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Radio review: Off-beat take on the impact of Purple Rain on people's lives

Purple Rain - Prince

Soul Music Radio 4

Soul Music is back – the programme about a particular song and its impact on people’s lives.

In one episode, Bobby Z the drummer for the Revolution tells the story of Prince and his famous hit Purple Rain in an off-beat way.

It’s zany, it’s romantic, it’s beautiful.

Purple Rain just worked, he said.

“It was like meat n potatoes, it just felt right from the first bar to the last crescendo”.

The song, said Bobby, is “in a test tube living, breathing .. his (Prince) DNA is in it, all of ours is swirling around in it.”

“It’s turned into an anthem, a hymn … it has become beautiful to perform.

“He’s taking us somewhere, like a lot of singers do, but with Prince you wanna go.”

Susan Rogers told stories from band tours and how they’d all bet on how long Prince would spend on that spectacular guitar solo … it could go on for 25 minutes.

Sindhu Vee first heard Purple Rain when she was growing up in India.

Her sister was studying in the United States and came home with her clothes, her suitcase, the bottom part of her hair - all a shade of pinky purple.

Then she threw the young Sindhu a tape and on it was Purple Rain.

She loved it. She begged for a poster of Prince.

When it arrived, it was a bit erotic looking so she put it up behind her bedroom door hoping her mother would never see it there.

One day she came home from school and her mother called her in and pointed to a pile of ashes – that’s your disgusting, pervert poster, she said.

In the same episode, weather presenter Judith Ralston explained the rare phenomenon that is purple rain … I didn’t know it actually existed.

But the most moving story of Purple Rain came from Kevin Clarke.

He was life threateningly ill and in intensive care, unconscious for a month.

His sister said he loved the song so a nurse played it.

When they told him after his recovery, it jolted him back to a time when he was not able to react but he could hear the song and he remembered his sister and a friend laughing as his body moved to Purple Rain.

Soul Music is a beautiful listen every time.

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