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 The 50th anniversary of a legendary club night which was central to "one of the most thrilling and vital music subcultures ever" is to be celebrated by BBC Radio Music.





Wigan Casino's Northern Soul All-Nighter began

 in September 1973 and became a place of pilgrimage for fans.

To mark its anniversary, the station will host a "stomping celebration" of the club and the music genre.

Station head Samantha Moy said it would include insights and "brilliant music".

Northern Soul emerged as a movement in Northern England and the Midlands in the late 1960s and climaxed at the Wigan all-nighter


 night, which was first held on 23 September 1973, ran for eight years and saw the club's membership swell to 100,000, despite it being only able to hold about 1,200 people.

It was so popular and well-regarded that in 1978, it was named the best disco in the world by American music magazine, Billboard, which placed it ahead of New York's renowned Studio 54.

BBC Radio 6 Music's night of programming on 9 September will include a special edition of The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show and a broadcast of Stuart Maconie's Northern Soul Prom at the Royal Albert Hall


Charles will welcome a 10-piece soul house band, The Signatures, and special guests such as Wigan Casino DJ Richard Searling and R&B group, The Flirtations, while Maconie's prom includes the BBC Concert Orchestra's symphonic renditions of Northern Soul classics like You're Gonna Make Me Love You, Open the Door to Your Heart, It Really Hurts Me Girl and Hold Back The Night.


Maconie said Northern Soul "was and is one of the most thrilling and vital music subcultures ever".


"It's a dynamic, sympathetic union of the sounds and dreams of generations in the industrial heartlands of the North and Midlands of the UK and their counterparts in New York, Detroit, Philadelphia and beyond," he said.


"At the heart of the scene is this wonderful, dramatic, vibrant and inspirational music, as well as the passion and knowledge of its devotees."


He said those fans "brought the communal rapture" of the clubs and dancehalls to the Royal Albert Hall, "which was on its feet on every tier for the Prom".


"It was a night the like of which that grand and esteemed old building has never seen before."


In true all-nighter spirit, the station will run its celebration through the early hours and into the morning with "hour-long playlists" by DJs who played the clubs that became synonymous with the genre, a Northern Soul Special Morning After Mix and a party-closing reappearance by Maconie.


A BBC representative said his return would be to "bring listeners the original versions of Wigan Casino's famous Three Before Eight" - Time Will Pass You By by Tobi Legend, Long After Tonight Is All Over by Jimmy Radcliffe and I'm On My Way by Dean Parrish






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