Billy Joel Podcast – “The Strangercast”

A series celebrating the songwriting artistry of Billy Joel and his album "The Stranger"

Created: 7/2008 - 9/2008
The Strangercast Player
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“You have hits and you have artistry at the same time, it wasn’t just writing a dumb pop song. Although, you know, theres nothing wrong with a dumb pop song. I’ve written my share of dumb pop songs.” -Diane Warren

The Story – Exploring The Influence of a Commercial Breakthrough:

  • The songs on The Stranger need no introduction. Our job here was to explore the story of a songwriter coming into his stride on through the stories of his peers, and recollections from those that were influenced by him. Keeping the tone personal and heartfelt builds a connection with the listener, developing a deeper appreciation for the work.

The Cast – Fellow Songwriters and Performers:

  • Billy Joel (Archival interview & New Interview)
  • Gavin DeGraw – Current pop star, huge Billy Joel fan
  • Diane Warren – Writer of huge pop hits
  • Duncan Sheik – Pop songwriter, carving his own path on Broadway (Spring Awakening)
  • Sting – Songwriter who started around the same time as Billy
  • Jimmy Webb – Songwriter of classic pop hits.
  • Phil Ramone (New Interview) – Producer of The Stranger

Production Notes – Combining Old and New:

  • Sourced an original interview with Billy from the time of the album’s release
  • Re-purposed new interviews the marketing department did with Billy and producer Phil Ramone.
  • Interviewed Sting backstage before The Police show at PNC Bank Arts Center.


  • The Strangercast, a Billy Joel podcast was launched around the release date of The Stranger‘s reissue, and episodes were downloaded 40,000 times.
  • The 30th anniversary edition of The Stranger has sold over 75,000 copies in the three months since the podcast was released.


  • Executive Producer, Project Lead, Casting: Jeremy Meyers
  • Interviewer, Editor, Co-Producer: Joseph Vella, Vella Interactive