Decoder Ring

The New Age Hit Machine

How a PBS pledge drive turned Yanni and John Tesh into rock stars.

Advertisement

Episode Notes

For this episode, a story from Slate senior producer Evan Chung about how Yanni, John Tesh and a number of other surprising acts made it big in the 1990s. It’s a throwback to a simpler time— when musicians struggled to find their big break, but discovered it was possible with a telephone, a television, and our undivided attention.

This story originally aired in 2019 on Studio 360 from PRX.

We hear from George Veras, Pat Callahan, and John Tesh.

This episode was written and produced by Slate’s Evan Chung. Decoder Ring is produced by Willa Paskin and Katie Shepherd. Derek John is Slate’s Executive Producer of narrative podcasts. Merritt Jacob is Senior Technical Director.

If you haven’t please yet, subscribe and rate our feed in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. And even better, tell your friends.

If you’re a fan of the show and want to support us, consider signing up for Slate Plus.

Slate Plus members get to listen to Decoder Ring without any ads. Their support is also crucial to our work. So please go to Slate.com/decoderplus to join Slate Plus today.

Advertisement

About the Show

In each episode, host Willa Paskin takes a cultural question, object, or habit; examines its history; and tries to figure out what it means and why it matters.

All episodes

Host