… and here, with much thanks to UEA Studio Technology team of Sean Thompson and Matt North for filming and editing, is my inaugural lecture at UEA on 8 March. Artists discussed in film, music videos, tv shows and documentary footage of live performances from the 1940s on include Ian Dury, Robert Wyatt, Connie Boswell Teddy Pendergrass, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Cyd Charisse, Gene Vincent, & Graeae/Stephen Hawking/Orbital. Oh, and Kenny Rogers singing that line from First Edition’s 1969 hit version of ‘Ruby, don’t take your love to town’ appears twice. The line? ‘It’s hard to love a man whose legs are bent and paralysed’.
‘Crippled with nerves’: the curious case of polio and popular music
Ian Dury, Steve Harley, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Donovan, Israel Vibration, Staff Benda Bilili: all marked by polio. How has that childhood experience influenced their music, (how) have they sung about it, what does the disabled pop body look like on stage, have they been activists or advocates in disability rights movements, what might there be specific to polio and popular music?… Drawing on work from his acclaimed book Shakin’ All Over: Popular Music & Disability, Professor George McKay delves further into this musical-medical narrative.
- Thursday 19 March, 12.30-1.30 pm
- Free admission (reservations essential)
- Barber Institute of Fine Art lecture theatre
- Further information (including directions, accessibility and reservations) available here.