For One Night Only

Paul Gambaccini brings you not just the glorious music of the live album, but the full drama of the concert, as remembered by those who were there - on stage, backstage or in the audience.

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Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
0101Bob Marley And The Wailers - Live At The Lyceum2003111820040112

This 1975 concert marked the 'crossover' of reggae into popular music and established Marley as an inter-racial hero.

Paul Gambaccini, who was there, revisits the Lyceum to discover how this seminal album was born.

0102George Harrison - Concert For Bangladesh2003112520040119

This 1971 concert was the first charity concert and the benchmark for Band Aid and all that followed.

But it was also much more - a beginning for World Music, a remarkable live set from Bob Dylan, a glimpse of George Harrison's solo talents so soon after the break up of the Beatles and a compelling political statement.

Paul Gambaccini tells the stories behind the music.

0103 LASTBritten's War Requiem2003120220040126

A life-long pacifist, Benjamin Britten wrote his War Requiem to highlight the futility of war and promote the cause of world peace.

The venue for its first performance, in May 1962, was highly symbolic - the newly consecrated Cathedral built amid the ruins of Coventry, the city which suffered some of the worst bombing of World War II.

Those who were in the cathedral that evening remember it as an intensely emotional experience; the German baritone, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, chosen for further symbolic reasons by Britten to sing alongside the British tenor, Peter Pears, commented that it was difficult to sing with tears in one's eyes.

Many have since re-lived the experience from the Decca studio recording released the following year.

Paul Gambaccini plays the record and hears from those who were in the cathedral on that momentous evening.

0201An Historic Return - Horowitz At Carnegie Hall2005010420050806

Vladimir Horowitz, the Russian American pianist, retired from public performance in 1953.

A full 12 years later he decided that his retirement had been premature and, on May 9th 1965, he made his dramatic comeback at New York's carnegie hall.

Almost 40 years on Paul Gambaccini returns to Carnegie Hall with some of those who remember that historic afternoon as one of their most treasured moments: those who queued for two nights to get standing room tickets, the man who tuned the piano, and the record executive who literally had to push the nervous maestro on stage!.

0202The Judy Garland And Liza Minnelli Concert At The London Palladium2005011120050820

On 8 November 1964, Judy Garland proudly introduced her 17 year old daughter, Liza Minnelli, to more than 2000 rapturous fans at a favourite venue - she'd already given 60 performances at the Palladium.

They had appeared on TV together before, but this was their first joint stage concert - and it was a sensation.

Paul Gambaccini listens to the album and goes backstage at the Palladium to re-live the night it was recorded with fans, musicians and crew.

0203 LASTThe Who Live At Leeds2005011820050813

Valentine's Night, 1970.

Leeds University Refectory.

On stage - The Who.

Widely acknowledged as one of the best live rock albums, this concert marked a turning point in the band's wild, guitar smashing career.

From hereon, they were a mainstream rock band.

Paul Gambaccini listens to the album and travels to Leeds to meet people who were at this historic gig, both on stage and in the audience.

0301When John Met John *2005082720080801
20080803 (R4)

On thanksgiving night, 1974, on the stage of New York City's Madison Square Garden, Elton John, then the best-selling artist in America, announced a surprise guest.

To the delight of the ecstatic crowd, another titan of rock, John Lennon, walked onto the stage and sang with Elton in what was to be his last public appearance before his assassination.

Paul Gambaccini was there.

Listening to Here and There, the album that came out of the concert, he shares his memories of the unique event with musicians and audience members who were also there when history was made.

Playing at Madison Square Garden on Thanksgiving Night 1974, Elton John announced a surprise guest.

To the delight of the audience, John Lennon took the stage in what would be his last public appearance before his assassination.

0302Three Tenors In Rome2005090320070923

July 1990.

In July 1990, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras united on one stage on the eve of the World Cup Final, singing in front of a world-wide satellite audience of around 800 million.

0303 LASTAt The Drop Of A Hat * *2005091020080822
20080824 (R4)

On 2 May 1959, at the Fortune Theatre in London, the unlikely hit which had filled the theatre nightly for over two years, finally closed.

But George Martin of EMI Records was there to record the show as an LP.

Michael Flanders and Donald Swann set a new standard in comedy with this review; their relaxed satirical style would influence Beyond the Fringe, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, and the Monty Python team among others.

Paul Gambaccini meets those who remember the show and discovers there was more to the comic pair than a few funny songs about animals.

Michael Flanders and Donald Swann's satirical revue filled London's Fortune Theatre for two years before closing on 2 May 1959.

Happily, the final performance was recorded on an album.

0401Bernstein In Berlin *2006081920080829
20080831 (R4)

At Christmas 1989, just a month after the Berlin Wall was first breached, Leonard Bernstein conducted an international cast in Berlin.

Re-naming Beethoven's Ninth Ode to Freedom instead of Ode to Joy for the occasion, he rehearsed the various orchestras, choruses - including a children's choir - and soloists in West Berlin on Christmas Eve, then played East Berlin's Schauspielhalle on Christmas Day to celebrate the reunification of Berlin.

The result was a classical number one and a UK pop chart hit.

On Christmas Day 1989, six weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Leonard Bernstein conducted a band of musicians and singers from East and West in a celebratory performance of Beethoven's Choral Symphony.

0402Elvis Comes Back2006082620080912
20080914 (R4)

In 1968 Elvis' star was somewhat tarnished; he'd been overtaken by the likes of the Beatles and Bob Dylan, he hadn't had a chart-topping hit for six years, and his last live appearance was in '61.

Since then he'd only been seen in movies which were increasingly critically slated.

But all that changed in December 1968; Elvis' electric performance on NBC TV convinced the nation that he was still the King.

An electrifying performance on NBC TV in December 1968 restored the reputation of Elvis Presley at a time when his star seemed to be on the wane.

0403Miles Davis And Quincy Jones, Live At Montreux * *2006090220080907
20080905 (R4)

In 1991 (25th anniversary of the Montreux Jazz festival), Quincy Jones coaxed Miles Davis - renowned for his relentless pursuit of new sounds and his intransigent refusal to re-visit past glories - into reprising his Gil Evans arrangements from the period 1949-1960.

Those who were there speak of the magic of hearing miles' Porgy and Bess and sketches of Spain again.

Miles died two months later.

For the 25th anniversary of the renowned international jazz festival, Jones coaxed Davis into reprising his collaborations with Gil Evans from the 50s and 60s.

A spellbound audience heard such masterpieces as Porgy and Bess and Sketches of Spain played in public for the first time in decades.

0404 LASTFifty Years Of Bing20060909

In the sweltering summer of 1976, Bing Crosby chose to celebrate 50 years in showbusiness with a concert for his fans in London.

On stage again for the first time in 40 years, he appeared with special guest Rosemary Clooney, plus Bing's wife and children.

But for the medley of 33 of his greatest hits, he was alone.

Even in his 70s, Bing was still magic; the pioneer of the microphone had lost none of his skill, and the audience will never forget that night.

0501Hot August Night2007082520080808
20080810 (R4)

1972 saw a remarkable series of performances by Neil Diamond at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.

The spectacular staging and surround-sound effects ensured that those who were there would never forget the event.

0502The Prom Of Peace2007090120080815
20080817 (R4)

On August 21, 1968, Russian tanks entered Czechoslovakia to put an end to Alexander Dubcek's Prague Spring.

An extraordinary irony saw the Soviet State Symphony Orchestra making its debut at the Proms on the same day in a programme featuring Czech composer Antonin Dvorak's Cello Concerto.

The performance by soloist Mstislav Rostropovich remains one of the greatest ever live recordings of the piece.

On 21 August 1968, Russian tanks entered Czechoslovakia to put an end to Alexander Dubcek's Prague Spring.

0503 LASTThe Reunion In Central Park20070908

On September 19, 1981, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel appeared together for the first time in 11 years.

A crowd of 400,000 gathered in New York to witness a performance that illustrated how a decade of separation had not damaged the chemistry which had made the duo international stars in the first place.

0601The Button-down Mind Of Bob Newhart2011031920111226

Paul Gambaccini returns with the award-winning series to look back at four more occasions on which a classic live album was recorded. He hears from those who were there, on-stage, backstage and in the audience, to re-create the event for all of us who, each time we play the album, think: 'If only I could have been there'.

When 'The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart' appeared in 1960 it became the first comedy album ever to top the charts. From 'The Driving Instructor' to 'Abe Lincoln vs Madison Avenue', the sketches that earned Newhart Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Comedy Performance were as popular in Britain as in the US. And they still raise a laugh more than fifty years on.

In this first edition of the new series, Paul Gambaccini talks to the now 81-year-old comedy star himself who, before the legendary album, was an accountant who leavened the office monotony by working up 'phone' routines with a colleague. When Chicago DJ Dan Sorkin heard a tape of the pair, he thought Bob's end of the act was good enough to record and managed to interest George Avakian of Warner Brothers Records. Avakian wanted Bob in front of a live audience and found a club in Houston - The Tidelands - where the manager, Dick Maegle, agreed to let the novice perform. Sorkin, Avakian and Maegle have all been interviewed for the programme.

So on 12 February 1960 a nervous Bob went out on stage. The result is as fresh today as it was then. Paul Gambaccini hears the story of the making of this classic album

Also in this series of For One Night Only: BB King's classic, Live at the Regal, the LSO's hit live performance of Berlioz's The Trojans and Keith Jarrett's unsurpassed jazz improvisation, the Cologne Concert.

Producer: Marya Burgess.

Paul Gambaccini recalls the 1960 classic album The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart.

Paul Gambaccini returns with the award-winning series to look back at four more occasions on which a classic live album was recorded.

He hears from those who were there, on-stage, backstage and in the audience, to re-create the event for all of us who, each time we play the album, think: 'If only I could have been there'.

When 'The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart' appeared in 1960 it became the first comedy album ever to top the charts.

From 'The Driving Instructor' to 'Abe Lincoln vs Madison Avenue', the sketches that earned Newhart Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Comedy Performance were as popular in Britain as in the US.

And they still raise a laugh more than fifty years on.

In this first edition of the new series, Paul Gambaccini talks to the now 81-year-old comedy star himself who, before the legendary album, was an accountant who leavened the office monotony by working up 'phone' routines with a colleague.

When Chicago DJ Dan Sorkin heard a tape of the pair, he thought Bob's end of the act was good enough to record and managed to interest George Avakian of Warner Brothers Records.

Avakian wanted Bob in front of a live audience and found a club in Houston - The Tidelands - where the manager, Dick Maegle, agreed to let the novice perform.

Sorkin, Avakian and Maegle have all been interviewed for the programme.

So on 12 February 1960 a nervous Bob went out on stage.

The result is as fresh today as it was then.

Paul Gambaccini hears the story of the making of this classic album

Paul Gambaccini looks back to Houston in 1960 and Bob Newhart's first stage appearance.

0602Bb King Live At The Regal2011032620111227

Paul Gambaccini is back with the award-winning series that re-visits the occasions on which a classic live album was recorded. He hears from those who were there, on-stage, backstage and in the audience, to re-create the event for all of us who, each time we play the album, think: 'If only I could have been there'.

On 21 November 1964 what's been hailed as one of the greatest blues albums of all time was recorded at Chicago's premier black theatre, The Regal. It's claimed, that musicians from Eric Clapton to John Mayer still play it for inspiration before they go on stage.

If BB's studio sessions were electric, it was on stage that he really came into his own. Yet, at a time when live albums were becoming the thing, BB had yet to record one. Enter Johnny Pate, A&R man for ABC Paramount, the label that had recently signed Riley B King.

On the night, Chicago DJs Pervis Spann and E Rodney Jones introduced the sets and the enthusiastic audience erupted as BB and his band treated them to a classic performance.

Paul Gambaccini listens to memories of that never-to-be-forgotten night from BB King himself and from the sole surviving member of his band, Duke Jethro. Jethro's usual instrument, the HammondB3 Organ, was in the repair shop so he had to play, for the first time in his life, a piano. Yet his tinkling riffs are one of the album's major charms.

Paul also hears from the album's producer, Johnny Pate, from WVON DJ Pervis Spann, and from Arthur Gathings, who was in the audience.

Producer: Marya Burgess.

Paul Gambaccini tells the story behind BB King's classic 1964 album Live at the Regal.

Paul Gambaccini is back with the award-winning series that re-visits the occasions on which a classic live album was recorded.

He hears from those who were there, on-stage, backstage and in the audience, to re-create the event for all of us who, each time we play the album, think: 'If only I could have been there'.

On 21 November 1964 what's been hailed as one of the greatest blues albums of all time was recorded at Chicago's premier black theatre, The Regal.

It's claimed, that musicians from Eric Clapton to John Mayer still play it for inspiration before they go on stage.

If BB's studio sessions were electric, it was on stage that he really came into his own.

Yet, at a time when live albums were becoming the thing, BB had yet to record one.

Enter Johnny Pate, A&R man for ABC Paramount, the label that had recently signed Riley B King.

Paul Gambaccini listens to memories of that never-to-be-forgotten night from BB King himself and from the sole surviving member of his band, Duke Jethro.

Jethro's usual instrument, the HammondB3 Organ, was in the repair shop so he had to play, for the first time in his life, a piano.

Yet his tinkling riffs are one of the album's major charms.

0603Berlioz's Les Troyens2011040220111228

Paul Gambaccini presents the award-winning series that re-visits the occasions on which a classic live album was recorded. He hears from those who were there, on-stage, backstage and in the audience, to re-create the event for all of us who, each time we play the album, think: 'If only I could have been there'.

In December 2000 at The Barbican, Sir Colin Davis conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in the epic Berlioz opera, Les Troyens. Featuring a fine line-up of soloists, including Ben Heppner, Michelle de Young and Petra Lang, Sir Colin's championing of the unfashionable composer brought Berlioz's unwieldy account of the fall of Troy and the founding of Rome to exhilarating life.

The resulting recording was released on the LSO Live label and met with international approval, assuring the new label's success. The album was the unanimous critics' choice at the Classical Brits awards - chaired that year by our presenter, Paul Gambaccini. It also won two Grammy Awards - for best opera recording and classical recording.

Now he hears from Sir Colin Davis himself about his memories of the exceptional recording. Members of the cast, including Ben Heppner, Petra Lang and Toby Spence recall their experience of the opera, as do members of the orchestra and the audience.

Producer: Marya Burgess.

Paul Gambaccini re-visits Sir Colin Davis's triumph with the LSO and Berlioz's Les Troyens

Paul Gambaccini presents the award-winning series that re-visits the occasions on which a classic live album was recorded.

He hears from those who were there, on-stage, backstage and in the audience, to re-create the event for all of us who, each time we play the album, think: 'If only I could have been there'.

In December 2000 at The Barbican, Sir Colin Davis conducted the London Symphony Orchestra in the epic Berlioz opera, Les Troyens.

Featuring a fine line-up of soloists, including Ben Heppner, Michelle de Young and Petra Lang, Sir Colin's championing of the unfashionable composer brought Berlioz's unwieldy account of the fall of Troy and the founding of Rome to exhilarating life.

The resulting recording was released on the LSO Live label and met with international approval, assuring the new label's success.

The album was the unanimous critics' choice at the Classical Brits awards - chaired that year by our presenter, Paul Gambaccini.

It also won two Grammy Awards - for best opera recording and classical recording.

Now he hears from Sir Colin Davis himself about his memories of the exceptional recording.

Members of the cast, including Ben Heppner, Petra Lang and Toby Spence recall their experience of the opera, as do members of the orchestra and the audience.

0604 LASTKeith Jarrett: The Cologne Concert2011040920111229

Paul Gambaccini presents the award-winning series that re-visits the occasions on which a classic live album was recorded. He hears from those who were there, on-stage, backstage and in the audience, to re-create the event for all of us who, each time we play the album, think: 'If only I could have been there'.

Keith Jarrett had made his name as a jazz pianist working with Art Blakey, Charles Lloyd and Miles Davis. But in the 1970s he began to give solo performances, frequently improvised. On 24 January 1975, at the Opera House in Cologne, Germany, he played an entirely improvised concert to a packed house. Lasting over an hour, it was released on ECM, the new jazz label founded by Manfred Eicher. Keith Jarrett: The Cologne Concert was to become not only the best-selling solo album in jazz history, but also the best-selling piano recording ever.

The concert promoter was an amateur jazz enthusiast: Vera Brandes, who was only 17 at the time. For this programme she returns to the Cologne Opera House, sharing her memories of an extraordinary evening with others who were there, including sound engineers Martin Wieland and Eva Bauer-Oppelland, and members of the audience. She recalls how she begged and borrowed to set up the concert, revealing the drama of her discovery that the wrong grand piano had been placed on the stage and her futile efforts to find a replacement. It turns out that for this record-breaking album, Jarrett improvised on an out-of-tune piano with a smattering of mute keys!

Recapturing the magical intensity of Jarrett's epic performance, Paul Gambaccini hears those who were there recall a night of emotion and euphoria which they've never forgotten, and conveys through Jarrett's masterly performance a sense of history being made.

Paul Gambaccini tells the story of Keith Jarrett's 1975 live album The Cologne Concert.

Paul Gambaccini presents the award-winning series that re-visits the occasions on which a classic live album was recorded.

He hears from those who were there, on-stage, backstage and in the audience, to re-create the event for all of us who, each time we play the album, think: 'If only I could have been there'.

Keith Jarrett had made his name as a jazz pianist working with Art Blakey, Charles Lloyd and Miles Davis.

But in the 1970s he began to give solo performances, frequently improvised.

On 24 January 1975, at the Opera House in Cologne, Germany, he played an entirely improvised concert to a packed house.

Lasting over an hour, it was released on ECM, the new jazz label founded by Manfred Eicher.

Keith Jarrett: The Cologne Concert was to become not only the best-selling solo album in jazz history, but also the best-selling piano recording ever.

The concert promoter was an amateur jazz enthusiast: Vera Brandes, who was only 17 at the time.

For this programme she returns to the Cologne Opera House, sharing her memories of an extraordinary evening with others who were there, including sound engineers Martin Wieland and Eva Bauer-Oppelland, and members of the audience.

She recalls how she begged and borrowed to set up the concert, revealing the drama of her discovery that the wrong grand piano had been placed on the stage and her futile efforts to find a replacement.

It turns out that for this record-breaking album, Jarrett improvised on an out-of-tune piano with a smattering of mute keys!

0701Clapton Unplugged2012100620130122

Paul Gambaccini returns with the award-winning series to look back at three more occasions on which a classic live album was recorded. He hears from those who were there, on-stage, backstage and in the audience, to re-create the event for all of us who, each time we play the album, think: 'If only I could have been there'.

In the series opener, Paul re-visits the 1992 recording of 'Eric Clapton Unplugged', in the company of Eric Clapton himself and others who were there.

On 16 January 1992, in front of a small audience at Bray Studios near Maidenhead, Berkshire, Eric Clapton and a small group of musicians made history. For the first time in a public performance, the legendary guitarist 'unplugged' his amp and picked up an acoustic guitar to record a selection of old blues favourites and brand new material, including the poignantly personal 'Tears in Heaven', about the tragic los of his son, Conor, the previous year. And then there was the radically surprising take on the classic 'Layla'.

Paul Gambaccini hears the story of the making of this classic album, which went on to sell over 20 million copies worldwide and won 6 Grammies, from Eric Clapton himself. He also hears the memories of members of the band: Andy Fairweather Low, Steve Ferrone, Chuck Leavell and Nathan East; Alex Coletti, who produced the show for MTV; sound recordist Buford Jones, and members of the audience.

Additional material from Paul Gambaccini's extensive interview with Eric Clapton will be streamed online.

Also in this series of For One Night Only: Pete Seeger and others on The Weavers At Carnegie Hall (1955) and The Rolling Stones 'Get Yer Ya-Yas Out' (1969)

Producer: Marya Burgess.

Paul Gambaccini is back with the award-winning series to re-visit two occasions on which a classic live album was recorded. He hears from those who were there, on-stage, backstage and in the audience, to re-create the event for all of us who, each time we play the album, think: 'If only I could have been there'.

In the series opener, Paul looks back at the 1992 recording of 'Eric Clapton Unplugged', in the company of Eric Clapton himself and others who were there.

Also in this series of For One Night Only: Pete Seeger and others on The Weavers At Carnegie Hall (1955)

0702The Weavers At Carnegie Hall2012101320130129

Paul Gambaccini is back with the award-winning series to re-visit two occasions when a classic live album was recorded. He hears from those who were there, on-stage, backstage and in the audience, to re-create the event for all of us who, each time we play the album, think: 'If only I could have been there'.

Paul Gambaccini re-lives Christmas Eve 1955 and The Weavers reunion concert at New York's prestigious Carnegie Hall. Three years after Pete Seeger's blacklisting for communist sympathies had forced the highly successful folk group to break up because no one was playing their records and no venues would book them, their manager Harold Leventhal took a risk and booked the only venue that would take them: There were queues round the block and the concert was a sell-out.

In the company of Pete Seeger himself and the other two surviving Weavers, Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman, Paul hears about the birth of The Weavers in the radical home of folk music and left-wing politics that was 1940s Greenwich Village. With their early number 1 hits: 'Goodnight Irene' and 'Tzena, Tzena', The Weavers reached beyond the 'purist' folk movement into the mainstream. Gino Francesconi, Carnegie Hall's Archivist, finds the programme and poster from the 1955 concert, which became a best-selling album after it was released two years later, by Vanguard. Previously an exclusively classical label, this was the album which would make Vanguard the leading folk label of the 1960s.

Also in this series of For One Night Only: 'Clapton Unplugged' (1992)

Producer: Marya Burgess.

Paul Gambaccini is back with the award-winning series to re-visit three more occasions when a classic live album was recorded. He hears from those who were there, on-stage, backstage and in the audience, to re-create the event for all of us who, each time we play the album, think: 'If only I could have been there'.

Also in this series of For One Night Only: 'Clapton Unplugged' (1992) and The Rolling Stones 'Get Yer Ya-Yas Out' (1969)

0703 LASTGet Yer Ya-yas Out!2012102020130319

Paul Gambaccini re-lives Thanksgiving 1969 when The Rolling Stones played Madison Square Garden and recorded an album later reviewed as 'the best rock concert ever put on record'.

In the company of many who were there on the night, including the tour promoter Ronnie Schneider, sound engineer Glyn Johns, Mick Jagger's assistant at the time Jo Bergman, Chip Monck who looked after the lighting, tour manager Sam Cutler, photographer Ethan Russell, and rock journalist Michael Jahn, Paul Gambaccini re-creates the occasion.

Producer: Marya Burgess

(Repeat).

Paul Gambaccini is back with the award-winning series to re-visit three more occasions when a classic live album was recorded. He hears from those who were there, on-stage, backstage and in the audience, to re-create the event for all of us who, each time we play the album, think: 'If only I could have been there'.

In the company of many who were there on the night, including the tour manager Ronnie Schneider, sound engineer Glyn Johns, Mick Jagger's assistant at the time Jo Bergman, Chip Monck who looked after the lighting, road manager Sam Cutler, photographer Ethan Russell, and rock journalist Michael Jahn, Paul Gambaccini re-creates the occasion.

Also in this series of For One Night Only: 'Clapton Unplugged' (1992) and 'The Weavers at Carnegie Hall' (1955)