Paul Gambaccini profiles the British-born keyboard player and songwriter Rod Temperton, who enjoyed big disco-era success as part of Heatwave before writing hits for American R&B/pop stars like Donna Summer, George Benson, Aretha Franklin, James Ingram, Patti Austin, Herbie Hancock and, most lucratively, Michael Jackson.
Rod Temperton is a gentle-mannered white man from Cleethorpes. Outside the music industry virtually nobody has heard of him, but everyone knows his songs. Without him the careers of Michael Jackson, among many others, would have been very different. Rod single-handedly wrote and arranged an amazing array of some of the biggest songs in popular music history including Thriller, Give Me The Night, Boogie Nights, Always And Forever and Off The Wall, to become one of the most successful British songwriters of all time.
This programme charts his remarkable journey from Cleethorpes to Los Angeles, with contributions from Quincy Jones, George Benson and Patti Austin and many more. It was first broadcast on Radio 2 in 2006.