Black Music In Europe - A Hidden History

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
01011900-191020171219

The Wire's Clarke Peters reveals a surprising musical history from a century ago.

arke Peters uncovers the stories of black musicians in Europe.

The Wire's Clarke Peters draws on a rare collection of archive recordings to explore a forgotten musical history.

Received wisdom has it that black popular music arrived in Europe with the Empire Windrush in 1948, but Clarke brings us black sounds recorded in Europe from as far back as 1900.

Focusing on early commercial discs made in the recording studios of London, Paris and Berlin, we hear from dozens of different performers, including African American travelling entertainers, traditional African musicians, black British classical composers and more.

Episode 1 - 1900-1910
Clarke discovers a huge variety of black music recorded in Europe at the start of the 20th century, including very early examples of blues harmonica, scat singing and stride piano. The programme also includes some of the earliest African music ever recorded, from Senegalese war songs captured at the Paris World Fair in 1900 to the music of a troupe of Congolese pygmies who toured Britain in 1905-07.

Much of the music in this series is drawn from Black Europe, a vast boxset issued by Bear Family Records and documenting the sounds of the era.
With readings by Paterson Joseph.

Produced by Tom Woolfenden
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4.

The Wire's Clarke Peters reveals a surprising musical history from a century ago.

The Wire's Clarke Peters draws on a rare collection of archive recordings to explore a forgotten musical history.

Received wisdom has it that black popular music arrived in Europe with the Empire Windrush in 1948, but Clarke brings us black sounds recorded in Europe from as far back as 1900.

Focusing on early commercial discs made in the recording studios of London, Paris and Berlin, we hear from dozens of different performers, including African American travelling entertainers, traditional African musicians, black British classical composers and more.

Episode 1 - 1900-1910
Clarke discovers a huge variety of black music recorded in Europe at the start of the 20th century, including very early examples of blues harmonica, scat singing and stride piano. The programme also includes some of the earliest African music ever recorded, from Senegalese war songs captured at the Paris World Fair in 1900 to the music of a troupe of Congolese pygmies who toured Britain in 1905-07.

Much of the music in this series is drawn from Black Europe, a vast boxset issued by Bear Family Records and documenting the sounds of the era.
With readings by Paterson Joseph.

Produced by Tom Woolfenden
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4.

01021910-192020171226

The Wire's Clarke Peters reveals a surprising musical history from a century ago.

arke Peters uncovers the stories of black musicians in Europe.

The Wire's Clarke Peters draws on a rare collection of archive recordings to explore a forgotten musical history.

Received wisdom has it that black popular music arrived in Europe with the Empire Windrush in 1948, but Clarke brings us black sounds recorded in Europe from as far back as 1900.

Focusing on early commercial discs made in the recording studios of London, Paris and Berlin, we hear from dozens of different performers, including African American travelling entertainers, traditional African musicians, black British classical composers and more.

Episode 2 - 1910-1920
Clarke explores the music of black Europe at the time of the First World War. The sounds of what would become jazz start to emerge, including African American banjo bands who entertained London high society, and the military music of Harlem bandleader James Reese Europe which enthralled France. The programme also includes music by captured African Prisoners of War, recorded in camps across Germany.

Much of the music in this series is drawn from Black Europe, a vast boxset issued by Bear Family Records and documenting the sounds of the era.
With readings by Paterson Joseph.

Produced by Tom Woolfenden
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4.

Produced by Tom Woolfenden
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4.

The Wire's Clarke Peters reveals a surprising musical history from a century ago.

arke Peters uncovers the stories of black musicians in Europe.

The Wire's Clarke Peters draws on a rare collection of archive recordings to explore a forgotten musical history.

Received wisdom has it that black popular music arrived in Europe with the Empire Windrush in 1948, but Clarke brings us black sounds recorded in Europe from as far back as 1900.

Focusing on early commercial discs made in the recording studios of London, Paris and Berlin, we hear from dozens of different performers, including African American travelling entertainers, traditional African musicians, black British classical composers and more.

Episode 2 - 1910-1920
Clarke explores the music of black Europe at the time of the First World War. The sounds of what would become jazz start to emerge, including African American banjo bands who entertained London high society, and the military music of Harlem bandleader James Reese Europe which enthralled France. The programme also includes music by captured African Prisoners of War, recorded in camps across Germany.

Much of the music in this series is drawn from Black Europe, a vast boxset issued by Bear Family Records and documenting the sounds of the era.
With readings by Paterson Joseph.

Produced by Tom Woolfenden
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4.

The Wire's Clarke Peters reveals a surprising musical history from a century ago.

The Wire's Clarke Peters draws on a rare collection of archive recordings to explore a forgotten musical history.

Received wisdom has it that black popular music arrived in Europe with the Empire Windrush in 1948, but Clarke brings us black sounds recorded in Europe from as far back as 1900.

Focusing on early commercial discs made in the recording studios of London, Paris and Berlin, we hear from dozens of different performers, including African American travelling entertainers, traditional African musicians, black British classical composers and more.

Episode 2 - 1910-1920
Clarke explores the music of black Europe at the time of the First World War. The sounds of what would become jazz start to emerge, including African American banjo bands who entertained London high society, and the military music of Harlem bandleader James Reese Europe which enthralled France. The programme also includes music by captured African Prisoners of War, recorded in camps across Germany.

Much of the music in this series is drawn from Black Europe, a vast boxset issued by Bear Family Records and documenting the sounds of the era.
With readings by Paterson Joseph.

Produced by Tom Woolfenden
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4.

01031920-193020180109

The Wire's Clarke Peters reveals a surprising musical history from a century ago.

The Wire's Clarke Peters draws on a rare collection of archive recordings to explore a forgotten musical history.

Received wisdom has it that black popular music arrived in Europe with the Empire Windrush in 1948, but Clarke brings us black sounds recorded in Europe from as far back as 1900.

Focusing on early commercial discs made in the recording studios of London, Paris and Berlin, we hear from dozens of different performers, including African American travelling entertainers, traditional African musicians, black British classical composers and more.

Episode 3 - 1920-1930
Clarke explores the sounds of Zonophone records, a pioneering label that recorded a huge amount of early African popular music. Many of these discs were made in London for export to West Africa, including several Nigerian hymns recorded in 1922 by Fela Kuti's grandfather. The programme also includes the sounds of African American jazz in 1920s Paris, especially the work of Josephine Baker, the world's first black superstar.

Much of the music in this series is drawn from Black Europe, a vast boxset issued by Bear Family Records and documenting the sounds of the era.
With readings by Paterson Joseph.

Produced by Tom Woolfenden
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4.

021939-4520190403

Drawing on rare archive recordings, Clarke Peters' new three-part series explores the hidden history of black music across Europe, from the late 1920s through the war years and beyond.

Black music in Europe doesn’t begin with the arrival of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury. There is a long, rich history preserved on shellac discs that shows how diverse sounds enthralled the continent long before 1948.

Throughout the series, we hear from a huge array of different performers - including classical composers, jazz stars, calypso legends and more - as well as commentators and historians, to get to the heart of early black music in Europe.

Episode 2 - 1939-45
Clarke looks at the music of black Europe at the time of the Second World War with recordings of Nazi propaganda jazz, underground bands in Hitler’s Germany, black American trumpet stars in occupied Paris, and Caribbean swing bands playing through the Blitz in London. He also examines the work of Nigerian composer Fela Sowande and plays extracts of his wartime broadcast for the BBC.

Presented by Clarke Peters
Produced by Tom Woolfenden
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4

Clarke Peters continues his surprising history of black music in Europe.

Clarke Peters uncovers the stories of black musicians in Europe.

02After 194520190410

Drawing on rare archive recordings, Clarke Peters' new three-part series explores the hidden history of black music across Europe, from the late 1920s through the war years and beyond.

Black music in Europe doesn’t begin with the arrival of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury. There is a long, rich history preserved on shellac discs that shows how diverse sounds enthralled the continent long before 1948.

Throughout the series, we hear from a huge array of different performers - including classical composers, jazz stars, calypso legends and more - as well as commentators and historians, to get to the heart of early black music in Europe.

Episode 3 – After 1945
In this final episode, Clarke delves into the sounds of 1950s London, from Ambrose Campbell and his West African Rhythm Brothers and steel pan master Sterling Betancourt MBE, to calypso star Lord Kitchener. He also uncovers the history of jazz in Paris after 1945 and tells how black American GIs found a new freedom in post-war Germany.

Presented by Clarke Peters
Produced by Tom Woolfenden
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4

Clarke Peters continues his surprising history of black music in Europe.

Clarke Peters uncovers the stories of black musicians in Europe.

02Before The War20190327

Drawing on rare archive recordings, Clarke Peters' new three-part series explores the hidden history of black music across Europe, from the late 1920s through the war years and beyond.

Black music in Europe doesn’t begin with the arrival of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury. There is a long, rich history preserved on shellac discs that shows how diverse sounds enthralled the continent long before 1948.

Throughout the series, we hear from a huge array of different performers - including classical composers, jazz stars, calypso legends and more - as well as commentators and historians, to get to the heart of early black music in Europe.

Episode 1 – Before the War
Clarke examines the variety of black music recorded in Europe from the late 1920s onwards - hot jazz in Weimar Berlin, calypso in Cardiff Bay and the sounds of the Beguine in Paris. He also investigates the Degenerate Music exhibition held in Dusseldorf in 1938, and hears how the rise of Hitler affected the lives of musicians like trumpeter Arthur Briggs.

Presented by Clarke Peters
Produced by Tom Woolfenden
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4

Clarke Peters continues his surprising history of black music in Europe.

arke Peters uncovers the stories of black musicians in Europe.

Drawing on rare archive recordings, Clarke Peters' new three-part series explores the hidden history of black music across Europe, from the late 1920s through the war years and beyond.

Black music in Europe doesn’t begin with the arrival of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury. There is a long, rich history preserved on shellac discs that shows how diverse sounds enthralled the continent long before 1948.

Throughout the series, we hear from a huge array of different performers - including classical composers, jazz stars, calypso legends and more - as well as commentators and historians, to get to the heart of early black music in Europe.

Episode 1 – Before the War
Clarke examines the variety of black music recorded in Europe from the late 1920s onwards - hot jazz in Weimar Berlin, calypso in Cardiff Bay and the sounds of the Beguine in Paris. He also investigates the Degenerate Music exhibition held in Dusseldorf in 1938, and hears how the rise of Hitler affected the lives of musicians like trumpeter Arthur Briggs.

Presented by Clarke Peters
Produced by Tom Woolfenden
A Loftus Media production for BBC Radio 4

Clarke Peters continues his surprising history of black music in Europe.

Clarke Peters uncovers the stories of black musicians in Europe.