Sue Norris explores how a B-side by a little known American singer, Gloria Jones became a cult hit on the 1970s English northern soul scene, before being turned into one of the most recognizable pop songs of all time by Soft Cell. Credits: Universal Music TV, Universal Music Enterprises, Parlophone UK, Interscope Records, The Island Def Jam Music Group, Tacca Musique
Helen Brown looks at how the most successful Disney song of all time became an unlikely favourite among prisoners and a “coming out anthem” for the LGBT community. Credits: Walt Disney Records, Black Crow Records
Ian McCann looks at how a turn-of-the-century Neopolitan ballad was adapted into a hit for Elvis, before becoming an anthem for ice cream lovers and football fans alike. Credits: Bongiovanni, Delta, AP Music Ltd, Nuova Canaria, Randy’s Group, Inc, Autarc Media GmbH
Peter Aspen looks at how The Eagles turned a few improvised chords into one of the most iconic, and enigmatic, rock songs of the 1970s. Credits: Rhino/Elektra, Parlophone UK, UMG Recordings, Elemental Records, Sony Music Entertainment
Sue Norris on how Cissy Houston and Gladys Knight respectively transformed the sound, and meaning, of Jim Weatherly’s country number. Credits: X5 Music Group, Jim Weatherly, Carinco AG, Capitol Records LLC.
Harriet Fitch Little on how Dolly Parton’s anti-work anthem went from the movies to the White House to a muddy field in Glastonbury. Credits: Sony Music Entertainment, Capitol Steps, Pumpin’ UK Records, Dolly Records, BBC/Glastonbury
Amy Walker on how a saccharine love song was transformed by Otis Redding into a provocative and impassioned soul classic. Credits: Baierle Records, Cool Note, 104pro Media, Daxa production, Digital Remasterings, ABKCO Music & Records Inc., Rhino Atlantic, Universal Island Records, Roc-A-Fella Records, LLC/Shawn Carter
David Cheal traces the song’s journey from a forgotten 1950s melodrama to an enduring love ballad covered by Nina Simone, David Bowie and George Michael. Credits: Old Style, Blooming Jazz Records, Rhino/Warner Bros., Parlophone UK, One Little Indian Ltd, Lakeshore Records, Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd.
You can listen to the FT's Podcasts directly on this page, listen on Stitcher, or subscribe to our Podcasts on iTunes. To listen to earlier episodes, select the show title from below or view a month from the Podcast Archive.