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Baker's Dozen

Cabin Fever: Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s Favourite Music
Stephanie Phillips , May 5th, 2021 09:24

Beverly Glenn-Copeland takes Stephanie Phillips through the albums that fuelled his love for music over the years, from the soundtracks to secluded woodland trips to meetings with younger artists inspired by his work and how he found the work of Sting


Rodgers and Hammerstein – South Pacific
I love Rodgers and Hammerstein; they are my favourite composers of musicals. Brilliant lyrics, brilliant music. It’s musically full and it's singable but not because it's simplistic. It's very musically sophisticated, but you can't help but sing the stuff. So they've remained my favourite. There are other composers who have specific things that I like as well, but I don't think there's any Rodgers and Hammerstein that I've ever heard that I didn't like.

What it was about was really topical, in terms of people's experience of being away from home. My father was in the Navy in World War Two, so I learned enough about that time to be able to understand what was going on and what was not going on. Blacks were all over the place, and for the most part unheralded and unnoticed, but they were risking their lives just as well with everybody else, and dying along with everybody else. So, my father was away in the Navy, my mother was holding out three jobs when I was a tiny child, so it was affecting my life. My mother is stressed my father is going to die, everybody else was experiencing that too.

I learned a lot about that time. So, this particular musical South Pacific, even though there's not a Black face to be seen anywhere, which is not too unusual at that time, to say the very least the music reflected to me what was going on for the people who were stationed somewhere away from home. I can understand that. And falling in love with somebody, because we're just human so you fall in love with somebody, but then, of course, you can't really marry this person because this person is a different race, and then the loss of that and the pain of it and all kinds of stuff.

There were certain songs in there that were just so beautiful and I could really understand them. I could feel where that was coming from. I felt like they understood what was happening and were able to translate that into music.