One Year: 1942

Season 4: Episode 3

The Day The Music Stopped

How a 1942 recording ban changed America forever.


Episode Notes

On Aug. 1, 1942, the nation’s recording studios went silent. Musicians were fed up with the new technologies threatening their livelihoods, so they refused to record until they got their fair share. This week, Evan Chung explores one of the most consequential labor actions of the 20th century, and how it coincided with an underground revolution in music led by artists like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.

One Year is produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, and Josh Levin.

Derek John is senior supervising producer of narrative podcasts and Merritt Jacob is senior technical director.

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Sources for This Episode


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About the Show

The people and struggles that changed America—one year at a time. In each episode, host Josh Levin explores a story you may have forgotten, or one you’ve never heard of before. What were the moments that transformed politics, culture, science, religion, and more? And how does the nation’s past shape our present?

The fourth season of One Year covers 1942, a year when inflation threatened to sink America, disinformation was rampant, and a worker revolt changed music forever.

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