London-based actor Laura Killeen worked at a florist as a teenager, she was introduced to a spacey, operatic pop tune from ELO that would serve as comfort and motivation when she needed it most.

  • 5 | Tori Amos - Yes, Anastasia

    5 | Tori Amos - Yes, Anastasia

    19/10/2016 Duração: 26min

    NBC Documentary producer and host of "The Soundtrack Series" podcast creator Dana Rossi reflects upon how a terrible recent tragedy brought her back to a song that she first heard in 1994 and found applicable as a salve to any trouble in high school...and beyond.

  • 4 | Lil B - Wonton Soup

    4 | Lil B - Wonton Soup

    22/09/2016 Duração: 27min

    When independent radio producer Todd Whitney first discovered Lil B, he couldn't quite pin the quirky Bay Area rapper down. Were his songs serious, or was it all an act? On this episode of Play It Back, Todd explains why he gave Lil B another shot, and somehow became a preacher of the gospel of "The Based God."

  • 3 | Prince - I Would Die 4 U

    3 | Prince - I Would Die 4 U

    17/08/2016 Duração: 20min

    Storyteller Jia H. Jung takes time to mourn the departure and celebrate the life of one of the most immortal music makers of all time. She recalls her first encounter with The Purple One at age 5 in 1986 -- at 30,000 feet in the air, somewhere between Boston and Seoul. The voice of God, if you will...

  • 2 | Ike amp Tina Turner - River Deep, Mountain High

    2 | Ike & Tina Turner - River Deep, Mountain High

    25/03/2016 Duração: 19min

    Writer, filmmaker, and former financial trader Adam Linn shares how a whole different shade of Tina Turner guided him like a guardian angel in a rollicking (literal) blind drive over San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, during a dark time in his youth during the 1990s.

  • 1 | Tina Turner - Whats Love Got To Do With It

    1 | Tina Turner - What's Love Got To Do With It

    11/03/2016 Duração: 17min

    For the very first episode of Play it Back, we talk with writer Katie Shepherd about the power of Tina Turner's monster hit from 1984 -- and how it strengthened the relationship with her mother as she fought a life-threatening illness.