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

Listen in pop-out player

Nick Barraclough pays tribute to arguably one of the least recognised jobs in pop, that of the backing vocalist. Tracing the evolution of vocal harmony from Medieval canon through to Gladys Knight and the Pips, he draws a straight line from the ‘Fa-la-las’ of Tudor song through to 50s doowop with the help of arranger and musicologist Harvey Brough. Along the way we'll hear examples of the art from The Shangri-Las to Steely Dan, and find out what happens when session singers mover their larynxes.

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Thu 24 Sep 2009 11:30

Featured in...



Discover more seriously interesting radio documentaries.

Radio 4 on Music

Radio 4 on Music

Re-releasing music documentaries from the Radio 4 Archive.