Eddie Goes Country



PM presenter Eddie Mair has harboured a secret. But no more - it's a lifelong love of Country music. He wants to know why these three chord melodramas call him and many of his fellow Celts.

While, to the casual listener, Country is often regarded as a twang of twee tunes and lachrymose lyrics for the permanently melancholic, Eddie suggests that it is actually a 'complex state of mind'. He considers the accessible merits of the music and discovers the roots of Country.

Returning to Scotland, Eddie attends the Celtic Connections Music Festival in Glasgow. Here he compares notes, likes and dislikes with fellow broadcaster and Country aficionado Ricky Ross, along with singers Eleanor McEvoy and Dick Gaughan.

On hand to explain the 18th century Scots/Irish exodus to America and Canada is emigration historian Professor James Hunter. And providing a master class on the Celtic musical lineage detected in contemporary Country Music is musicologist Dr. Katherine Campbell from Edinburgh University.

And for the first time, Eddie will reveal where his musical devotion took root. It began on the Sabbath in a yellow Triumph PI. That almost sounds like the beginning of a Country song...

Producers: Jo Coombs and Stewart Henderson

A Loftus Audio production for BBC Radio 4.

Eddie Mair returns to his native Scotland to explore his deep affection for country music.