In 2006 I interviewed film and music historian C P Lee at his home in Manchester. On the occasion of his retirement on 30 January 2015 I am re-publishing the interview.
Why is Manchester so pre-eminent as a city of music? Is it the weather, the geography or or some other unknown factor? CP Lee provides some very interesting insights.
CP Lee has done extensive research on the development of music-making in Manchester, and is the author of the book ‘Shake Rattle and Rain’, a history of music in Manchester from 1955 to 1995. He has also written two books about Bob Dylan. For 23 years, he was a lecturer at Salford University, and is co-founder of the band ‘Alberto & Lost Trios Paranoias’.
It was very interesting to discover that the history of music in Manchester goes back to the 18th century, and that the reason for its success in recent decades is not some intangible magic in the air, but something much more basic, something that most people may not have thought about.
Chris talks about the echoes and interplay between America and Manchester, and why Northern Soul became such a phenomenon here during the sixties. He did an excellent documentary on Radio 4 about Northern Soul. He mentions clubs, bands, singers, personalities, and also talks about the Manchester and District Music Archive, which he is helping to organise, and of which I am a co-trustee (since 2014)
CP Lee also helps to keep alive the memory of comedy actor Frank Randle and the Mancunian Film Company. More on his official website where you can buy books and lots more items.
The introductory music is a short section from the song ‘Manchester Anthem’ written and sung by James Herring. Listen to the full version of Manchester Anthem on Jay Herring’s Myspace page.