Winner 2004

Let the Good Times Roll

The Rhythm & Blues Foundation, Public Radio International

This absorbing 13-part radio series is a celebration of the alchemic blend of jazz, gospel, and blues into rock and roll’s predecessor, rhythm and blues. Hosted by Chicago soul legend Jerry “The Iceman” Butler, Let the Good Times Roll draws upon more than 300 interviews, dozens of vintage radio and television broadcasts, historical archives, and 500 songs to bring to life the culture of the sound. Set within the social turbulence of the post World War II era, Let the Good Times Roll takes a thematic approach in its story-telling and relies heavily upon interviews with singers, musicians, producers, song writers, record company moguls, disc jockeys, television hosts, and fans of the music to tell its story. From the Memphis music scene of the 1950s, where participants rose from the churches, to vaudevillian theaters and the vibrant Philadelphia soul scene, listeners enjoy the crackle and hiss of history through this inventive documentary series. Distributed by Public Radio International, writer/producer Alexis Gillespie brings this era of music to life with the help of Suzan Jenkins as conceptual producer, Suraya Mohamed, sound designer/editor, and Rolando Arrieta, assistant sound editor. The Peabody Board is proud to present a George Foster Peabody Award to Let the Good Times Roll for its exploration of the personalities, the business, and the pure delight of rhythm and blues.