"Your true colors...are beautiful, like a rainbow..."
Billy Steinberg's lyrics were originally inspired by his mother but his song writing partner Tom Kelly recognised it's universal appeal and with a slight re-write, it became the song that Cyndi Lauper made famous the world over.
Growing up in a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ken Kidd could never truly be himself. Watching Cyndi Lauper perform True Colors on MTV showed him that it was OK to be his authentic self. Years later he describes his pride at watching the Rainbow Flag being raised above the Stonewall National Monument as he and other LGBTQ campaigners sang that same song.
Lesley Pyne learnt to sing 'True Colors' with her local choir. It's a song that resonated with her more than she had ever expected. After six attempts at IVF, Lesley had had to come to terms with the knowledge that she wouldn't be able to have children. It wasn't easy. It has taken years of digging deep to work through the grief but now she helps others to find their true colours and firmly believes that they can be beautiful, like a rainbow.
And in 1999, Caroline Paige, a jet and helicopter navigator in the Royal Air Force, became the first ever openly serving transgender officer in the British military. She rose above the extraordinary challenges placed before her to show her 'True Colors' whilst serving her country on the front line in the war on terror.
Featuring songwriter Billy Steinberg and music from The Rock Choir
Produced by Nicola Humphries.
God Only Knows
"God only knows what I'd be without you"
For artist Kim Lynch God Only Knows is a song that she has carried with her from the moment her father played it to her mother back in their 1960's London home and it's the song that resonated throughout her parents 65 years together.
Meanwhile in land locked Burundi, another couple are bought together from two very different cultures. Sharing the same hopes and prayers, they began their married life by blending a traditional wedding ceremony with the Californian song that spans decades - and continents - to touch souls wherever it's played.
And across the ocean, Erin Prewitt tells her love story and describes how tragic and unexpected circumstances meant she has had to learn to live out those iconic lyrics and discover what it means to be without the person you love.
With reflections from musician Al Kooper and author Barry Miles.
Produced By Nicola Humphries.
Prelude a l'Apres Midi d'un Faune by Debussy
Claude Debussy's Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun speaks to artists of different kinds. Jamaican poet Ishion Hutchinson recalls hearing it through an open window in Kingston Jamaica and being mesmerised by its beauty, but not knowing what it was, setting off on a quest to find out and to write a poem that captured his feelings about the piece. Babak Kazemi was training to be a doctor in his home city of Tehran when he heard it for the first time. The piece changed his life and led him to abandon his medical studies in Iran to move to the UK to become a professional conductor and composer. Artist Fiona Robinson specialises in interpreting Debussy's works on paper. She explains how she has been moved to visualise the Prelude, while Debussy's biographer Paul Roberts credits it with having changed classical music forever.
Katya Jezzard-Puyraud recalls how the music lifted her out of a difficult time after the birth of her first son and how she uses it now to help people with anxiety and stress to relax.
Producer: Maggie Ayre.
A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum
A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum: Why has this surreal track remained enduringly popular for over 50 years? Soul Music hears the stories and memories of those who love it.
Released in May 1967, A Whiter Shade of Pale was Procol Harum's first single. It went to No. 1 in the UK, and stayed there for six weeks.
Musicologist, Allan Moore, deconstructs the track and dismisses the almost universally accepted idea that it mimics Bach's Air on a G String.
Film-maker, Chris Rodley, remembers the impact it had on him when he heard it for the first time, in the dead of the night, on Radio Caroline.
Musician, James Pollard, explains how he created a wedding march for a friend using this track as inspiration.
Thriller writer, Nelson DeMille, describes his year in Vietnam as 'the year without music', but A Whiter Shade of Pale is the one song that reminds him of his time there.
Singer, Sarah Collins, suffered a brain tumour shortly after the birth of her second child. Making the decision to sing again was fundamental to her healing process. As her Dad, Phil, explains 'Whiter Shade' is his favourite song. He was very moved when she decided to record it for her YouTube channel.
Produced in Bristol by Karen Gregor.
Songs of the Civil Rights Movement
Actor Clarke Peters narrates a special edition of Soul Music marking fifty years since the assassination of the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King on April 4th 1968.
"If in doubt, pray and sing" an activist recalls how music was used as part of Dr King's non-violent resistance movement.
This edition of Soul Music tells the stories of the songs behind the Civil Rights Movement including the spirituals and freedom songs that were integral to the struggle. In the 19th century, music became a tool for protest and resistance among the enslaved peoples of the American South. The programme hears the stories behind some of the most popular anthems and Freedom Songs that were later used as part of the civil resistance movement that eventually led to voting rights and desegregation. From Swing Low Sweet Chariot and We Shall Overcome to Amazing Grace, Strange Fruit and A Change Is Gonna Come, witnesses to and participants in the Civil Rights Movement recall how songs were such a vital part of the story.
Producer: Maggie Ayre.