Nothing Is Real - Pop's Struggle With Authenticity

Episodes

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01Living The Life20171211

Author David Hepworth reflects on pop music's struggles with authenticity.

Author and broadcaster David Hepworth reflects on pop music's struggles with authenticity.
1/5. Leadbelly's managers wanted him to perform in prison stripes. He preferred his best suit. When Dylan arrived in New York he pretended to be a hobo. Seasick Steve was a producer of disco records. Why do rock fans care that their heroes have lived the real lives their songs describe?

A Trevor Dann's Company production for BBC Radio 3.

02The Terminology20171212

David Hepworth discusses pop terminology - a trap for frauds and a charter for pseuds.

Author and broadcaster David Hepworth reflects on pop music's struggles with authenticity.

2/5. From the elementary pop-rock schism of the '60s to the bewildering array of compounds mapping the contemporary musical landscape, pop terminology has been a trap for frauds and a charter for pseuds. there's only one term that works.

A Trevor Dann's Company production for BBC Radio 3.

03The Importance Of Noise20171213

David Hepworth on the importance of volume and the difference between signal and noise.

Author and broadcaster David Hepworth discusses pop music's struggles with authenticity.

3/5. Teenagers flocked to see The Blackboard Jungle in 1956 because it was the only way you could hear Rock Around The Clock loud. High volume drives distortion which is what makes rock music exciting. What's the difference between signal and noise?

A Trevor Dann's Company production for BBC Radio 3.

04Are Djs Doomed?20171214

Writer David Hepworth on pop music's struggles with authenticity, asking 'Are DJs doomed?'

Writer David Hepworth on pop music's struggles with authenticity.

4/5. Streaming music means that the people listening have just as many records as the people running the radio stations. So is the radio DJ is going the way of the blacksmith while the club DJ flourishes?

A Trevor Dann's Company production for BBC Radio 3.

05 LASTThe Rock'n'roll Funeral20171215

David Hepworth asks if pop music has any place in the great ceremonies of life and death.

Writer David Hepworth on pop music's struggles with authenticity.

5/5. Recently David was asked to programme the music for the wake after the funeral of a colleague. Now he wonders whether, despite the public demand for Robbie Williams' Angels and Frank Sinatra's My Way, pop music really has any place in the great ceremonies of life and death.

A Trevor Dann's Company production for BBC Radio 3.