Monday, 9 April 2012

And the Next Record Is…

Do you remember those radio shows where you could phone in and request any record you liked, a member of staff would then go scurrying round the record library to find it and when the DJ had finished his fill-in chat it would, hopefully, it’d be spinning on the turntable. Ah, for the days before computerised playout systems!

Now I’m pretty sure that such a programme went out on BBC Radio 1 in the 1980s. Was it just on a Friday? Mike Read or Peter Powell, or someone else? I’ve been racking my brains over this so any answers would be jolly welcome.

As it turns out the notion of challenging the BBC Gramophone Library to find a disc goes back about 50 years. During the 1960s the BBC would often broadcast from the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition at Olympia and one such show was Exhibition Choice, going out in the Twelve O’Clock Spin slot. In the programme the DJ, Keith Fordyce or in this case Geoffrey Wheeler (of Top of the Form and Winner Takes All fame but who did a stack of radio in the 60s/70s), would talk to visitors who’d then ask for their record choice.

The theme for Exhibition Choice was Polka for Strings by Dolf van der Linden and his Orchestra. Earlier this evening Colin Berry, on BBC Radio Three Counties, recalled this programme and played the theme. (BBC Local Radio online still suffers from the odd popping sound). 

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