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Last on

Sun 31 Mar 2013 19:00 BBC Radio 2

57 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 08 May 2012

Candi Staton, the 'First Lady of Southern Soul' presents the story of one of the world's most recorded songs and its composer John Newton.

Written over 200 years ago in Olney, England, Amazing Grace is the world's most renowned hymn and has been recorded by a who's who of contemporary music.

Candi traces the incredible journey of the song's composer John Newton, from 18th century slave trader to evangelical preacher and abolitionist. She also charts the song's recording history and revisits classic recordings from the worlds of gospel (Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, Al Green), folk (Pete Seeger, Judy Collins) and pop (Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke, Royal Scots Dragoon Guards).

The programme features a rare interview with the legendary 93 year old Pete Seeger, as well as contributions from folk's leading lady, Judy Collins, The Blind Boys of Alabama, members of the Edwin Hawkins Family and contemporary Christian music's biggest selling artist, Sandi Patty.

Candi Staton is famed for her 1970s hits including Stand By Your Man, and the disco classics Young Hearts Run Free and You Got The Love.


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