Episode from the podcastDesert Island Discs

Yusuf Cat Stevens, musician

Released Sunday, 27th September 2020
Good episode? Give it some love!
Yusuf Cat Stevens is a singer-songwriter who first enjoyed success more than 50 years ago.

He was born Steven Demetre Georgiou in July 1948. His Greek Cypriot father and his Swedish mother ran a restaurant in the West End of London, and he helped out there from an early age. He also became interested in music, writing and singing his own songs, partly inspired by the success of The Beatles.

Under the name Cat Stevens, he was just 18 when he had his first hit, and soon found himself on tour with Engelbert Humperdinck and Jimi Hendrix. His career came to a sudden halt in 1969, when he contracted tuberculosis and was forced out of the limelight for a year of recuperation. It was also a time of reflection. He emerged a changed man in 1970 - a sensitive singer-songwriter whose albums, including Tea for the Tillerman, and Teaser and the Firecat, sold millions of copies around the world.

While enjoying fame and success, he also thought more deeply about religious faith, an interest which increased after he nearly drowned while swimming in the Pacific. He became a Muslim in 1977, changed his name to Yusuf Islam and walked away from music. He soon became one of the UK's most high-profile Muslims, and was often asked to comment about aspects of Islam. For two decades, he didn’t touch his guitar, but in 2006 he made a comeback with an album entitled An Other Cup. He has released three more albums since then and has recently recorded a new version of perhaps his best-known work, Tea for the Tillerman.

Yusuf lives in Dubai with his wife Fawziah. They have four daughters and one son who has followed in his father's musical footsteps.

DISC ONE: America from West Side Story by Anita (Rita Moreno), Bernado (George Chakiris), The Sharks And Girls
DISC TWO: Tutti Frutti by Little Richard
DISC THREE: Twist and Shout by The Beatles
DISC FOUR: March From A Clockwork Orange (Beethoven: Ninth Symphony: Fourth Movement, abridged) by Wendy Carlos
DISC FIVE: The Wind by Cat Stevens
DISC SIX: Allah Uya by Ali Farka Touré
DISC SEVEN: Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood by Nina Simone
DISC EIGHT: As by Stevie Wonder

BOOK CHOICE: The Masnavi I Ma'navi of Rumi: Complete by Maulana Jalalu-'d-din Muhammad Rumi (Author), E. H. Whinfield (Translator)
LUXURY ITEM: Bendicks Bittermints
CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: As by Stevie Wonder

Presenter: Lauren Laverne
Producer: Sarah Taylor

Episode Reviews

This episode hasn't been reviewed yet. You can add a review to show others what you thought.

This podcast, its content, and its artwork are not owned by, affiliated with, or endorsed by Podchaser.
Rate Episode

Share This Episode

Recommendation sent

Join Podchaser to...

  • Rate podcasts and episodes
  • Follow podcasts and creators
  • Create podcast and episode lists
  • & much more

Moderator Stats

ID
75438872
Visibility
visible
Podcast ID
42135

Episode Details

Length
35m 5s
Explicit
No
Episode Type
Full

Episode Tags

Do you host or manage this podcast?
Claim and edit this page to your liking.