The Story of Pop

I just came across this series being re-broadcast on BBC 6 Music.

The Story of Pop, presented by (the late, great and much missed) Alan Freeman.

No idea how I’ve missed it, and all its promotional trails for 32 weeks, but there you go: there’s just too much radio to listen to!

I’m listening to episode 33, yes, 33, named ‘Philly Groove’ in which he celebrates the music that emerged from the city of Philadelphia and in particular the Philadelphia International record label.

Now I know I’m old, but I can remember a series on Radio 1 in 1973 also named The Story of Pop. If I remember correctly, it was a 13-part series, broadcast on a Sunday afternooon, and accompanied by a nice glossy magazine. At this point ‘pop music was only 18 years old. Yes, i know, it epends on how you define ‘pop’ and ‘rock’n’roll’ etc, but at this time, the mid 1950s was fairly well accepted, given Rock Around the Clock and so on.

But this new series is a massive 52-parter, but not having heard it either when first broadcast in 1994, nor more recently on 6 Music, I don’t know if it’s an extension of the original, or a whole new enterprise.

Here’s the 6 Music Story of Pop page. It’s on at 3am which is no use to me (I’m pushing up the zeds for another couple of hours at that point) but follow the links, each episode is on iPlayer for the usual  7 days.

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3 thoughts on “The Story of Pop

  1. I co wrote (with Charlie Gillett and John Pidgeon) and produced the original ‘Story of Pop’, also introduced by Alan Freeman. It was only a 26 part series but was the first radio attempt to tell the real story of Rock and Roll’s emergence and development.

    Tim Blackmore

    • Hi Tim, thank you for that. I seem to remember a weekly(?) magazine that accompanied the original series. I didn’t realise Charlie Gillett was involved: I became a great fan of his later on and still miss his voice, knowledge and enthusiam on the radio. I feel he should have been honoured for his ‘services to music’.

      Cheers, Mick

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