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As winter comes to a close, Inside the Music has been busy with spring cleaning. We're embracing the thaw by re-releasing old shows unavailable until now. Each week we'll release a batch of classic Inside the Music broadcasts, from popular music movements across the world, to bizarre experiments in sound. We'll even bring back some classics from our regular series My Playlist, and we'll recap the historic RPM series, which discussed 5 crucial albums in Canadian music. Join us every Tuesday for more and more episodes from the archives.

Tuesday March 26th 2013

The People’s Music is a radio documentary series exploring the early to late 20th Century history and development of folk music in English Canada. Through five one-hour shows, this series reaches back through time to introduce and reacquaint us with the people, ideas, voices and sounds of a music that has been an elemental part of Canadian life, politics, culture and identity for almost a century. This is a part of our history not told until now – offering us a fascinating and entertaining insight into the music that has touched, in one way or another, almost everyone’s lives in this country - and many beyond its borders.

Folk music historian Gary Cristall shares the results of almost a decade of intensive research into Canadian folk music history - from its earliest days to the end of the 1970’s. The People’s Music honours those creative and dedicated souls who gave us this wonderful musical heritage that serves as the foundation of much contemporary creation.

Part 1: Birth of a Genre

The first part of The People's Music traces folk music from the 1910’s, when it was unknown to all but the folk themselves and a handful of collectors, until 1949 when Newfoundland joined Canada and brought with it some of our best loved folk songs.

1 Click to Listen to Part 1: Birth of a Genre


Part 2: The Genre Comes of Age

We enter the Fifties, when folk music began to spread its tentacles across the land, often through the left-wing children of Eastern European immigrants.

2 Click to Listen to Part 2: The Genre Comes of Age


Part 3: The Birth of an Industry

The Sixties were the long decade that began when the Kingston Trio hit the top ten with Tom Dooley and ending in the early seventies when CanCon regulations helped create a Canadian music industry.

3 Click to Listen to Part 3: The Birth of an Industry


Part 4: If I Had a Song

This is the story of how contemporary songwriting became synonymous with folk music and how a handful of songwriters became Canada’s best known cultural exports - and its conscience as well.

4 Click to Listen to Part 4: If I Had a Song

Part 5: We Are The World

The People's Music concludes with the contradictory origins of what today is called world music, and how it played a vital part in folk music from its earliest days until it flowered in the 1970s.

5 Click to Listen to Part 5: We Are the World



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Inside the Archives: The People’s Music

As winter comes to a close, Inside the Music has been busy with spring cleaning. We're embracing the…


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