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Sunday, 3 October 2010

Handsworth Evolution – a documentary

One tradition. Three generations of Birmingham reggae.

I spent a lot of time in the summer of 2010 bathed in classic reggae grooves, chasing down some of the musicians I worked with at local radio, over a generation ago, for a radio documentary. It was a true pleasure, and while it wasn't quite a labour of love – Birmingham Music Heritage paid me, bless, em, but they didn't pay me that much – I certainly put in way more time than was economic.  The picture here is from Birmingham Museum and Art Galleries; the site's well worth a visit. 

While working on the documentary, I got to hang out again with some dear friends from back in the day – so nice to catch up with some of the guys in UB40 that I hadn’t had a chat with for ages - and forge new friendships with guys like the great Andy Hamilton, and the amazing Apache Indian. And I got to do a bit of proper radio as well. It’s all there – the story of how the children of those early post-war immigrants came up with a vital new approach to reggae, mixed, matched and mashed up... and invented whole new styles of music along the way. And right now, there’s even a third generation doing new and vital stuff. Now, with the blessing of Birmingham Music Heritage, whose commission it was, I am making it available via MixCloud. Know what? I love internet publishing. All three parts are after the jump.

The programme is in three parts – I built it so it would allow for a news bulletin and breaks for promos and/or ads. It’s also on offer to local community stations for rebroadcast, gratis – email me, using the link at the bottom of this post, and I'll send you a DropBox invite.

Here's part 1:

This is part 2:

And here's part 3:

And I would be delighted to hear your comments.

Other audio documentaries on Radio to Go
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