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Music TV - February 10 - 16

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Sarah Murphy Sarah Murphy | 12:12 UK time, Thursday, 10 February 2011

Plenty of goodness this week as BBC Four kicks off a season of programming exploring the genre of reggae. A reason to stay on the couch.

Friday 11 February - BBC Four
1930 - 2100: Sergei Rachmaninoff - The Harvest Of Sorrow

Tony Palmer's documentary, shot in Russia, Switzerland and America, which profiles the great composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, features music conducted by Valery Gergiev and was made with the full participation of the composer's grandson, Alexander Rachmaninoff.

2100 - 2230: Reggae Britannia
Repeated: BBC Four - Sunday 2635

The acclaimed BBC4 Britannia series moves into the world of British reggae. Showing how it came from Jamaica in the 1960s to influence, over the next twenty years, both British music and society, the programme includes major artists and performances from that era, including Big Youth, Max Romeo, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Jerry Dammers and the Specials, The Police, UB40, Dennis Bovell, lovers rock performers Carroll Thompson and Janet Kay, bands like Aswad and Steel Pulse and reggae admirers such as Boy George and Paul Weller.

The programme celebrates the impact of reggae, the changes it brought about and its lasting musical legacy.

You can watch more clips and interviews from the programme as part of the BBC's Music Showcase

Reggae Britannia

2230 - 2400: Reggae Britannia at the Barbican
Repeated: BBC Four - Sunday 2505
An all-star cast celebrates the influence of reggae on the UK's music and culture in a live concert coinciding with BBC Four's Reggae Britannia documentary season.

Expect to hear hits from the 1960s to the present day telling the story of the musical evolution from ska, through rocksteady, roots, dub, lovers rock and beyond. Music director Dennis Bovell assembles a big band featuring some of the most important reggae musicians in the British scene to back up a star cast of singers and toasters including Big Youth, Ken Boothe, Neville Staple, Ali Campbell, Dave Barker, Brinsley Forde, Dennis Alcapone and Winston Reedy, Pauline Black, Janet Kay, Carroll Thompson and Rico Rodriguez.

2400 - 2445: Old Grey Whistle Test - Reggae Concert at the Edinburgh Festival
Live performance specially recorded for Whistle Test from the Reggae Concert at the Edinburgh Festival in 1973, featuring The Cimarons, Winston Groovy, Dennis Alcapone, The Marvels, Nicky Thomas and The Pioneers.

2445 - 2530: Rock Goes To College - The Specials
The student-taunting Specials perform at the Colchester Institute in 1979, playing hits such as Rat Race, Too Much Too Young and Gangsters, throwing tambourines at the bouncers and indulging in a little moon-stomping during a stage invasion.

Sunday 13 February - BBC Four
2100 - 2235: Rocksteady - The Roots Of Reggae
The rocksteady era of Jamaican music in the mid-to-late 1960s is considered a golden age because rocksteady's sweet, soulful vocals, romantic but often socially conscious lyrics and prominent basslines gave birth to reggae, which went on to capture the world.

This documentary chronicles the coming together of rocksteady's surviving vocal stars - artists like the Tamlins, U-Roy, Ken Boothe, Leroy Sibbles from The Heptones, Judy Mowatt, Dawn Penn, Rita Marley and Marcia Griffiths - and some of the island's greatest players, to celebrate their greatest 60s hits, perform a reunion concert and celebrate that golden era. Think of it as a kind of Buena Vista Social Club for the great 60s architects of Jamican music. It is also a beautiful portrait of Jamaica.

2235 - 2335: Rise Up Reggae Star
On an island where reggae is considered the voice of the people and an outlet for survival, Rise Up Reggae Star follows three aspiring artists who seek to 'rise up' from obscurity for their chance at success. This documentary takes the viewer off the beaten path far from any tourist attractions and sandy beaches, yet it is still able to capture the beauty and magic that the Island has to offer. From the deep countryside to the whirlwind ghettos of Kingston, no matter where you are, the film makes it evident that music is the heartbeat of the culture.

Rise Up Reggae Star

2235 - 2505: Film Babylon
Drama telling the story of Blue, a young man of Jamaican descent living in Brixton in 1980, as he hangs out with his friends, fronts a dub sound system, loses his job, struggles with family problems and has his friendships tested by racism.

Monday 14 February - BBC Four
1930 - 2030: Love Songs at the BBC - A Valentine's Day Special
Repeated: BBC Four - Monday 2635
It's a time for guilty pleasures, for courtship, for declarations of love, for looking someone in the eye and whispering sweet nothings, accompanied by a compilation of some of the squishiest love songs from the likes of Celine Dion, Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, Jason and Kylie, 10cc and Lionel Richie, all from the Top of the Pops era. If Hot Chocolate and Chaka Khan don't get the temperatures rising, then nothing will.

Next week, more from BBC Four's Reggae season as well as James Taylor & Carole King and Dennis Wilson.


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