Making history hip: Rock out, Abe!

Thanks to Hayward-based Big Toe Audio, the 1860 presidential election is hip. Very, very hip.
As in, hip-hop, rock and pop — music included in a daily multimedia podcast on presidential election history.

With 4 1/2 months to go in the current presidential campaign, Big Toe owner Shane Sharkey has teamed up with KGO talk show host John Rothmann on “Fight for the White House.” The free two- to three-minute podcast combines audio clips, campaign theme songs, radio news reports, music and Rothmann’s explanations of each election.

To add a local political angle, historian Rothmann is Alameda County Supervisor Gail Steele’s cousin.

“Our main goal is to give listeners, epecially young voters, a better context on the coming election,” said Sharkey, whose audio production company has been in business since 1999. “We try to do that by combining campaign trail audio clips with an eclectic mix of hip-hop, rock and pop music that helps illustrate and punctuate the subject being covered.”

Each election is broken down into five podcasts. A new podcast is posted daily Mondays through Fridays. So far, they have covered the 1860 (won by Abraham Lincoln), 1920 (won by Warren G. Harding) and 1960 (won by John F. Kennedy) elections.