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Paul Gambaccini with America's Greatest Hits

06/12/2014

Duration: 1 hour, 57 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Radio 2Latest broadcast: on BBC Radio 2

Paul Gambaccini presents tracks from this week's US charts and hits from the last six decades.

Each week, songs are played by artists who have been inducted into 'The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame'. Working alphabetically through the list, tonight Paul plays Blondie's American number one 'Heart Of Glass'. We also hear 'Blue Jean Bop' to mark the induction of The Blue Caps - backing group for Gene Vincent.

In 'A Matter Of Life And Death' Paul celebrates the birthday in 1946 of Frankie Beverly, by playing 'Back In Stride' by Maze. We pay tribute to Jimmy Ruffin, who has recently died, by uncovering a rare version of 'What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted' with a spoken introduction. 'It's Not The Same Old Song' highlights 'Stay' by Jackson Browne and a 2013 hit with the same title by Rihanna featuring Mikky Ekko. In the feature called 'Beyond The Sea', Paul plays tracks from the biggest selling albums by UK artists in America. Tonight, we hear songs from LPs by The Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton. 'The Other Number Ones' highlights records that reached number one in the 'Cashbox' American chart, but not in the 'Billboard' Hot 100. Tonight's examples are by Norman Greenbaum and Dionne Farris.

Our R&B number ones are from 1984 and this week by Ashford & Simpson and Sam Smith. We hear Country number ones from 2000 and now by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood. This week's featured past and present Rock number ones are by U2 and Hozier. The number one album in America is 'Four' by One Direction and Taylor Swift has the best selling song of the week - 'Blank Space'. Show less

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