Radio 2's Summer Of Soul

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2011081520120814

Roberta Flack pays tribute to Donny Hathaway, with the help of those who knew him well.

As Radio 2's Summer of Soul continues, Roberta Flack pays tribute to Donny Hathaway, with the help of friends, family and the colleagues who knew him well.

Ask anyone involved in today's R'n'B music, and it's likely they'll have a copy of a Donny Hathaway song in their collection. Although it is over 30 years ago since he died prematurely at age 33, his music has touched many generations. Gifted musically, Donny could do everything: sing, write, compose, arrange and play.

He released four successful solo albums, sang duets with Roberta Flack and supported Aretha Franklin on tour. Of his songs, Some Day We'll All Be Free has now become a civil rights anthem, while The Ghetto is a soul classic.

Contributors include Hathaway's daughters, Lalah and Donnita; musical director and friend Harold Wheeler; co-writer, friend and fellow Howard University graduate Leroy Hutson; and American music radio broadcaster, Dyana Williams.

Marvin Gaye - What's Going On 40th Anniversary20110822

To mark the 40th anniversary of What's Going On, Smokey Robinson explores the social and political impact of this classic album and explains why Marvin Gaye's masterpiece still has resonance today.

The first album to feature songs about social injustice, suffering, hatred, drug abuse, war, loss and poverty, it inspired a new generation of performers to use their music for social commentary.

By 1970 Marvin Gaye had released ten albums of acclaimed soul and R&B, all produced under the protective and watchful control of Tamla Motown legend Berry Gordy.

But when Marvin began preparing to record a new album in the summer of 1970, his own personal experience weighed heavily on his soul and he began writing songs with a conscience.

The first album produced solely by the artist himself, it's told from the point of view of a Vietnam War veteran returning to the country he had been fighting for, and seeing nothing but injustice, suffering and hatred.

Featuring introspective lyrics about drug abuse, poverty and the Vietnam War, the album was also the first to reflect the beginning of a new trend in soul music.

It was an immediate commercial, and critical, success and has endured as a classic of early-1970s soul.

Guests in the programme include Stevie Wonder, Mary Wilson, Lamont Dozier, Seal, and three of the surviving Funk Brothers who played with Marvin on the album - Bob Babbitt, Joe Messina and Jack Ashford.

Smokey Robinson explores the social and political impact of Marvin Gaye's album.

Super Bad, Super Cool20110809

As Radio 2's Summer of Soul continues, actress Pam Grier takes us back to the cinema of the 1970s, when a type of film emerged that featured all-black casts and great soul, R'n'B and jazzy soundtracks.

Pam celebrates these films with the funky soundtracks and interesting stories that were given the unfortunate name of "blaxploitation" movies.

She considers their musical legacy, and their wider impact, particularly in terms of the film roles that were available to black actors before and after that period.

These films depicted a reality about the world which African-American audiences could identify with, even if the stories themselves were pure fantasy.

Wildly colourful ghetto garb, drug and sex scenes, extreme (if often cartoon-like) violence, classic soulful scores (Curtis Mayfield, Willie Hutch, Isaac Hayes), and touches of black nationalism are the still irresistible trademarks of what became known as "blaxploitation movies".

The films created a whole music genre that followed the release of the film Shaft.

The films often gained success from their soundtracks rather than their plot-lines; and the music stands alone as a testimony to some very funky producers.

Almost every major artist of the day did a film score for these movies.

After Isaac Hayes led the way with Shaft, Curtis Mayfield followed with Superfly, Marvin Gaye with Trouble Man, then James Brown, Bobby Womack and Edwin Starr got in on the act.

Contributors include Quentin Tarantino, Samuel L Jackson, Joel Freeman, Jorge Hinosa, Ashley Walters, Gloria Hendry, Dennis Coffey, Scott Bomar, Lalah Hathaway, Mathieu Bitton, Mary Ramos, Lawrence Bender, and James Hyman.

The documentary first broadcast on Radio 2 in January 2010.

The Craig Charles Soul All-nighter, Craig's Soul Sampler20110827

Craig kicks off his Soul All-Nighter with a one hour 'sampler' of this evening's music line-up, including choices from Wigan Casino founder Russ Winstanley and UK soul radio pioneer Greg Edwards, and tracks by Soul II Soul, Arthur Conley and Incognito.

Craig kicks off his Soul All-Nighter with a one-hour sampler of the night's music line-up.

The Craig Charles Soul All-nighter, Radio 2 Listeners' Top 10 Soul Artists Of All Time20110828

Craig brings the All-Nighter to a close with the Top 10 Greatest Soul Artists of All Time.

The Craig Charles Soul All-nighter, Stevie Wonder Live At Abbey Road 2005 And Guest Greg Edwards20110828

Highlights of Stevie Wonder in concert, whilst 'Soul Spectrum' DJ Greg Edwards guests.

Craig Charles' 12 hour celebration of soul continues...!

At 12.30am, he presents highlights from the legendary Stevie Wonder's 2005 concert at Abbey Road, recorded exclusively for Radio 2.

Then, at 1am, Craig is joined by UK soul radio pioneer Greg Edwards, who takes us back to the classic 'Soul Spectrum' era of the late 70s and 80s, with his selection of the finest disco, jazz-funk and rare groove from back in the day.

The Craig Charles Soul All-nighter, Talcum Time With Russ Winstanley20110827

The Craig Charles Soul All-Nighter continues on Radio 2, with 8 more hours of sweet soul music, and a host of special guests dropping in throughout the course of the night.

At 10pm, Craig presents his 'Moments In Soul' - major era-defining moments in soul music history, including the first soul tune to be a pop hit and the birth of Motown Records.

Then, between 11pm and Midnight, Wigan Casino founder and BBC Radio Lancashire presenter, Russ Winstanley, joins Craig for 'Talcum Time' - one hour of Northern Soul classics, rarities and reminiscences.

Craig's 12-hour soul marathon continues, as Wigan Casino founder Russ Winstanley guests.

The Craig Charles Soul All-nighter, With Jazzie B Of Soul Ii Soul And Bluey From Incognito20110828

The All-Nighter continues with guests Jazzie B of Soul II Soul and Bluey from Incognito.

The 12-hour soul marathon shows no signs of abating...!

At 2.00am, the Original Funki Dred, Jazzie B of classic UK soul collective Soul II Soul, joins Craig fresh from his DJ residency at London's Social, to spotlight some of the finest UK soul artists through the ages.

Then, at 3.00am, Jean-Paul 'Bluey' Maunick from British jazz-funk band Incognito comes off stage at Ronnie Scott's, and heads our way to choose some of his bang up-to-date soul favourites.

The King Of Motown: Berry Gordy20110808

Even with all the famous names associated with Motown, such as Smokey Robinson, Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder, one would still have to acknowledge that its founder, Berry Gordy Jr, is the man who sums up what the record label has been all about.

From the late 1950s to 1988, when he sold out to MCA, Berry Gordy was the controlling force behind a label that revolutionised the way black pop music was written, recorded, marketed and distributed all around the world.

And it was always a family affair - his sisters and brothers were involved in running the business; the artists also took a hand; and the creative meetings at Motown were run through a sort of democratic autocracy.

Marshall Chess tells the story of Berry and the Motown "family".

The documentary first broadcast in January 2008 and is repeated as part of Radio 2's Summer of Soul season.

Contributors include Motown artists Smokey Robinson; Sylvester Potts (The Contours); Tommy Good; Martha Reeves; Gloria Jones (The Velvelettes); Uriel Jones, one of the Funk Brothers who played drums on classic Motown recordings; Funk Brother and arranger Paul Riser; writer/producer/engineer Clay McMurray; former Motown President Skip Miller; writer/producer Robert Bateman; and one of the first Motown A&R men, William "Mickey" Stevenson.

Marshall Chess tells the story of Berry Gordon Jr and the Motown 'family'.

Way Down South: The Muscle Shoals Story20110810

Craig Charles presents the story of the Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Its roster of talented musicians backed countless R'n'B, soul and country stars.

Where Is The Love: The Story Of Donny Hathaway20110815

As Radio 2's Summer of Soul continues, Roberta Flack pays tribute to Donny Hathaway, with the help of friends, family and the colleagues who knew him well.

Ask anyone involved in today's R'n'B music, and it's likely they'll have a copy of a Donny Hathaway song in their collection.

Although it is over 30 years ago since he died prematurely at age 33, his music has touched many generations.

Gifted musically, Donny could do everything: sing, write, compose, arrange and play.

He released four successful solo albums, sang duets with Roberta Flack and supported Aretha Franklin on tour.

Of his songs, Some Day We'll All Be Free has now become a civil rights anthem, while The Ghetto is a soul classic.

Contributors include Hathaway's daughters, Lalah and Donnita; musical director and friend Harold Wheeler; co-writer, friend and fellow Howard University graduate Leroy Hutson; and American music radio broadcaster, Dyana Williams.

Roberta Flack pays tribute to Donny Hathaway, with the help of those who knew him well.

01A Man Like Curtis20110816

Lenny Kravitz, a life-long fan of Curtis Mayfield, celebrates the singer's life and musical achievements.

A prolific songwriter, Curtis' career was cut sadly short after a tragic accident led to his death on 26 December 1999.

His contribution to soul music remains immense.

Curtis recorded some of the finest soul vocal group music of the 1960s and, as a solo artist, he helped pioneer funk and introduced hard-hitting urban commentary into music, leading the way for Marvin Gaye to record What's Going On and Stevie Wonder to record Innervisions.

Part one covers the period from the late 50s to the 70s, including his early years with the Impressions, the establishment of his own record label in Chicago, and his work discovering, recording and writing for other artists including Jerry Butler, Mavis Staples and Gladys Knight.

Plus, the beginnings of his more political songs including People Get Ready, We're a Winner and Choice of Colours.

Contributors to the series include Curtis' wife, Altheida; his son Kirk; Samuel Gooden and Fred Cash from The Impressions; singer Jerry Butler; and band member Lebron Scott.

First broadcast on Radio 2 in January 2010, it is repeated as part of Radio 2's Summer of Soul.

Lenny Kravitz, a life-long fan of Curtis Mayfield, celebrates the singer's life and music.

01The Queen Of Soul: The Legend Of Aretha Franklin20110801

Radio 2 begins its Summer of Soul with Paul Sexton's two-part profile of the queen of the genre, Aretha Franklin.

Broadcasting throughout August, the season will also profile the late singer Donny Hathaway; celebrate the cultural significance of the FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama; feature singer Mavis Staples in conversation with Ricky Ross; and mark 40 years since the release of Marvin Gaye's ground-breaking and politicized concept album, What's Going On.

Very few artists can claim to have invented a musical style.

Aretha Franklin remains too modest and understated to say so, but she played a major role in creating modern R'n'B, and her singing technique is still imitated by almost every 21st century soul performer.

The guest list of contributors across the two programmes shows the kind of esteem in which she's held by fellow musicians and admirers.

We'll hear from Elton John, George Michael, Dionne Warwick, Ben E King, Jennifer Hudson, Michael McDonald, record mogul Clive Davis, producer Narada Michael Walden and many others, all helping to explain exactly what it is that makes "Lady Soul" unique.

Tonight, we'll follow the young artist's journey from the church to the charts, singing in her legendary father the Reverend CL Franklin's Baptist church in Detroit and on the road, even after becoming a teenage single parent (twice, the first time when she was just 14).

Now octogenarian R'n'B stylist Bobby "Blue" Bland describes the impact of the Reverend Franklin and we hear Aretha performing in the church as a 14-year-old in 1956.

We throw a spotlight on her often-overlooked period of some six years at Columbia Records, where Aretha showed her versatility as an interpreter of gospel and secular compositions.

There are rare studio outtakes, radio station promo spots, a tribute to Dinah Washington and covers of the Motown staple My Guy and Walk On By, already a hit by that time for Warwick, her friend of five decades.

Then the story moves to Atlantic Records, for whom Aretha signed in late 1966 and, with the encouragement of the label's creative triumvirate of Jerry Wexler, Arif Mardin and Tom Dowd, truly found her voice.

Rick Hall, co-founder of FAME Studios, describes how she travelled south and enigmatically went about creating her first two Atlantic gems, I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) and Do Right Woman - Do Right Man: "I don't think she uttered a word except 'I need to use the bathroom,' or 'How you doing?' he says.

As her body of work on Atlantic swiftly expanded, with such all-time classics as Respect and Chain of Fools, Franklin's fellow artists knew they were listening to an indisputably great artist.

Bobby Womack describes playing on one of her first albums for the company, while label mate of the time Ben E King adds: "When I first heard Aretha's voice, I knew she was going to be one of the great singers of Atlantic Records."

We also hear from Daphne Brooks, Professor of English and African American Studies at Princeton University, who wrote the liner notes for a recent box set of Franklin's early material; and soul journalist David Nathan, who's interviewed her more than two dozen times.

Nathan recounts how, as one of her first fans in the UK, he wrote to her and then called her on the phone just after she'd signed to Atlantic, to hear an excited Aretha tell him that she'd never spoken to anyone from England before, and how she was about to go into the studio.

Paul Sexton celebrates Aretha Franklin with Elton John, George Michael and Dionne Warwick.

Radio 2 begins its Summer of Soul with Paul Sexton's two-part profile of the queen of the genre, Aretha Franklin. Broadcasting throughout August, the season will also profile the late singer Donny Hathaway; celebrate the cultural significance of the FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama; feature singer Mavis Staples in conversation with Ricky Ross; and mark 40 years since the release of Marvin Gaye's ground-breaking and politicized concept album, What's Going On.

Very few artists can claim to have invented a musical style. Aretha Franklin remains too modest and understated to say so, but she played a major role in creating modern R'n'B, and her singing technique is still imitated by almost every 21st century soul performer.

The guest list of contributors across the two programmes shows the kind of esteem in which she's held by fellow musicians and admirers. We'll hear from Elton John, George Michael, Dionne Warwick, Ben E King, Jennifer Hudson, Michael McDonald, record mogul Clive Davis, producer Narada Michael Walden and many others, all helping to explain exactly what it is that makes "Lady Soul" unique.

Tonight, we'll follow the young artist's journey from the church to the charts, singing in her legendary father the Reverend CL Franklin's Baptist church in Detroit and on the road, even after becoming a teenage single parent (twice, the first time when she was just 14). Now octogenarian R'n'B stylist Bobby "Blue" Bland describes the impact of the Reverend Franklin and we hear Aretha performing in the church as a 14-year-old in 1956.

We throw a spotlight on her often-overlooked period of some six years at Columbia Records, where Aretha showed her versatility as an interpreter of gospel and secular compositions. There are rare studio outtakes, radio station promo spots, a tribute to Dinah Washington and covers of the Motown staple My Guy and Walk On By, already a hit by that time for Warwick, her friend of five decades.

Then the story moves to Atlantic Records, for whom Aretha signed in late 1966 and, with the encouragement of the label's creative triumvirate of Jerry Wexler, Arif Mardin and Tom Dowd, truly found her voice. Rick Hall, co-founder of FAME Studios, describes how she travelled south and enigmatically went about creating her first two Atlantic gems, I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) and Do Right Woman - Do Right Man: "I don't think she uttered a word except 'I need to use the bathroom,' or 'How you doing?' he says.

As her body of work on Atlantic swiftly expanded, with such all-time classics as Respect and Chain of Fools, Franklin's fellow artists knew they were listening to an indisputably great artist. Bobby Womack describes playing on one of her first albums for the company, while label mate of the time Ben E King adds: "When I first heard Aretha's voice, I knew she was going to be one of the great singers of Atlantic Records."

We also hear from Daphne Brooks, Professor of English and African American Studies at Princeton University, who wrote the liner notes for a recent box set of Franklin's early material; and soul journalist David Nathan, who's interviewed her more than two dozen times. Nathan recounts how, as one of her first fans in the UK, he wrote to her and then called her on the phone just after she'd signed to Atlantic, to hear an excited Aretha tell him that she'd never spoken to anyone from England before, and how she was about to go into the studio.

02A Man Like Curtis20110817

Lenny Kravitz, a life-long fan of Curtis Mayfield, celebrates the singer's life and musical achievements.

A prolific songwriter, Curtis' career was cut sadly short after a tragic accident led to his death on 26 December 1999.

His contribution to soul music remains immense.

Curtis recorded some of the finest soul vocal group music of the 1960s and, as a solo artist, he helped pioneer funk and introduced hard-hitting urban commentary into music, leading the way for Marvin Gaye to record What's Going On and Stevie Wonder to record Innervisions.

Part two covers Curtis' solo career from the 70s to his death in 1999.

During this time Curtis wrote songs that reflected the changes taking place in the US in the 70s.

He also scored the soundtracks of several movies including Superfly.

We hear about life on the road as he travelled the world performing with his band and his work producing for famous artists including Aretha Franklin.

Until tragedy struck in 1990, and an accident at concert left him paralysed from the neck down.

But he still managed to make a final album, New World Order.

Contributors to the series include Curtis' wife, Altheida; his son Kirk; Samuel Gooden and Fred Cash from The Impressions; singer Jerry Butler; and band member Lebron Scott.

First broadcast on Radio 2 in January 2010, it is repeated as part of Radio 2's Summer of Soul.

Lenny Kravitz pays tribute to Curtis Mayfield's life and achievements.

02The Queen Of Soul: The Legend Of Aretha Franklin20110802

Paul Sexton continues to shine a light on the life and times of Aretha Franklin.

Tonight's programme picks up where the first left off - at the turn of the 1970s - and follows Aretha's story to the present day.

It features many more of the songs that have made the Queen of Soul's recording career so unforgettable, including the all-time Franklin favourites of Elton John, Jennifer Hudson and Mick Jagger.

The insights are more than just musical, as they also take us into Aretha's personal world.

George Michael, for example, remembers their international chart-topping duet I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) and how her skill in the studio extended to more than just singing.

Record executive Clive Davis will explain how his Arista label revived her career and put her back in the charts, and he reveals how, in 2011, the friends still meet for dinner.

Elton describes the feeling of having one of his early songs covered by Aretha when he was just making his own way as an artist, while her record producer Narada Michael Walden (also the writer of such massive hits as Who's Zoomin' Who and Freeway of Love) explains how he worked with her and how she would rarely do more than two takes on any song.

Michael McDonald recalls his own thrill at having Franklin cover his Doobie Brothers smash What a Fool Believes and then how he got to duet and perform with her a decade later on the song Ever Changing Times.

We find out how Aretha performed for presidents, sang opera at 30 minutes' notice to a multi-million audience, and has survived health scares to be active again both on stage and in the studio at the age of 69.

Featured tracks include Spanish Harlem, Rock Steady, Until You Come Back to Me and Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves.