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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
"The 'Pop Chronicles' Team" circa 1970.[1] From left to right are John Gilliland, unidentified, Sie Holliday, Chester Coleman, and Thom Beck.
Home stationKRLA
SyndicatesArmed Forces Radio
Created byJohn Gilliland
Produced byChester Coleman
Narrated byJohn Gilliland, Sie Holliday, Thom Beck
Original release1969 – c1971
No. of episodes55
Other themesThe Chronicles of Pop by Len Chandler
WebsiteThe John Gilliland Collection


The Pop Chronicles of the 50s and 60sEdit

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][12] since June 2010.[13]

The Pop Chronicles of the 1940sEdit

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 then in 1976.[14] To promote the show, KSFO "had a 40's month celebration with a dance remote and a jitterbug contest at Union Square."[15] This was also syndicated[15] and broadcast on AFRTS.[16] 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.[17][18] This was later rereleased as The Big Band Chronicles.[19][20]

Pop Chronicles the 40s
Cover of the audiobook version
Home stationKSFO
Created byJohn Gilliland
Narrated byJohn Gilliland
Original release1972 – 1976
No. of episodes24

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 alsoEdit



  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 Gilliland, John (1969). "Explore the holdings of UNT Music Library" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
  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 *Hopkins, Jerry (October 4, 1969). "'Pop Chronicles' Chronicle Pop". Rolling Stone (43). p. 34.
  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). Oakland Tribune. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-02-09.
  11. ^ Gilliland, John (2008-08-18). "Pop chronicles. 36 (RU 11-1 [Sept. 1970]) []". []. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  12. ^ "The Pop Chronicles Of The 50s And 60s". 1969. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  13. ^ "Statistics: John Gilliland's Pop Chronicles UNT Digital Library". Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  14. ^ "John Gilliland - Pop Chronicles: The Forties". Archived from the original on 2009-02-01. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  15. ^ a b "12-Hour Special Spots Forties' Music & Events". Billboard - Google Books. 1973-01-13. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
  16. ^ Gilliland, John (2008-08-18). "Pop chronicles of the 40's. 1 (RU 14-76 [Apr. 1976]) []". []. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  17. ^ Gilliland, John (2008-08-18). "Pop chronicles". Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  18. ^ Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC 31611854.
  19. ^ Ruhlmann, William. The Big Band Chronicles at AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
  20. ^ "The big band chronicles". Retrieved 2009-08-03.

Print sourcesEdit

  • Gilliland, John (1997). "On Chronicling Pop". In Barrett, Don (ed.). Los Angeles radio people: Volume 2, 1957-1997. Valencia, CA: Db Marketing. ISBN 978-0-9658907-0-0. OCLC 38994418.(The pages in this book are not numbered, but Gilliland's essay is located between the E and F entries.)

External linksEdit