Swinging into the Blitz: A Culture Show Special

Image for Swinging into the Blitz: A Culture Show SpecialNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 59 minutes

When a handful of musical immigrants from the Caribbean islands came to Britain in the 1920s and 30s, it was the beginning of both musical and political change. Leslie Thompson, an innovative musician and trumpeter, and Ken 'Snakehips' Johnson, a brilliant dancer and charismatic band leader, pooled their talents to start the first black British swing band.

Clemency Burton-Hill reveals the untold story of the black British swing musicians of the 1930s, whose meteoric rise to fame on London's high society dance floors was cut short by unexpected tragedy at the height of the Blitz.


Clemency Burton-Hill
Series Editor
Janet Lee
Kath Pick


BBC Arts

BBC Arts

The best of British art and culture at your fingertips

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