Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Waggoners' Walk

So there I am listening to David Hamilton’s afternoon show on VHF and at some point I stop tuning to 247 and stay with Radio 2 for Waggoners’ Walk.

Waggoners’ Walk was the daily soap set in Hampstead, North London. A little racier than The Archers was at the time, it ran from 1969 to 1980.

This audio posting includes the last ever edition from May 1980 with the somewhat low-key cliffhanger as to whether Sophie Richmond would accept George Underdown’s marriage proposal. There’s also part of that evening’s Radio 4 Six O'Clock News covering the end of the series which was part of the BBC’s budget cuts at the time, the newsreader is Brian Perkins. Plus I’ve tagged on part of the final omnibus edition, broadcast on AM only complete with its different theme tune arrangement.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Early radio memories

Some of my early radio memories are:
  • Listen With Mother - presumably during the school holidays
  • Saturday morning Junior ChoiceThree Wheels On My Wagon and Terry Scott’s My Brother
  • Sunday afternoons with Family Favourites, The Clitheroe Kid, Pick of the Pops and then Sing Something Simple
  • Dad coming home from work at lunchtime and switching on Radio Humberside who carried The World at One – “The World at One, this is William Hardcastle”
(Audio of some of these programmes to follow)
But I got “into” radio when I started to get into pop music late 75/early 76. In those days we had no commercial radio in East Yorkshire, or North Humberside as they insisted on calling it at the time, so when I got home from school the only option was Radio 1.

The mid-70s was a time when Radio 1 and 2 shared the afternoon programme so I soon became hooked on David Hamilton’s show in all its glorious stereo on VHF. And after he’d finished at 4.30 I’d switch over to It’s DLT OK on 247 metres.
In the days before downloads, and very little pocket money, the quickest way of getting hold of music was to sit with your finger poised over the pause button on your cassette recorder. But before long I was recording the bits in between the records as well, all those jingles and announcements. So started my collection of programmes and jingles that continues to this day.
Unfortunately I didn’t record much of David Hamilton’s afternoon show back in the late 70s, cassette tapes were still a bit pricey for me. But here is a collection of some of those Hamilton jingles with his mystery stars, hotshots, daily dollies and tea breaks. (Apologies for the somewhat variable quality).

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Signing On

So lets start with a signature tune, or indeed several signature tunes.

There was a time when virtually all radio programmes and DJs had their own sig tune. Nowadays you’ll mainly hear them on Radio 4, everyone knows the sig tunes for The Archers and Desert Island Discs even if they don’t listen to the programmes.

A sig tune could’ve been a hit record from the time – Gary Davies with ABC’s The Look of Love, David Hamilton with Listen to the Music by the Doobie Brothers – or it could just be a piece of library music chosen by the show’s producer – Town Talk for Jimmy Young or Number One for Saturday’s Sport on 2. Back in the 50s and 60s every comedy show had it’s own specially composed theme, think of Wally Stott’s for Hancock’s Half Hour or Bill Oddie’s Angus Prune Tune for I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again. 

In the current Radio 1 and 2 schedules there are only a handful of programmes with opening themes that spring to mind. On Radio 2 Pick of the Pops, Sounds of the 60s, David Jacobs, Steve Wright and Friday Night is Bath Night (as Ray Moore used to call it). On Radio 1 perhaps only the Cheesy Song qualifies.   

Here’s a short montage of well known themes used on Radios 1 and 2, no introductions necessary I hope.

Back in 1980 there was a seven-part Radio 4 series on signature tunes called Signing On, written and presented by David Rider. David started with the BBC in the 60s and was in at the start of Radio 1; he appears in the famous DJ line-up photo on the steps of All Souls Church in Langham Place. He went on to present Radio 1’s Playground in the 80s and then devised the Radio 2 radio nostalgia panel game On the Air. Here’s the second episode which focuses on news themes.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Into the Blogosphere

My first tentative steps into the blogosphere.

So what can you expect to see? Well a little about our new life here in France for family and friends. But mainly I'll be using it as an excuse to dust off some cassettes in my archive and post some random bits of radio broadcasts from the last 30 odd years. I'll be posting stuff that I've not found elsewhere on the web. There may be a bit of a thread running through the posts (but possibly not) and I'l give a bit of context where I can.

In the immortal words of Tony Blackburn "so let's away".
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