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iHeartMedia Announces “Bear and a Banjo,” A First-of-its-Kind Musical Podcast Blockbuster Narrated by Dennis Quaid

Podcast brings together some of the biggest names in the music and entertainment industry including Poo Bear, T Bone Burnett, Bill Flanagan and more

Austin, TX — March 11, 2019 — iHeartMedia, the No. 1 commercial podcast publisher globally with over 20,000 podcasts available on its iHeartRadio platform, today announced “Bear and a Banjo,” a first-of-its-kind iHeartRadio Original musical podcast, set to launch on the iHeartPodcast Network later this year. The podcast will be accompanied by the debut of The Bear and A Banjoalbum, which will mark the first time a band has used the power of podcasting to release an album.

Created by Jingle Jared, Dennis Quaidand five-time Grammy winner Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd (“Despacito,” “Where Are You Now,” “I’m the One” and “Peaches and Cream”) with musical contributions from producerT Bone Burnett(O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Crazy Heart) and original lyrical contribution from Bob Dylan, each episode of the eight-part series will tell a self-contained story about a character called Mister Bear. Bear is a traveling musician who visits different towns across America and impacts people’s lives before vanishing again. He is often preceded into town by J. Banjo, a charming huckster/card player/preacher/medicine salesman who acts as Bear’s promoter and hype man.

“This is the beginning of an entirely new era of podcasts. With ‘Bear and a Banjo,’ we are delving into a more sophisticated form of storytelling that brings the audience into a lush and rich world – not just through words, but music,” said Dennis Quaid.

Each story in the eight-part anthology is based on an original song from the soon-to-be-released The Bear and A Banjo album, written and performed by Jingle Jared and Poo Bear. The podcast is written by award-winning producer and author Bill Flanagan(creator of CMT’s Crossroads and VH1’s Storytellers), with narration by Dennis Quaid as Dr. Q, who is searching to understand why the band was virtually erased from musical history. Throughout his exploration of the “Bear and a Banjo” story, listeners will learn about the band’s impact, uncoveringwhy the musicians’ history was nearly forgotten – until now.

“The sheer volume of talent that came together to collaborate on this project is truly remarkable,” said Jared Gutstadt, co-founder and president of the Jingle Punks. “It was an honor to work with the best and brightest minds in the industry to create a podcast that is unlike any other. The songs and storytelling will resonate with listeners everywhere, and we can’t wait to unveil it to the world.” 

“When we heard the idea for this podcast, we knew immediately that it would be a perfect fit for the iHeartPodcast Network,” said Gayle Troberman, CMO of iHeartMedia. “The massive reach of our broadcast radio stations combined with our No. 1 podcast platform will ensure listeners everywhere can enjoy ‘Bear and a Banjo,” and we’re excited to help brands find their voice and tell their stories through this unique audio experience.’

iHeartMedia announced “Bear and a Banjo” at an exclusive event featuring Dennis Quaid, with performances by the Jingle Punks and Tim McGraw, at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Dennis Quaid is represented  by WME and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller.

About iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia is the number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month – and with its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. The company’s leadership position in audio extends across multiple platforms including 850 live broadcast stations; streaming music, radio and on demand via its iHeartRadio digital service available across more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices including smart speakers, digital auto dashes, tablets, wearables, smartphones, virtual assistants, TVs and gaming consoles; through its influencers; social; branded iconic live music events; and podcasts as the #1 commercial podcast publisher globally. iHeartMedia also leads the audio industry in analytics and attribution technology for its marketing partners, using data from its massive consumer base. iHeartMedia is a division of iHeartMedia, Inc. (PINK: IHRTQ). Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information.

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