CORVALLIS, Ore. — A new podcast from Oregon State University’s College of Liberal Arts is bridging the gap between artists and audience by hosting interviews with well-known musicians and other leaders in the music business.

“PopTalks,” hosted by Bob Santelli, director of popular music and performing arts, will cover many aspects of the music business, including trends, technology and innovation, new artists and history, with the goal of creating more knowledgeable listeners.

Santelli will interview a different guest from the popular music industry in each 20-minute episode.

The first episode, now available on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music, features Tom Morello, a founding member of the legendary rock group Rage Against The Machine and the band Prophets of Rage. Morello also toured as a guitarist for several years in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. A spiritual son of folk activist Woody Guthrie, Morello has long been an artist who uses music as a form of advocacy.

Just prior to the 2020 presidential election, Santelli talked with Morello about his activist roots, his folk music influences and music as a means of social and political protest.

“Tom Morello is one artist that has always seen value in using rock and roll to muster the masses into political action,” Santelli said. “His music is revolutionary, incendiary and incredibly powerful.”

Episode 2, scheduled to be posted in mid-November, will be a special program for Thanksgiving, where Santelli will talk with folk icon Arlo Guthrie, son of the late Woody Guthrie. Guthrie recently announced that he is retiring from performing due to health issues. He’ll talk with Santelli about his career, growing up in the Guthrie family and the history and tradition around his signature song, “Alice’s Restaurant.”

To listen to PopTalks, click the link for your preferred podcast platform: iTunes, Spotify or Amazon Music.

College of Liberal Arts

About the OSU College of Liberal Arts: The College of Liberal Arts encompasses seven distinct schools, as well as several interdisciplinary initiatives, that focus on humanities, social sciences, and fine and performing arts. Curriculum developed by the college’s nationally and internationally-renowned faculty prepares students to approach the complex problems of the world ethically and thoughtfully, contributing to a student's academic foundation and helping to build real-world skills for a 21st century career and a purposeful life.

Story By: 

Erin Sneller, [email protected]


Bob Santelli, [email protected]

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