Listen to Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama discuss their formative musical memories

The Boss and the former president discuss their favourite music and more on their podcast series 'Renegades: Born In The USA'

Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama have discussed their formative musical memories in a clip from their joint podcast series.

Earlier this week (February 22), the pair launched Renegades: Born In USA, which was recorded in one session last year.

In a new clip of the third episode, which will arrive on Monday (March 1), The Boss and the 44th President of the United States share their earliest musical memories.


Asked what music was catching his ear as a child in Hawaii, Obama said: “The first album I bought with my own money [was] ‘Talking Book’, Stevie Wonder. I would sit with a banged-up old turntable – a kind of plastic-y looking turntable – I got myself some earphones so my grandparents would not complain, and I would sing along to every Stevie Wonder song for hours.”

He continued to talk about listening to the radio while he was growing up and hearing songs that he would “get really attached to”. The politician also cited Marvin Gaye, Billy Paul and Joni Mitchell as his early favourites. Listen to the clip below now.


In a trailer for the podcast, which was shared on the day the series launched, Obama said: “On the surface, Bruce and I don’t have a lot in common. He’s a white guy from a small town in Jersey. I’m a black guy of mixed race, born in Hawaii. He’s a rock ‘n’ roll icon. I’m… not as cool.

“Over the course of a few days, all just a few miles from where he grew up, we talked,” he added. “What we discovered in these conversations is that we still share a fundamental belief in the American ideal. Not as an act of nostalgia, but as a compass.”


When she spoke at a keynote speech at SXSW in 2016, former First Lady Michelle Obama also cited Stevie Wonder’s ‘Talking Book’ as an important record for her. “For my birthday, [my granddad] bought me ‘Talking Book’ and I played it over and over and over again, until ‘Songs In The Key Of Life’ and then I played that over and over and over again,” she said at the time.

“[Wonder’s] songs talked about unity and love and peace. His songs are impacting and push you to think about how you could affect the world. Stevie all the way.”

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