Music Television 3.5

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Post  misery guts Wed Dec 23, 2020 8:54 am

The South Bank Show: Simon Armitage
Another poet - the Poet Laureate in fact. He was in a band called The Scaremongers, and has also collaborated with an outfit called LYR, putting his poetry to their tunes.

The Lark Ascending
A repeat from 2012 in which the now-late Diana Rigg talked to other fans like the now-late actor Peter Sallis and Vic Reeves, before a performance of the piece.

Cher - The Story of the Songs
The selections this time were I Got You Babe (fair enough), If I Could Turn Back Time (hmmm) and Believe (OK). I Found Someone preceded IICTBT and is more plausibly a comeback song. But didn't have an OTT video on a warship. Diane Warren and Rob Dickins were both present.

Dennis Miller Plus One - Flea
The Chili Peppers dude has his memoir out, Acid For The Children. He was marking 20 years of the Silver Lake Conservatory, a not-profit music school, and was planning to open another in Watts. He was born in Australia and had a jazz-playing step-father. He has always loved books, and was drawn to music. He felt he benefitted from taking LSD. He supports the environment. He regretted his youthful indiscretions. The audiobook version of his memoir got Grammy-nominated. He's 58.
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Post  misery guts Sat Dec 26, 2020 8:46 am

The South Bank Show Originals: Ravi Shankar
Melvyn looked into the Shankar story in 2001. This follow-on film made no mention of Ravi's daughter Anoushka's accusations against her father. George Harrison, Philip Glass and Nitin Sawhney were among those who spoke in the original show.

BBC Four Sessions present Soul Noel - Gospel & Soul Stars Sing Christmas
A repeat from 2009, with stars like Beverley Knight and Carleen Anderson, and then rising stars like Bryn Christopher. Not a bad show really.

Fern Britton meets... Dionne Warwick
A repeat from 2012, as Dionne was marking 50 years in the business, but also dealing with the sad death of her cousin Whitney Houston. Dionne spoke warmly of working with Bacharach and David. But she had some success without them, though there was no mention of Barry Gibb. Barry Manilow though was present to help take credit for his work.
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Post  misery guts Mon Dec 28, 2020 7:38 am

Neil Brand's Sound of TV
Underwhelming 3-part series looking at theme tunes, jingles and more.

Sacred Music - A Christmas History
Back to 2010 as Simon Russell Beale relates two thousand years of music, including In Dulci Jubilo, Hark The Herald Angels Sing, Silent Night and In The Bleak Midwinter.

Diana Ross - The Story of the Songs
Those numbers being Baby Love, Do You Know Where You're Going To? and Chain Reaction. So, good to hear from Brian & Eddie Holland and video director David Mallet, plus choreographer Arlene Phillips.
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Post  misery guts Wed Dec 30, 2020 9:21 am

Defending Digga D
Upcoming drill star emerges from prison but finds life trickier than expected, including being obliged to move from London to Norwich. He produces Woi, one of the hits of the summer, but then falls foul of the law. I had some sympathy for his plight, but he undoubtedly did himself a few disfavours.

Cigar Box Blues - The Makers of a Revolution
How folk with names like Chickenbone John and Hollowbelly make low-budget guitars out of basic tools. Quite charming, really.

The 30 Greatest Christmas Songs
A rundown from Christmas morning. What's interesting is not much the rundown itself, as seeing which songs are odd inclusions, and which aren't streamed to death every December (Mariah pipped Wham to finish 1st).
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Post  misery guts Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:06 am

Des O'Connor - The Ultimate Entertainer
He had a small musical career including one UK #1, and he died at 88, so this was more a tribute to his comedy work, his entertainment, his talk show as well as the music.

Cliff Richard - King of Christmas
Another tribute show, though Cliff is not dead, just 80. He had 4 Christmas #1's among his tally, if you include his addition to Band Aid II (which most don't).
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Post  misery guts Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:12 am

My Generation
Michael Caine fronts a lengthy re-telling of the story of the 1960s, from the perspective of those who came through in that decade, eg Caine, Twiggy, Paul McCartney, David Bailey, Mary Quant and many more. The films, the fashions, the music, the lot. Well, up to a point.

An Evening With Matt Monro
From Melbourne in 1967. Matt did familiar numbers, much banter with the crowd, some of which went badly (a bit about him looking like Patrick Wymark from The Power Game died because they hadn't seen the show).
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Post  misery guts Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:55 am

Top of the Pops - New Year
A further rundown of the highlights of 2020, which some relevant performances, and the less so (Alicia Keys, Alfie Templeman). Also included the awful Christmas #1 from LadBaby.

Neujahrskonzert der Wiener Philharmoniker 2021
No audience, but Riccardo Muti conducted a full orchestra through the familiar Strausses and other European gems. The Burgen region of Austria is marking its centenary this year, which is a bit less exciting than Beethoven, Sibelius, or other previous ideas.

Aled Jones at 50
The doughty Welsh child star returns to his native Anglesey and elsewhere to recount his story, early albums, the surprise hit success with a cover of Walking In The Air, his voice breaking, and his eventual return to singing and subsequent broadcasting career.
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Post  misery guts Wed Jan 13, 2021 8:26 am

Britain's Favourite 80s Songs
The whole show was a Top 50, but you can forget me listing them all. Here's the top 10

10 SUPER TROUPER ABBA ***
09 EYE OF THE TIGER Survivor ****
08 DON'T YOU WANT ME Human League *****
07 SWEET CHILD O' MINE Guns N Roses
06 SWEET DREAMS (ARE MADE OF THIS) Eurythmics
05 GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN Cyndi Lauper
04 LIVIN' ON A PRAYER Bon Jovi
03 RADIO GA GA Queen
02 EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE  The Police ****
01 LAST CHRISTMAS Wham! *

Jools' Annual Hootenanny - Best Bits Ever
A lengthy selection from more than 20 years of shows. Inevitably, the most interesting were the less obvious, such as Desmond Dekker, Betty Wright, BB King and Petula Clark.

Taking Chances World Tour - The Concert
Celine Dion was in Boston for this, pushing an album that must have passed me by when it came out. Some collector I am. Anyway, a fun show, and some intriguing covers including Queen's The Show Must Go On and River Deep, Mountain High.
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Post  misery guts Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:11 am

Max Richter's Sleep
A part-performance of an EIGHT HOUR piece, including his story, and his partner Yulia's story, how they struggled to make ends meet in the 10 years between early acclaim in 2002, and success in 2012. The music made for a curious experiment.

Glyndebourne: No Ordinary Summer
How the opera company coped over the UK's first lockdown, and what it did for a first production afterwards. Reviving a short, rare piece that incorportated hand santizers and social distancing, in fact. A curious tale.

Culture Interrupted
How the music industry is or isn't coping with the hiatus for touring, and financial crises thereof. For established names, it was a calamity, for newer acts, it was perhaps the end of their dreams.

Viewfinder Asia: China's Little Rock Star
From 2012 (?), the story of 7 year old drumming prodigy Deqi Mu, as she tries to combine lessons with school lessons, and going to Italy to compete in a percussion competition (she came 3rd).
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Post  misery guts Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:51 am

Icon: Music Through The Lens
A lengthy six-part series about all aspects of the rock photographer's trade, from live work to studios, cover photos, album sleeves, and the future in a digital age. A list of dozens of photographers, and several actual rockers from Josh Homme to Nile Rodgers to Zara Larsson to more.

Lwp - Curadur - Eadyth
A new show from lockdown, as the Aberfan star pushed Shamoniks, Ladies of Rage, Izzy Rabey and Endaf. Some good material there, especially from the producers.
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Post  misery guts Fri Jan 22, 2021 7:47 am

Heather
A biog of Heather Jones, from 2013, a Welsh folkie who crossed over to the rock scene. She was close to other legends like Geraint Jarman, but seemed to get less supportive treatment than they did.

Twist Or Stick
A curious short bringing together performance footage from the likes of The Hollies, Dion, and Shane Fenton and the Fentones, tenuously linked by dances like the twist.

Royal Opera - All Star Gala
A socially distanced evening of various arias and operatic bits, at the Royal Opera House, with Antonio Pappano conducting the in-house Orchestra.

Ceol is Cradh
Mischa MacPherson looks at mental health among musicians, why they might be more susceptible to issues. She spoke to many sufferers, and then attended a musical gathering held after lockdown relaxation, as musicians reaped the benefit of being able to play in person for the first time in a while.
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Post  misery guts Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:55 am

Aria: Osian
A profile of the Welsh harpist, Osian Ellis, who died earlier this month at the age of 92. He befriended Benjamin Britten, who wrote a composition for him, and played for the Royals on occasion too.

Dennis Miller Plus One - Paul Stanley
In a change from Gene doing all the Kiss publicity, his cohort was promoting his new "Soul Station" project collective album project, to be released at the start of March. He mentioned the impact of seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, being deaf in one ear, his love for the Philly Sound, and gave props to Quincy Jones, Lesley Gore, Al Green, Smokey Robinson and the Brill Building, among others. His father is 101. The new album has 5 new tracks in its 14 track line-up. The final ever Kiss tour has of course been delayed.
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Post  misery guts Wed Jan 27, 2021 8:26 am

Jimmy Carter - Rock & Roll President
How a love for jazz and the Allman Brothers helped a guy from Georgia ascend to the highest office, but couldn't keep him there. He could count on support ranging from Nile Rodgers to Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and beyond. 

God Save The Quine
How Scottish female singers have cracked the big time, from Lulu and Barbara Dickson, through Annie Lennox and Eddi Reader, to Amy McDonald and KT Tunstall. It's still a sexist business, though.
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Post  misery guts Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:03 am

Teenage Superstars
A lengthy tribute to the bands of the Scottish underground from the 1980s and beyond, including Teenage Fanclub, BMX Bandits, The Pastels, The Vaselines, Primal Scream and more. The Vaselines achieved a surprise success when Kurt Cobain turned out to be a fan of theirs. Some achieved moderate success in the USA, but others split for a while.

Songs of Praise: 60 Years
The actual anniversary isn't until October, but Aled Jones talked to stalwart Pam Rhodes and considered highs and lows of the show, as well as meeting fans and others with stories to share, as well as a mix of hymns
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Post  misery guts Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:45 am

Australian Hits at the BBC
A compilation to mark Australia Day, and including some familiar suspects like Kylie Minogue, but also Yothu Yindi, Sam Sparro and Wolfmother.

Hip-Hop at the BBC
Another compilation, but from 2011, linked to a new themed series, and this time running the gamut from Public Enemy and Run DMC through to Monie Love and A Tribe Called Quest.
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Post  misery guts Fri Feb 05, 2021 7:33 am

Face2Face: MsVee
She's from Ghana, and listened to country music as a child. She was born in 1992, and was the youngest of 4. She didn't have a long-term music dream. She's collaborated with Patoranking, on Say My Name, and also Yemi Alade on Come and See My Mama. Her album is called Inveencable. She's had troubles with depression about her career. She worked with Lynx Entertainment for a long time. She expects to tour the UK when the pandemic improves.

Music Legends - Johnny Tillotson
I was bemused by this as I only know one song of his - Poetry in Motion. He wrote It Keeps Right on-A Hurtin' too though, and is still around at 82. His father was a Country DJ. 

The Big Interview w/Dan Rather - Sheryl Crow
She was born in Missouri, and her mother was a piano teacher. She studied music in college. Her big break seems to have been touring as a backing vocalist for Michael Jackson on his Bad tour. Her big breakthrough album won 3 Grammys and sold 7 million copies. She lives in Nashville on a 50 acre ranch. She talked more about her battle with cancer than her relationship with now-disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. She was a middle child. Getting over cancer led her to become a parent. She mentioned working with Prince being someone who was extraordinary but would pick people up for a while and then move on to someone else. There's a mystery about the subject of My Favourite Mistake. She lived in LA for over 20 years. She was raised a Presbyterian.
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Post  misery guts Mon Feb 08, 2021 7:46 am

The Last Dance
Runrig bring down their own curtain with this Stirling gig back in August 2018, to an appreciative crowd.

Music Legends - Joe Dolan
An Irish pop-rock singer who lived to be 68, but had many hits in Ireland, though his biggest one in the UK was Make Me An Island, apparently.

Curadur: Steff Dafydd
Presumably they can only do so many at a time. Steff is the frontman of Brechiau Hir, and besides his own band, he mentioned Patrima, Chroma, and Donut a Ashokan, all of whom sound fine enough. He chatted to Katie from Chroma, and Rhys Donut, but no-one from Patrima.
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Post  misery guts Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:49 am

The Big Interview w/Dan Rather - Crosby, Stills and Nash
Interviewed separately and then together. Dave's been through the fire and is grateful to have survived. Stephen has also had his struggles and still suffers with them. Graham is Graham. They mentioned being hippies back in the day, and the involvement of Neil Young.

Stafell Fyw
Various Welsh bands performing during lockdown. Including Candelas, I Fight Lions, Calan, Pys Melyn, Adwaith and Alffa.

King Rocker
Robert Lloyd was the driving force behind The Prefects, and later The Nightingales. Comedian Stewart Lee retells his story, that of a giant King Kong statue in Birmingham, and meets various people who featured in Robert's life, either directly or briefly. Heart-warming and entertaining, and with something of a happy ending all round, even for the statue.
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Post  misery guts Mon Feb 15, 2021 8:06 am

Greatest Hits of the 70s / Secrets of the 70s Biggest Hits
2 shows looking at a dozen such classics; You Sexy Thing, Stayin' Alive, Wutherin' Heights, Le Freak, Knowing Me Knowing You, Somebody To Love in the first show, and then Rivers of Babylon, I'm Not In Love, I Feel Love, Baker Street, You're The One That I Want and I Will Survive in the second. A slight twist on a familiar format to tell some familiar and less so stories. Most of those involved were absent, leaving journalists and DJs and whatnot to tell the stories and so on.
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Post  misery guts Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:21 am

Imagine - We'll Be Back
Alan Yentob makes a prog around August-October, and it doesn't get screened for another 4-6 months. He talks to creatives in theatre, ballet, music, comedy and more, about the parlous financial position, and the mental health aspects. Since 2021 is now looking like not being quite the "all back to normal" stuff it was mooted as, then this story has a long way to run.

Music Legends - Petula Clark
A child star who won 2 Grammys, had quite the career in Europe, and managed big hits in the UK and elsewhere; Downtown, This Is My Song and more.
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Post  misery guts Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:02 am

Artists in Love - Richard Wagner and Cosima Liszt
He was the slightly crazed composer who had several wives and affairs; she was the much younger daughter of a composer. Samantha Morton presents the series, and carious people from Wagner Museums helped relate the story of their romance.

Portread - Aled Lloyd Davies
He played the harp, and sang too.

The Stream - George the Poet
He discussed the political situation in Uganda, being part of the wedding of Harry and Meghan in 2015, turning 30 this year, and his new film "Black Yellow Red". He's gone by this moniker for a decade. He mentioned "diaspora". He was a little sceptical of Bobi Wine's practical political abilities.

Gwawr Edwards yn Ohio
Who knew Ohio was such a hotbed for Welsh emigrants? Gwawr comes from a musical family, and she performed at the North American Festival of Wales with some of them, in this 2015 doc. Actor John Ogwen was among the folk she spoke to.
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Post  misery guts Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:05 am

Hip-Hop: The Songs That Shook America
6-part series looking at songs such as:

Jesus Walks - KanYe West
Alright - Kendrick Lamar
Rock Box - Run DMC
Elevators (Me & You) - OutKast
The Bridge - Marley Marl & MC Shan
Ladies First - Queen Latifah

thus relating various stages in the story of Hip-hop. Quite fascinating stuff, the moreso for seeming to highlight less familiar topic areas.
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Post  misery guts Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:48 am

misery guts wrote:Greatest Hits of the 70s / Secrets of the 70s Biggest Hits
2 shows looking at a dozen such classics; You Sexy Thing, Stayin' Alive, Wutherin' Heights, Le Freak, Knowing Me Knowing You, Somebody To Love in the first show, and then Rivers of Babylon, I'm Not In Love, I Feel Love, Baker Street, You're The One That I Want and I Will Survive in the second. A slight twist on a familiar format to tell some familiar and less so stories. Most of those involved were absent, leaving journalists and DJs and whatnot to tell the stories and so on.
Greatest Hits of the 80s
Similar format, and another dozen of the best from that decade: Careless Whisper, Vienna, Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?, Smooth Operator, 1999, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) in the first show, and True, Back to Life, Relax, Sledgehammer, I Wanna Dance with Somebody and Holding Back The Years in the second. A good cross-section, some very familiar stories, but a few which were slightly less so.

A Fine Romance - The Story of the New Romantics
From 2001, with many of the faces and voices of that early 80s era. In some cases the real engine rooms of creativity were the guys like Rusty Egan and Marco Pirroni, typically over-shadowed by Steve Strange and Marilyn and others. Heroin, surprisingly, helped bring the movement to a close.
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Post  misery guts Mon Mar 01, 2021 7:37 am

Return to Rockfield Studios
Noel Gallagher helps mark the 25th anniversary of Oasis' sophomore success What's the Story (Morning Glory?), by going back to the place it was recorded. They booked for 6 weeks, took just 3, including a week's break after an argument. Just 12 working days taken altogether, even though Noel admits they were "the most unprofessional outfit since New Order". He was flattered to find the album still held up, and could recall so many details. He summarised what followed as "then the money came in and all hell broke loose".  Shocked

Six by Sondheim
Intercut from many of Stephen Sondheim's interviews, where he talks about various shows, the great people like Oscar Hammerstein and Leonard Bernstein who he worked with, the shows that worked, those that could have worked better, and with perfomances of half a dozen of his best: Something's Coming, Opening Doors (parts 1 & 2), Send in the Clowns, I'm Still Here, Being Alive and Sunday.
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