History Slam 189: Historians’ Road Trip Playlists

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By Sean Graham

After a year of lockdowns and staying at home, more and more Canadians are taking advantage of the summer to get out explore some of the amazing places across the country. The pandemic certainly isn’t over, but national and provincial parks have been booked solid as people look to get outside. To get to these sites, many are taking road trips.

One of summer’s great traditions, road trips come with soundtracks. One of my favourite in-car activities is belting out a song rolling down the highway. But what makes a good road trip soundtrack? Everyone has their own tastes, to be sure, but are their universal qualities of music that works best on a road trip?

In this episode of the History Slam, I’m joined by historian of hip hop culture and Black music in the Americas Francesca D’Amico-Cuthbert to try and answer this question. We talk about the connection between playlists and mixed tapes, the art of creating a playlist, and what makes a good playlist for a road trip. We then share with each other playlists that we put together for the show, respond to each other’s choices, and discuss the commonalities between our choices. And be sure to listen to our playlists, which are embedded below.

Francesca’s Playlist: Contemplate the Road

Sean’s Playlist: A History Slam Road Trip

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