Podcast Playlist

Ten history podcasts you need to hear

If you're looking for more history lessons, here are 10 past-cast suggestions to compliment this week's episode that bring history to life.
Theda Bara was Hollywood's first sex-symbol. You Must Remember This tells the story of her rise to stardom. (Fox Film Corporation)

If you're looking for more history lessons, here are 10 past-cast suggestions to complement this week's episode that bring history to life.

1. Stuff You Missed in History Class

Episode suggestion: H.H. Holmes and the Mysteries of Murder Castle. Part 1 & 2.

This two part episode profiles one of the first, documented serial killers: H.H. Holmes. From his early attempts at insurance fraud to the construction of his 'murder castle.' Hosts Tracey & Holly cover Holmes' life & crimes in the detailed and historically accurate style Stuff You Missed in History Class is known for.

Part 1:

Part 2:

2. Hardcore History 

Episode suggestion:​ Episode 48 — Prophets of Doom

Hardcore History is known for its 5-part epics. But, if you're worried about the time commitment, Prophets of Doom is a nice place to start, as it's a one and done episode. In Dan Carlin's own words, in this episode, "Murderous millennial preachers and prophets take over the German city of Munster." Enough said.

If you're looking for more Hardcore History, check out episode 4 of Podcast Playlist, which featured Blueprint for Armageddon III.

3. Rum, Rebels & Ratbags ​

Episode suggestion:​ Mothers of a Nation

There's a reason this is the most listened to episode of the Australian podcast Rum, Rebels and Ratbags. It's a fascinating look at life for women in the early days of the convict colony. In Mothers of a Nation, you'll learn why Australia was a world leader in women's suffrage.

4. Fugitive Waves

Episode suggestion: Rice-a-roni, The San Francisco-Italian-Armenian Treat

The famous San Francisco Treat traces its history through Italy, Armenia and even … Edmonton. Fugitive Waves' account of the origin story of this convenience food will capture you — and might even make you cry.

Don't miss Fugitive Waves' Route 66 — The Mother Road, Part 1 on episode 4 of Podcast Playlist.

5.​ You Must Remember This 

Episode suggestion:​ Theda Bara, Hollywood's First Sex Symbol

Hollywood's first sex symbol is a woman you've probably never heard of. Theda Bara was a silent film femme fatale with a very interesting rise to fame. This episode of You Must Remember This has lots of vintage gossip that makes today's tabloid fare sound pretty dull.

You can also hear more about Lena Horne, Hollywood's first African-American actress to be given the star treatment on episode 4 of Podcast Playlist.

6.​ Futility Closet ​

Episode suggestion: Composing From Beyond the Grave

In 1933 violinist Jelly d'Aranyi made an interesting connection during a seance. Through her ouija board the spirit of German composer Robert Schumann asked her to find his lost concerto. Expect the unexpected in this mysterious story from Futility Closet.

​7.​ BackStory

Episode suggestion: Banned: A History of Censorship

In celebration of Banned Books Week, this episode of BackStory focuses on censorship in politics, media and culture. The segment, Up to Code is a standout. It explains the lasting effect of The Motion Picture Production code on 30-years of American film.

If you can't get enough of BackStory, be sure to check out Speed Through Time, on this past episode of Podcast Playlist.

8.​ Epic Rap Battles of History

Episode suggestion: Sir Issac Newton vs. Bill Nye the Science Guy

In the weird and wonderful category, Epic Rap Battles of History is a podcast that features fictional & comedic rap battles between notable historical and pop culture figures. Sir Issac Newton vs. Bill Nye the Science Guy is hilarious, but just like real rap music: expect some swears & mature themes.

9. Footnoting History 

Episode suggestion: The Royal Teeth of Louis XIV

The "Sun King" was known for his love of luxury and expensive things. But, in this episode of Footnoting History, we get to learn all about Louis's not so glamorous dental problems. Strangely riveting and has the added benefit of helping you recommit to your daily flossing ritual.

10. I Was There Too 

Episode suggestion: The Untouchables with Melody Rae

I Was There Too is a podcast that explores film through the background actors who found themselves in memorable scenes from cinema history. In this episode, Matt Gourley speaks with actress Melody Rae. You may remember her from the 'staircase' scene in Brian de Palma's The Untouchables. This conversation is a great peek behind the curtain on a classic movie.

What are your favourite podcasts? Send us an e-mail, tweet us @PodcastPlaylist, or find us on Facebook.

For more great podcasts, check out CBC's podcast portal — we have more than 99 home grown podcasts available for subscription or download!


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