Saturday, 22 October 2016

The Afrobeat Revolutionary - 1. Episode 1

BBC Radio 6 Music broadcast: 22nd September 2016

Fela Kuti created a unique sound, Afrobeat, but he was far more than a music star. In Nigeria he spoke out for the oppressed on all social issues. He was a cultural revolutionary, and paid the ultimate price.

Neneh Cherry tells his story and highlights the relevance of his influence on the music scene of Nigeria and across the world. Contributors include his sons and daughters - Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti, Yeni Kuti, Motunrayo Kuti; Rikki Stein, Fela's manager for over 15 years; Sandra Isidore; drummer Tony Allen; and slam poet Saul Williams

First broadcast on Radio 2 in November 2008.

Fela Kuti - Shuffering & Shmiling [Universal/Barclay]
Fela Kuti - Zombie [Barclay]
Dorothy Love Coates and The Original Gospel Harmonettes - Untitled Instrumental [Speciality]
Fela Kuti - Highlife Time [Warner Music UK Limited]
Fela Kuti - Obe! (Soup) [Stern's African Record Centre]
Fela Ransome Kuti & Nigeria 70 - My Lady Frustration [Stern's Africa]
Fela Kuti - Shakara [Wrasse]
Fela Kuti - Africa Centre Of The World [Wrasse]
Fela Kuti & Afrika 70 - Water No Get Enemy [Barclay]
Fela Kuti - Lady [Barclay]
Fela Kuti - Unknown Soldier [Barclay]
Fela Kuti - V.I.P [Univeral]
Fela Kuti - Zombie [Barclay]
Fela Kuti & Egypt 80 - Teacher Don't Teach Me Nonsense [Knitting Factory]

Fela Kuti Comes Home

BBC Radio 4 Extra broadcast: 27th July 2016

Fela Kuti is Africa's most famous musician. Before his death in 1997 he recorded nearly 50 albums and invented his own genre of music: Afrobeat. In the 70s and 80s his legendary club in Lagos was famed for housing the best live band on Earth. As witnessed by James Brown, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney.

But there was more to Fela Kuti than ground-breaking music. He was also a political revolutionary who spent his life strongly criticising successive military regimes in his native Nigeria. While his contemporaries would sing in more general terms of oppression, Fela singled out his targets, personally naming them in songs which became popular all over Africa. It wasn't long before he was a hero to many working class Nigerians.
But his taunts didn't go down so well with the authorities. Nor did his controversial lifestyle: he openly smoked marijuana, declared his home an independent state of Nigeria and married 27 women on the same day. The story goes he was the most arrested person in Nigerian history. He appeared in court hundreds of times, had spells in prison and permanently suffered from his injuries after regular beatings at the hands of the military and police. Fela believed they were also responsible for the death of his mother, who was thrown from an upstairs window when his home was stormed by 1000 soldiers.

In 2009 his incredible story was turned in to a successful Broadway musical and this April it performed in Lagos for the first time. Fela Kuti was coming home. But while the rest of the world is finally paying attention to this musical and political revolutionary why will you struggle to hear any of his music on Nigerian radio? Have they forgotten Fela? Or do the powers that be still find his music offensive? Radio 4 visited Lagos to find the answers.

Part of Radio 4 on Music, re-releasing the best of the Radio 4 Music Archive.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Stubborn Kind Of Fella: Remembering Marvin Gaye - 6. Got To Give It Up

BBC Radio 6 Music broadcast: 7th September 2016

Smokey Robinson explores Marvin Gaye's musical legacy and the way in which his death led to a critical re-examination of his work, with "What's Going On" cited as a landmark album in popular music history.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Stubborn Kind Of Fella: Remembering Marvin Gaye - 4. Let's Get It On

BBC Radio 6 Music broadcast: 2nd September 2016

Smokey Robinson explores Marvin Gaye's image as a sex symbol, his two troubled marriages and his love life.

Marvin Gaye - Funk Me [Motown]
Marvin Gaye - You Sure Love To Ball [Motown]
Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On [Universal]
Marvin Gaye - Just To Keep You Satisfied [Motown]
Marvin Gaye - I Want You [Motown]
Marvin Gaye - After The Dance [Motown]
Marvin Gaye - Here My Dear [Motown]
Marvin Gaye - When Did You Stop Loving Me [Motown]
Marvin Gaye - Heavy Love Affair [Motown]
Marvin Gaye - Sexual Healing [EMI]
Marvin Gaye - Ego Tripping Out [Motown]

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Stubborn Kind Of Fella: Remembering Marvin Gaye - 3. Mercy, Mercy Me

BBC Radio 6 Music broadcast: 1st September 2016

Smokey Robinson explores Marvin Gaye's spiritual side, from his strict religious upbringing to his embrace of new age spirituality displayed in the "What's Going On" album.

Marvin Gaye - God Is Love [Motown]
Marvin Gaye - Can I Get A Witness [Connoisseur Collection]
Marvin Gaye - Life Is A Gamble [Motown]
Marvin Gaye - The Lord's Prayer [Tamla Motown]
Marvin Gaye - His Eye Is On The Sparrow [Motown]
Marvin Gaye - Abraham Martin & John [Motown]
Marvin Gaye - Wholly, Holly [Motown]
Marvin Gaye - That's The Way Love Is [Tamla Motown]
Marvin Gaye - What's Going On [Universal]
Marvin Gaye - Ego Tripping Out [Motown]
Marvin Gaye - Mercy Mercy Me [Universal]
Marvin Gaye - What's Happening Brother [Motown]
Marvin Gaye - Joy [The Right Stuff]
Marvin Gaye - Life Is For Learning [Motown]
Marvin Gaye - You Sure Love To Ball [Motown]

Monday, 17 October 2016

Stubborn Kind Of Fella: Remembering Marvin Gaye - 2. Episode 2

BBC Radio 6 Music broadcast: 31st August 2016

Smokey Robinson looks at Marvin's early relationships with women, both on a personal and a professional level.

Marvin Gaye And Mary Wells - After The Lights Go Down [Motown]
Marvin Gaye - Wherever I Lay My Hat [Motown]
Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston - It's Got To Be A Miracle (This Thing Called Love) [Tamla Motown]
Marvin Gaye - Too Busy Thinkin' 'Bout My Baby [Motown]
Marvin Gaye And Mary Wells - I Want You Round [Motown]
Marvin Gaye And Tammi Terrell - Aint No Mountain High Enough [Motown]
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell - Your Precious Love
Marvin Gaye And Diana Ross - You Are Everything [Motown]
Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye - Stop! Look, Listen (To Your Heart) [Motown]
Marvin Gaye - His Eye Is On The Sparrow [Umvd Special Markets]
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell - Come On And See Me [Tamla Motown]