It’s been a good week. As I write this I’m on the last leg of the journey home from London.
On Monday night The Radio Academy gave us another thumbs up for our Friday night show. In the wee wee hours Richard and I reflected on where we’d come from: We first met in the BBC canteen and asked each other if we knew anything about Country Music. Having discovered we collectively knew nothing we figured out we should pay the stuff we loved and hope for the best. I don’t know what it’s done for you but it works wonders on us every Friday.
What’s been brilliant is your enthusiasm and commitment to the music and support for our efforts. When I’ve been out at gigs I’ve met you and you’ve told me what you’ve liked and been kind enough to save me from hearing too much about what hasn’t worked for you. Many of you have sent in recommendations and some of you have been listeners who have said – hold on – ‘I make music too’ – and sent us your own tracks and albums. Over the course of time we’ve played a lot of that. Together we’ve rejoiced at new things we’ve found and often we’ve all fallen back in love with what we heard many years ago. Some nights you’ve been good enough to join me in the foyer at the BBC and we’ve shared in the magic of some great performances and wonderful conversations. However all of it would be meaningless without knowing that in the far north of Scotland, in the western isles, in the Kingdom of Fife and in the Tweed Valley people have listened in their kitchens, cars, tents, garages and workplaces. From all over the world people are listening on their computers. So this is from Richard , Kirsten – who couldn’t join us on Monday and me. Thank you for listening.
As my train gets closer to Central and the gloaming wraps itself around the city of Glasgow I’m thinking of the first few nights someone let me loose on the airwaves. The joy of pushing the fader up and knowing I was playing loud and clear over Scotland was immeasurable. The first texts back from people all over the country sealed what I had always thought: radio is and always has been the most magical way to hear music. Perhaps it’s the surprise, perhaps it’s the ability for a song to come in where you least expect it or perhaps it’s the sheer ubiquity of the medium – but it works for me every time. When I used to listen to Bryan on Brand New Opry I often went to the garage on Friday nights for sweets for the kids. How many times I circled the block several times until a song finished I cannot tell you. On Friday nights the best I can hope for is to get you circling the same way.
We’ll hear why this man was very glad to be making music once again.
In case you don’t know it’s Simone Felice. Formerly a Felice Brother and one half of The Duke and The King joins us with a session and stories from a near death experience that have changed the way he thinks about things. It’s a fascinating encounter and one I hope you’ll enjoy.
We’ll also remember what we love about Country Music with a little reminder of this man…who I first heard on that Opry Show..
If you don’t remember the face then I’m sure you’ll remember the music of Thad Cockrell.
We’ll hear from My Darling Clementine, Tom Jones, Eugene Twist, Fire Mountain and Sweet Billy Pilgrim.
And we’ll catch up on some great new releases from………. And I’ll continue to remind you how important some of these albums are we’ve played recently. It all starts at five past eight on Friday evening on BBC Radio Scotland.
I’m very late in being able to catch up with last week’s show, but a big wow to Tom Jones’ cover of the Low Anthem’s “Charlie Darwin”. My earliest memory of hearing about Tom Jones was as a toddler in the Seventies, on finding a ballpoint pen in the bread bin in my parents’ kitchen. On asking what it was doing there and if I could helpfully move it to a more appropriate location, my mother protectively stepped in and told me it was the very pen my father had used get her his autograph after a chance meeting in Heathrow Airport some years previously. It was a prized possession afforded great status (its home in the bread bin aside) and so Tom Jones was always this curious but clearly much lauded figure to me from a very young age. I’m not sure he’s even been better musically than he is now, though. In my mind’s eye, at least, he’s come a long way.