BBC Music Day 2019

Thursday 26th September is BBC Music Day. A range of events are taking place all over the country with special BBC broadcasts across the week.

Here at the North West Hub we think this is a perfect opportunity to highlight the collections we have been busy digitising and cataloguing. We have also been able to add clips from different collections to the Oral History Booths in Archives+, Manchester Central Library.

Poster detailing the content of the ‘Music’ content for one of the Oral History Booths

North West Recordings

This collection consists of original recordings and non-commercial releases by Greater Manchester musicians, choirs, groups and orchestras. Here I have had the opportunity to learn about classical music while cataloguing the various concert performances from orchestras across the country, including the Hallé and the BBC Northern Orchestra. The latter can trace its roots back to the 2ZY Orchestra, which was formed in 1922 for the 2ZY Manchester radio station.  In 1934 it became the BBC Northern Orchestra; rehearsing and broadcasting performances from Milton Hall, Deansgate, Manchester.

My favourite performance has to be Verdi’s Requiem by the Hallé Orchestra. I found the low start building to a chorus of different voices to be emotional and cinematic; reminiscent of one of my favourite films, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Listening to that piece of music certainly changed the atmosphere of the office that day!

Excerpt from Verdi’s Reqiuem (NWRECS/37)

Stan Mason Folk Music Archive

Musician Stan Mason ran a folk club in Nelson, Lancashire. In between 1965 and 1976 he visited other folk clubs across the region recording and documenting their sessions. A number of recordings in this archive collection were made at clubs across Merseyside, including Jacqui and Bridie’s Coach House Club in Liverpool.

These pioneering women set up their own folk club in response to the male dominated scene at the time and would go on to become Britain’s first female professional folk duo. The club grew from strength to strength, drawing bigger crowds and moving to bigger premises over the years. They continually attracted some of the most talented musicians of the day to perform in their modest club on a Monday night.

Excerpt of a performance of ‘Bessie, Bessie’ by Dave Campbell at the Coach House. This was originally recorded at the Coach House club in 1965. (MASON/1)

Dave Campbell was the first of four generations of musicians to record and publish music; he is the father of Ian Campbell, folk singer songwriter and the grandfather of Ali, Robin and Duncan from UB40.

Visitors listening to the different collections now available on the Oral History Booths

Vicki Caren, Cataloguing Manager, Unlocking Our Sound Heritage North West Hub, based in Archives+, Manchester Central Library.

You can find out more about the national Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project at the British Library’s website. Unlocking Our Sound Heritage is supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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