Radio 4 on Music

Radio 4 on Music

From Armstrong to Zappa - music documentaries from the Radio 4 archive bringing you a brand new episode each week.

  • Updated:
  • Episodes available:
    Indefinitely help

Subscribe for free

Subscribe to this podcast and automatically receive the latest episodes.

More help with subscribing

Recent episodes (10)

  • Kate Bush on Front Row

    Wed, 27 Aug 14

    Duration:
    30 mins

    In 1978 Kate Bush had become a household name with the release of her first album 'The Kick Inside', and its lead single, Wuthering Heights. She was 19 years old. Though the album's follow up 'Lionheart' followed quickly, the gaps between Kate Bush releases gradually lengthened as she took more time to experiment with her song-writing, the recording studio and new technology. Bush achieved considerable chart success with albums like Never For Ever, Hounds of Love and The Sensual World, becoming one of the most inventive and idiosyncratic musicians in the mainstream. But by 2005, it had been 12 years since the release of a Kate Bush album. Bush had been rarely seen in public in that time, devoting herself to raising her son. But rumours of new recordings had been circulating for some time. In this rare interview with Front Row from 2005, she talks about why the album took quite so long to appear, and tells some of the stories behind each song.

    Download 14MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Conjuring Halie

    Wed, 20 Aug 14

    Duration:
    30 mins

    Cerys Matthews celebrates the life of Mahalia Jackson, who became the first gospel singer to sell a million records. A key figure in the emerging civil rights movement, Jackson was a close friend of Martin Luther King, accompanying him and singing on the famous march to Washington. Tom Jones shares his love for Jackson's music and we hear recollections from fellow singer Vermettya Royster among others, plus archive interviews.

    Download 14MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Fela Kuti Comes Home

    Wed, 13 Aug 14

    Duration:
    30 mins

    The Nigerian musician Fela Kuti invented a whole new musical genre in the shame of Afrobeat. But his stridently political lyrics pointing out government corruption and army brutality made him a thorn in the side of successive regimes till his death in 1997. This programme follows the opening of the musical 'Fela!' in Lagos in 2011 and finds that even today Kuti's legacy is a source of controversy. Part of Radio 4 on Music, re-releasing the best of the Radio 4 Music Archive.

    Download 14MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Front Row - Neil Young

    Wed, 6 Aug 14

    Duration:
    30 mins

    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.

    Download 14MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Youssou at 50 - Africa's Greatest Star

    Wed, 30 Jul 14

    Duration:
    29 mins

    In this programme from 2009, Robin Denselow travels to Dakar to talk to Senegalese superstar Youssou N’Dour about his life and work, in a celebration of the singers 50th birthday. They discuss the rhythmic foundation of mbalax, the style of dance music N'Dour created with his band Etoile de Dakar and the singers interest in politics and media, while admirers including Peter Gabriel analyse his extraordinary vocal ability.

    Download 14MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • My Wizard

    Wed, 23 Jul 14

    Duration:
    30 mins

    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?

    Download 14MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Billy Preston: That's The Way God Planned It

    Wed, 16 Jul 14

    Duration:
    30 mins

    Rick Wakeman tells the story of Billy Preston, a bona fide child prodigy who began his career accompanying Nat King Cole at the age of 11 and went on to become a semi-permanent fixture with The Rolling Stones and most famously, The Beatles. We hear about Preston's highly individual keyboard skills from some famous fans including Bill Wyman and Pete Townshend and discover the secret that plagued his life till his untimely death in 2006.

    Download 14MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • R.E.S.P.E.C.T - The Art of Backing Vocals

    Wed, 9 Jul 14

    Duration:
    29 mins

    Broadcaster and musician Nick Barraclough pays tribute to the oft neglected job of the backing vocalist. Tracing the evolution of vocal harmony, Barraclough draws a straight line from Tudor song through to fifties doo-wop with the help of arrangers, musicologists and the singers themselves. From The Shangri-Las to Steely Dan to Gladys Knight and The Pips, you'll never listen to the oohs,aahs and shooby doos in quite the same way after hearing this.

    Download 14MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • Ziggy Stardust Came from Isleworth

    Wed, 2 Jul 14

    Duration:
    30 mins

    Martin Day tells the story of Vince Taylor, one of the many Elvis Presley soundalikes making a living on the Soho coffee bar scene in the late 1950s. Taylor claimed to be an American but was actually born in Twickenham. Though he achieved some fame in France, an encounter with LSD led to a spectacular fall from grace in the mid 1960s, and Taylor ended up living on the streets in London. It was there that he met David Bowie and unwittingly provided some of the inspiration for Bowie's Ziggy Stardust character. This programme pieces together Taylor's tragic story with the help of his old bandmates and archive interviews.

    Download 14MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • The Dream Time of Jazz

    Wed, 25 Jun 14

    Duration:
    59 mins

    In 1938, pianist and jazz pioneer Jelly Roll Morton was running a bar in New York, unable to get anyone to play his music and having failed to make much money out of his compositions. It was there that broadcaster Alistair Cooke came across him and persuaded folklorist Alan Lomax to record Morton at the piano, singing and reminiscing about his days in New Orleans. The resulting tapes form the basis for this programme. Historian Marybeth Hamilton examines the recordings, which lay untouched for years because of their explicitly violent and misogynistic content, but nevertheless paint a vivid portrait of the early days of jazz. The programme contains some strong language which may offend.

    Download 27MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

Terms of Use

The BBC Podcasts are for your personal non-commercial use only.

All title, ownership rights and intellectual property rights in and to the BBC Podcasts shall remain the property of the BBC or third parties. You may not edit, alter, adapt or add to the BBC Podcast in any way. The BBC Podcasts are made available by the BBC on an "as is" and "as available" basis and the BBC gives no warranty of any kind in relation to the BBC Podcast. To the maximum extent permitted by law the BBC will not be liable for any loss or damage which you may suffer as a result of, or connected to, the download or use of the BBC Podcasts.

 

See the full Standard Licence Terms here.

Play recent episodes

You may also like

Drama of the Week

  • Drama
  • Entertainment

Every Friday we bring you a new drama from Radio 4 or Radio 3. Exercise your imagination with some of the best writers and actors on radio. Storytelling at its very best.

Fri, 29 Aug 14

57 minutes

7 Day Saturday

  • Entertainment
  • Comedy

A unique take on the week's events. Al Murray is joined by regulars Rebecca Front and Joe Wilkinson to sift through the Saturday papers and offer up their opinions on the week gone by.

No episodes available

51 minutes

Genres

  • No matches found