How The World Changed Music

Episodes

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Ewa Demarczyk - The Dark Angel2019030920190310 (WS)Karusela z Madonnami or Carousel with Madonnas is a surreal yet haunting track by one of Poland's most celebrated singers, Ewa Demarczyk, also known as the Dark Angel. Demarczyk's voice was ‘discovered' on a television talent competition, which catapulted her to national and then later, international stardom. But it was her work on the underground Polish cabaret scene that she is perhaps best remembered for – a mixture of sung poetry, art and daring political satire which reflected the double life of many Polish citizens living under a repressive communist government of the 1960s. Musicologist Simon Zagorski-Thomas talks to Polish photographer and broadcaster Bogdan Frymorgen about Demarczyk's life and work.

Produced by Rami Tzabar for BBC World Service.

Image: Record label artwork, BBC

The story of Poland's most celebrated but reclusive singer

Discover how global events and technological forces helped to shape modern music

Haisai Ojisan - Hey Old Man!2019032320190324 (WS)Haisai Ojisan, or ‘Hey old man!' was released in 1972, by Shoukichi Kina, a musician who grew up under American military occupation on the pacific Island of Okinawa, scene of one of the bloodiest battles of WW2. Kina wrote this song when he was just thirteen years-old and still performs it for adoring audiences today. Simon Zagorski-Thomas talks to researcher and musician David Hughes, about the cultural, political and musical story that underscores this catchy pop hit.

Produced by Rami Tzabar for BBC World Service.

Image: Record label artwork, BBC

The story behind the 1970s Okinawan pop hit Haisai Ojisan or \u2018Hey Old Man'

Discover how global events and technological forces helped to shape modern music

Mao Mao Yu - Li Minghui2019022320190224 (WS)Mao Mao Yu or ‘Drizzle' sung by Li Minghui reflects how female singers in China in the 1920s had to do so in a childish voice to avoid accusations of lewdness. Musicologist Simon Zagorski-Thomas talks to author Andrew Jones about the golden age of Chinese jazz and the rise of nationalism which often used popular music to promote the new language of China years before the Cultural Revolution.

Produced by Rami Tzabar for BBC World Service.

Image: Record label artwork, BBC

The story behind a 1920s Chinese jazz hit and its singer

Discover how global events and technological forces helped to shape modern music

Mbube - The Lion2019031620190317 (WS)‘Mbube' or the Lion by Solomon Linda's Original Evening Birds is a track that grew from a half-improvised two minute song recorded in Johannesburg in the 1930s and then, through a series of cultural misappropriations, was rewritten into a worldwide hit – Wimoweh or The Lion Sleeps Tonight. It later became part of Disney's huge international Lion King phenomenon. But did any of the money make it back to Linda and his family?

Produced by Rami Tzabar for BBC World Service.

Image: Record label artwork, BBC

The story behind the original South African song Mbube, known as the Lion Sleeps Tonight

Discover how global events and technological forces helped to shape modern music

Discover how global events and technological forces helped to shape modern music

The Farewell Blues - Sol Ho'opi'i2019020920190210 (WS)The Farewell Blues by Sol Ho'opi'i looks at the migration of Hawaiian musicians to the USA, and the way that the technologies of recording and guitar design were crucial to the making of this virtuoso jazz record in 1926, which had such an influence on country music.

Produced by Rami Tzabar for BBC World Service.

Image: Record label artwork, BBC

A virtuoso jazz record sheds light on Hawaii's relationship with the USA

Discover how global events and technological forces helped to shape modern music

The Independence Cha Cha2019030220190303 (WS)It's 1960 and as part of a wave of independence that is sweeping across the African continent, Congolese musician, Le Grand Kallé, records The Independence Cha Cha. It goes on to become the first truly pan-African hit song, created from a flow of African, Caribbean and European musical influences across the centuries that include the shadows of slavery, the invention of the gramophone and the Wall Street Crash. Simon Zagorski-Thomas talks to musician and musicologist Sara McGuinness about the song's origins and the lasting impact of Congolese music.

Produced by Rami Tzabar for BBC World Service.

Image: Record label artwork, BBC

How a song about Congolese independence become the anthem for Africa

Discover how global events and technological forces helped to shape modern music

Wada Na Tod - Lata Mangeshkar2019020220190203 (WS)Where do musical ideas come from? What else, aside from imagination, shapes the way music evolves? In How the World Changed Music, Simon Zagorski-Thomas and guests explore the ways in which social, economic and cultural forces have affected musical traditions around the world.

In Wada Na Tod (“don't break your promise”) sung by Lata Mangeshkar, Sanjay Srivastava from the Institute of Economic Growth at Delhi University, helps to explain how this iconic playback singer of the Bollywood silver screen was instrumental in changing perceptions of womanhood in India and in doing so forged a more unified sense of nationhood.

Produced by Rami Tzabar for BBC World Service.

Image: Record label artwork, BBC

How the songs of Indian legend Lata Mangeshkar reflect Indian culture and society.

Discover how global events and technological forces helped to shape modern music

Yembe Laroco - Celia Cruz2019021620190217 (WS)In 1951, a young Celia Cruz recorded Yembe Laroco with the popular Cuban band, La Sonora Matancera. It was a song that would help to launch her international career, later becoming the ‘Queen of Salsa'. But it's also a song that many years later would help revive Cuba's economy, which suffered after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Simon Zagorski-Thomas talks to musicologist and musician, Sara McGuinness, and Cuban radio producer Sonia Perez Casola about the story behind this classic track.

Produced by Rami Tzabar for BBC World Service.

Image: Record label artwork, BBC

How radio launched the career of Cuban salsa star Celia Cruz

Discover how global events and technological forces helped to shape modern music