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Hope Research Inspires Musical Tribute

A well-known Irish country singer has written a new song inspired by the work of a Liverpool Hope University academic. 

Bobby Roche is a Dublin-based Country and Blues performer, whose 2019 album Playing for the Reserves, is available through Amazon

And now Bobby has penned a new work - Pan Am Clipper - having been inspired by a book written about the famous Pan American World Airways airline by Hope’s Associate Professor of History Dr Bryce Evans. 

The research itself, published by Bloomsbury at the end of 2020, is titled Food and Aviation in the Twentieth Century: The Pan American Ideal. 

It’s garnered headlines in the mainstream press across the globe, with articles in Tatler, The Daily Telegraph, Forbes and the Daily Mail, to name just a few. 

Speaking about how it also provided musical inspiration, Dr Evans explains: “I was invited to appear on RTE Radio in Ireland to discuss the book. 

“And Bobby later got in touch to tell me the conversation had inspired him to write a song about Pan Am. 

“It’s certainly a first for me - and I was very pleasantly surprised! It’s an extremely kind gesture and while I’m no expert on Country music, to me it’s a nice song.”

You can hear the RTE Radio interview for yourself here and you can listen to the song track here.

The book itself documents the rise and fall of Pan Am, which operated from 1927 to 1991 and invented the idea of luxury air travel, becoming a byword for US power and influence in the process. 

Founded by forward-thinking Juan Trippe, Pan Am also pioneered the art of mass travel on large aircrafts, becoming the launch customer for the legendary Boeing 747 in 1970.

And behind the expensive opulence and airline food that wouldn’t look out of place in the fanciest French restaurant it was the airline’s proud stewards who made things tick.

In an interview with Hope late last year, Dr Evans explained: “Pan Am represents the elite, carefree Golden Age of air travel - embodying the razmataz and excitement of getting on a plane, particularly in the era of pre-mass travel. 

“Pan Am was the vanguard of American global appeal, especially in the context of the Cold War, where it became a tool of soft power for the Government.

“And a huge part of the appeal was Pan Am’s proud, professional flight attendants and the food they served to passengers. 

“At one point in the late 1950s even economy passengers could expect dishes such as stuffed guinea hen served on a plate with entrees and finished with a garnish of parsley. 

“In first class you could expect caviar and eggs cooked to order. 

“Meanwhile the President Special menu of the 1970s offered a main of sole meunière in a rich brown butter sauce with parsley and lemon, hen marinated in madeira sauce and steak drenched in butter.”

Full details of the book can be found here:

Published on 02/02/2021