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In England we used to gave good music programmes on TV like “Top of the Pops”, which everyone remembers from their childhood, and which is still going now, where they show the music in that week’s charts. “The Tube” used to have live music, feachures, and concerts, and we used to have “The Old Grey Whistle Test” which had more hippy type music. We used to have MTV, but it’s coded here now.

I used to have a huge collection of thousands of albums but I had to sold most of them. Now I’m trying to rebuy a lot of my old favourites, although it’s quite difficult to get the sort of music that I like, mainly soul music, black music from America.

I used to have three guitars, an electric guitar – a beautiful black left-handed guitar, which I sold, a Spanish acoustic, which I left at my mum’s, and I bought a big steel string acoustic guitar.

I do get the chance to play music now. There’s a friend of mine who has a computer and when I go to her house to use the computer, I can also play her upright piano. So though I’m going there to work, I often end up sitting down and playing the piano for hours. I still write some music on my guitar, but not as much as I used to. Music has a very important role in my life, but unfortunately I’m not in any bands now.

Steely Dan must be my favourite band, a jazz-rock type band. I was introduced to them by my brother and I have all the music they’ve ever done, I think, even their early records that aren’t very famous. And I think they are really original. They have great melodies  and very funny lyrics: very wry observations on life. Who else do I like? It’s funny, I like a lot of American music, even though I’m not so keen on America itself any more. Anita Baker is one of my favourite singers. She’s a soul singer. She has an incredible voice. She’s a tiny woman, but she has a really powerful soul voice.

Nowadays I listen to Salt’n ‘Peppa a lot and TLC Eternal.



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TEXT 2:  


•   The Blues: traditional black American music. ‘Blue’ means ‘sad’, and many blues songs are about how hard life is.

•    Gospel: originally sung by African slaves. The happy, emotional songs are still heard in churches in the southern USA.

•    Rhythm and Blues: black workers in the USA moved from farms to the cities. They mixed the blues with gospel and played it with electric guitars – this became ‘rhythm and blues’.

•    Country and Western: the music of poor white Americans in the 1930s and 1940s. It is still the most popular music in the southern USA.

•    Rock and Roll: white teenagers in the 1950s discovered rhythm and blues, but many radio stations would not play ‘black’ music. Elvis Presley was one of the first singers to mix rhythm and blues and country and western. The result was ‘rock and roll’.

•    Soul: a mixture of gospel and rhythm and blues. Some styles are named after the record label (e.g.’Motown’) or they may be given other names such as ‘funk’ or ‘disco’. The most successful ‘soul’ artists are probably Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.

•    British Beat: the Beatles in the 1960s mixed rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and soul music. The new style was ‘beat’ music. Groups used drums, bass and two guitars with vocal lead and harmony.

•    Heavy Metal: a style based on blues and rhythm and blues, but with the electric instruments amplified so they are very loud.

•   Reggae: this started in Jamaica and is a mixture of music from African roots and rhythm and blues. Bob Marley made it popular.

•   Rap: in the 1980s DJs in American clubs began half singing and half talking over instrumental records. This is called ‘rap’. West African speech rhythms survive in rap.

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