The Music Factory

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2002091420030819
20140528 (BBC7)
20140529 (BBC7)

BBC institution Music While You Work was created to give wartime productivity a boost.

BBC institution Music While You Work was created to give wartime productivity a boost. Russell Davies taps his foot to a national audio treasure. From September 2002.

It was a wartime aid to keep Britain's industrial wheels spinning merrily, and it became a national treasure.

Bandleaders and orchestral conductors of the highest calibre led the daily live ritual of wall-to-wall dance music, and from the 1940s to the late '60s its famous theme tune, Calling All Workers, by Eric Coates, was as familiar as Big Ben.

It was called Music While You Work.

Yet the BBC had archived not one edition of this long-running classic, until a unique private collection of hundreds of hours of tapes turned up last year.

Russell Davies investigates the phenomenon that was known to fans simply as MWYW.