BBC Radio 2 launches 1950s pop-up service

A pop-up radio station celebrating the music and culture of the 1950s will launch on Thursday.

BBC Radio 2 50s will feature shows from Len Goodman, Marty Wilde and Chris Evans on digital radio until Sunday 17th April.

A one-hour special hosted by Chris Evans and his son Noah will feature music from Buddy Holly as they share their love for music which bridges generations. The father and son team will bring their time spent together in the car with cassettes of the Fifties star to Radio 2 listeners.

Other programmes will feature music and performers from the decade. Leo Green hosts four special editions of his Monday night Sounds of the 50s programme made especially for the pop-up service. Radio 2’s Don Black and Clare Teal will introduce some of their favourite Fifties tracks and there’ll be special versions of the Radio 2 Folk show, Paul Jones’ Rhythm and Blues, Jamie Cullum’s Jazz Show and Bob Harris Country.

Steve Wright will present a 50s special of his Love Songs show, Desmond Carrington hosts a 1950s special and Huey Morgan runs down the Number One hits of the Fifties.

Guest presenters include Fifties rock star Marty Wilde. “The Fifties produced the most wonderful times for teenagers around the world, and I will remind everyone just how good it was for one exciting hour on Radio 2,” said Marty.

BBC Radio 6 Music also celebrated the era with programmes last weekend. Iggy Pop checked out what was happening in music in the 1950s with New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff. Other specials included ‘Little Richard In His Own Words‘, Richard Hawley hosted a fifties-themed Rock ‘n’ Roll Sunday Service and Stuart Maconie looked at “the more avant garde music from the 1950s”.

“Only the BBC can present such a diverse season of multiplatform programming looking at the decade where popular music began – the 1950s,” said Bob Shennan, Controller of Radio 2 and Director of BBC Music.

BBC Radio 2 50s is the second pop-up digital radio station from Radio 2 this year, following a country themed service last month.