Monday, 7 October 2019

A life in Music: Ruby Turner

She's only been knocking the ball out of the park for four decades


This is a companion blog post to accompany the first episode of my new podcast series: Lives in Music

The podcast has just been published: go here to listen and/or download or go to the player at the bottom of this post. 

The plan is for the series to appear everywhere podcasts are to found, but it’s early days.That link should get you started. 


Romantic notions? Pah.


I had a theory that there must have been some sort of genius music teacher in Handsworth back in the seventies. Because for three years straight, that mixed and punchy Brum inner city suburb delivered an act each year that went on to shake the foundations worldwide: Steel Pulse, Apache Indian, and Ruby herself. 

And, face it, kids like Robin Campbell of UB40 and Ranking Roger of the Beat were hanging out at the shebeens, soaking it all up. Handsworth did a lot for popular music back in the day.

I put that notion to Ruby during our Lives in Music chat. She, as you'll hear, slapped it right down as my being romantic and fanciful.

There's not a lot of music in this podcast: copyright regulations prevent that. Any music has to be podcast-friendly. So no copyright infringements, and anything used must have the agreement of the performer. So there are no clips of Ruby to listen to, apart from when she bursts into song in mid conversation. That's a shame, because the stuff she does with Jools Holland and with her own band is bloody marvellous. But skip down to the links list, and you can explore to your heart's content.   


The Lives in Music Podcast Series


There are ten episodes in this first series of Lives in Music. They will appear weekly from October until early December 2019. I'm now working on Series 2. The central thrust is to honour and highlight those people who have, literally, spent their lives in music, whether it's making music or empowering those who do. 



Also now published:  


2 - Steve Ajao: show notes here; download / subscribe / stream podcast here 



Links and credits

Download (and share) the podcast here: Lives in Music: Ruby Turner 

Or stream here:



Ruby Turner's website
Jools Holland's website
Find out about Fado music
Handsworth Evolution: a documentary I made in 2010.
Ruby Turner on YouTube

The theme music for this series is by local band Big Q Fish. 'Boksburg Jive Toon' was written by Brian Neil, and recorded at the Jam House, Birmingham, in 2017.


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