BBC Radio 2 Needs You! Help tell the story of modern Britain in 50 songs

Stuart Maconie will host the landmark series, set to air in 2013, and welcomes immediate contribution from the British public

Although 2012 still has another four months left to run, BBC Radio 2 is already getting listeners excited for the new year. The station announced today the launch of a brand new 50-part series to air in 2013, and welcomes the involvement of listeners, asking for their stories to feature in programme.

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The show, titled The People’s Songs, will be presented by Stuart Maconie, and will attempt to tell story of modern Britain through 50 records.

Maconie says he aims, with the help of the British public, to “tell the story of the last seven decades via the records that sound-tracked this dramatic period; a period of conflict, social change, parties, prosperity, plenty, povery, peace and war.”

Through music, the series will look at the cultural development and evolution of the world today. Themes will include post World War II optimism, the punk years, mass immigration and the dangers of celebrity.

Controller of BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music Bob Shennan says “Music plays such an important part in people’s lives. This series will be moving and evocative in equal measure.”

Listeners do not have to wait until next year to start their contributions, however, as Radio 2 is already appealing for people to share their stories, memories, photographs and comments online now

The website for The People’s Songs will unveil a list of ten songs each month. They will be tracks from landmark moments in Britain’s history. The full collection of 50 songs will be revealed in early 2013.

The first ten songs in the series are:

We’ll Meet Again – Britain in World War II

Two Tribes – The threat of Nuclear war

She Loves You – You never had it so good: Post austerity Britain and a time of plentiful employment

Rock Island Line – Skiffle: Britain’s first DIY pop music

God Save The Queen – When punk rocked jubilee Britain

My Boy Lollipop – The Caribbean comes to Britain: When the first wave of West Indian immigrants came to the UK.

Rehab – The Price of Modern Fame

Whiter Shade of Pale – Britain Skips the Light Fandango: Britain’s first gentle whiff of drug culture in pop music.

Ebeneezer Goode – The second Summer of Love: When the moral panic over ecstasy, club culture and dance music in the early 90s came to a head.

Je T’aime – Sex please, we’re British: Banned in a number of countries, this song went to number one in the UK music charts and we willingly absorbed it into our pop culture.

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To get involved and share material, viewers can get in touch via the show’s website at: www.bbc.co.uk/peoplessongs