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John Whitehorn Looks at the traditional music of London
Running time approximately one hour

In January 2020 John Whitehorn gave us a fascinating talk on one of his favourite subjects, the Origins of the Victorian Music Hall Tradition, and then in August 2021 let us hear his "Desert Island Discs all-time favourites. This time John uses music hall classics and other recordings to illustrate the way Londoners have coped with the enormous gulf between the rich and the poor, as reflected in its songs and music.

John shows us through their music the stoicism of the British urban poor and their ability to retain their sense of humour, enjoy life and even laugh at themselves in the face of the often desperate situations in which they found themselves. This ability later formed the bedrock of the irrepressible British optimism and ability to "carry on" through two devastating World Wars, acknowledged in such notions as the "spirit of the Blitz", the "Dunkirk spirit" and the British "stiff upper lip". He presents us with a city and a nation that has always refused to wallow in misfortune and insists on simply geting on with things.

John's musical choices this time include songs of Harry Clifton, Gus Elen, Roy Hudd, Marie Tyler, Tom Leamore, Alec Hurley, Vesta Tilley, Mormy Cash, Ellie Shields, Gertie Millar, Alfred Lester, Paddy Roberts, Ian Wallace, Ewan McColl, Peggy Seeger, Michael Sammes Singers, Louise Marshall, Chas and Dave and the Sherman Brothers.

You can rest assured that you are in for a treat.

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