Huey Morgan to narrate two-part Blues America documentary for BBC Four

Published Nov 7 2013, 12:36 GMT  |  By

BBC Four has announced a special season of programming to celebrate the blues.

The season will retrace the history of the music genre and explore its place in American culture from the 20th Century and beyond.

Huey Morgan of rock/hip hop band Fun Lovin' Criminals

© Rex Features / Classic Rock/Future Publishing

Huey Morgan

Keith Richards

© Rex Features / Dave Allocca

Keith Richards



Two-part series Blues America is produced by Mick Gold and narrated by Fun Lovin' Criminals star Huey Morgan, who made headlines earlier this week after smashing a mug and storming off set during an appearance on Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

The first programme, Woke Up This Morning will air on November 29 at 9pm. It charts the development of the blues from its roots in minstrel and medicine shows into a commercial industry.

Contributors including Keith Richards, Taj Mahal and Chuck D will discuss key moments in the blues rising.

The second offering Bright Lights, Big City includes insights from Bonnie Raitt, Seasick Steve and Buddy Guy.

Airing on December 6 at 9pm, it recalls the genre's movement from post-war Chicago, Detroit and Memphis to forge a style that would give birth to 1950s rock'n'roll.

Bonnie Raitt

© Rex Features / Sipa Press

Bonnie Raitt

Chuck D of Public Enemy holding a copy of Rolling Stone

© Twitter

Chuck D



Also part of the special season of programming is Big Bill Broonzy: The Man Who Brought The Blues to Britain, the first ever film biography of the man who introduced the genre to the UK in the 1950s.

Guitarist John Fahey will be remembered with director James Cullingham's In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey, airing on December 8.

The series concludes with a BBC Four session from American singer-songwriter Raitt plus surprise guest Paul Brady, filmed at Stoke Newington Town Hall in London.

Head of BBC Music Television Mark Cooper said: "Blues is at the heart of American music and American culture.

"We wanted to make programmes that didn't sentimentalise the music but would explore the blues' extraordinary journey between black and white audiences and musicians.

"That journey is key to understanding the American 20th century, and has also had a huge effect on British popular music."

Watch Bonnie Raitt performing on BBC Two's Later... with Jools Holland below: