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Clarke Peters uncovers the stories of black music in Europe, from the Jazz Age to the 1950s.

Drawing on rare archive recordings, Clarke Peters' new three-part series explores the hidden history of black music across Europe, from the late 1920s through the war years and beyond.

Black music in Europe doesn’t begin with the arrival of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury. There is a long, rich history preserved on shellac discs that shows how diverse sounds enthralled the continent long before 1948.

Throughout the series, we hear from a huge array of different performers - including classical composers, jazz stars, calypso legends and more - as well as commentators and historians, to get to the heart of early black music in Europe.

Episode 3 – After 1945
In this final episode, Clarke delves into the sounds of 1950s London, from Ambrose Campbell and his West African Rhythm Brothers and steel pan master Sterling Betancourt MBE, to calypso star Lord Kitchener. He also uncovers the history of jazz in Paris after 1945 and tells how black American GIs found a new freedom in post-war Germany.

Presented by Clarke Peters
Produced by Tom Woolfenden
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4

Available now

28 minutes

Music Played

  • West African Rhythm Brothers

    Ele Da Awa

    • Honest Jons Records.
    • HJECD-21.
  • West African Rhythm Brothers

    Sing the Blues

    • Honest Jon.
    • HJRCD-16.
  • West African Rhythm Brothers

    Adura

    • Honest Jon's Record.
    • HJRLP16.
  • West African Rhythm Brothers

    Ominira

    • Honest Jons.
  • Manchester Children's Choir

    Nymphs and Shepherds

    • EMI Records.
  • West African Rhythm Brothers

    Eroya

    • Eroya.
    • Honest Jon's Records ‎.
    • HJRLP16.
    • 2.
  • Django Reinhardt

    Nuages

    • London.
    • 820-5912.
  • Sidney Bechet

    Les Oignons

    • Milan.
    • 399 277-2.
  • Sidney Bechet and His New Orleans Feetwarmers

    Winin' Boy Blues

    • Bluebird.
    • ND-90317(4).
  • Jutta Hipp

    Gone With The Wind

    • Jazzhaus.
    • 101723.
  • Chris Barber’s Jazz Band

    Up Above My Head

    • LAKE.
    • 130.
  • Betancourt

    Ugly Woman

    • Lyragon ‎.
    • J 712.
  • Sterling Bettancourt With Russell Henderson's Calypso Band

    Ping Pong Samba

    • Melodisc.
    • Mel 312.
  • Lord Kitchener

    My Landlady

    • Honest Jons.
    • HJRCD-2.
  • Lord Kitchener

    The Underground Train

    • NEW CROSS.
    • NC-005.
  • Lord Kitchener

    If You're Brown

    • ICE ‎.
    • 691802.
  • Lord Kitchener

    Saxaphone No.2

    • PARLOPHONE.
    • HJRCD-2.
  • Lord Kitchener & Fitzroy Coleman

    If You're Not White You're Black

    • HONEST JONS RECORDS.
    • HJR-CD2.
  • Lord Kitchener

    London Is the Place For Me

    • Honest Jon's Records.
    • HJRCD 2.

Broadcasts