BBC Radio 2 has launched a brand new landmark 50-part series for 2013 and wants listeners to get involved by contributing stories that will feature in the programme. Presented by Stuart Maconie, The People’s Songs will tell the story of modern Britain via 50 records that have provided the soundtrack to British culture.
Looking at the music that reflects the evolution of the world we live in, the series will weave a seamless journey through themes ranging from post-war optimism and the fissures and divisions in society during the punk years to mass immigration and the perils of fame, narcotics and the obsession with celebrity.
Stuart Maconie says: “The People’s Songs is the story of modern Britain in 50 records. In the company of the Great British public, I aim to tell the story of the last seven decades via the records that sound-tracked this dramatic period; a period of conflict, social change, parties, prosperity, plenty, poverty, peace and war. These are the songs that people listened to, laughed to, loved to and laboured to, as well as downed tools and danced to. And we’d love to hear from listeners.”
Bob Shennan, Controller of BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music, says: “Music plays such an important part in people’s lives. This series will be moving and evocative in equal measure.”
Radio 2 would like listeners to contribute to each programme now. By sharing stories, memories, comments and photographs online they can help shape each episode of the series before it is broadcast next year.
Each month The People’s Songs website will unveil 10 songs from landmark moments in Britain's history until the full collection of 50 songs will be fully revealed early next year. The first 10 songs to feature in the series are:
We’ll Meet Again - Britain in the Second World War
Two Tribes - The threat of nuclear war
She Loves You - You never had it so good: post-austerity Britain and a time of plentiful employment
Rock Island Line - Skiffle: Britain’s first DIY pop music
God Save The Queen - When punk rocked jubilee Britain
My Boy Lollipop - The Caribbean comes to Britain: when the first wave of West Indian immigrants came to the UK
Rehab - The price of modern fame
Whiter Shade of Pale - Britain skips the light fandango: Britain’s first gentle whiff of drug culture in pop music
Ebeneezer Goode - The second summer of love: when the moral panic over ecstasy, club culture and dance music in the early nineties came to a head
Je T’aime – Sex please, we’re British: banned in a number of countries, this song went to number one in the UK music charts and we willingly absorbed it into our pop culture
More details about this exciting new series and how to get involved in its making can be found at bbc.co.uk/peoplessongs.
To get in touch with the programme makers, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet @bbcpeoplessongs
The People’s Songs is a Smooth Operations (Productions) Ltd production for Radio 2.