BBC Radio 4 > Soul Music : Fast Car

I was honored to be asked by Eliza Lomas, a Bristol-based audio producer, to help her contact people who had testified about “Fast Car” in my book “Their Stories with the Debut Album”. In the radio episode she was working on for Soul Music, a radio program about “pieces of music with a powerful emotional impact”, the idea was to juxtapose the testimonies of several people whose lives had been impacted by the song “Fast Car”. The result is a beautiful episode that I highly recommend.

Listen to the episode online

The episode can be listened to online here. It will only be available for a year. It’s also available on Apple Podcast.

Here’s the presentation of the episode as published on the BBC Radio 4 website:

‘Fast Car’ is one of Tracy Chapman’s biggest hits, with listeners from around the world finding striking connections with their own lives in the song’s story.

It was released in April 1988, and that summer, the American singer-songwriter performed it to a global audience of 600 million at Nelson Mandela’s 70th Birthday Tribute. This broadcast catapulted Tracy and the song to super-stardom, as it became a top ten hit on both sides of the Atlantic and received three Grammy nominations.

Ever since, ‘Fast Car’ has resonated with people around the world. The lyrics describe a working woman trying to escape a cycle of poverty, dreaming of a plan to leave in a “fast car”. She speaks of wanting to get out of the life she finds herself in, living in a shelter, and driving towards the city to find something better.

This episode features the personal stories of Fitzroy Samuels in Kingston, Jamaica; Priscilla Munson in Indiana, U.S; Gemma Brown in Gateshead, UK and Dev Cuny in California, U.S. We also hear from Alister Wright in Sydney, Australia whose band, Vlossom, covered Fast Car; and Nigel Williamson, music journalist who has met and interviewed Tracy Chapman many times.

Produced by Eliza Lomas, BBC Audio Bristol

“Fast Car”‘s cover by Vlossom

The episode features an interview with the Australian band Vlossom, who made an original version of the song “Fast Car”

Alister from Vlossom takes us behind their cover of Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’ in this interview.

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