Radio 2's Great British Songbook

What Is Radio 2's Great British Songbook?

Radio 2 is creating a landmark collection of the British songs that inspire us - as chosen by musicians, songwriters, Radio 2 presenters and of course, you.

From the 1920s to the 1950s, the US dominated the popular music scene. These decades inspired the creation of the Great American Songbook which has become a cultural treasure.

The 1960s, however, were a different matter. The Beatles stormed onto the scene and it was Britain’s turn to rule the pop world.

Since then, British music and songwriting have not looked back. The Great British Songbook is a catalogue of the work of the greatest songwriters our shores have produced such as Lennon & McCartney, Jagger & Richards, Ray Davies, Pete Townshend, Kate Bush, The Gibb Brothers, Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

In December 2008 Chris Evans premiered Great British Songbook performances from Adele, Duffy, The Feeling, Keane and James Morrison. This year, other artists, including Will Young, Duffy, Snow Patrol and Mika have performed their versions of classic British songs. You can watch videos of these artists talking about the song they chose here on Radio 2's Great British Songbook website.

But it's not all about looking back. Radio 2 also wants to nurture new songwriting talent. At various events and festivals, artists and songwriters are sharing their knowledge and top tips in special Great British Songbook workshops.
You'll be able to watch and hear more performances and interviews here in the coming months. We've also got lots of exciting Great British Songbook programmes planned and there will also be opportunities for you to share your views on your discovery of songs and how they are written.


Back to Great British Songbook home

About The Songbook

Radio 2 is creating a landmark collection of the British songs that inspire us - as chosen by musicians, songwriters, Radio 2 presenters and of course, you.   Find out more..

Richard Allinson

Richard Allinson

Listen to Richard Allinson's Saturday show every week to hear tracks from The Great British Songbook.

See more about Richard Allinson's show

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