Episodes

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Broadcast
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20040418

British born jazz singer Anita Wardell talks to Russell about her love of the classics, growing up in Australia and supporting Sarah Vaughan at Sydney Opera House, plus live music from Clare Teal.

20040509

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song. British vocalist Ian Shaw stops by for a chat, and there's live music from Clare Teal.

20040516

American singer, dancer and actress Donna McKechnie, star of the original Broadway production of A Chorus Line, joins Russell in the studio. Plus, live music from Lee Gibson.

20040606

Singer-songwriter, pianist, guitarist and alternative comedian, Earl Okin joins Russell for a much-overdue catch-up; plus, there's live music from Lee Gibson in the Song Show Exclusive slot.

20040613

Ted Chapin, the President of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organisation, talks to Russell about the creation of Stephen Sondheim's classic musical Follies.

20040627

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song. Today, Russell takes a look at the music that feature in some of today's most popular adverts.

20040704

Fresh from his success in London's West End in the revival of Anything Goes, actor and singer John Barrowman stops by for a chat about his new album of Cole Porter classics.

20040725

Joining Russell on The Song Show are singer Neville Skelly, who chats about his love of Big Band Swing, the music of Porter, Gershwin and Sinatra, and Mike Sigman, son of songwriter Carl Sigman.

20040801

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song. This week, American musician John Pizzarelli stops to chat about the New York jazz scene.

20040815

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20040822

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20040905

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20040912

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20040919

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20041003

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20041010

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20041017

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20041024

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20041031

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20041107

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20041114

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20041121

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20041128

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20041205

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050102

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050109

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050116

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050123

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050130

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050206

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050213

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050220

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050227

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050306

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050313

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050320

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050327

Easter has inspired many hymns but few songs, so Russell redresses the balance by featuring singer Maude Maggart.

20050403

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050410

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050417

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050424

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050501

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050508

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050515

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050529

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050605

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050612

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050619

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050626

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050703

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050710

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050717

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050724

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050731

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050807

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050814

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050821

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050828

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050904

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050911

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050918

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20050925

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20051002

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20051009

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20051016

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20051023

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20051030

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20051106

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20051113

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20051120

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20051204

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20051211

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20051218

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060101

Russell Davies examines the career of songwriter Jule Styne, whose birth centenary fell yesterday.

20060108

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060115

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060122

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060129

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060205

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060212

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060219

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060226

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060305

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060312

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060319

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060326

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060409

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060416

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song. Russell is joined by singer, songwriter and musician Neil Sedaka.

20060423

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060507

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060514

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060521

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song. In this week's show he is joined by renowned lyricist Sir Tim Rice.

20060528

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060611

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060612

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060618

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060702

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060723

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060730

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060806

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060813

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060820

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060827

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060903

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060910

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060917

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20060924

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20061001

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20061008

Russell Davies presents the Song Show, celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20061015

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20061022

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song. Russell talks to enigmatic singing star Madeleine Peyroux about her new album.

20061029

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20061105

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20061112

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song. Russell speaks to lyricist Hal David.

20061119

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20061126

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20061203

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20061210

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20061217

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070107

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070114

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070121

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070128

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070204

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070211

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070218

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070225

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070304

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070311

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070318

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070325

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070401

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070408

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070415

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070422

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070429

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070506

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070513

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070520

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070527

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070603

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070610

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070617

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070624

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070708

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070715

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070722

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070729

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070805

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070812

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070819

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070826

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070902

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070909

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070916

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070923

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20070930

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20071007

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20071014

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20071028

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20071104

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20071111

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20071118

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20071125

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20071202

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20071209

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20071216

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20071230

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080113

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080127

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080203

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080210

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080217

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080224

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080302

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080309

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080316

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080323

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080330

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080406

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080413

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080420

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080427

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080504

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080511

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080518

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080525

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080601

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080608

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080615

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080622

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080629

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080706

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080713

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080720

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080727

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080803

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080810

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080817

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080824

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080831

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080907

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080921

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20080928

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20081005

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20081012

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20081019

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20081026

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20081102

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20081109

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20081116

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20081123

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20081123

The show that celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20081130

Celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20081214
20081221

Celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20081228

Celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20090104

Russell celebrates the centenary of Danish entertainer Victor Borge.

20090111

Celebrating the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20090118
20090125
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20090215
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20090301
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20090405
20090412
20090419
20090426
20090503
20090503

Celebrating the 110th anniversary of Duke Ellington's birth.

20090510
20090517
20090524
20090531
20090607
20090614
20090621
20090628
20090705
20090712
20090719
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20090802
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20091004
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20091206
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20091220
20091227
20100103
20100110
20100117
20100124
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20100207
20100214
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20100228

Russell Davies celebrates the popular song with a focus this week on Josef Myro.

20100307
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20100314
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20100404
20100411
20100418
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20100704

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20100711

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft & inspiration of the popular song. This week, he explores different interpretations of Rodgers & Hammerstein's famous show tunes, from The King and I and Oklahoma.

Memories of songwriter Buddy DeSylva (who died on this day 50 years ago) produce a little nonsensical rarity, as well as a more serious one. And the recent death of playwright, author and jazz-lover Alan Plater inspires the next couple of songs. Russell discovers The Ponce Sisters and Fit As A Fiddle, leading to a composition by Phil Ponce, father of the sisters, before a perfect reading of Some Enchanted Evening concludes the proceedings.

Russell celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20100725

The show opens (and closes) with a salute to singer Annie Ross on her 80th birthday. After this he presents a celebration of all things Blackpool on the occasion of that town's bid to be a World Heritage Site: Basil Rathbone singing I Do Like to Be Beside The Seaside; Frank Sinatra appearing in Blackpool in 1953; and Stanley Holloway's famous Lion And Albert monologue.

The centenary of Ellingtonian trumpeter Cootie Williams is marked with four numbers: one featuring him with Adelaide Hall; one of Nina Simone singing the vocal version of his Concerto For Cootie - Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me; Mel Torme performing Round Midnight (Williams is credited as part-composer); and a rarity by Williams' 1944 sextet, on which he sings.

Russell also acknowledges the anniversary of The Battle Of Britain with a 1940 recording of Anne Shelton singing A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square, coupling this with another song by the same composer and performed by Rebecca Kilgore.

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20100801

Russell Davies continues to celebrate the popular song, and August 1st brings some nice coincidences, but we open with a classic Ella Fitzgerald recording made on this day fifty years ago.

On the same day, Chubby Checker introduced The Twist to the world and Russell tells the story, passes on dance-step instructions and unearths the pre-history of The Twist. He also reminds us of Sinatra's re-working of an older dance form as Everybody's Twistin'.

August 1st is also the birth-date of Lionel Bart, who re-worked Dickens' Oliver Twist into the smash-hit musical Oliver! Among other achievements of Bart's, Russell recalls A Handful Of Songs and a piece from Lock Up Your Daughters - When Does The Ravishing Begin?.

The subject of songwriters changing their names (Bart was Begleiter) leads to others: Edward Chester Babcock, who became Jimmy Van Heusen (Sleigh Ride In July); Charles N Daniels who used the pseudonym Neil Moret (Moonlight and Roses) and Peggy Lee, originally Norma Deloris Ergstrom (A Good Day). The programme closes with two new releases.

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft & inspiration of the popular song.

20100808

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20100815

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20100822

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20100829

A new release by glamorous singing bass-player Nicki Parrott leads Russell Davies this week into a brief exploration of vocalising bull-fiddlers and we hear from Slam Stewart and Major Holley in duet and, with Lew Stone's band in the 1930's, the unusual sound of Tiny Winters. Next, Russell turns to recently-departed music mogul Mitch Miller who first made his mark as one of America's most in-demand oboists. We hear him on an early Frank Sinatra side in this capacity before moving onto to two of Miller's most famous proteges - Guy Mitchell and Rosemary Clooney. Mentioning a good deed of Miller's (he's tended to have a bad press over the years), Russell tells how, when black Leslie Uggams was part of the "Sing Along With Mitch" TV show and the suits told him to remove her from the cast, Miller told them if she went, the whole Miller package went. August 29th is the date of Charlie Parker's birth - we hear one of the few vocal records backed by his quartet. A string of connections, starting with this date, lead also to Ethel Waters, Sammy Davis Jr, and Judith Durham before we hear Nina Simone's moving account of "The Last Rose Of Summer" and a final word from Spike Milligan.

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft & inspiration of the popular song.

20100905

The arrival of September prompts a wish for an Indian Summer, courtesy of Singers Unlimited and Victor Herbert & Al Dubin's 1940 hit. Russell notes that also in 1940, on this day September 5th, Duke Ellington recorded Five O'Clock Whistle.

September is also the pseudonym of a songwriter who wrote Andy Williams' only hit single - Butterfly. Andy also recorded the much more complex Pretty Butterfly and Russell notes the long history of butterfly songs, often linked to Puccini's opera, and explains the origin of the 1916 evergreen Poor Butterfly. We hear Rita Reys' version.

After Michelle Pfeiffer's famous piano-top version of Makin' Whoopee, Russell introduces a sequence of tenuously-linked songs - It Might Be You, It Had To Be You, Ooh! Maybe It's you, It's You Or No-One, ending up with It's You. Finally, after a review of a new release of BBC recordings of Ella Fitzgerald, we conclude with the timeless version, by Walter Huston, of Kurt Weill's September Song.

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20100919

A number of farewells this week, sad though they are, did give us good reason to enjoy fine tracks by Sheila Southern (for late entrepreneur Derek Boulton); Ted Heath (for his one-time, and now recently-departed, drummer and singer Jack Parnell); and recordings from Tony Bennett and KD Lang, Frank Sinatra, The Andrews Sisters, Nat King Cole, Chris Connor, Andy Williams, The Cardinals and Eydie Gorme (for songwriter George David Weiss).

A happy 70th birthday to songwriter Paul Williams brings us the great Mel Torme recording of Paul's I Won't Last A Day Without You while, a week late due to our absence last week, we salute bandleader Shep Fields on the occasion of his centenary with a typical version by his Rippling Rhythm of That Old Feeling.

The featured artists, band leaders and songwriters include Jack Parnell and Paul Williams.

20100919

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20100926

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20101003

Russell opens with a track from a Dean Martin album released on this day in 1960 and this leads to a sequence devoted to the album's arranger, Nelson Riddle, who left us just 25 years ago this week. We hear him as a sideman with Tommy Dorsey; backing Rosemary Clooney, with whom he had a famous affair; with Nat King Cole, who recorded over 250 sides with Riddle's backing; and with Ella Fitzgerald and Linda Ronstadt, in contrasting moods.

Russell then explores songs with the words "riddle" in the title, coming up with three curiosities before turning to an 80 year old classic by Fletcher Henderson; a 70 year old one by Beatrice Kay and, lyrically connected to this, two different songs that share the same name - Make Love To Me.

This week, Russell celebrates the arranger Nelson Riddle, who died 25 years ago.

20101010

The 75th anniversary of the first night of Gershwin's Porgy & Bess is celebrated on the song show via a spirited duet version I Got Plenty Of Nuttin' by Ray Charles & Cleo Laine and the original Bess - Anne Brown - singing Summertime. Russell announces the programme's search for our audience's favourite recorded duet performance and to illustrate this we hear Sarah Vaughan & Billy Eckstine's famous Passing Strangers, Bing Crosby & Al Jolson's Spaniard That Blighted My Life and a piano duo rarity by Clarence Williams & James P Johnson.

Tributes to Don "Rosie" Partridge and Eddie Fisher follow. Russell plays a Fisher hit from 1953 and follows it with songs by three of his wives - Debbie Reynolds (Aba Daba Honeymoon) Elizabeth Taylor (Send In The Clowns) and Connie Stevens (Blame It On My Youth) and the Rosie theme is extended with Alex Welsh's bands version of My Blushing Rosie and, finally, a Rosemary Clooney track with the Hi-Los from 1957.

Russell celebrates Porgy & Bess, duets, and pays tribute to Eddie Fisher & Don Partridge.

20101017

Russell tells the story behind one of Duke Ellington's seminal compositions, Mood Indigo, recorded 80 years ago today (we hear Ella Fitzgerald's version from 1957) after which the focus turns to curious Ellingtonian vocals, the strangest surely being Mae West, whose My Old Flame follows.

This leads seamlessly to Blossom Dearie and Peel Me A Grape. Next, surely the oldest possible centenary connected to The Great American Songbook: that of Julia Ward Howe, born 1819, who wrote the words to Battle Hymn Of The Republic, which Andy Williams sings.

The recent death of Sir Norman Wisdom, coupled with our quest for the nation's favourite duet, gives us Wisdom's memorable meeting with Joyce Grenfell (Narcissus) and this is followed by a discussion of TV ads use of old songs: Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Tony Bennett/The Apprentice) is cited as is the US case of Astrud Gilberto vs the Frito Lay company. We hear the song in question: The Girl From Ipanema. The Sondheim send-up of same The Boy From ... comes next, via Millicent Martin, and then Russell remembers trombonist-bandleader Buddy Morrow (On The Old Potato Farm) and Morrow's co-writer Herb Hendler (The Kid's A Dreamer, sung by Joe Mooney).

Flagging up a concert celebrating vocal groups, Russell reminds us of Paul Whiteman's Rhythm Boys and we close with a neglected masterpiece by Mercer & Arlen, sung by Audrey Morris: I Wonder What Became Of Me.

Russell Davies celebrates popular song, opening with a seminal Duke Ellington composition.

20101017

20101024

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20101031

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20101031

20101114

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20101114

20101121

With the "Favourite Duets" search reaching its climax, Russell plays the penultimate pair that we've not yet heard - Ray Charles & Betty Carter's "Baby It's Cold Outside" and "Can't We Be Friends" sung by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong". The centre of the programme takes the form of a tribute to Broadway melodist Jerry Bock who died earlier this month. We hear five songs from five different shows - 'Tenderloin', which gave Bobby Darin his 'Artificial Flowers'; 'Mr Wonderful' from which we hear Peggy Lee's famous recording of the title song; excerpts from 2 Broadway cast recordings - of 'Fiddler On The Roof' ('Do You Love Me?') and 'Fiorello' ('I Love A Cop') - and another title song: 'She Loves Me' sung by Jack Jones. Russell requests help from the audience in identifying the mysterious sound at the end of an early Jean Goldkette recording, asks them to admire Bing Crosby's whistling technique in a Paul Whiteman 1928 recording of a J Fred Coots song and wonders if it's a coincidence that there's whistling in another Coots tune as sung by Pat Boone almost 30 years later.

Russell continues revealing the shortlist of ten favourite duets.

20101121

20101128

Russell plays the last of the ten finalists in the shortlist of listeners' favourite duet recordings - Two of a Kind by Mercer & Darin and A Rockin' Good Way by Dinah Washington & Brook Benton.

Before that, he investigates two British songwriting names - Tolchard Evans, responsible for If (Perry Como sings it) and Lady Of Spain (sung for us by Eddie Fisher); and Frank Eyton, whose name is attached to numerous songs (Body and Soul, You've Done Something To My Heart). Evans' work is well-documented but how much was Eyton responsible for? In his attempt to find out, Russell unearths an old song whose lyrics were all Eyton's work: We hear them sung by Les Allen with the Durium Dance Band.

A query from a listener prompts a hearing of Frank Sinatra's I Like To Lead When I Dance. Further curious studio going-on give us Rebecca Martin's For All We Know"and Harry Nilsson's Nevertheless and the show is wrapped up by two famous and very different recordings both cut on 24th June 1941 - Mildred Bailey's It's So Peaceful In The Country and Gracie Fields' Biggest Aspidistra In The World.

Russell plays the last of ten finalists in the shortlist of listeners' favourite duets.

20101128

20101205

A short, seasonal opener from Kay Starr before Russell pays tribute to bandleader Edmundo Ros on his centenary (in two days time). We hear a Latin number from his band with a typical Ros vocal. Russell also fishes out one of his earliest recording dates in UK, backing Fats Waller.

This is followed by a 90th birthday salute to jazz pianist Dave Brubeck via vocal items by Carmen McRae and Louis Armstrong. 70th birthday wishes also go to bassist Jay Leonhart and we hear him singing with Daryl Sherman before enjoying I'm Loving You A Lot, sung by his daughter Carolyn.

As listeners are invited to vote on their favourite recording from a shortlist of ten memorable duets, Russell plays an a capella duet by Maude Maggart & her sister Fiona Apple, and a vintage one by Irving Kaufman and "the original radio girl" Vaughn De Leath. This leads to Elvis' famous Are You Lonesome Tonight (De Leath had had the original hit with it in 1927).

Russell sends a farewell to French singer Mimi Perrin with her performance of French Rat Race with Les Double Six. We finally get to play Julie Andrews' Whistling Away The Dark and Kay Starr winds us up with a short scamper through The Best Things In Life Are Free.

This week's show features Edmundo Ros, Dave Brubeck, Mimi Perrin and many more.

20101205

20101212

20101212

Russell reprises two songs recorded on this day - Lee Wiley's Ghost of a Chance (1950) and Ben Selvin's Cheerful Little Earful (1930). Mention that this was also Frank Sinatra's birthday (he'd have been 95) leads to discussing the only recording session held on his birthday, in 1967, with Duke Ellington. We hear Follow Me from it.

Dionne Warwick's 70th birthday is celebrated with the playing of one of Burt Bacharach's most complex songs -the title music from Promises, Promises. Russell also recalls that it is the centenary of legendary record producer John Hammond and, in discussing him, plays Benny Goodman's Memories of You (with Rosemary Clooney) and Count Basie's Evenin' with Jimmy Rushing.

This leads to the derivation of "Jitterbug" - a cue for Cab Calloway's Jitter Bug. Finally, reviewing a new book about songwriter Dorothy Fields, Russell plays four Fields songs, concluding with Sinatra's version of The Way You Look Tonight.

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20101219

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20101219

20101226

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20101226

20110102

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20110102

20110109

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20110109

20110123

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20110123

20120506

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20120513

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20120520

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

20120527

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

2012060320120603 (R2)

Russell Davies celebrates the art, craft and inspiration of the popular song.

Programme Catalogue - Details: 18 August 199119910818

Producer: B. PAGE

Next in series: 25 August 1991

Previous in series: 04 September 1988

Broadcast history

18 Aug 1991 14:02-15:00 (RADIO 2)

Recorded on 1991-05-24

Programme Catalogue - Details: 25 August 199119910825

Producer: B. PAGE

Next in series: 04 January 1998

Previous in series: 18 August 1991

Broadcast history

25 Aug 1991 14:02-15:00 (RADIO 2)

Recorded on 1991-06-10

Programme Catalogue - Station

Radio 2