Soundtracks: Songs That Defined History

October 2017

Season 1 Episode 6 - Out Loud And Proud

Expired 4.0 14 x
The LGBT movement in America began one night in late June on the streets of Greenwich Village, New York, in a bar called the Stonewall Inn. When police raided the place, gay men and women who had been made to live in the shadows of shame finally decided to fight back against the police, and to demand their civil rights. Bars and dance clubs were - and still are - places of refuge for LGBT people, and the music played on jukeboxes, from Judy Garland to Gloria Gaynor, has also been a vital aspect...

Season 1 Episode 8 - The Berlin Wall And The Fall Of Communism

Expired 3.0 18 x
After decades living under a repressive Communist regime, the people of East Germany could no longer stay trapped behind the brick wall that separated them from their countrymen in the West - and so they tore that Wall down. Since the 1960s, West Berlin had been a cultural hotspot and a draw for artists like the Rolling Stones and David Bowie. But because rock music was considered politically dangerous to the Communist authorities, teenagers in the East had little access to it. This episode cha...
September 2017

Season 1 Episode 7 - Battle Of The Sexes

Expired 4.0 18 x
The famous tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs was a galvanising moment for the women’s movement. Billie Jean’s win was an affirmation to all the women who felt underestimated as simply mothers and housewives. The music of the 1960s and '70s, from Helen Reddy to Leslie Gore to Aretha Franklin was also a kind of subversive force in delivering to women messages of strength and empowerment. The sexual revolution ushered in more provocative music that gave women permission to let ...

Season 1 Episode 5 - Space Race

Expired 4.0 17 x
On July 20, 1969 an estimated 600 million people all over the world watched astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon for the first time. The moonwalk inspired musicians from David Bowie and the Byrds to Parliament-Funkadelic and Sun Ra to imagine a cosmic future for mankind. However, once the Cold War space race had been won, popular interest in space exploration waned rapidly – as reflected in songs by Elton John and Gil Scott-Heron. In December 1972, NASA launched its fi...

Season 1 Episode 1 - The Assassination Of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Expired 3.0 17 x
The death of Martin Luther King Jr. marked a turning point in the civil rights movement, a moment of reckoning for African Americans in the United States. After the mourning, the community gathered its strength to continue King’s fight, inspired by the fiery protest of Nina Simone, the black power anthems of James Brown, and the extraordinary voice of Aretha Franklin. The continued struggle for civil rights has been a long and uneven battle since 1968, but the spirit of resistance has been kept...

Season 1 Episode 3 - Kent State & The Vietnam War

Expired 4.0 21 x
In a truly unimaginable act of police brutality, national guardsmen shot and killed four college students in an anti-war protest on the Kent State campus in Ohio in 1970. Just weeks later, Neil Young channelled his rage into a haunting song called “Ohio”, which was released and played on the radio almost immediately. Perhaps no other era in American history saw such an intense outpouring of politically driven popular music as the years around the Vietnam War. Songs from Buffalo Springfield, Phi...

Season 1 Episode 4 - Hurricane Katrina

Expired 3.0 6 x
Hurricane Katrina triggered the worst urban disaster in modern US history, threatening to wash away the birthplace of some of America's most influential music. The inadequate relief laid bare the deep racial and social divisions that had troubled New Orleans long before the storm. International artists such as U2, Kanye West, Green Day and Mary J Blige joined local musicians like the Dirty Dozen Brass Band in benefit concerts and musical collaborations to help the city get back on its feet and ...

Season 1 Episode 2 - September 11th

Expired 3.0 7 x
Explore the music tied to some of the most iconic moments in history - from the March on Washington to the riots at Stonewall, the moon landing to Hurricane Katrina - music has played an integral part in celebrating, criticising, and amplifying seismic events in collective history. September 11, 2001 forever lives in infamy for New Yorkers and all Americans. Billy Joel's 'New York State of Mind' and Sister Sledge's 'We Are Family' took on heightened new meaning of camaraderie. But the tragedy t...