99% Invisible: 238- NBC Chimes
December 2, 2016 8:55 AM - Subscribe

The NBC chimes may be the most famous sound in broadcasting. Originating in the 1920s, the three key sequential notes are familiar to generations of radio listeners and television watchers.

Many companies have tried to trademark sounds but only around 100 have ended up being accepted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office — and NBC's iconic chimes were the first. This story from the new podcast Twenty Thousand Hertz features the last person to play the NBC chimes on the NBC radio network, broadcaster Rick Greenhut, as well as radio historian John Schneider. Twenty Thousand Hertz is an audio program that tells "the stories behind the world's most recognizable and interesting sounds." NBC Chimes
posted by schmod (7 comments total)
While it might not be everybody's cup of tea, I really appreciate how 99% Invisible promotes other podcasts – Roman Mars definitely has a knack for picking episodes that his listeners will appreciate.

I really liked this episode. The production, editing, and narration of the story were all top-notch.
posted by schmod at 9:11 AM on December 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

I liked this episode; my only real beef is how it ended with GE taking the chimes off the air. Like, they use the chimes now, and have been (I think) as long as I've been alive, so when it ended, I really wanted the story of how they came back.
posted by General Malaise at 10:25 AM on December 2, 2016

Also, related 99% Invisible episode.
posted by General Malaise at 10:26 AM on December 2, 2016

schmod - I agree, I think it's a great practice. A lot of smaller shows have benefited from the "Roman Mars bump." There have been one or two that I didn't like, but they're generally good. This one was definitely well-done and a great fit.

It's funny that Roman mentioned the "thunk" of his car door. I had a VW and I loved the "boop" of the alarm being set. Someone did send him something interesting on Twitter about the thunk.
posted by radioamy at 12:01 PM on December 2, 2016

Normally I dislike podcast sampler episodes, but this one was 100% in my wheelhouse and I loved it. Subscribed to 20k Hertz immediately.
posted by hijinx at 1:31 PM on December 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

(funny because I miss my mid-1980s VW Golf and its three-tone La Cucaracha chime)
posted by General Malaise at 7:51 AM on December 3, 2016

I just listened to the other two episodes of 20k Hertz and enjoyed them as well.
posted by radioamy at 6:50 PM on December 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

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