Maddalena Fagandini, a real blues lady – by Giles Oakley

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Maddalena Fagandini devised new ways of teaching and learning foreign languages that are still used

"In the early years of her career, it was extremely difficult for women to progress in the BBC, but Maddalena Fagandini became a brilliant mentor and trainer of younger programme makers. She had a wonderful ability to make people feel valued, as I found when working with her on The Devil's Music for BBC1 in 1976. Filming blues musicians in black communities in the deep south and the urban ghettos of the north, she put people at their ease, from the children dancing to the nine-string guitar of Big Joe Williams in a field in Mississippi to the bar staff in James DeShay's Sante Fe Lounge in St Louis or the audience in the 1815 Club on Chicago's West Side."

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