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Lives in Music


Oct 4, 2019

When Ruby Turner sang with Culture Club back in the 80s, she had big hair - but nobody had bigger hair on that tour than George... 

Romantic notions? Pah! I had a theory that there must have been some sort of genius music teacher in Handsworth back in the seventies. Because for three years straight, that mixed and punchy Brum inner city suburb delivered an act each year that went on to shake the foundations worldwide: Steel PulseApache Indian, and Ruby herself. 

And, face it, kids like Robin Campbell of UB40 and Ranking Roger of the Beat were hanging out at the shebeens, soaking it all up. Handsworth did a lot for popular music back in the day.

I put that notion to Ruby during our chat. She, as you'll hear, slapped it right down as my being romantic and fanciful.

There's not a lot of music in this podcast: copyright regulations prevent that. Any music has to be podcast-friendly. So no copyright infringements, and anything used must have the agreement of the performer. So there are no clips of Ruby to listen to, apart from when she bursts into song in mid conversation. That's a shame, because the stuff she does with Jools Holland and with her own band is bloody marvellous. But skip down to the links list, and you can explore to your heart's content.   

Links 

Ruby Turner's website
Jools Holland's website
Find out about Fado music
Handsworth Evolution: a documentary I made in 2010.
Ruby Turner on YouTube

The Lives in Music Podcast Series

There are ten episodes in this first series of Lives in Music. They will appear weekly from October until early December 2019. I'm now working on Series 2. The central thrust is to honour and highlight those people who have, literally, spent their lives in music, whether it's making music or empowering those who do. 

The theme music for this series is by local band Big Q Fish. 'Boksburg Jive Toon' was written by Brian Neil, and recorded at the Jam House, Birmingham, in 2017.

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