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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
The Songwriters Cafe: 2012 season preview

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We're damn lucky. There's an unending variety of great music on our doorstep. I'm covering as much as I can get to. And I would love to hear from you... tell me what you might like to see covered, or feed back on what's already here using the comments link at the top of the post.

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