Stop me if I’ve told you this before. It’s the BBC canteen circa 2008 and I am meeting a man called Richard Murdoch who has lately arrived from Radio One and between us we’ve been tasked with putting a show called Another Country on air. I’m parking the car thinking to myself, ‘Who is this guy? Why am I doing this? I know this won’t work…and I’m about to get found out.’ (add your own here) We meet over a BBC table. Me ‘So, Richard, do you know anything about country music?’ Him ‘No.’ Me ‘Neither do I.’ Us….’so shall we just muddle through?’
And from that promising start we have been muddling through very happily for the last few years. Occasionally, however, I get found out big time. Look, I love country music but I’d be the first to admit there are prairies of missing information out there. A couple of years ago my live agent (a man who knows a thing or two about country) said to me ‘Marty Stuart’s coming over.‘ I think he expected me to organise a conga right there. I realised as I put the phone down I had not been reacting properly. Who is Marty?
I started to search around and the more I learned, the more I wanted to know. Then it really clicked. I met Marty on that fateful frosty morning, bestsonned and beaming and coming towards me in the BBC carpark. I got it. Marty is the keeper of the flame.
From collecting missing memorabilia of Hank, Patsy and his old boss Johnny C and opening up RCA Studio B to record his albums to hosting one of the best nights of country you’ll ever experience…Marty’s Late Night Jam at The Ryman…to writing,producing and performing country songs like someone who means it - i.e. your heart might just get broken – Marty is the man who can explain everything you love about country music.
So you’ll be pleased to know that we will spend hour two of Friday’s AC with the man himself talking about his new album, Roger McGuinn, Stonewall Jackson and listening to the music of his Fabulous Superlatives.
Also we have Ry Cooder, Patterson Hood, Bruce Springsteen and lovely new things from Get Well Soon, Karima Francis and The Jim Jones Revue.
I have one more night on Radio 2 this Sunday sitting in for Sir Bob Harris and look forward to you hearing Rachel Sermanni in session plus some great music from Frank Ocean, Neil Young, Joan as Policewoman, Admiral Fallow, Judee Sill and Bill Withers. Not bad huh?
Friday starts at five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland and I’ll be on Radio 2 from just after midnight on Saturday. Do join me if you can.