4 July 2010

Radio Days


This one comes courtesy of my lovely friend Martin who posted a link to a Nat King Cole song on my Facebook page today and set into motion a train of thought. Listening to Nat croon away reminded me of Sunday mornings when I was a child listening to Family Favourites on the radio, or the wireless as we called it back then.

I don't remember the minutiae of Family Favourites but recall that people wrote in with requests for friends and families all over the world and the programme would link up to far flung places where their loved ones were working or had emigrated or were serving in the forces. This I suppose was all in the days before it was common to have a telephone let alone actually make international calls! It's so easy to keep in touch now that we become lazy in communication.

I digress. Back to the point. When I was a child the radio was always on. Before the birth of Radio 1, Mom listened to the Light Programme and my formative years were spent watching my Mother twist and shout and vacuum to the Beatles amongst others. Once Radio 1 had burst upon us, the radio was rarely tuned into anything else. On Sundays we listened to the end of the Chart Show and the announcement of this weeks new number one in the car on the way back from my Grandparents. Then Radio 1 finished and we 'joined' Radio 2 for Sing Something Simple. I was always glad we were close to home then!

The Top Twenty Chart was such an important part of my growing years, never missed it and often recorded it after my grandfather gave me one of those new fangled cassette recorders! It was of course linked in to Top of the Pops which is an entirely different blog.

I don't remember the name of the programme that was specifically for children that was on weekend mornings for a couple of hours but I do remember Ed Stewart and Tubby the Tuba and Milly, Molly, Mandy, The Laughing Policeman, Puff the Magic Dragon and all the other records that were played. Again this was a request show, so we the listeners chose the music that was played. Heady days.

When I got to being an unruly teenager in the 70s the old Radio 1 Road-show with Smiley Miley et al was de rigour and you were just not part of the scene unless you attended at least one road-show during the summer. One Saturday morning we waited for hours to catch a glimpse of Tony Blackburn who was opening the new shopping centre in Kingstanding.

At school we were forced to listen to a school morning assembly broadcast once a week and all I really remember about this was that it was incredibly boring. Mr Bennett, our Head Teacher had his faults but I think he gave us reasonable assemblies when he was running the show but I guess the man needed one morning off a week. We also used to have to do Music, Movement and Mime from the radio. That was all standing pretending to be trees blowing in the wind type of stuff.

I loved Noel Edmonds and DLT but loathed Jimmy Saville and that programme he did early on Sunday afternoons when he gave you points if you could remember the brackets in the title of some song he was playing from 20 years earlier! Like they were real points!

I still love the radio and have it on most of the time but rarely listen to music stations now. It's all Radio 4, Five Live, World Service....how boring and old I have become or maybe just too lazy.

2 comments:

  1. You didn't become lazy Lindi. You've just heard it all before. Listen to Radio 2 in the afternoon and one will hear Steve Wright doing the same show he was doing in the lunchtime Radio 1 slot in the late seventies. It is good to be reminded of these times on occasion and to remember them as we do. To cling to them, not to move on is a form of mental atrophy. But that is what many do.

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  2. I love music Martin but I have to listen to what suits the mood and this is not always available on the radio and I suppose that's where the lazy comment came from; I'm too lazy to try new stations that may suit my musical taste because it requires an investment of time I don't have whereas the voices of talk radio can whitter away, keeping me company and no effort is required to change that...well apart from pressing the selected buttons on the DAB radio!

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