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Who Listens to the Radio?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:53 am
by Jamie Renton
Just listening to Cerys on 6 Music at the moment and expect I'm not alone amongst forumistas in doing so. She's good, maybe the best we've got right now.

I also regularly enjoy Radio 3's World on Three and Late Junction (especially when Max Reinhardt's hosting), David Rodigan's "real authentic reggae" programme on 1xtra and Giles Peterson's Worldwide and Don Lett's Culture Clash Radio on 6 Music. As well as SOAS radio's Wednesday afternoon broadcasts (DJ Ritu, Madeira Verde, Russ Jones and Cal Tjader) and Ian Anderson's fRoots Radio podcast.

There are also programmes that I sometimes give a listen to for the music, in spite of finding the presenter's style grating (Huey Morgan, Craig Charles)

Do other forumistas still have music programmes they regularly listen to? And if so, how do you listen? I'm increasingly going to i-Player and the like (i often use Cerys' programme as a pick- me-up in the office on a Monday morning). That said, I've got a digital radio on my bedside table and love letting it soundtrack whatever I'm reading at night.

I mainly listen to discover new music and tend to get a bit restless when, for example, Cerys plays too much familiar stuff. Generally preferring to be surprised and delighted by what I hear, rather than reassured. Am I alone in this?

So who else is listening to what when it comes to music radio right now?

Re: Who Listens to the Radio?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:22 pm
by Jamie Renton
Jamie Renton wrote:Just listening to Cerys on 6 Music at the moment and expect I'm not alone amongst forumistas in doing so.

Cerys just read out a text from NormanD, clearly I'm not alone in tuning in.

Re: Who Listens to the Radio?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:51 pm
by will vine
Most of us come to be here on this forum as the result of listening to the radio. Charlie was such an engaging broadcaster; A leader, a fellow traveller and a friend. Other people will have had similar relationships with enthusiasts who invite you in like John Peel, Andy Kershaw, Ritu, and Cerys (I too have heard mention of NormanD and Rob Hall on her programme suggesting it could be quite an intimate little clubhouse for us lot).

When Charlie hit the airwaves with Honky Tonk I was bowled over from the start. It became unmissable even though Sunday lunchtime wasn't the most convenient time for me (playing football and drinking). I used to tape it primarily as a way of not missing it, though over years I replayed many programmes over and over (don't ask, sadly the tapes are long gone), but it was the act of hearing it live.....musicians and fans ringing in...the litany of the upcoming gigs...and SO local, like the small american stations I was only just beginning to hear about. That was THE THING. Similarly, Saturday night on GLR also became unmissable. Imagine - staying in on a Saturday night!

As you say Jamie, as well as being wonderful entertainment these shows were a resource, a catalyst, a starting point for exploration, and now there are a number of entertaining resources locally (all those you've already mentioned plus the man in the shed) and a million online radio stations, Itunes, Spotify, and all that stuff yet I generally don't find the time to engage with it. Primarily it is because the programming I want to hear is not available on daytime radio. I have always wanted the eclectic mix that Cerys now plays to be part of the weekday schedule on say Radio 2, complete with timechecks, news, opinion,traffic,weather and all the other stuff. The BBC (FM) just puts things in boxes and pretends to cater for enthusiasts.

I love Cerys when I get to hear her but I'm not staying in to listen. I'm certainly not recording her, and I rarely remember to Listen Again.

If I make a note to listen to anything these days it tends to be Geoff Barker's Rock'n'Roll Party (early Saturday evening coming out of BBC Radio Wiltshire or somesuch).....very retro./ very pop.

Happy listening.

Re: Who Listens to the Radio?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:33 pm
by Garth Cartwright
Listening to Cerys right now and heard young Norman being quoted on goblins and hobbits and such. I think he was requesting a tune by some prog rock outfit. Cerys show is really good. Her only weakness is as an interviewer - in the last few months the likes of Bryan Ferry and some old Bowie drummer were on and I get the feeling she was told "these people attract listeners" so she chats amiably enough but both were pretty dull.Ferry even insisted that they play Roxy's Avalon before the intv began. Charlie obviously never had the likes of those old lags on his show!

Iggy's 6 Music show was brilliant. I tried to listen to Jarvis last Sunday but his music taste s the opposite of mine most of the time and he sounds so soporific. Like you Jamie I listen to Huey and Craig Charles when I get the opportunity but wish both would stop being so damn loud. Huey has some interesting guests - a good interview with Afrika Bambatta a little while ago.

I listen to the World Service more than any other station - they now have a weekly music hour that Rita Ray hosts (at times). Occasionally Radio 4 has a good music or arts programme. As John noted they had David Katz reflecting on the recently deceased Aussie record engineer who helped launch Island Records. And I still check out Robert Elms on BBC London most days - the architect Maxwell Hutchins is excellent on London's buildings (every Tuesday at 12.30-1.30). I occasionally check out Paul Jones' blues show on Radio 2 and Bob Harris on country. But only occasionally.

I'm disappointed that 6 Music tends to keeps such a dull indie rock formula most of the time. Never listen to XFM or 1 XTRA - does anyone have any shows on those to recommend? I think Jazz FM might now exist as an on line station but no idea if it has good shows - I recall it ended up playing Simply Red and Sinatra all the time when it last existed.

Re: Who Listens to the Radio?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:36 pm
by john poole
Garth Cartwright wrote:Never listen to XFM or 1 XTRA - does anyone have any shows on those to recommend?
David Rodigan on 1 XTRA 7 p.m. Sundays as mentioned by Jamie in the original post. (Rodigan is the only person who could conceivably broadcast on both 1 Xtra & R2)

On 6 Music I always find that their guest presenters are more entertaining than the regulars - Neneh Cherry's Christmas Day show (available for a further three weeks) was the best I've recently heard, although the Christmas references were a little out of date by the time I listened.
Some interesting stuff from the archives is rebroadcast on 6M in the middle of the night and then is available on i-Player.

Brian Matthew & Sounds of the 60s is generally the only reason to listen to R2 before at least 7 p.m. Occasional interesting documentaries after 10.00. I still miss God's Jukebox.

On R4 recently I liked Jimmy Cobb talking about Miles Davis and Kind of Blue

Re: Who Listens to the Radio?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:44 pm
by Nigel w
Great topic and some fascinating posts.

I do listen to the radio but it tends to be Radio Four, which I much prefer to TV for news, documentaries and intelligent discussion (including the documentary mentioned by John Poole about Kind of Blue). But sadly I have to admit that I don't listen to music radio any more. In fact, I don't think I have really done so since Charlie went off air and Dylan's 'Theme Time Radio Hour' show ended.

As Will says, music radio used to be "a resource, a catalyst, a starting point for exploration". Given all of that is now available on so many other platforms in more convenient ways and in our own time, how does radio respond ?

Like others, I love Cerys and spent a brilliant week with her when she was living in Nashville a few years ago, when we went ten-pin bowling every night. But I have little interest in hearing her play records I can hear elsewhere; I'd rather hear her reading Dylan Thomas on Radio 4 (as she did over Xmas), which is something unique that you couldn't get anywhere else.

I got briefly re-excited by music radio a few years ago when I discovered that via a single app on my phone I could tune-in to tens of thousands of stations around the world. But I checked out stations from Senegal, Mali, Brazil, Somalia,Venezuela, Congo, Mexico, South Africa, Cuba etc etc. and found that 99 per cent of them were all playing the same international pop shit. South Africa was a particular disappopintment/disappointment (whoops - thanks, Will!) as there is supposedly a law that says they must play 40 per cent local content; it's quite clear nobody takes any notice of it.

One radio trick I have always loved is only telling the listener what they've heard after the record has ended. Charlie used to do it when he played two tracks back-to-back and would announce the first but you had to wait until the second record had finished before he told you what it was. Nic Harcourt used to do it on KCRW, too.

Does Cerys or anyone still do that? I do a few podcast thingumyjigs and am always put under strict orders to announce every detail both before and after the track - which I've complied with most reluctantly, because my instinct was to say, 'have a listen to this and see if you can work out what it is or where it comes from'...

It's all a long way from writing to Uncle Mac on Children's Favourites 50 plus years ago and waiting two weeks for him to read out your request and play Frankie Laine singing Champion The Wonder Horse or Tommy Steele singing Little White Bull (both of which actually happened, btw).

Got to go. The Archers is on Radio 4 in 20 minutes!

Re: Who Listens to the Radio?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:11 pm
by will vine
Nigel w wrote: a particular disappopintment

Some good points Nigel but overshadowed by the world's greatest and most wonderfully appropriate typing error.

Re: Who Listens to the Radio?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:30 pm
by NormanD
It's true, I've been outed by Garth as a prog fan, requesting "Sunset Mandrax Variations" by Orc Land Express. I guess it's all over for me around these parts now. I'll just go back to Stuart Maconie's 'Freak Zone' (BBC Six Music) to console myself.

Re: Who Listens to the Radio?

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:56 pm
by Adam Blake
They won't have you. They'll just call you "Worldy" and tell you to piss off back to your Bundhu Boys records.

Re: Who Listens to the Radio?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:33 am
by Rob Hall
My listening is much the same as Jamie's, though I probably listen to less.

However, the French station FIP - available via their website - is very good. They play a very eclectic mix that is always interesting, and they even throw in the odd classical track.

Re: Who Listens to the Radio?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:22 pm
by Jamie Renton
Will: How could I have forgotten Mark Cole's Shed podcast. Excellent music and an engagingly droll presentation style (Like a cross between John Peel and David Mitchell, as one reviewer put it).

Garth: JazzFM still exists and is generally as bland as when you last tuned in. Peter Young's Saturday afternoon soul, rhythm n blues and gospel show is worth a listen, as are Mike Chadwick's late Saturday and Sunday night programmes, if your tastes run to more contemporary and out there jazz.

John: You're spot-on regarding Rodigan's crossover appeal. I think the reason I like his 1xtra programme so much is that the station has got a separate dancehall programme, allowing Rodigan to mostly concentrate on the real roots reggae he (and I) love.

Nigel: I'm not convinced that music radio has become so obsolete in our brave new highly digitalised world. Really good broadcasters can sift through all the music that's out there and alert us to new and obscure sounds that we'd otherwise miss. Such broadcasters are few and far between as radio becomes increasingly rigid and formatted, but many of those already mentioned on this thread perform that valuable service with aplomb. Tune in and turn on, you have nothing to lose but your Archers addiction.

Re: Who Listens to the Radio?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:53 pm
by Paul S
"...or Tommy Steele singing Little White Bull"
May I just add that I still have that 45 in a picture bag. Not often I get to mention this.
My weekday listening comprises:
6 Music from 6.30 am until I've had enough. (This is usually by 6.45 am. If they slip in a good oldie, I'll stay tuned). Then R4 or R4E with an occasional flip to the largely comedic LBC (Leading Britain's Conversation... FFS? I firmly believe the whole station is run by Chris Morris) for 5 mins then that's it.
In my analogue-only car, It's Robert Elms or R4 dependent on time of day and signal.

Weekends? Cerys above all else if I'm in. I quite often use listen-again for her show.

Re: Who Listens to the Radio?

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:18 pm
by will vine
Isn't the truth of all this that we all want to be either presenting or putting together radio shows ? All those of us who hanker to share our enthusiasms and our discoveries as djs or cd compilers and who know, in the words of Don Maclean,[i] "....if I had my chance. I could make those people dance." [/i] we all know what music radio ought to sound like.

I'll say again what a great voice Charlie had as a presenter but what an influence he could have had working as a radio producer ( I mean aside from producing his own shows). As witnessed today there are still people drawing good money as producers shoving out Manfred Mann's Earthband and Supertramp for heaven's sake!

I look forward to the freewheeling- drive-time- weekend- starts- here Jamie Renton Show while I continue to miss NormanD and Gary's No Reason (lest we should forget).

Re: Who Listens to the Radio?

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:28 pm
by Jamie Renton
will vine wrote:I look forward to the freewheeling- drive-time- weekend- starts- here Jamie Renton Show

This is the closest I'll ever get to that Will: