Acclaimed legendary British record label Decca Records celebrates its 90th Birthday in 2019. As well as a worldwide reputation for an incredible classical catalogue - Decca has also made musical history by recording and releasing innovative, groundbreaking and highly influential popular music, which often popularised and established hitherto overlooked musical genres. Presented by one of the best-selling music artists of all time, the multi-award-winning singer-songwriter, Rod Stewart (his first ever single 1964’s 'Good Morning Little Schoolgirl’ and latest number one album 'Blood Red Roses' were both released by Decca).
DECCA’S TOP TWENTY, exclusive for Radio 2 listeners, explores Decca’s most important pop music releases and artists. The chart was compiled after discussion and guidance from industry taste-makers and experts (as well Decca staff past and present); from impressive sales figures, as well as impact, longevity and contemporary relevance. Featuring exclusive interviews with Decca artists including: Michael Ball & Alfie Boe, Founding member of the Lumineers – Wesley Schultz, Marianne Faithfull, Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, Kathryn Jenkins, blues singer Dana Gillespie, Bryn Terfel, Imelda May, Roger Daltrey and Lulu.
Decca Records was the dream of one man, Edward Lewis who founded the company in 1929 with a desire to produce affordable music that could be owned by everyone. He was to surround himself with the best brains in music, recording and technology. In 1934, Decca opened an American subsidiary which due to the artists it signed, helped to save the then ailing US record industry.
Here’s just a fraction of the diverse artists recorded by Decca and its subsidiary labels: The Rolling Stones, Vera Lynn, Them, Bing Crosby, Ball and Boe, Judy Garland, Bill Haley and his Comets, Ella Fitzgerald, David Bowie, Adam and the Ants, Genesis, Jacques Loussier, Billy Fury, Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt, Thin Lizzy, Cat Stevens, Tom Jones, & The Smurfs….
The two-part series also features contributions from Tim Rice, Annie Nightingale, former Decca producer Mike Vernon, music writer Daryl Easlea, composer Steve Sidwell, broadcaster Dotun Adebayo and Radio 2’s Bob Harris.
Programme 1 – the countdown is from Number 20 to Number 11.
Rod Stewart presents Decca Records' Top Twenty to celebrate its 90th Anniversary.