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Radio 4 on Music

BBC Radio 4

18
Followers
20
Plays
Radio 4 on Music

Radio 4 on Music

BBC Radio 4

18
Followers
20
Plays
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From Armstrong to Zappa - music documentaries from the Radio 4 archive.

Latest Episodes

The Voices of Robert Wyatt

Robert Wyatt has been recognised as a prog-rock drummer, jazz composer, avant-garde cornet player, artist and activist in a wheelchair. But, above all else, he has been known by one of the most instantly recognisable and distinctive voices of the last fifty years. Forever associated with Shipbuilding, Elvis Costello's song written in reaction to the Falklands War, Wyatt's voice and the causes he gives voice to are intricately entwined. This intimate radio portrait, in his own words, traces Wyatt's journey from the psychedelic excesses of Soft Machine (appearing both with Jimi Hendrix and at the BBC Proms), through the life-changing accident that has confined him to a wheelchair for almost forty years, to recent celebrated musical projects that are reaching new audiences. Produced by Alan Hall. A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

29 MIN2014 SEP 17
Comments
The Voices of Robert Wyatt

Jay-Z: From Brooklyn to the Boardroom

Ten years ago rap superstar Jay-Z was struggling to get a record deal after being spurned by every major label - so he started his own. A decade on, with 20 million CD sales under his belt, he is now a major music industry player, and currently reigns as president of the legendary Def Jam records. He built on his success with lucrative sidelines in the fashion industry, a chain of bars, his own brand of vodka, and is also part-owner of a professional basketball team. Now some of America's biggest brands are hiring him in hope his business savvy can help them, too. Finance guru Alvin Hall meets Shawn Carter a.k.a Jay-Z for an in-depth discussion charting the birth of his business empire and rise from the notorious Marcy Projects in Brooklyn to C.E.O’s office, revealing the story of a man who has become a brand in his own right. This programme was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on December 2, 2006. Presenter: Alvin Hall Producer: Richard Fenton-Smith Editor: Tony Phillips

29 MIN2014 SEP 10
Comments
Jay-Z: From Brooklyn to the Boardroom

Beat Mining with the Vinyl Hoover

Broadcaster Toby Amies digs into the archives to discover the value and significance of old vinyl. He uncovers a network of dealers and buyers, supplying a community of 'crate diggers' and 'beat miners' and a world in which samples from records bought for a few pence in a car boot sale can provide the basis for a million-selling hit.

56 MIN2014 SEP 3
Comments
Beat Mining with the Vinyl Hoover

Kate Bush

In November 2005, Kate Bush broke a 12 year silence with the release of her double album 'Aerial', In this programme she gives a very rare interview to John Wilson in a special edition of Front Row, where she talks about why the album took so long to appear and tells some of the stories behind the songs.

29 MIN2014 AUG 27
Comments
Kate Bush

Conjuring Halie

Cerys Matthews celebrates the life of one of her musical heroines, the great gospel singer Mahalia ("Halie") Jackson, who died in 1972. Jackson became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world at the height of her popularity, inspiring singers like Aretha Franklin and Mavis Staples. But she was also one of the unsung heroes of the civil rights movement in America, described by the legendary historian and broadcaster Studs Terkel as one of the bravest people he'd ever met. As a child she suffered illness, poverty and deprivation. The Church was her shelter. During the late 1920s, at the height of the great migration, she toured Illinois performing in churches. But it was in Chicago that she made her name and carved out a place for herself as the first professional gospel singer. She refused to sing secular music, a pledge she kept throughout her professional life. Even Louis Armstrong couldn't persuade her to sing jazz with him. By the 1950s and 60s, touring across Euro...

29 MIN2014 AUG 20
Comments
Conjuring Halie

Fela Kuti Comes Home

Fela Kuti is Africa's most famous musician. Before his death in 1997 he recorded nearly 50 albums and invented his own genre of music: Afrobeat. In the 70s and 80s his legendary club in Lagos was famed for housing the best live band on Earth. As witnessed by James Brown, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney. But there was more to Fela Kuti than ground-breaking music. He was also a political revolutionary who spent his life strongly criticising successive military regimes in his native Nigeria. While his contemporaries would sing in more general terms of oppression, Fela singled out his targets, personally naming them in songs which became popular all over Africa. It wasn't long before he was a hero to many working class Nigerians. But his taunts didn't go down so well with the authorities. Nor did his controversial lifestyle: he openly smoked marijuana, declared his home an independent state of Nigeria and married 27 women on the same day. The story goes he was the most arrested person ...

29 MIN2014 AUG 13
Comments
Fela Kuti Comes Home

Front Row - Neil Young

In a rare interview, Neil Young talks to John Wilson about his album 'Americana' and his long, somewhat unpredictable career. He talks about his politics, the current state of the protest song and the joys of playing with his longterm sparring partners Crazy Horse.

29 MIN2014 AUG 6
Comments
Front Row - Neil Young

Youssou N'Dour at 50: Africa's Greatest Star

Robin Denselow profiles the musician Youssou N'Dour as he reaches his 50th birthday, and travels to Senegal to interview the singer in his home city of Dakar. Denselow analyses not just his music but the way N'Dour has used it for the benefit of his country and his continent. He had huge success with the duet 7 Seconds with Neneh Cherry in 1994, but he has been making music for nearly 40 years and has collaborated with many international artists. Contributors include Peter Gabriel, Branford Marsalis, DJ Charlie Gillett and Senegalese band Orchestra Baobab. A Unique production for BBC Radio 4.

28 MIN2014 JUL 30
Comments
Youssou N'Dour at 50: Africa's Greatest Star

My Wizard

John Aizlewood examines the oft derided genre of Progressive Rock, a catch all term for a variety of bands from Pink Floyd to Yes to Hawkwind to Jethro Tull. He talks to Floyd's David Gilmour, Rick Wakeman of Yes and Keith Emerson, and ponders the subtle difference between 'Prog' and 'Progressive', before asking the difficult question - was any of it any good?

29 MIN2014 JUL 23
Comments
My Wizard

Billy Preston: That's the Way God Planned It

Billy Preston was a musical genius. A child prodigy, he was first seen as a small boy performing live on national TV with Nat King Cole. He was a star of the Hammond Organ, an accomplished dancer and a talented singer-songwriter. He is the only person 'officially' recognised as the fifth Beatle, although that title would turn out to be more of a millstone than a milestone. By the 1970s he'd written three number one singles, toured and recorded with the Rolling Stones and collaborated with some of the biggest names in pop: Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Little Richard, Eric Clapton, Sly Stone, the Jackson 5 and Aretha Franklin to name just a few. His musical career was out of this world but his personal life was a disaster. He spent much of his life battling with drugs and even ended up in jail. Fellow keyboard player and fan Rick Wakeman explores his incredible story. With contributions from the likes of Jools Holland, Bill Wyman, Pete Townshend and many more, this documentary also reveals...

29 MIN2014 JUL 16
Comments
Billy Preston: That's the Way God Planned It

Latest Episodes

The Voices of Robert Wyatt

Robert Wyatt has been recognised as a prog-rock drummer, jazz composer, avant-garde cornet player, artist and activist in a wheelchair. But, above all else, he has been known by one of the most instantly recognisable and distinctive voices of the last fifty years. Forever associated with Shipbuilding, Elvis Costello's song written in reaction to the Falklands War, Wyatt's voice and the causes he gives voice to are intricately entwined. This intimate radio portrait, in his own words, traces Wyatt's journey from the psychedelic excesses of Soft Machine (appearing both with Jimi Hendrix and at the BBC Proms), through the life-changing accident that has confined him to a wheelchair for almost forty years, to recent celebrated musical projects that are reaching new audiences. Produced by Alan Hall. A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

29 MIN2014 SEP 17
Comments
The Voices of Robert Wyatt

Jay-Z: From Brooklyn to the Boardroom

Ten years ago rap superstar Jay-Z was struggling to get a record deal after being spurned by every major label - so he started his own. A decade on, with 20 million CD sales under his belt, he is now a major music industry player, and currently reigns as president of the legendary Def Jam records. He built on his success with lucrative sidelines in the fashion industry, a chain of bars, his own brand of vodka, and is also part-owner of a professional basketball team. Now some of America's biggest brands are hiring him in hope his business savvy can help them, too. Finance guru Alvin Hall meets Shawn Carter a.k.a Jay-Z for an in-depth discussion charting the birth of his business empire and rise from the notorious Marcy Projects in Brooklyn to C.E.O’s office, revealing the story of a man who has become a brand in his own right. This programme was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on December 2, 2006. Presenter: Alvin Hall Producer: Richard Fenton-Smith Editor: Tony Phillips

29 MIN2014 SEP 10
Comments
Jay-Z: From Brooklyn to the Boardroom

Beat Mining with the Vinyl Hoover

Broadcaster Toby Amies digs into the archives to discover the value and significance of old vinyl. He uncovers a network of dealers and buyers, supplying a community of 'crate diggers' and 'beat miners' and a world in which samples from records bought for a few pence in a car boot sale can provide the basis for a million-selling hit.

56 MIN2014 SEP 3
Comments
Beat Mining with the Vinyl Hoover

Kate Bush

In November 2005, Kate Bush broke a 12 year silence with the release of her double album 'Aerial', In this programme she gives a very rare interview to John Wilson in a special edition of Front Row, where she talks about why the album took so long to appear and tells some of the stories behind the songs.

29 MIN2014 AUG 27
Comments
Kate Bush

Conjuring Halie

Cerys Matthews celebrates the life of one of her musical heroines, the great gospel singer Mahalia ("Halie") Jackson, who died in 1972. Jackson became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world at the height of her popularity, inspiring singers like Aretha Franklin and Mavis Staples. But she was also one of the unsung heroes of the civil rights movement in America, described by the legendary historian and broadcaster Studs Terkel as one of the bravest people he'd ever met. As a child she suffered illness, poverty and deprivation. The Church was her shelter. During the late 1920s, at the height of the great migration, she toured Illinois performing in churches. But it was in Chicago that she made her name and carved out a place for herself as the first professional gospel singer. She refused to sing secular music, a pledge she kept throughout her professional life. Even Louis Armstrong couldn't persuade her to sing jazz with him. By the 1950s and 60s, touring across Euro...

29 MIN2014 AUG 20
Comments
Conjuring Halie

Fela Kuti Comes Home

Fela Kuti is Africa's most famous musician. Before his death in 1997 he recorded nearly 50 albums and invented his own genre of music: Afrobeat. In the 70s and 80s his legendary club in Lagos was famed for housing the best live band on Earth. As witnessed by James Brown, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney. But there was more to Fela Kuti than ground-breaking music. He was also a political revolutionary who spent his life strongly criticising successive military regimes in his native Nigeria. While his contemporaries would sing in more general terms of oppression, Fela singled out his targets, personally naming them in songs which became popular all over Africa. It wasn't long before he was a hero to many working class Nigerians. But his taunts didn't go down so well with the authorities. Nor did his controversial lifestyle: he openly smoked marijuana, declared his home an independent state of Nigeria and married 27 women on the same day. The story goes he was the most arrested person ...

29 MIN2014 AUG 13
Comments
Fela Kuti Comes Home

Front Row - Neil Young

In a rare interview, Neil Young talks to John Wilson about his album 'Americana' and his long, somewhat unpredictable career. He talks about his politics, the current state of the protest song and the joys of playing with his longterm sparring partners Crazy Horse.

29 MIN2014 AUG 6
Comments
Front Row - Neil Young

Youssou N'Dour at 50: Africa's Greatest Star

Robin Denselow profiles the musician Youssou N'Dour as he reaches his 50th birthday, and travels to Senegal to interview the singer in his home city of Dakar. Denselow analyses not just his music but the way N'Dour has used it for the benefit of his country and his continent. He had huge success with the duet 7 Seconds with Neneh Cherry in 1994, but he has been making music for nearly 40 years and has collaborated with many international artists. Contributors include Peter Gabriel, Branford Marsalis, DJ Charlie Gillett and Senegalese band Orchestra Baobab. A Unique production for BBC Radio 4.

28 MIN2014 JUL 30
Comments
Youssou N'Dour at 50: Africa's Greatest Star

My Wizard

John Aizlewood examines the oft derided genre of Progressive Rock, a catch all term for a variety of bands from Pink Floyd to Yes to Hawkwind to Jethro Tull. He talks to Floyd's David Gilmour, Rick Wakeman of Yes and Keith Emerson, and ponders the subtle difference between 'Prog' and 'Progressive', before asking the difficult question - was any of it any good?

29 MIN2014 JUL 23
Comments
My Wizard

Billy Preston: That's the Way God Planned It

Billy Preston was a musical genius. A child prodigy, he was first seen as a small boy performing live on national TV with Nat King Cole. He was a star of the Hammond Organ, an accomplished dancer and a talented singer-songwriter. He is the only person 'officially' recognised as the fifth Beatle, although that title would turn out to be more of a millstone than a milestone. By the 1970s he'd written three number one singles, toured and recorded with the Rolling Stones and collaborated with some of the biggest names in pop: Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Little Richard, Eric Clapton, Sly Stone, the Jackson 5 and Aretha Franklin to name just a few. His musical career was out of this world but his personal life was a disaster. He spent much of his life battling with drugs and even ended up in jail. Fellow keyboard player and fan Rick Wakeman explores his incredible story. With contributions from the likes of Jools Holland, Bill Wyman, Pete Townshend and many more, this documentary also reveals...

29 MIN2014 JUL 16
Comments
Billy Preston: That's the Way God Planned It
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