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The enquiries of a butterfly mind. Rhod Sharp, Up All Night on BBC 5 Live for 26 years, hears from creatives cut adrift by Covid in the opening numbers of a podcast aimed at putting him back in the conversation.
35 Episodes
Rhod Sharp and Tony Staveacre present a never-heard interview with a giant of music, Astor Piazzolla. Piazzolla inspired generations of musicians with his classically-trained approach to a form once heard only in the brothels of Buenos Aires. He called it New Tango. Such was the initial hostility to it in Argentina that he was forever grateful he had grown up learning to box on the mean streets of New York, alongside his schoolmate Jake LaMotta, The Bronx Bull. Here, in Tony’s carefully preserved recording from 1989, is Piazzolla in his own words, richly illustrated with his thrilling music. Afterwards he said this was his best-ever performance on record. Sadly, it would also be the last time that this brilliant sextet were heard together in public. We are privileged to hear it now.
Allan Schiller launched his professional career as a concert pianist at the age of nine, playing Haydn's D major Concerto with the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra at Leeds Town Hall. He went on to make his name as a soloist, playing for audiences near and far with great international orchestras. In this second part of “Music Made Me” we can hear a shy and gifted young student grow into his illustrious career while coming to terms with life in 1960s U.S.S.R.
Allan Schiller is a modest maestro, acclaimed in The Guardian as the best Mozart interpreter of his generation. Now aged 80, and still playing his Steinway for several hours a day in his Bristol home, he has taken time out to write and record an account of his life in music. Here it is, read by the author, who also provides the elegant musical illustrations.
It was 50 years ago to the day when four of the very few people in the world who can actually say “I was there” talked to RHOD SHARP about The Beatles’ rooftop concert on January 30, 1969. In a conversation broadcast on BBC 5 Live’s Up All Night in 2019, Let It Be director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Apple Corps’ Kevin Harrington and Ken Mansfield and Metropolitan police constable Ken Wharfe provide a fresh take on the events depicted anew in Peter Jackson’s extended documentary.
Robert Moore of Britain’s ITV News stepped out one January morning a year ago into quite possibly the biggest scoop of his career. By luck and judgement he and his crew would be there in the Capitol reporting on the first time in US history that the building had been breached by a hostile force: a force of self-described American patriots. 
At least 5000 Black soldiers fought on the colonists’ side in the American war of of independence, despite a tempting offer to join the British forces. When a new school is dedicated to one of them, ALGY WARD tells Rhod Sharp the story of Marblehead’s Joseph Brown.
Rhod Sharp gets into the rich yachting history of Marblehead Massachusetts with the yacht designer and builder CHRIS HOOD.
An extraordinary gamble in early 2020 made RICK BOYD rich. But since we spoke back in March of 2021, it’s been a torrid spring for Bitcoin investors. Would you be OK with it? Is he? And whatever happened after HEATHER CAIRNS realized some of the torrent of wealth that came her way when Google went public? It’s all about risk, after all.
It all began with… a Chinese dinner? Or did it begin when HEATHER CAIRNS would invigilate the tests taken by two “child prodigy” graduate students in the engineering faculty at Stanford. Anyway, one thing led to another. Heather eventually returned to her home town on Boston’s North Shore where people still call her The Google Lady.
One hot day in June, Rhod joins BETTE HUNT, the emeritus historian of Marblehead, Mass. for a walk through the town’s almost 400 year old graveyard. Old Burial Hill connects the living with the dead in some strange ways as they discourse on Thornton Wilder’s famous play, George Washington’s favorite general, the Marblehead woman convicted at the Salem witch trials and the fairly undiscussed existence of a “negro” burial site in this quintessentially Yankee town. 
The BBC’s New York correspondent sees the USA that so excited him as a youth sapped of vitality, politically divided against itself but in an old saying, always headed to hell and never getting there. When America Stopped Being great merges Bryant’s reporting experiences with a historian’s perspective in a way which, as the Washington Post said, gives foreign laments a fresh arc.
He tried to hawk them from his wheelbarrow and even built a backyard museum for them without success. After his death some of his paintings were used as building material by his cash-strapped son. And yet as his huge output of historically significant work became better known in the 1950s, “a pretty big shadow” was cast over the art of JOJ Frost. What prevented people who owned his paintings from coming forward? Rhod hears from one of the mother and daughter team who have done more than anyone to try to bring the rest of Frost’s surviving “canvases” to light. 
Who hid the painting in the wall of that old house? Rhod delves into the story of the eccentric artist JOJ Frost, who tried unsuccessfully to sell his pictures from a wheelbarrow, and whose paintings were worth less during the Depression than the boards they were painted on. Yet he left an incomparable account of a vanished way of life. And his paintings keep on turning up.
Rhod Sharp discovers the pilot of a never-to-be-made podcast series. This cornucopia of offbeat stories from the first week of July 2008 may be of special interest to fans of Rhod’s appearances on BBC 5 Live’s Up All Night.
The outrageous success story of RICK BOYD. Since being furloughed by the pandemic from his job managing a small resort in southern Florida, he has done so well trading Bitcoin that he says neither he nor his wife he will ever have to work again. 
As city planners ponder the possibilities of leaving lockdown, London has become Ground Zero for improving the experience of commuting on two wheels. But at whose expense? The UK government has already committed over half a billion pounds, but one London council removed a brand new cycle lane a mere seven weeks after it opened. Join Jeremy Vine and me as we explore London’s looming Cycle Wars.
At high noon, April 22.1889, a remarkable thing happened. The “Unassigned Lands” of Oklahoma which had not been “assigned” by the federal government to either of the traditional owners, the Cherokee or the Chickasaw, were thrown open to settlers from the east on a first-come basis. They came “like Zulu warriors” writes Simon Winchester at the start of one of many gripping stories in his new book, Land. Is land something to be owned, or just taken care of? What’s the answer to Tolstoy’s question, how much land does a man need?
The American ultra-right is back in the shadows, or at least keeping its powder dry. Seeing a massive show of state force with 25,000 National Guard packing Washington DC, and high alerts in state capitals, the far right is picking its fights. Nor will it have the country’s Chief Executive and his enablers minding its back. RHOD SHARP looks to the Wednesday’s Inauguration of President Biden and beyond with The Nation magazine’s National Correspondent JOHN NICHOLS.
In the City of the Angels, one in three people have now been tested positive for Covid. America’s Covid epicentre - by numbers - is testing its citizens at Dodgers Stadium and vaccinating them at Disneyland. From Los Angeles, LA Times senior staff writer PATT MORRISON. 
A president bound over to the Senate for impeachment yet who said not a word about it in his latest video. What really sent President Donald Trump ballistic in the words of a senior aide quoted by Politico was the decision by Twitter to block his output permanently. ETHAN ZUCKERMAN is associate professor of public policy and information at U Mass Amherst and he has studied social media since it was in diapers (nappies to you). What does it mean to “deplatform” a president, and where do his followers go from here?
Comments (5)

love Rhod Sharpe, kept me company on many late nights for last 20 years on R5L

Dec 13th

Neil Rankin

Not downloading or streaming (unknown error)

Jul 16th


Am I the only one struggling to get these to play?

Jul 16th
Reply (2)
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