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Rab Noakes' The Power of Music

Singer songwriter Rab Noakes explores the healing powers of music.

After being diagnosed with tonsillar cancer a couple of years ago, Rab Noakes found himself drawn to playing his guitar and writing songs during his recovery. Indeed, he wrote and recorded 'The Treatment Tapes' EP based on his experience of being ill. He believes that immersing himself in music aided his return to good health.

In this programme, Rab speaks to other people who have undergone cancer treatment and looks at how music helped them get through it. Beth Nielsen Chapman tells the remarkable personal story of losing her husband to cancer and then having breast cancer herself, and how she reflected this in her music. Bob Harris describes how he was drawn to particular songs during his recovery from prostate cancer. And Rod Clements found himself listening to old blues songs he hadn't heard for years during his treatment.

Plus Rab explores traditional public expressions of grief and suffering through Gaelic Psalm singing with folklorist Margaret Bennett, who lost her own son - the composer and musician Martyn Bennett - to cancer.

55 minutes

Last on

Tue 2 Jan 2018 17:05

Music Played

  • Rab Noakes

    Show Begins

    • BBC Recording.
  • Rab Noakes

    By the Day

    • BBC Recording.
  • Lindisfarne

    Meet Me On The Corner

    • It's The Sensational 70's: Volume 1 CD1.
    • Virgin Records.
  • Rod Clements

    Road to Kingdom Come

    • One Track Mind (2008 Version).
  • John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers featuring Eric Clapton

    All Your Love

    • 100% Blues And Soul.
  • Blind Willie McTell

    Statesboro Blues

    • Atlanta Strut.
  • Ben E. King

    Stand By Me

    • Atlantic Soul Classics.
    • Prestige Elite Records Limited.
  • Lizzie Higgins

    What a Voice

    • What a Voice.
  • Martyn Bennett


    • GRIT.
    • Cuillin.
  • Rab Noakes

    That Won’t Stop Me

    • BBC Recording.
  • Beth Nielsen Chapman

    Sand and Water

    • Beth Nielsen Chapman: Greatest Hits.
  • Beth Nielsen Chapman

    Every December Sky (Radio Edit)

  • Candi Staton

    I’d Rather Be An Old Man’s Sweetheart

    • Candi Staton.
    • EMI Records.
  • Otis Redding

    Hard to Handle

    • Soul Classics.
  • Anne Lorne Gilles

    Ba Mo Leanabh

    • Gaelic Archive Music.
  • Calum Martin


  • Various Artists

    Zadok the Priest

    • Hallelujah CD2.
    • EMI.
  • Rab Noakes

    I Always Will

    • BBC Recording.


  • Tue 2 Jan 2018 17:05