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Told through countless archive clips, numerous celebrity interviews and a narrator, the eight-episode BBC series tells the story of one hundred years of popular song. Starting with the thesis of popular song developing through the joining of the musical traditions of European Jews and African blacks in USA in early 20th century, the series continues to cover the jazz era singers, the birth of rock'n'roll, the new-found role of the pop producer, the multiple style developments from Britain and America in the 1960's, the country music blossom period, the use of popular music on stage and on screen, and the background of the modern-day manufactured pop artist.

Episode 1 - From Russia With Love

The history of pop music starts in the twenties and thirties with Gershwin, Rodgers and Berlin.


Episode 2 - Stardust

This episode examines the singers and musicians of the Jazz Age. While crooners were touring the United States, gifted musicians like Louis Armstrong were playing jazzy tunes and collaborating to influence pop music. 


Episode 3 - The Road To Rock 'N' Roll

The Deep South in America influenced rock & roll long before Elvis appeared on the scene. This episode traces the fifty years of music development in the South. 


Episode 4 - Producer Pop

This episode examines the impact of teenage record buyers on the history of music. 


Episode 5 - Atlantic Crossing

The sixties ushered in the British invasion. The Beatles and The Rolling Stones inspired the Beach Boys and Bob Dylan. These rivalries, collaborations, and innovations creates a decade of musical genius. 


Episode 6 - After The Goldrush

The psychedelic sixties turn into a mellower seventies. The folk and country rock ushered in a different type of artist: The Grateful Dead; Joni Mitchell; and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. 


Episode 7 - Soundtrack

This episode traces the history of the movie theme song. It explores the impact of Broadway on movie soundtracks and looks at film scores from yesterday and today. 


Episode 8 - Pure Pop

This episode analyzed the relationship between performer and song. Can a song be a hit with a different performer? It also examines manufactured pop groups and their effect on pop rock.