Wednesday, 2 September 2009

BBC Radio 2 celebrates The Beatles

The Beeb, here represented by BBC Radio 2 has just finished a week-end of Beatles programming, and if you're quick you can still hear some of the shows. Here's their press release:
The Beatles triggered a musical revolution in the 60s, introducing a modern sound that contrasted greatly with the music of the previous decade. Between March 1962 and June 1965 the Beatles performed 53 times on BBC Radio, leaving a rich legacy of recordings which plot the band’s evolution.

This weekend, the Fab Four take over the BBC airwaves once again, as Johnnie Walker interviews Paul McCartney, and Radio 2 presents new programmes and extensive material from the BBC Archive, including the 'lost' master tape of The Lennon And McCartney Songbook which first broadcast on August Bank Holiday Monday back in 1966.

With documentaries covering everything from John Lennon's "bigger than Jesus" boasts to the genius of George Martin, what better way to way to spend your Beatles Bank Holiday?

Friday 28 August

1700 - 1900 Beatles All Request Friday with Chris Evans

Chris wraps up the week with a very special Beatles-only All Request Friday, so decide what you want to request and stand by to give the team a call.

1900 - 1930 Don't Start Me Talking About The Beatles

Another chance to hear the story of The Beatles in the words of their fans. Radio 2's oral history series offers a unique insight into the way the Fab Four impacted on the everyday and the commonplace.

2200 - 2300 The Day John Met Paul

Featuring an interview with Sir Paul McCartney and the music and memories of John Lennon’s group the Quarrymen, this programme re-creates the moment when John and Paul met for the first time at a Quarrymen gig at a sunny garden fete in Woolton, Liverpool on 6 July 1957.

2300 - 2400 In The Beginning

Holly Johnson visits Hamburg to explore how marathon sessions in smoky cellars, and friendships with local teenagers, helped create the incredible chemistry that turned a British beat group into the all-conquering Beatles.

Saturday 29 August
0800 - 1000 Sounds Of The Sixties

Brian Matthew presents the programme for all fans of the 1960s. This week, to mark Radio 2’s Beatles Bank Holiday, Brian plays four songs in a row featuring each of the Beatles on lead vocals.

2100 - 2200 America's Greatest Beatles Hits with Paul Gambaccini

To mark Radio 2’s Beatles Bank Holiday, several of Paul’s regular features take on a Beatles theme, including The First, My Last, My Everything and It’s Not The Same Old Song.

2200 - 2300 George Harrison: What Is Life

Michael Palin presents a tribute to his friend George Harrison, who died in November 2001. It features archive interviews with George, as well as contributions from his wife and son, Bob Geldof, Jeff Lynne, Brian May, Gary Moore, Tom Petty, Ringo Starr, Ravi Shankar and the Beatles’ producer George Martin.

2300 - 2400 Bigger Than Jesus

Another chance to hear the documentary that tells the story of John Lennon's infamous quote: "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that. I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now. I don’t know which will go first - rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity."

Sunday 30 August
Midnight - 0200 Sgt Pepper Recreated

Another chance to hear the special re-recording of Sgt Pepper, broadcast on Radio 2 to mark the 40th anniversary of the classic album including performances from Bryan Adams, Razorlight, Russell Brand, Jamie Cullum and Kaiser Chiefs.

1500 - 1700 Sounds Of The 70s: Paul McCartney Special

Johnnie Walker talks to Sir Paul McCartney about his solo career and work with Wings during the 1970s.

Monday 31 August
0930 - 1200 The Great Beatles Songbook Part 1

Ken Bruce presents The Great Beatles Songbook: Volume 1, a countdown of the Top 30 biggest selling Beatles tracks in the UK as compiled by the Official Charts Company. There’s also a special Beatles edition of PopMaster.

1200 - 1400 The Beatles @ The Beeb

Bill Kenwright presents a two hour journey through the many Beatles songs and interviews recorded at the BBC during the 60s.

The Beatles played on 53 different radio shows between March 1962 and June 1965, giving no less than 275 performances of 88 different songs. Remarkably 36 of those songs were never issued on record while the group was in existence. With the exception of Lennon-McCartney's I'll Be On My Way, these unreleased tracks were cover versions, ranging from familiar rock 'n' roll numbers to some fairly obscure oddities which included a customised version of Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport with Rolf Harris (Don't ill-treat me pet dingo, Ringo).

Kevin Howlett produced his first documentary about the Beatles' BBC recordings as a young Radio 1 producer in 1982. It made headlines around the world because Kevin tracked down many BBC Beatles sessions not heard since their original broadcasts. Out of the 53 BBC programmes with live Beatles music, just one was in the BBC Archive. Following further investigations, Kevin produced the award-winning The Beeb's Lost Beatles Tapes in 1988.

And discoveries are still possible: This programme features an interview - unheard since 1965 - in which the Beatles talk about their second movie Help! They chatted live from a radio car at Twickenham Film Studios for the BBC Light Programme show Pop Inn. The 'lost' master tape of The Lennon and McCartney Songbook will also be heard for the first time since its original broadcast on August Bank Holiday Monday in 1966.

This show is a tantalising prospect for Beatles fans as other interviews and music recordings will be featured that have not been broadcast since the 1960s. In addition to the archive Beatles interviews with presenters such as Brian Matthew and Alan Freeman, Brian and Alan (recorded in 1988) will be heard reminiscing about their time with The Beatles at the Beeb.

1400 - 1700 The Great Beatles Songbook Part 2

Craig Charles shares the Radio 2 listeners’ Beatles stories, with choice tracks from the Fab Four’s albums and solo projects. Includes the Top 10 selling Beatles albums as supplied by the Official Chart Company.

1700 - 1900 The Beatles Covered With Cilla Black

Cilla Black presents a two-hour special calledThe Beatles Covered. She'll be playing the Fab Four's biggest UK singles, but instead of hearing the original hits, Cilla will have some terrific cover versions, including tracks from Ella Fitzgerald and Kris Kristofferson; Aretha Franklin and Tom Jones; and many, many more. You'll know the songs, but will you know the artists?

1900 - 2000 The Record Producers - George Martin

The Record Producers profiles a man often labelled "The Fifth Beatle" - Sir George Martin.

In his exclusive interview, Sir George talks about various aspects of the studio and recording process, the albums Sgt Pepper and Abbey Road, along with a number of songs, including Strawberry Fields Forever, Tomorrow Never Knows and Rain.

Note: Of special interest here is the dissection of Come Together, where Sir George lets us hear stuff that didn't make it to the finished track (WogBlog)

2230 - 2400 Paul McCartney: Sold On Song

Another chance to hear a unique insight into the songwriting of Sir Paul McCartney.

In this very special programme, first broadcast in September 2005 Paul returns to Studio 2 at Abbey Road, the room where all the Beatles records were made, for an intimate journey through his songwriting history, from his very first Beatles song to the work on his new album "Chaos & Creation In The Backyard".

So what can I say, other than head on over to the BBC Radio 2 website and have a listen! The shows will be there for 7 days after initial broadcast.
BBC Radio 2 Website
BBC's page about the Beatles Bank Holiday

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