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'Blues America' BBC4 series 29th Nov

Will Fly 18 Nov 13 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 19 Nov 13 - 05:41 AM
Rain Dog 19 Nov 13 - 06:01 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 19 Nov 13 - 06:17 AM
Pete Jennings 19 Nov 13 - 06:59 AM
Rain Dog 29 Nov 13 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 30 Nov 13 - 06:29 AM
Will Fly 30 Nov 13 - 02:28 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 Nov 13 - 07:45 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Dec 13 - 08:51 AM
Will Fly 01 Dec 13 - 09:19 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 01 Dec 13 - 02:02 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Dec 13 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,RickS 01 Dec 13 - 03:50 PM
Big Al Whittle 01 Dec 13 - 07:26 PM
Rain Dog 06 Dec 13 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 06 Dec 13 - 10:41 AM
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Subject: 'Blues America' BBC4 series 29th Nov
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Nov 13 - 03:34 PM

A quick heads up on a new series starting on BBC4 (UK) TV on Friday 29th November - "Blues America".

Seems like lots of live clips of some blues greats are in prospect.

Anybody remember the mammoth "Blues Night" on BBC TV many, many years ago - presented by B.B. King and John Walters? A whole evening of short blues films including one of Broonzy playing in a Paris cellar...

By gum, them were't' days.


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Subject: RE: 'Blues America' BBC4 series 29th Nov
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 19 Nov 13 - 05:41 AM

Remember the BBC 2 Blues Night? Do I ever! I spent the whole night armed with bottles of beer and a cassette recorder and a hand held mike, and I kept pouring the beer down myself and the cassettes into the recorder. Alas and alack that I didn't have a video recorder in those days. As I remember it, they had only just come onto the market in those days and they were hideously expensive and decidedly unreliable.

Would that the Beeb could show enough initiative to do something like that again, instead of those god-awful reality shows they keep showing.


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Subject: RE: 'Blues America' BBC4 series 29th Nov
From: Rain Dog
Date: 19 Nov 13 - 06:01 AM

Further details of the season are as follows:

This autumn, BBC Four will be retracing the history of the blues in a special season of programming intended to put the music back into place and time and explore the shifting and unfolding place of the music in American culture from Mississippi shacks to New York City, from black Chicago to the white suburbs and, most recently, to the White House.

The documentaries explore the blues as a kind of secret history of American culture in the 20th century and beyond.

Cassian Harrison, Channel Editor, BBC Four, said: "The blues matter - it's as simple as that - and I'm really pleased that we've been able to draw together such a fantastic range of programmes that show just why they matter so much. There are tears aplenty of course, but there's even more to enjoy in what will be an incredible journey through some of the most seminal music of the 20th century."

Mark Cooper, Head of BBC Music Television, said: "Blues is at the heart of American music and American culture. We wanted to make programmes that didn't sentimentalise the music but would explore the blues' extraordinary journey between black and white audiences and musicians. That journey is key to understanding the American 20th century and has also had a huge effect on British popular music."

Narrated by Huey Morgan and produced by rock photographer and documentarian Mick Gold, the star-studded two-part series - Blues America - sets out to explore how the blues crossed borders and shows that it was not based only in racial oppression and rural poverty but also entertainment, dancing and sexual excitement.

The first programme 'Woke Up This Morning' (Friday 29 November, 9pm) looks at the birth of the blues from minstrel and medicine shows into a commercial industry. Gold and contributors including Keith Richards, Taj Mahal and Chuck D. look at key moments in its development, including the arrival of records in the 1920s, the first blues recording stars, and the effects of the 1930s economic depression which drove tens of thousands of black Americans from rural poverty in the South to factory jobs in the North.

The second part, 'Bright Lights Big City' (Friday 6 December, 9pm), begins in post-war Chicago, Detroit and Memphis and charts the blues migration to the cities which forged a style that would give birth to rock'n'roll in the 1950s. With insights from Keith Richards, Bonnie Raitt, Seasick Steve and Buddy Guy, Gold charts its progress to the modern day, showing how the blues has now transcended racial and national boundaries to become a central strand of America's DNA.

Continuing the season of programmes, BBC Four also presents the first ever film biography of Big Bill Broonzy, the American who brought the blues to 1950s Britain and went on to inspire a generation of musicians.

'Big Bill Broonzy: The Man Who Brought The Blues To Britain' mixes rare footage with archive and specially-shot live performances to trace the colourful and sometimes disturbing past of a man whose life story was shrouded in mystery. With insights from Ray Davies, Keith Richards, Pete Seeger, Martin Carthy, John Renbourn, Guy Davis and members of the Broonzy family, the documentary follows Broonzy's remarkable journey from the racist Deep South to the clubs of Chicago and across the world.

BBC Four will also be showing Canadian director James Cullingham's exploration of the great 'Primitivist' guitarist John Fahey, 'In Search Of Blind Joe Death: The Saga Of John Fahey' on Sunday 8 December. Fahey pioneered independent labels with his Takoma imprint, forged a unique guitar style that would build on early blues masters, indian music and eventually industrial music. Fahey was also key in the rediscovery of blues artists Skip James and Bukka White.

A BBC Four Session with American singer songwriter Bonnie Raitt, plus surprise guest Paul Brady at Stoke Newington Town Hall, London, is a great concert overview of Raitt's career that began as a blues revivalist in the early 70s and whose repertoire still features her stinging slide guitar style alongside ballads like Nick of Time and Love Has No Pride.

BBC 4 Blues Season


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Subject: RE: 'Blues America' BBC4 series 29th Nov
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 19 Nov 13 - 06:17 AM

Will,
That was quite a night from the Beeb. I remember it well, videoed the lot at the time and have since transferred it to disc.
It's difficult to believe that there is much that is new or newly discovered to see but I remain hopeful. Hopefully too we will get full performances and less talking heads than we often get in programmes of this type.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: 'Blues America' BBC4 series 29th Nov
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 19 Nov 13 - 06:59 AM

Looking forward to it. BBC4 does us proud.


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Subject: RE: 'Blues America' BBC4 series 29th Nov
From: Rain Dog
Date: 29 Nov 13 - 09:52 AM

Bump


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Subject: RE: 'Blues America' BBC4 series 29th Nov
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 30 Nov 13 - 06:29 AM

Good programme. Well put together, although it didn't say much about the blues which hasn't been said already. Well, let's face it, there isn't much left to say.

What really got me though was the splendid use of archive footage, a large part of which I hadn't seen before.

Of the collection of clips which followed, I shall say little, except God Almighty! Great to see Son House, Buddy Guy, etc. But oh hell, all those white middle class kids trying to pretend they were born in the Delta or Southside Chicago.

Roll on tomorrow night and the programme on Big Bill Broonzy.


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Subject: RE: 'Blues America' BBC4 series 29th Nov
From: Will Fly
Date: 30 Nov 13 - 02:28 PM

It's a problem, isn't it, Fred, if you really get a passion for a particular style of music that's completely divorced from your own background? What do you do if you're a white builder from Clapham and you're madly in love with Cuban son or Chicago blues or Peruvian charango music? Do you say, "I really shouldn't play this stuff because I'm a white builder from Clapham". Of course you don't - you play the stuff because you don't give a toss what people might think about you, and because the music really moves you.

I think as long as you play your music without any false pretension, you're entitled to do what you like and sod the consequences. In a way, it's not dissimilar from any modern urban folk club performer singing the songs of rural labourers and fisherman.

I don't sing rural blues or rural folk songs, by the way, for the reason that they don't feel right for me - which probably justifies your comment! However much I love blues, I confine public my efforts mainly to commercial tomfoolery from the 20s and 30s...


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Subject: RE: 'Blues America' BBC4 series 29th Nov
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Nov 13 - 07:45 PM

personally I loved the middle class white kids - Spider John Koerner, Stefan Grossman, Scott Ainsley etc

for the most part they have spent their entire lives creatively thoughtfully - and their work has had great impact, and deserves major respect.


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Subject: RE: 'Blues America' BBC4 series 29th Nov
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Dec 13 - 08:51 AM

in fact Ian Buchanan's version of Winding Boy and Jack Eliot's version of Matchbox Blues are my warm up pieces - I play them every morning. just to make sure everything's where it should be. I very rarely play either piece in public. God! I love them......!


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Subject: RE: 'Blues America' BBC4 series 29th Nov
From: Will Fly
Date: 01 Dec 13 - 09:19 AM

I used to be an avid fan of the late Jo-Ann Kelly in the 60s. What a voice and presence she had - and she resisted all tempting offers and blandishments to go and play in America. Her death from a brain tumour in the late 1980s was a huge loss to music.


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Subject: RE: 'Blues America' BBC4 series 29th Nov
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 01 Dec 13 - 02:02 PM

Hang on. I'm not denigrating anyone for being the wrong colour, and I quite agree, there are some very good white blues singers out there. In fact there always have been, as anyone who's into early country music knows full well.

It's just that I don't think the vast majority of white blues bands from the 1960s had much idea of what they were doing. There were obvious exceptions. EG., Cyril Davis and Alexis Korner. Also Eric Clapton, whose spot on Friday's programme I thoroughly enjoyed. But most of the rest should have stayed very firmly in the BBC vaults with a note saying 'Not to be broadcast while Fred McCormick's alive'.

Anyway, that clip of Son House performing Death Letter Blues was overwhelming and awesome. I've just renewed my tv licence and now I know it was worth it.


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Subject: RE: 'Blues America' BBC4 series 29th Nov
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Dec 13 - 02:44 PM

agreed there fred. in fact Clapton's stuff with the yardbirds sounds a bit ropey these days.


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Subject: RE: 'Blues America' BBC4 series 29th Nov
From: GUEST,RickS
Date: 01 Dec 13 - 03:50 PM

Also, someone like Joann or Dave Kelly was about the closest you'd ever get to the experience of hearing the mostly long-gone legends live & in their prime..


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Subject: RE: 'Blues America' BBC4 series 29th Nov
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Dec 13 - 07:26 PM

great to see Elijah Wald - biographer of Josh White and Dave Van Ronk and occasional mudcatter on there.


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Subject: RE: 'Blues America' BBC4 series 29th Nov
From: Rain Dog
Date: 06 Dec 13 - 07:30 AM

Part 1 is on YouTube now

Blues America - BBC4 - Part 1 of 2

Part 2 is on BBC4 today Friday 6.12.13 at 21.00 along with the following programs

20.00 - BBC4 Sessions - Bonnie Raitt

21.00 - Blues America Part 2

22.00 - Later with Jools Holland - Compilation of performances from many of the great blues artists who have featured on Later

23.00 - In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey


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Subject: RE: 'Blues America' BBC4 series 29th Nov
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 06 Dec 13 - 10:41 AM

You left out Sister Rosetta Tharpe who follows the John Fahey programme for one hour and then the whole lot is repeated. It's a strange way of programming and repeating the BBC has, it'either all or nothing. Still at least they do still put some worthwhile programmes on so I won't complain.

Hoot


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