One of the reasons (of too many to mention) I love the radio is the sheer surprises it brings. Not only does it spring songs on you when you are least expecting it but often it manages to do that at just the right moment. I’ve told Roddy Hart this before but there are nights when I’ve taken a little detour round our little local park on a Tuesday night just to hear the end of something he’s been playing as I wind my way home. I now have to thank him for how I discovered Gabriel Kahane.
The late Mr Wogan was the king of the poignant audio drop. On the way back from a school run he could turn your life round with a choice spin just at the point when you needed it most. I still remember the times when he’d ease in Frank Sinatra singing Rod McKuen:
There was a girl in Portland
Before the winter chill
We used to go a-courtin’
Along October hill
And she could laugh away the dark clouds
Cry away the snow
It seems like only yesterday
As down the road I go
Love’s Been Good To Me has all the vital elements of a Wogan moment. A sense of nostalgia, lost love, regret but a reminder that there’s more in this world for which we can be more grateful than resentful. I had an old musician friend who couldn’t hear a great song played on his car radio without parking up the vehicle and listening until it was over, such was his deep love of any given track. I’m not sure I haven’t done the same thing.
It’s the moment, the time, the place and then the music…film and TV editors know all about it. From Harry Nillson in Midnight Cowboy to The Chi-Lites, in one of the most devastating scenes from The Sopranos, the song starting and ending in the right place locks the visuals for ever.
On this week’s AC we’ll celebrate the talent of a young woman who, for me, knows everything about timing and the joy of delivering a song when it’s most needed. At The Hydro earlier in the year Kacey Musgraves brought herself up to the mini stage at the back of the hall in a celebratory song for people of all sexual orientations, Rainbow…a truly perfect moment from Golden Hour. Six months on we’ll revisit that time we spent with Kacey before Golden Hour came out and before we saw that particular show. You can listen again to the conversation with Kacey who perhaps knew better than anyone just how perfectly her new album was about to be received. This late in the year I’m delighted to tell you the only album that rivals it for my affections is the one released a few months ago by her husband, Ruston Kelly. You can hear Kacey talk about him too!
Earlier on we’ll catch up with our Nashville correspondent and find out why his day job – being a great songwriter – is meaning there will be more of Bill DeMain than usual on this week’s show. In case you wondered, Bill is firstly a musician and songwriter with Swan Dive as well as being respected author of many books on rock and pop and a regular contributor to Mojo, Entertainment Weekly and Performing Songwriter. For us, of course, he is the best man to lead us and any of our AC friends on the greatest tour of Music City, ‘Walkin’ Nashville.’ Bill joins me in the first hour of the programme with lots of local news where he’ll also pay tribute to Tony Joe White who died quite suddenly over the weekend.
Listen out too for music from Larkin Poe, Neilson Hubbard, Austin Lucas and Mary Bragg singing a new song she wrote with the correspondent himself!
We’re on air from five past nine on BBC Radio Scotland this Tuesday evening.