For those in who can access it BBC4 has a feature, the first of three which promises -
"Songs are the soundtrack of our lives and it takes a kind of genius to create a true pop masterpiece. But, as Neil Brand argues, there is more to consider in the story of what makes a great song. Neil looks at=14pxy moment in the life cycle of a song - how they are written, performed, recorded and the changing ways we have listened to them. He reveals how it is the wonderful alchemy of all of these elements that makes songs so special to us.To open the series, Neil investigates how songs were recorded for the first time, the listening revolution in the home that followed and the birth of a new style of singing that came with the arrival of the microphone - crooning. He also looks at the songwriting genius of Irving Berlin and the interpretative power of singers Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby."
BBC4 link here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04y4qpt
21:00 hours GMT today, The programme will remain available over the internet for awhile but might not be accessible outside the UK