You might like… Soul Music: ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’

There’s a wonderful BBC Radio 4 series called Soul Music  where people discuss pieces of music with a powerful emotional impact. This particular episode starts with the famous Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes track ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’, with Teddy Pendergrass on vocals, and works it’s way through stories of spinal paralysis, the HIV epidemic, and the death of a service dog. This is the quintessential Philly sound. recently named this episode as #13 in their list of the best 25 podcasts of all time. It’s an emotional roller coaster:

The BBC Radio 4 show Soul Music investigates the emotional resonance of famous pieces of music. This installment, about the song “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” which was first performed in the early 1970s by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, with Teddy Pendergrass on vocals, features a trio of interwoven segments about death, loss, and faith. The episode connects the stories of Pendergrass, who was paralyzed in a car accident at age 42; the gay community in the U.K., which danced to a remix version of the tune while mourning the loss of friends during the AIDS crisis; and Sharon Wachsler, homebound by illness, who turned to the song during dark times. The song itself, heard in its different recordings throughout the episode, gains layers of meaning, becoming more haunting and beautiful each time we hear it.

There’s some other  wonderful instalments. Check out the way in which Billie Holliday’s ‘Strange Fruit‘ acts as the backdrop to stories of horror and anguish during the era of race lynching, or Labi Siffre’s ‘Something Inside So Strong‘ and South Africa’s era of apartheid.

Week 12 (2014) Lecture B materials: Folk and Englishness

This week’s session was hosted by Dr Trish Winter and was based on her research into contemporary folk music. You can find a pdf version of the lecture slides here: med332 folk music lecture online


Get Folked screenshot

First broadcast: 12am Sat 7th Dec 2013



Get Folked: The Great Folk Revival – Channel 4 On Demand link



Trish Winter & Simon Keegan-Phipps (2010) ‘Performing Englishness in New English Folk Music and Dance’, Research Project Closing Report 19th Jan 2010. Available here

Winter, T and Keegan-Phipps, S. (2013) Performing Englishness: identity and politics in a contemporary folk resurgence. Manchester: Manchester University Press

Week 11: Britpop


Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop – In Italiano from Jack83 on Vimeo.


Don’t Look Back in Anger: The Story of Britpop – Part 1 Britain Strikes Back

Don’t Look Back in Anger: The Story of Britpop – Part 2 Cool Britannia

Don’t Look Back in Anger: The Story of Britpop – Part 3 Oasis vs Blur

Don’t Look Back in Anger: The Story of Britpop – Part 4 The Party’s Over



Andy Bennett (1997) ‘“Village greens and terraced streets”: Representations of “Britishness” in Britpop’, Young: Nordic Journal of Youth Research, 5(4): 20-33.

Andy Bennett and Jon Stratton [eds] (2010) Britpop and the English Music Tradition, Farnham: Ashgate Publishing [intro .pdf]

John Harris (2003/2010) The Last Party: Britpop, Blair and the Demise of English Rock, London: Harper Perennial

David Hesmondhalgh (2001) “British Popular Music and National Identity”, in David Morley and Kevin Robins [eds.], British Cultural Studies. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. 273-286