IWC, a Banijay Group company, today announces it is producing I Can Go For That: The Smooth World of Yacht Rock, a 2×60’ documentary series for BBC Four. The shows, which are set to air this summer, will explore the smooth sounds of the 70s and 80s.
In I Can Go For That: The Smooth World of Yacht Rock, Katie Puckrik will explore a period of time where Los Angeles studio-based artists like The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan and Hall & Oates produced smooth R&B and married it to adult themes about longing, aspiration and melancholy, to create a unique brand of soft rock. In its day, this music was never categorised as a genre, but now, in the 21st century, it has be known as Yacht Rock due to its finely crafted nature.
Since Puckrik considers Yacht Rock the soundtrack to her teenage years in America, she argues this critically neglected genre of music is in need of a re-appraisal. The first of this two-part series will focus on the 70s and the second, the 80s, and will feature contributions from John Oats (Hall & Oates), producer Mark Ronson, the writer who popularised the term Yacht Rock JD Ryznar, and elite musician Jay Gradon, who played on tracks by Steely Dan and Hall & Oates. The second episode features members of the band Toto.
Katie Puckrik said: “When I was growing up in the Virginia suburbs in the 70s and 80s, Yacht Rock was the music that sailed out of my girlfriends’ cassette players, the older boys’ muscle cars, and the grown-ups’ cocktail parties. I’ve never stopped loving Steely Dan, Hall & Oates, Michael McDonald, and the rest of those smooth movers, because they twang my bittersweet spot of escapism and melancholy. The magic of Yacht Rock is that just listening to it makes us feel sexy, happy, and rich. I think of it as ‘millionaire’s make-out music’ – the sound of endless summers.”
Executive Producer Franny Moyle said: “Katie Puckrik is perfectly placed to guide us though this underappreciated musical genre, and her knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject has helped us create this fantastic series. This music was written in a sun drenched past, but it feels timeless.”
The series has been commissioned by Emma Cahusac, Commissioning editor BBC Arts and Music and is Executive Produced by Franny Moyle for IWC. Ben Whalley produces and directs. I Can Go For That: The Smooth World of Yacht Rock will be distributed globally by Banijay Rights.