The best songs have the ability to capture our dreams, emotions and aspirations unlike any other art form. The truly great songs continue to do this for millions of people the world over.
Accompanying the major new BBC2 television series, 'Walk On By' tells the story of these great songs and the world that created them, from Thomas Edison's first cylinder recordings and the birth of the modern music business - New York's legendary Tin Pan Alley - to London's West End and New York's Broadway musical revivals of today, via the hugely diverse heritage of modern musical forms from Ragtime to Hillbilly, Rock to Jazz, and Bossanova to Jewish Folksong.
'Walk On By' tells the stories of many of the greatest talents this music has witnessed: songwriters and performers who changed the course of history with a song. Also featured are the "backroom" boys - the arrangers, pluggers, session musicians, publishers, recording engineers and producers - who make the music so special.
But 'Walk On By' features more that just the music. Through the stories of the songs and their creators it is also a chronicle of the social history of the world of diverse musicians on both sides of the Atlantic. Featured throughout are the most influential 100 songs of the last century: from the golden age of song in the 1920s and 1930s, to blues and jazz, the crooners, rock and roll, pop, rap and much more.