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Lennon's Jukebox

A few years ago, a portable jukebox was discovered which belonged to John Lennon in the 1960s.

The jukebox contains a fascinating tracklist, written in Lennon's own handwriting, of 40 records including soul, R&B; and rock & roll.

These are the songs which shaped Lennon's musical education and they reveal many of the original sources of inspiration for his later songwriting.

This South Bank Show takes John Lennon's jukebox back on the road to meet the artists featured on it who influenced Lennon and The Beatles including:

The Isley Brothers whose screaming vocal style The Beatles copied on Twist & Shout; American R & B singer Ritchie Barrett who sang the original Some Other Guy; blues guitarist Bobby Parker whose guitar lick The Beatles borrowed for I Feel Fine; Delbert McClinton who influenced Lennon's harmonica playing on Love Me Do; Donovan who taught Lennon folk guitar style in India.

We also meet Little Richard, Fontella Bass, John Sebastian of The Lovin' Spoonful, Steve Cropper of Booker T & The MGs, legendary songwriters Leiber & Stoller and pop superstar Sting.

This musical feast has original performances by Gene Vincent, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Booker T and The MGs and, of course, The Beatles.

There are also new, impromptu performances by many of the contributors.

JOHN LENNON'S JUKEBOX, narrated by Lennon himself through archive radio interviews, gives new insight into the creation of Lennon's songwriting genius.

What the jukebox reveals is how his originality was born out of imitation.

Says Lennon; “In the early days, I would often write a melody, a lyric in my head to some other song because I can’t write music.

"So I would carry it around as somebody else’s song and then change it when putting it down on paper, or down on tape - consciously change it because I knew somebody’s going to sue me or everybody’s going to say ‘what a rip off’ ”.

Produced by Initial (part of Endemol UK) for ITV1 Producer & Director - Christopher Walker

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