29 May 2013

BBC radio programme dedicated to book by Arts Fellow

L-R: Emma Webster, Matt Brennan, Martin Cloonan and Simon Frith. Photo credit: Eve Ray

L-R: Emma Webster, Matt Brennan, Martin Cloonan and Simon Frith. Photo credit: Eve Ray

School of Arts Early Career Research Fellow Emma Webster has had an episode of BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed dedicated to a book she has worked on in collaboration with some of the leading researchers in the field.

The episode - available on BBC iPlayer - focuses on part one of a three-volume series, The History of Live Music in Britain, Volume I: 1950-1967, which was launched at the 100 Club on London’s Oxford Street in March 2013.

Laurie Taylor, Thinking Allowed’s presenter and a leading sociologist in his own right, came to the book launch and hence decided to do the show about the post-war boom in live music and dancing, based on the book. The half-hour episode features lively discussion about developments in jazz, rock&roll, and skiffle, but most of all it illustrates the appetite in young people for dancing and socialising in the post-war years.

The social history of music in Britain since 1950 has long been the subject of nostalgic articles, television and radio programmes, and collective memories on music websites, but to date there had been no systematic scholarly study prior to the work of the project. The three volumes of The History of Live Music in Britain address this gap, and do so from the unique perspective of the music promoter.

The books are the result of a collaborative research project on the history of live music in Britain that was carried out by the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, led by Professors Simon Frith and Martin Cloonan respectively, with Dr Matt Brennan the Research Associate and Emma as the PhD student.

Of the opportunity, Emma says:-

"I think that it is wonderful that Laurie Taylor and his team at Radio 4 have taken such an interest in the work of my colleagues and I - the enthusiasm of the guests on the show is very gratifying and their expert knowledge (as well as Taylor's reminiscences) make for a really interesting discussion.