Saturday, 23 September 2017

Whatever Happened to Radio 2?

It's sad how, in the last couple of years, some of the links in the chain that tether Radio 2 to its old Light Programme counterpart have finally broken. Sir Terry Wogan, Sir Jimmy Young, Desmond Carrington and Brian Matthew all no longer with us.

Only Friday Night is Music Night remains the last true bastion of that post-war service, bringing "music for everyone" for the last 60-odd years. Programmes like Listen to the Band and The Organist Entertains sound like they should have been on the Light but are mere striplings of forty-ish years of age.  

In this documentary from BBC Four's Time Shift series Whatever Happened to Radio 2?  concentrates on those specialist music shows which serve the old Light Programme audience. The programme looks at Radio 2 from the audience perspective and includes the inevitable contribution from Gillian Reynolds. There's an emotional Desmond Carrington in his studio "at home in Scotland" talking about the bond with his listeners, the theatre organ enthusiasts flocking to see Nigel Ogden and the continued support for brass band music with Frank Renton and folk music with Mike Harding. There's a typically humorous performance from Humphrey Lyttelton and it closes with a coach load of pensioners attending a live performance of Friday Night is Music Night

Whatever Happened to Radio 2? was first broadcast on 5 October 2007.    

1 comment:

Brian Reynolds said...

Whilst it is true to say that 'The Organist Entertains' is a 'mere stripling'-it started in 1969, initially by Robin Richmond, the same can't be said of 'Listen to the Band' which actually goes back to the mid 1940s (despite what it says in Wikepedia!) . There are, however, changes to the original format. The Signature tune 'Soldiers in the Park' was dropped many years ago. It is now essentially a brass band programme whereas, in its heyday Military bands alternated with brass bands, each performing a programme in the studio. Since early 2015 there have been no studio sessions even by brass bands, (military bands having been excluded much earlier). The programme is now essentially one of records, interviews with personalities and clips from brass band events such as contests.
Both programmes have now been shifted to a 'graveyard slot' no doubt as a prelude to their removal.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...