Hit Parade

The Bridge: Legacy of the Elusive Chanteuse

Chris Molanphy and guest Rich Juzwiak on Mariah Carey’s chart history, whether she’ll score that 20th No.1 hit, and why imperfect pop stars are the best kind.

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Episode Notes

In this mini-episode of Hit Parade, host Chris Molanphy is joined by Rich Juzwiak, writer for Jezebel as well as Slate’s advice column How to Do It. The two discuss the most recent full-length episode of Hit Parade, a breakdown of how Mariah Carey’s seasonal hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You” finally hit No.1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, an improbable 25 years after its original release. Rich walks Chris through the history of Mariah fandom—both his own and her loyal “Lambs”—and how he appreciates her for her low moments as much as her pop peaks.

Chris quizzes a Slate Plus listener with some music trivia, and the contestant turns the tables with a chance to try to stump Chris with a question of his own. Then, Chris teases the upcoming full-length episode of Hit Parade, which will look at the history of novelty and comedy hits on the charts.

While this episode is available to all listeners, our trivia round is open only to Slate Plus members. If you are a member—or once you become a member—enter as a contestant here.

Want your question featured in an upcoming show? Email a voice memo to hitparade@slate.com.

Podcast production by Asha Saluja.


About the Show

Chris Molanphy, a pop-chart analyst and author of Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” series, tells tales from a half-century of chart history. Through storytelling, trivia, and song snippets, Chris dissects how that song you love—or hate—dominated the airwaves, made its way to the top of the charts, and shaped your memories forever.

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  • Chris Molanphy is a feature writer and critic who writes widely about music and the pop charts.

  • Rich Juzwiak is a senior writer for Jezebel. He has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Gawker, and previously gave advice in the web series Pot Psychology.