iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Episode 1

Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

Episode 1

Episode 1 of 4

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Friday 28 December 2007

Another chance to hear acclaimed jazz singer and Al Bowlly fan, Clare Teal, tell the story of the 1930s singing star.

With popular songs like Love Is The Sweetest Thing and The Very Thought Of You, Al was the first singer to eclipse the popularity of the danceband leaders by emerging from the outskirts of the orchestra to take centre stage.

With film star good looks and a guitar slung over his shoulder he was Britain's first pop star. His recording career lasted just 14 years but he recorded over 1000 songs that voiced the dreams, aspirations and style of the inter-war years.

The first episode of a four-part series reveals how the Africa-born Al Bowlly travelled across half the world to make his name in London. Often on the breadline and broke, a chance meeting gives Al his lucky break. The series features contributions from the likes of playboy Hugh Hefner, Denis Norden, Roy Hudd and archive interviews with dance band stars of the 30s like Ray Noble, Roy Fox, Nat Gonella, Monia Liter and Tiny Winters.

Broadcasts

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss