From Armstrong to Zappa - music documentaries from the Radio 4 archive bringing you a brand new episode each week.
Wed, 12 Mar 14
Joan Armatrading talks to the hugely influential Scottish folk musician Bert Jansch about his unique approach to the acoustic guitar in this programme from 2009.
Wed, 5 Mar 14
Delia Derbyshire was one of the most important figures in British electronic music. As a member of the BBC's legendary Radiophonic Workshop, she was responsible for the unearhtly electronic realisation of the original theme for Dr Who, made in 1963. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. In this edition of Archive on 4, Matthew Sweet explores her work and airs some rare and previously unheard items from Derbyshire's vast personal archive. It's a portrait of a singular and relatively unsung talent, whose work still sounds ahead of its time over half a century later.
Wed, 26 Feb 14
In this edition of Kaleidoscope originally broadcast in 1994, Charlie Watts talks to Robert Sandall about his love of jazz, some of his formative musical experiences and why the drums 'frighten the life out of him'. Part of Radio 4 On Music
Wed, 19 Feb 14
Put together in the mid 1960s by singer and songwriters Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, The Crtics Group attempted to define a set of rules for best practice in folk music performance, but in the early 1970s fell apart acrimoniously, mainly due to what some saw as MacColl's domineering attitude. With the help of recollections from former members and archive recordings taken at the Group's meetings, English folk legend tells this fascinating story.
Wed, 12 Feb 14
The story of an unlikely meeting of two 20th century icons which happened in February 1964. The Beatles, on their first visit to the U.S. are set up for a photoshoot with boxer Cassius Clay (later to become Muhammad Ali), then about take on Sonny Liston for the world heavyweight title and considered very much the underdog. A few weeks later, both the band and Clay are global celebrities. John Wilson speaks to those who were there, with contributions from Paul McCartney. Part of Radio 4 on Music, re-releasing the best of the Radio 4 Music Archive.
Wed, 5 Feb 14
Singer/songwriter Erykah Badu tells how the Black Power movement changed American music forever in the 1960s. From free jazz to the first stirrings of hip hop, this is a story of when the new music met the new politics. Amiri Baraka, Archie Shepp and the Last Poets' Abiodun Oyewole offer reflections on a turbulent time in American history. Contains repeated use of language which may offend.
Wed, 29 Jan 14
Songwriter Leonard Cohen reflects on the art of songwriting with the help of collaborator Jennifer Warnes and long time fan Suzanne Vega in this Kaleidoscope special. Cohen tells the stories behind some of his most famous songs and recalls an eventful session with a gun obsessed Phil Spector. Part of Radio 4 on Music, re-releasing the best of Radio 4's Music Archive.
Wed, 22 Jan 14
Marc Riley presents the story of Kraftwerk, arguably one of the most influential bands of the 20th century and certainly one of the most enigmatic. Former Kraftwerk member Wolfgang Flür and fans including including Gary Numan, John Foxx, The Smiths’ Johnny Marr and writer Paul Morley offer their impressions of the band without whom modern music would sound very different. Part of Radio 4 on Music, re-releasing the best of Radio 4's music back catalogue.
Wed, 15 Jan 14
Sean Street recalls the Radio Ballads, a series which heralded a completely new form of radio programme in the late 1950s. Mixing original voices and sounds with specially composed music, producer Charles Parker and folk singers Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger eloquently documented the lives of people who, up to that point, had rarely been heard on the BBC. Part of Radio 4 on Music, re-releasing the best of Radio 4's music back catalogue.
Wed, 8 Jan 14
Benjam Zephaniah tells the story of poet Linton Kwesi Johnson's 1978 debut album, Dread Beat an' Blood. Using his trademark spoken word style set to Dennis Bovell's inventive brand of roots reggae, the record voiced the frustration of a generation and invented the new genre of dub poetry. Contains language that some may find offensive.
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