PREVIEW: 100 Years of Song (20 Nov, QEH, EFG London Jazz Festival)

The Board of the Performing Right Society in 1914.
Source: PRS for Music

The Performing Right Society was founded in 1914 as an organisation to collect fees for live performance from sheet music. On Thurs 20th Nov at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, in the EFG London Jazz Festival, IAN SHAW has devised a programme "100 Years of British Song" as part of the centenary celebrations of the body now known as PRS for Music. Ian writes:

To be invited to compile an evening that charts the Performing Rights Society's vast journey of popular songs from 1914 (PRS' maiden voyage year), was a thrill, albeit a muchly challenging one. Echoing the decades were clearly the laments, goodbyes and lullabies that soothed the bereaved families of The First World War, some left from the faded velvet drapes of Music Hall, others that linked American Popular song-form to the 20s and 30s Brit radio crooners, with our very own Ray Noble and Noel Coward to the fore.

Then to the 50s, 60s, 70s...to RIGHT now. Your over-enthused Welsh boy, two Woolies single boxes under his arms, Chopper bike in the bike shed said that 1977 was the year, jumbo cords and ox-blood brogues was the swag, and although the ears were flooded with US soul (Aretha, Stevie, Motown, Wilson Pickett), those Brit sounds were equally loved (Bowie, Bolan, The Real Thing, Gilbert, Leo, Floyd, Bush).

Tempted? Queen Elizabeth Hall as your jukebox?....

....the Serious team to keep everyone afloat on The Good Ship Song? Some PRS bods in the audience, wondering what the hell happened to that John Martyn ditty?......

......Book the best trio in town ? (Barry Green, Mick Hutton, Dave Ohm) and invite a host of pals that are going to set the EFG London Jazz Festival alight ?..

...Claire Martin singing Kate Bush?...

... The great UK singer-songwriter, Kathryn Williams, singing Ewan McColl ? (cos he asked her to)...

...The great jazz singer, Elaine Delmar, doing Noble and Beatles?...

.... Claude Deppa blowing on a Peter Gabriel? And Ben Cox, Georgia Mancio, Judith Owen, Natalie Williams, Yvette Riby-Williams.......all those female Williamses reminds me... a Welsh boy will be there too (me, you fools)....

..I'll park my Chopper near the river and give that Elvis Costello song (that Robert Wyatt did) a good go.

Some of the omissions broke Welshy's sentimental, but recently mended, heart...there will be no Wombles, Clive Dunn or Gary Barlow. But you never know, if that Liane Carroll happens in town...

100 Years of song on the EFG London Jazz Festival website

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