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All You Need Is Love – Tony Palmer – #5/17 – a history of popular music – Who’s That Comin’? Blues


In Episode 5: A civilisation within a civilisation / Memphis Slim & the Mississippi Delta / The word ‘blues’ / Roosevelt Sykes / Memphis & Beale Street / The railroads & Chicago / Ray Charles / The phonograph & Bessie Smith / Muddy Waters / Leadbelly, Alan Lomax, Jimmy Dawkins & black exploitation / Mighty Joe Young & The Ku Klux Klan / Billie Holiday & John Hammond / B.B.King & Barney Josephson / “I have a Dream”

Popular music is now an essential part of our daily lives. Yet we know comparatively little about it – where it came from, how it developed, how it has influenced or been influenced by social change. Today, the popular music industry controls billions of dollars; it has a greater revenue than the combined efforts of cinema, theatre, sport and all the other entertainment industries put together. Yet that industry depends, ultimately, on the creative talents of a group of remarkable individuals. The story of popular music, therefore, is a story of the struggle by these individuals to survive the demands of an avaricious, thieving and capricious industry. This critically acclaimed TV series, originally broadcast worldwide between 1976 and 1980, is featured here in its entirety – 17 episodes, encompassing ragtime, blues, jazz, vaudeville, the musical, folk, swing, country and western, rock’ n’ roll and beyond.

“Palmer at his most acerbic. All You Need Is Love displays everything that is best in informative and entertaining television, and will undoubtedly make Palmer into the Lord Clark (of Civilisation) of popular music, to the intense annoyance of more-or-less everyone else.” – The Times

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