Ian Dury, Steve Harley, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Donovan, Israel Vibration, Staff Benda Bilili: all marked by polio. How has that childhood experience influenced their music, (how) have they sung about it, what does the disabled pop body look like on stage, have they been activists or advocates in disability rights movements, what might there be specific to polio and popular music?
George McKay is Professor of Media Studies at the University of East Anglia and an Arts & Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellow for the Connected Communities Programme. He writes about alternative cultures, and the cultural politics of popular music, festivals and gardening. His most recent book is Shakin’ All Over: Popular Music and Disability (University of Michigan Press, 2013), while forthcoming this summer is his collection The Pop Festival: History, Music, Media, Culture (Bloomsbury). His website is georgemckay.org.
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