'The Story of Sign O' the Times' wins two Webby Awards

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Prince, The Story of Sign O' The Times
Prince, The Story of Sign O' The Times (courtesy the Prince Estate)
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Prince, The Story of 1999, Episode 1: My Mind Says Prepare to Fight
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  • Prince, The Story of 1999, Episode 1: My Mind Says Prepare to Fight 29:00
  • Prince: The Story of Sign O' The Times, Episode 2 41:54
  • Prince: The Story of Sign O' The Times, Episode 3 30:33
  • Prince: The Story of Sign O' The Times, Episode 4 31:23
  • Prince: The Story of Sign O' The Times, Episode 5 34:00
  • Prince: The Story of Sign O' The Times, Episode 6 31:06
  • Prince: The Story of Sign O' The Times, Episode 7 32:46
  • Prince: The Story of Sign O' The Times, Episode 8 35:48

The Story of Sign O' the Times — the podcast exploring the history behind Prince's landmark 1987 album, produced by The Current in association with the Prince Estate, Paisley Park, and Warner Records — has been honored with two Webby Awards.

The podcast won the 2021 Webby for Arts & Culture Podcast, as well as taking the People's Voice Webby in the same category. The winners were announced today in a ceremony hosted by Jameela Jamil. The Story of Sign O' the Times was also nominated in the Music Podcasts category this year. The Webbys are annual awards for excellence on the internet, presented since 1996 by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

The Story of Sign O' the Times is one of three deep-dive Prince audio documentary series produced in partnership with the Prince Estate, Paisley Park, and Warner Records. The series was written and hosted by Andrea Swensson, and produced by Anna Weggel, with technical director Corey Schreppel. Trevor Guy (with the Prince Estate), Giancarlo Sciama (with Warner Records), and David Safar (managing director of The Current) were also recognized for their contributions to the series.

Stream the complete audio above, and find episode-by-by episode descriptions below — with links to episode transcripts. These audio documentaries are also available as a podcast on multiple platforms. For more Prince stories, check out the Prince Remembered podcast.

The Story of Sign O' the Times

Episode 1: It's Gonna Be a Beautiful Night

The story of Sign O' The Times involves many twists, turns, and abandoned projects. We begin with key collaborators Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman as they reflect on Prince's prolific Dream Factory period, with additional insights from engineer Susan Rogers and musicians Eric Leeds, Atlanta Bliss, Matt Fink and BrownMark.

Episode 2: The Dream Factory

In the winter of 1985-1986, Prince and his new fiancée Susannah Melvoin moved into a new property on Galpin Blvd. in Chanhassen, Minnesota, jumpstarting a spring and summer of nonstop creativity in Prince's new home studio. Learn more about this space from Susannah, engineer Susan Rogers, Eric Leeds, and Atlanta Bliss.

Episode 3: The Quake

An earthquake hits the California coastline while Prince is in L.A. recording at Sunset Sound, and has an unexpected influence on his classic song "Sign O' The Times." With insights from Warner Bros. Records president Lenny Waronker, engineer Susan Rogers, collaborators Susannah Melvoin, Wendy Melvoin, and Lisa Coleman, and scholars Duane Tudahl and Daphne A. Brooks.

Episode 4: Strict and Wild and Pretty

At the conclusion of their dazzling, grueling Parade Tour, the Revolution play their final show with Prince. Hear from Lisa Coleman, Wendy Melvoin, Dr. Fink, BrownMark, Eric Leeds, Atlanta Bliss, and Levi Seacer, Jr.

Episode 5: It Be's Like That Sometimes

With news of the Revolution's breakup still fresh, Prince returned to Sunset Sound to finish his magnum opus: a sprawling three-disc set called Crystal Ball. Rather than release it, Warner Bros. Records offered a rare critique of his work, requesting that he edit it down. Hear from Warner executive Lenny Waronker, engineers Coke Johnson and Susan Rogers, and professor Daphne A. Brooks.

Episode 6: Pop Goes the Music

Prince rings in 1987 by assembling his new band, finishing the artwork for his new album, and beginning intense rehearsals for the Sign O' The Times Tour. With insights from Cat Glover, Levi Seacer Jr., Dr. Fink, Alan Leeds, Jeff Katz, Karen Krattinger, Atlanta Bliss, and Eric Leeds.

Episode 7: Peach and Black

Prince and his band embark on the European Sign O' The Times Tour, spending several consecutive nights in Holland before returning to Paisley Park to produce the Sign O' The Times film. Hear memories from LeRoy Bennett, Dr. Fink, Atlanta Bliss, Cat Glover, Levi Seacer, Alan Leeds, and Prince fams jooZt Mattheij, Roald Bakker, Pascal Comvalius, Patrick Jordens, Maya Rudolph, and Fred Armisen.

Episode 8: Can I Play With U?

Prince rings in the New Year of 1988 with his final Sign O' The Times stage show--which included a historic on-stage collaboration with jazz legend Miles Davis. Hear from Duane Tudahl, Karen Krattinger, Cubby Colby, Alan Leeds, Atlanta Bliss, Eric Leeds, Levi Seacer Jr., Dr. Fink, and Cat Glover.

These audio documentaries were produced by The Current, supported by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, and created in collaboration with The Prince Estate and Warner Records and with their support.


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