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Do you like trivia and fun facts?
Have you lost hours to Wikipedia rabbit holes?
Do you ever wonder about the history of everyday things in your world?

The Story Behind is the show for you!

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Oct 19, 2016

This is the first episode of The Story Behind ..., a podcast exploring extraordinary history behind ordinary things. I'm your host, Emily Prokop, the former host of the Classy Little Podcast.

This Story Behind ... is similar in many ways to the Classy Little Podcast, but I skip the wine and cheese and focus on one object, person or idea every episode and the story behind it in a short 10-15 minute episode.

And I wanted to thank listeners of the Classy Little Podcast for sending so much encouragement and support, especially Nick from the Epic Film Guys podcast. Had it not been for him, I wouldn’t be behind the microphone again. Enjoy.

If you haven’t heard OF a theremin, you’ve certainly heard it. That eerie sound, like a string instrument being played in a nightmare, used by foley artists to create an alien ambiance. The theremin may be one of the weirdest sounding instruments, and to watch someone play the instrument is like watching a wizard performing an intricate spell or a conductor in front of an invisible orchestra.

In this episode, we’ll be talking about the invention of this instrument, the inventor-turned-spy Leon Theremin, and how Hollywood would forever form the association in our minds with science-fiction movies in The Story Behind The Theremin.

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Media:

https://www.freesound.org/people/realtheremin/sounds/119009/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Epro_theremin_middle_bach.ogg

Clara Rockmore plays "The Swan" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSzTPGlNa5U

Leon Theremin and the Theremin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5qf9O6c20o

Theme from "The Day the Earth Stood Still" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_3yDl1G3Vk

Theme from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Spellbound” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrDC_LuifkU

Paul Tanner/Beach Boys and the Electro-Theremin in "Good Vibrations" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CelV7EbuV-A

Jimmy Page playing the theremin during the solo of “Whole Lotta Love,” https://youtu.be/hwgLnWHJsN8?t=199

“The Big Bang Theory,” Sheldon Cooper is seen playing a theremin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YYABE0R3uA

Loulie Jean Normal singing in the theme from "Star Trek" https://youtu.be/nHhePr0TKfc?t=31  

 

Sources:

https://www.moogmusic.com/legacy/pulling-music-out-thin-air-interview-leon-theremin

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-theremin-a-strange-instrument-with-a-strange-history/

https://books.google.com/books?id=6DHlQJcMpBQC&printsec=frontcover&hl=en#v=onepage&q&f=false

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-17340257

http://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2013/02/07/171385175/no-it-wasn-t-a-theremin-on-good-vibrations-remembering-paul-tanner