Re: Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC4 TV

BansheeUK wrote:

O.K. So it's BBC2 and not BBC4; and while it's Tuesday night, it is repeated in an extended format on Friday.

Just thought some folk may like to know that on tonight's Later....With Jools Holland, Jack White is making his solo, acoustic debut, and re-visiting some of his back catalogue. May want to set your digi-boxes etc but don't blame me if you have to wade through a lot of Sting first.......

Cool, I saw this was on but thought it was a repeat for some reason so thanks for pointing it out especially as KoL, M83 and Jimmy Page will be on too.

290 (edited by BansheeUK 2016-09-19 07:46:34)

Re: Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC4 TV

It looks like it's going to be a real mixed bag, but on the 23rd, 24th & 25th September, BBC4 will be in the hands of Keef, from dusk to dawn.

Only Friday's schedule available so far, but looks a mixed bag of interview, chat and personal favourites:-

19:00 Keith Richards' Lost Weekend Keith at the Controls
1/15 Keith takes over for three nights of dusk-to-dawn programming, in a pirate broadcast.

21:00 Keith Richards - The Origin of the Species: Director's Cut
Keith Richards's postwar childhood and adolescence in Dartford and London. (R)

22:15 Keith Richards' Lost Weekend  Fame is a Double Edge Sword
2/15 Keith at the controls for a weekend of BBC FOUR programming. Fame is a double-edge sword.

22:35 The 39 Steps
A man pursued by the police for a murder he didn't commit flees across the Scottish moors.

00:00 Keith Richards' Lost Weekend  Midnight Snack
3/15 Keith at the controls for an entire weekend of BBC FOUR programming. Midnight snack.

00:25 The Girl Can't Help It
A theatrical agent is hired to make a star out of a racketeer's voluptuous girlfriend.

02:00 Keith Richards' Lost Weekend Surfing the Wee, Wee Hours
4/15 Keith at the controls for a weekend of BBC FOUR programming. Surfing the wee, wee hours.

02:20 The Sorcerers
Sinister tale. A professor creates a mind-capturing device and ensnares a bored young man.

03:40 Keith Richards' Lost Weekend Welcome to Club Dawn
5/15 Keith at the controls for a weekend of BBC FOUR programming. Welcome to Club Dawn.

Sat 24th:-

19:00 Keith Richards' Lost Weekend Night Happens
6/15 Keith Richards 'Night Happens'. Keith takes over BBC FOUR from dusk to dawn.

20:00 Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music
A rare chance to see the 1969 classic film that captures the Man in Black at his peak. (R)

20:55 Keith Richards' Lost Weekend Comfortable Everywhere
7/15 Keith Richards 'Comfortable Everywhere'. Keith takes over BBC FOUR from dusk to dawn.

21:15 London: The Modern Babylon
Legendary director Julien Temple's time-travelling voyage to the heart of his hometown. (R)

23:20 Keith Richards' Lost Weekend Architect of Sound
8/15 Keith Richards 'Architect of Sound'. Keith takes over BBC FOUR from dusk to dawn.

00:20 Bicycle Thieves
Film following an Italian worker's desperate efforts to recover his stolen bicycle.

01:50 Keith Richards' Lost Weekend The Night Time Is the Right Time
9/15 Keith Richards 'The Night Time Is the Right Time'. Keith takes over from dusk to dawn.

02:05 I Walked With a Zombie
A Canadian nurse arrives on a Caribbean island to tend an invalid woman.

03:10 Keith Richards' Lost Weekend Club Dawn
10/15 Keith Richards 'Club Dawn'. Keith takes over BBC FOUR from dusk to dawn.

Sun 25th:-

19:00 Keith Richards' Lost Weekend Music Is a Weapon
11/15 Keith Richards 'Music Is a Weapon'. Keith takes over the controls from dusk to dawn.

19:40 The Man Who Would Be King
Colourful epic in which two British soldiers become godlike rulers in colonial India.

21:40 Keith Richards' Lost Weekend  Play with Your Heartbeat
12/15 Keith Richards 'Play with Your Heartbeat'. For a last night, Keith takes over the controls

21:45 Lords of Little Egypt: Mai Zetterling Among the Gypsies
Documentary from 1961 about the lifestyle of gypsies in the Camargue. (R)

22:15 Keith Richards' Lost Weekend Baudelaire Rolled up with a Few Other Cats
13/15 Keith Richards 'Baudelaire Rolled up with a Few Other Cats'. Keith takes over the controls

22:45 Pandaemonium
The story of the relationship between Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth.

00:40 Keith Richards' Lost Weekend Skin Deep
14/15 Keith Richards 'Skin Deep'. For one last night, Keith takes over the controls of BBC FOUR.

01:10 Build My Gallows High
Classic 1940s American film noir which tells a grim, complex tale of love and betrayal.

02:40 Keith Richards' Lost Weekend Praise and Damnation
15/15 Keith Richards 'Praise and Damnation'. Keith takes over the controls of BBC FOUR.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...

Re: Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC4 TV

October 21st;   Hmm seems to have been a while. Not that the recent run of documentaries haven't been the usual high standard, just limited appeal. Anyway, treat tonight for anyone interested in early Pink Floyd & Sid Barrett.

19:30 Top of the Pops 01/07/1982
With Natasha, Captain Sensible, Visage, Queen, Midge Ure, The Jam and Dollar. (R)

20:00 The Good Old Days 29/01/1976
With Danny La Rue, Dorothy Ross, Francis van Dyke and members of the Players Theatre. (R)

20:45 Sounds of the Sixties Reversions, The Folk Revival
7/15 Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen feature in this folk tinged episode of 60s archive. (R)

20:55 Pop Go the Sixties Series 2, Peter and Gordon
From a 1964 edition of Crackerjack, duo Peter and Gordon sing A World without Love. (R)

21:00 Pink Floyd Beginnings 1967-1972
Early TV appearances by Pink Floyd, including Astronomy Domine with Syd Barrett.
Pink Floyd released their first single in 1967, and as their popularity around the world grew, they increasingly travelled outside the UK to perform live shows and make TV appearances. After The Dark Side of the Moon became a global smash, the band concentrated on the creative freedom of live performance, leaving the world of TV behind, but now, after painstaking research, tapes of those early historic appearances have been tracked down and compiled into a fascinating hour of early Pink Floyd.
With front man Syd Barrett, they perform Astronomy Domine and Jugband Blues, and after Syd's departure, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason can be seen playing a full range of their eclectic material, from out and out pop in It Would Be So Nice, through instrumental improvisations, collaboration with choir and orchestra on Atom Heart Mother and enduring rock material like Wot's...Uh The Deal.
Beginnings 1967-1972 tracks the fascinating gestation of one of the world's most creative and heralded groups in the less well-known period that preceded the triumphs of The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall.

22:00 Totally 60s Psychedelic Rock at the BBC
With Status Quo, The Incredible String Band, Donovan, The Moody Blues and many more. (R)

23:00 Genesis: Together and Apart
Documentary about Genesis, one of the most successful British bands in rock music. (R)

00:30 Top of the Pops 01/07/1982
With Natasha, Captain Sensible, Visage, Queen, Midge Ure, The Jam and Dollar. (R)

01:00 Pink Floyd Beginnings 1967-1972
Early TV appearances by Pink Floyd, including Astronomy Domine with Syd Barrett. (R)

02:00 Totally 60s Psychedelic Rock at the BBC
With Status Quo, The Incredible String Band, Donovan, The Moody Blues and many more. (R)

03:00 Prog at the BBC
Prog rock performances from Yes, Genesis, ELP, Caravan, Gentle Giant, Family and more. (R)

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...

Re: Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC4 TV

Aside from all the tribute nights, it seems to have been a while since BBC4 came up with anything new or interesting, but this might tickle a few tastebuds & ear'oles:-

Friday 10th Feb - 21:00 

  Arena:   Alone with Chrissie Hynde
Arena spends the summer with super cool self-confessed rock chick, Chrissie Hynde - shopping for clothes in Paris, hanging out with Sandra Bernhard in New York, life in London and a special trip back to her home town of Akron, Ohio.

A thoughtful and intimate portrait of a 'lone, hungry, irritable wolf', featuring a glorious live performance at one of London's newest venues.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...

Re: Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC4 TV

Been a while since there was something new to shout about....

Friday - July 7th - 9pm:-

Rock & Roll Guns For Hire: The Story of The Sideman.
Film shining a spotlight on the untold story of The Sidemen, the musicians behind some of the greatest artists of all time. The Sidemen are the forgotten 'guns for hire' that changed musical history. Featuring interviews with Mick Jagger, Billy Joel and Keith Richards, this film takes viewers from the 1960s to today, via global stars such as Prince, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and Beyoncé.

What the synopsis fails to mention is that the programme is hosted by 40year Bowie sideman, and no slouch on the guitar Earl Slick.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...

Re: Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC4 TV

Been a bit of a famine on BBC4 of late, but looks like Friday 15th Sept may be worth setting the reminders with a couple of tasty offerings:-

20:00 - 21:00 -  The Live Lounge (1/4)  Foo Fighters & More
Clara Amfo takes us behind the scenes of Radio 1's Live Lounge - the biggest live studio showcase in the world.
     Live Lounge sessions happen twice a week across the year, attracting an array of some of the biggest and best artists on the planet. In September however, it gets turbo-charged with a performance every weekday across the whole month.
     Clara heads to LA to the legendary 606 Studio to host the Foo Fighters in session and to catch up with Dave Grohl. Also in the programme, we bring you live music from Chris Martin, The Script, The XX and 30 Seconds to Mars.
    This is live performance with a twist as each artist performs their own track and a cover version. Any Live Lounge listeners will know that the cover version is usually a recently released single, but not this year! To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Radio 1, the cover can be any track from the last 50 years and have we got some treats for you... This week Foo Fighters cover none other than AC/DC. 

21:00 - 22:00 Marc Bolan; Cosmic Dancer
    This intimate biography, narrated in Marc Bolan's own words, marks the 70th anniversary of his birth and the 40th of his death. The film traces Bolan's remarkable journey from Hackney's own 'king of the mods' to Tyrannosaurus Rex, as he evolved into the artist known as 'the hippie with a knife up his sleeve'.
     With the dawn of the '70s and the breakup of The Beatles, Bolan became the gender-bending glam rocker whose band T. Rex revitalised the British music scene. But director Jeremy Marre - incorporating unseen movies shot by record producer Tony Visconti and Marc Bolan himself - reveals a far more complex and driven figure whose life was tragically cut short, aged 29.
     Featuring those who were closest to Marc, his friends, colleagues, family, partner Gloria Jones and producer Tony Visconti.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...

Re: Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC4 TV

17th November - 00:00 - 00:55am (O.K. technically 18th Nov.....)

Live at Eden
Series 1, Van Morrison
1/3 Van Morrison and his band at Cornwall's Eden Project July 2017, performing fourteen songs.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...

Re: Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC4 TV

Friday 23rd Feb:-

21:00 - The Old Grey Whistle Test
            For One Night Only

Hosted by Bob Harris, this live studio show features music, special guests and rare archive footage to mark the 30 years since the legendary series was last broadcast.

Featuring performances from Peter Frampton, Richard Thompson, Albert Lee and more. Bob also chats to Whistle Test alumni, including Dave Stewart, Joan Armatrading, Ian Anderson, Chris Difford and Kiki Dee, as well as fans Danny Baker and Al Murray.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...

Re: Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC4 TV

Friday; April 27th:  21:00 - 22:25:

Jeff Beck: Still On The Run
"For many people, musicians and fans alike, Jeff Beck is the greatest ever British guitarist. For more than fifty years he has blazed an uncompromising trail across the musical landscape. Always an innovator, never a follower, Jeff has steadfastly refused to pander to the demands of the record industry. This maverick attitude required some difficult career decisions; he left The Yardbirds at the height of their popularity, deserted his own group days before their billed appearance at Woodstock and often shifted his attention to his other great passion of building hot rods rather than continuing a tour or returning to the studio.

Jeff's adventurous spirit led him to embrace a wide range of musical styles and he is one of a handful of artists who have transcended and redefined the limitations of their instrument, be it the Fender Telecaster, Esquire, Strat or Gibson Les Paul. He pioneered the use of feedback on record and his ability to capture the zeitgeist made The Yardbirds forerunners of psychedelic blues. With The Jeff Beck Group and the album Truth, he nurtured two of rock music's finest performers, Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, and gave birth to a sound that would later mutate into heavy metal.

He turned even the loss of Rod Stewart to his advantage by almost single-handedly inventing the guitar instrumental album with the release of Blow By Blow, which embraced the influences of Jan Hammer and John McLaughlin whilst developing a sound that was uniquely his own. Moving forward Jeff continued to push the envelope, amassing a fantastic body of work spanning many musical genres whilst constantly developing and evolving his inimitable approach and technique.

This film tells Jeff's story from his earliest days growing up in Wallington, Surrey with his homemade guitars, teenage friendship with Jimmy Page and the influences of guitarists such as Les Paul, Cliff Gallup and James Burton. With essential tracks from throughout his career it follows his journey from art school and early bands, through his various groups, musical ventures and passion for hot rods, to the release of his latest album and sell-out show at the Hollywood Bowl. We hear testimony to the genius of Jeff Beck from musicians who have recorded and played alongside him such as Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, Jennifer Batten, Beth Hart, Joe Perry and Slash, who all shine a light on his ever-evolving guitar style and reveal why to this day he remains not only a musical visionary but also the most influential and highly rated guitarist of his generation."

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...

Re: Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC4 TV

About time something different and new. Thanks Banshee big_smile

Come on the Blades (sorry Idolbone just had to borrow your line)

Re: Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC4 TV

A couple of upcoming treats on BBC4 that you may want to set your boxes for:-

Friday 7th Dec  10pm  Roxy Music; A Musical History
Documentary exploring the music of rock band Roxy Music, who have a good claim to be one of the UK's most influential bands. Led by charismatic front man Bryan Ferry, their striking style and great songs won them an army of fans who would go on to make their own mark in the world of music.
In this celebration of the music of both Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music, insights and anecdotes are provided by household names from Sadie Frost to Glenn Gregory & Martyn Ware, Gaz Coombes, New Order's Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert, Shaun Ryder and Alan McGee, Ana Matronic and more.
Formed in 1971, Roxy Music was the brain child of art student Bryan Ferry. His advert in Melody Maker gathered the initial line-up which included guitarist Phil Manzanera, saxophonist Andy Mackay, keyboard player Brian Eno and drummer Paul Thompson.
Pioneers of glam, their outlandish fashion sense, songwriting and pioneering use of electronics created a glorious package. Punk, New Wave and New Romantic music owe a huge debt to Bryan and Roxy Music.
Style is one thing, but the substance was reflected in a catalogue of classic songs - combined they create an enduring legacy which is celebrated in a golden hour of their greatest hits.

Friday 21st Dec; 8pm - Fleetwood Mac; A Musical History
Fellow musicians, journalists and fans celebrate Fleetwood Mac with a selection of their best loved songs.
Fleetwood Mac are the great survivors of British and American rock music. For more than fifty years they’ve overcome break-ups and breakdowns to become one of the most successful bands of all time. They have sold over 100 million records worldwide, with their 1977 smash Rumours accounting for nearly half of those sales.
They have endured, like all great bands because of the complimentary talents of its members. From Peter Green to Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham it has contained some extraordinary songwriters. With brilliant musicians on all instruments the band has been able to turn the songs into commercial gold. Above all the tough determination of the two men who gave the band their name has seen Fleetwood Mac through thick and thin.
Fleetwood fan Edith Bowman provides a narrative overview alongside other celebrity fans who all pay tribute to the band in this hit-filled hour. Contributors include KT Tunstall, Travis’ frontman Fran Healy, Toyah Willcox, Sian Pattenden and Emma Dabiri.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...

Re: Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC4 TV

Saturday 26th Jan - 00:00 - 01:00

Another chance to see - The Easybeats to AC/DC: The Story of Aussie Rock.

A film about the sound of Australian rock and the emergence of one of the world’s greatest rock bands - AC/DC, or Acca Dacca as they are known in Australia, and the legendary music company, Albert Music (Alberts) that helped launched them on to the global rock scene.
Through the 1960s, 70s and 80s, Alberts created a house of hits in Australia that literally changed the sound of Australian popular music.
It started with The Easybeats and their international hit Friday on My Mind back in the 60s. In the 1970s when Australia was in the midst of a deep recession, a rough and ready pub rock sound emerged, characterised by bands like Rose Tattoo who were promoted by family-run company Alberts. The raw power and fat guitar sound that characterised Aussie rock was pioneered by the Alberts and took Australia and the world by storm.
The sound of Aussie rock really exploded when the Alberts, a well-to-do family from the Sydney suburbs, joined forces with the Youngs, a Glasgow family who had emigrated to Australia. The result was AC/DC.
The documentary tells the story of how brothers Angus and Malcolm Young were produced by their older brother George and fellow Easybeats member Harry Vanda. Vanda and Young produced the band at Albert Studios and they were soon joined by the wild and charismatic lead singer Bon Scott.
Head of Alberts was Ted Albert - a quietly confident risk-taker. He backed AC/DC for many years with rock-solid conviction when their type of music and fashion seemed completely at odds with a UK and US music scene dominated by punk. Then, in 1980, AC/DC’s Back in Black album was a massive success around the world and the rest is history. The film retraces the band’s explosion in popularity, the relentless touring and the tragic death of Bon Scott.
Even after Bon’s death, and with the addition of Brian Johnson, the band went from strength to strength and remain hugely popular and one of the world’s most legendary bands. Today, the Albert family remains a potent force in Australian music.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...

Re: Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC4 TV

That's more like it. big_smile

Come on the Blades (sorry Idolbone just had to borrow your line)

Re: Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC4 TV

Jan 25th - 21:00 - 22:00

Guitar, Drum & Bass - On Guitar - Lenny Kaye
Lenny Kaye, Patti Smith’s guitarist, explains why the quest for new guitar sounds has driven the history of popular music, from Les Paul’s first guitar to Bo Diddley’s tremolo, Duane Eddy’s whammy bar, Keith Richards’s fuzz pedal, The Who’s feedback, The Byrds’ 12-string, Hendrix’s wah-wah pedal, Uli Roth and Van Halen’s shredding, The Edge’s digital delay, Ry Cooder’s slide, and KT Tunstall and Ed Sheeran’s looper pedals. With Duane Eddy, Roger McGuinn, The Edge, Bonnie Raitt, Seasick Steve, KT Tunstall, Joe Bonamassa, Uli Roth, Vernon Reid, Heart’s Nancy Wilson, The Runaways’ Lita Ford and producer Shel Talmy.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...

Re: Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC4 TV

Strictly speaking, NOT a Friday night show, but this run of Arena programmes being shown on BBC4 may have some relevance and interest to the forum:-

Sat 16th Feb; 01:55hrs
American Epic: Part 1: The Big Bang

The first episode takes us back to 1920s America, where the growth of radio had shattered record sales. Record companies travelled rural America and recorded the music of ordinary people for the first time. The poor and oppressed were given a voice as their recordings spread from state to state.
The film introduces the early recordings of The Carter Family, the founders of modern country music, steeped in the traditions of their isolated Appalachian community. It also features Will Shade and the Memphis Jug Band, whose music told the story of street life in Memphis, and laid the foundations for modern-day rap and R'n'B.
Robert Redford narrates this meticulously researched story of a cultural revolution that changed the world.

Sat 23rd Feb 01:55 hr
American Epic: Part 2: Blood and Soil

This episode takes a look at the stories of those early music pioneers whose names have largely been forgotten.
In the small South Carolina town of Cheraw, Elder Burch held lively church gatherings which inspired young musicians - including jazz giant Dizzy Gillespie. Gillespie's autobiography cites Burch and his sons as direct inspirations; it is no exaggeration to say that modern music would not look the same without Burch's early influence.
The programme takes a look at the gritty songs and musicians that came from the coal mines of Logan County, West Virginia - The Williamson Brothers, Dick Justice and Frank Hutchinson. The hellish conditions of the coal mines inspired them to find a way out, through their music.
Finally we head to the home of the blues - the Mississippi Delta, where Charley Patton captured the sounds and struggles of life in the cotton fields. Patton's significance cannot be understated; he is widely considered the most influential musician in the birth of blues, teaching some of the best blues artists that followed including Howlin' Wolf, Robert Johnson and Honeyboy Edwards.

Sat Mar 2nd 02:00hr
American Epic Part 3: Out of the Many, the One

The third episode takes a look at the influence of Hawaiian music and more specifically, the steel guitar, which became a central sound to a range of musical styles. When Joseph Kekuku picked up a metal bolt as he wandered down a train track, the bolt hit the strings of his guitar and the sound was born. He perfected his slide to create a new instrument that would travel the world.
The programme continues with an exploration of Cajun music, the blended music of Louisiana that reflects the winding landscape of the bayous. This appealed to the record companies as something set apart from the established genres of country, jazz and blues. Central to the scene were the Breaux family, who talk about continuing their musical heritage today.
Finally we hear the story of Mississippi John Hurt - discovered in the 1920s but soon forgotten, he represents the odyssey of American Epic in microcosm. After travelling to Memphis where his music was recorded, he returned home to Avalon, a tiny spot on the map of Mississippi. With the Depression, recording in the south came virtually to a halt and Hurt simply went back to sharecropping, his music forgotten by all but a few dedicated collectors. 35 years after those first recordings, folklorist Dick Spottswood tracked down Hurt in 1963, sparking a revival of his music. He starred at the Newport Folk Festival and became celebrated all over the world.

Sat Mar 9th 02:00  tbc....
American Epic: Episode 4 The Sessions

The machine that introduced the sounds of America to its people has been lovingly reassembled and now, in the heart of Hollywood, in a perfect recreation of the atmosphere and conditions of America's first ever recording studios, today's music superstars roll the epic on.
Elton John, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Alabama Shakes, Jack White, Nas, Ana Gabriel, Beck, Los Lobos and Steve Martin are among the artists who test their skills against the demands of the recording machine that literally made American music. There are no edits, no overdubs and no retakes, and the disc only allows for three minutes of recording time.
Despite these limitations, today's recordings for American Epic have one advantage - the freshly recorded sound is crystal clear and of an astonishing depth, transporting us vividly into the past - and the future.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...

304 (edited by PSmith1946 2019-02-13 06:52:29)

Re: Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC4 TV

Going to miss your pic. big_smile

Both you and Jane changed at the same time. Conspiracy theory. big_smile

Come on the Blades (sorry Idolbone just had to borrow your line)

Re: Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC4 TV

12th April - 21:00 - 22:00

Rock Island Line - The Song That Made Britain Rock.

In January 1956, a new pop phenomenon appeared in the UK charts: a British artist playing a guitar. His name was Lonnie Donegan and the song he sang was Rock Island Line.
Donegan’s rough-and-ready style was at odds with the polished crooners who dominated the charts. He played the guitar in a way that sounded like anyone could do it. Rock Island Line sounded like nothing else on the radio and it inspired a generation of British youths to pick up guitars and begin a journey that would take them to the top of the American charts.
Rock Island Line, the biggest hit of the skiffle craze, spoke directly to a generation of British teenagers who had grown up during post-war rationing. Within 18 months of its release, sales of acoustic guitars in the UK had rocketed from 5,000 to over 250,000 a year.
The song began its life in the 1920s as a jingle in the workshops of the Rock Island Line railroad in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1933, John A Lomax visited Cummins Prison Farm, south of Little Rock, collecting work songs for the Library of Congress. On the day of the recording, a group of eight prisoners, led by Kelly Pace, came up to Lomax’s mic and sang Rock Island Line. Lomax’s driver was the African-American musician who became the celebrated folk singer Lead Belly. He was so impressed that he learned the tune, added verses and made it a staple of his own repertoire.
In the late 1940s, young music fans in the UK began to seek out recordings from the early years of jazz, becoming obsessed with the New Orleans style (known as Trad Jazz) that favoured collective interaction over the prevailing emphasis on soloists. Blowing on their instruments very hard, they found that their lips were numb after half an hour. So as to not lose their audience, they put down their instruments and picked up guitars, a double bass and a washboard.
These ‘breakdown sessions’ were initiated by Ken Colyer, a trumpet player who sought out his heroes in New Orleans. Because he was so familiar with their recordings, he was able to sit in with them, but a white kid playing with black musicians soon drew attention and when he went to renew his visa, he was arrested and held in jail for over two months. Returning to the UK, his brother pulled together a bunch of musicians to form a band that included Chris Barber on trombone, Monty Sunshine on clarinet and, on banjo, Lonnie Donegan. Lonnie was a natural front man, with a voice that sounded American. He stood at the back with the rhythm section during the jazz numbers, but when he came to the front during the breakdown, he grabbed the audience with his renditions of Lead Belly’s most famous songs, Rock Island Line prominent among them. Asked what kind of music they were playing, they replied that it was skiffle.
Now known as Chris Barber’s Jazz Band, they secured an offer to make a record for Decca. When they gathered in the label’s studios on 13 July 1954, it became apparent that the band did not have enough material to fill an album so it was decided that they should record songs from the band’s popular skiffle breakdown. They cut an incendiary version of Rock Island Line as well as another Lead Belly standard, John Henry.
The British record industry was scrambling to find artists who might jump on the rock bandwagon, and someone at Decca remembered Lonnie Donegan. Here was a chap who looked the part - open-necked shirt, acoustic guitar, sounding like an American cowboy, singing about railroads. More importantly, his song had the word ‘rock’ in the title.
In January 1956, Rock Island Line hit the top ten and the skiffle craze was born. Donegan sent a revolutionary message to the youth of Britain: you don’t have to be a trained musician to play this music. When Lonnie toured in late 1956, he took skiffle to the masses. During his six-night stand at the Liverpool Empire, thirteen-year-old George Harrison went every night. His pal, fourteen-year-old Paul McCartney also saw Donegan and promptly asked his dad to buy him a guitar. It is not known if John Lennon saw the show, but just two weeks later he had formed his own skiffle group, The Quarrymen.
Schoolboys in their thousands picked up guitars and formed skiffle groups. The pop charts began to feature other skiffle artists, mostly following Donegan’s Rock Island Line blueprint by recording songs about the American railroad like Freight Train by Chas McDevitt and Nancy Whiskey.
The skiffle craze was short-lived, lasting barely eighteen months, but in that time it inspired a generation of British boys to pick up a guitar and play. It was DIY, self-empowering and set out to challenge the bland chart music of the day. Skiffle provided a nursery for the British invasion of the American charts in the 1960s. We have taken it for granted that British kids always played guitars and wrote their own songs. It was skiffle that put guitars into the hands of the war babies – and all of skiffle’s influence can be traced back to Rock Island Line.

And if that doesn’t tell you all you need to know…..

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...

Re: Friday Night Is Music Night on BBC4 TV

Friday 19th: 21:00 - 22:00

Woodie Guthrie: Three Chords and the Truth
Woody Guthrie is one of America’s legendary songwriters. A voice of the people, he wrote hard-hitting lyrics for a hard-hit nation.
His is a tale of survival, creativity and reinvention. He is proof that there is always potential for change and even in 2019, more than fifty years after his death, he is challenging Donald Trump from beyond the grave.
With enormous influence on successive generations of musicians like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez and Billy Bragg, this film proves he has a true place in 21st-century culture.

Friday 26th:  21:00 - 22:00

John Lee Hooker: The Boogie Man
John Lee Hooker was one of the greatest bluesmen of the 20th century. Born into poverty and racial segregation, he lived through a monumental time in American history.
This is the story of a cultural icon, and his far-reaching impact on popular music, told in his own words and those of his family and closest collaborators.
Interviews with Keith Richards, Van Morrison, Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt and Robert Cray tell how an illiterate man from the rural and impoverished backwaters of the Mississippi Delta influenced their own musical journey. We reveal his part in bringing the Blues to a new generation of young British musicians and how, in turn, those musicians introduced young, mainstream Americans to their own cultural heritage.
His is an astonishing tale of survival and creativity, ingenuity and reinvention - of a man who became a superstar against extraordinary odds. It is also the story of modern America, portrayed through the incredible and touching journey of a singer-songwriter who has left an indelible mark on today’s music.

23:45 - 00:45
Blues At The BBC
Collection of performances by British and American blues artists on BBC programmes such as The Beat Room, A Whole Scene Going, The Old Grey Whistle Test and The Late Show.
Includes the seminal slide guitar of Son House, the British R&B of The Kinks, the unmistakeable electric sound of BB King and Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton and John Lee Hooker, as well as less familiar material from the likes of Delaney and Bonnie, Freddie King and Long John Baldry.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...