22 November 1961. Elvis is number in the UK hit parade with His Latest Flame. Jimmy Dean's Big Bad John tops the Billboard Hot 100. The Biblical epic King of Kings is the latest cinema release. Macmillan's government has implemented a wage freeze and is considering joining the Common Market. JFK is not yet a year into his Presidency and the date two years on would prove fateful. Meanwhile at Hull's Hedon Road Maternity Hospital I was born.
But this is a radio blog. So what, I hear you cry, was on the radio that day? The BBC Programme Index helps fill in the blanks but you can't beat going back to the Radio Times listings.
My edition of the Radio Times is for the north of England so on the Home Service we only get the first edition of Today with Jack de Manio. Replacing the second post 8 am news edition is Today from the North with John Watmaugh. It's term-time so schools programmes take a chunk out of the daytime hours. Wednesday means Choral Evensong and from 5 pm programmes badged as Junior Time in what was the old Children's Hour timeslot include a drama The Immovable Object produced by long-time Manchester-based producer Trevor Hill. From the current perspective the evening schedule seems a little odd, the Home Service carries the Bizet opera Carmen in four acts, so taking up most of the night. However, the Third Programme has the drama, in this case an adaptation of Un Caso Clinico (A Hospital Case) by Italian playwright Dino Buzzati.
Of course it wasn't just the BBC you could tune into to. There were any number of foreign stations, perhaps the AFN, but more than likely it'd be 208 metres for some alternative night time listening on Radio Luxembourg. The schedule for the 22nd can be found in the issue of Disc ("the top record and musical weekly") tracked down online by Mike Barraclough. Essentially its full of lots of very short pre-recorded sponsored shows with not much clue, at least in this publication, as to who the DJs were
6.00 Record Show
7.00 Pops at the Piano
7.17 Wednesday's Requests
7.45 Jimmy Young Sings
8.00 Honey Hit Parade
8.15 In the Groove
8.30 Sound of Fury
9.30 David Jacobs
10.00 Teen and Twenty Club
10.30 Record Show
11.00 Request a Golden Guinea
11.15-11.30 Hits for Six
12.00-12.30 Midnight on Luxembourg
Meanwhile over on the telly ITV offered us Zoo Time from Whipsnade Zoo, The Adventures of Sir Lancelot, Coronation Street (so some things never change), Rawhide, the musical programme Pop! Vintage '48 and The Blackwell Story, a drama about America's first woman medical student Elizabeth Blackwell. Over on the BBC it was an afternoon of live football with Kenneth Wolstenholme commentating of the England v Ireland international, The Flowerpot Men, Tales of the Riverbank, Cliff and the team with Tonight, the US series Frontier Circus, Peter Dimmock with Sportsview and the start of a new 6-part drama A Chance of Thunder by Z Cars scriptwriter John Hopkins.