And a Happy New Year to You…

It’s the gift of the DJ and (in our dreams) we imagine the listener punching the air in delight when it comes off. A story I love – which is I am reliably assured is true – that my hero and mentor, whispering Bob Harris can spend the best part of a day getting them right. It’s the segue. It’s sometimes defines how we hear a song; the simple occurrence of a song being sequenced in a particular order means we may hear it completely differently? I wish I could tell you how many times I’ve whizzed by a killer song on the first spin of the album only to swerve of the road in delight when I hear it pumping out of the radio.

The segue too is the gift of the artist. One that has been going through my head today comes from a favourite album of mine from 1974. Heart Like a Wheel by Linda Ronstadt kicks off side two with The Everly’s When Will I Be Loved and moves seamlessly into Lowell George’s ‘Willin.’ I still love hearing it for the sheer delight of the running order. Listening back to it today it’s great to remember that Phil Everly’s masterful grasp of pop lasted for 2 minutes and 5 seconds. Genius.


So much has been said and written about Phil Everly that I feel no need to add anything here that hasn’t been better said elsewhere. I didn’t grow up with the brothers’ music as their fame had come slightly too early for me. I probably thought (mistakenly) they were old fashioned and square and it wasn’t really until much, much later that I realised how great they were and what a fantastic bofy of work they created. Bob’s Stanley’s piece in the Guardian tells the story brilliantly..

On Friday we’ll play some suitable Everly’s music and we’ll be talking the Brothers again the following week. I have been promising to dedicate a show to the Brothers for some time and I’m only sorry it will now have to be in such sad circumstances.


As it’s the beginning of the year we have lots of new records to play you. Step forward Beth Neilson Chapman, Roseanne Cash, Sheryl Crow(oh yes) and Bruce Springsteen. Anthony D’Amato has a new album coming and we will celebrate these in the context of the forthcoming Winterfest that is Celtic Connections. Lots of people will be coming into the city of Glasgow over the next few weeks and we hope to divert a few of them over to AC towers to share some songs and stories.

This Friday we will fashion a running order that will excite and delight you. We will celebrate country music in the best way we know by playing some gems and playing you the music that could only have been created because of the wonderful music that went before. You never know, we might even have a car-swerving segue of two for you.

It all starts at Five past Eight this Friday on BBC Radio Scotland. 


2 thoughts on “And a Happy New Year to You…

  1. Well… personally speaking, it’s a pure and unfettered joy to see the blog return. It’s been missed!

    I now recall fondly the years I spent working night shifts when Whispering Bob Harris occupied the wee small hours on Radio 1, a time that afforded me the opportunity to listen to so much great music whilst being paid for the privilege, and to experience many perfectly judged segues. It was a period that I’m sure influenced my taste in music profoundly, whilst that perfect marriage of sound and/or theme across two or more songs chimed with me then, and does so still: a form of storytelling that explores themes and draws parallels between narrators, and somehow feels like the mixtape writ large.

    I’m particularly excited to hear from Rosanne Cash’s new album, but am looking forward in general to the abundance of sparkling new riches on offer. It’s sad, as you say, to be commemorating the Everly Brothers under such circumstances, but I will look forward to that over the next fortnight, too.

    Happy New Year, then, and here’s to scaling the dizzy heights of AC Towers once more!

  2. Just to add a huge thank you for that Mary Chapin Carpenter play and dedication, capping off a great show! (We can now add “High Hopes” so the albums I’m looking forward to this year as well, as Springsteen’s rendition of “Dream Baby Dream” was amazing.) That’s only the second song I’ve heard from MCC’s upcoming album and, predictably, I’m looking forward to hearing it in full, and her Celtic Connections show—even though it means I can’t make it to the AC’s “Americana Artists in the Round”!

    Thanks again, then, for a lovely highlight with which to end the week.

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