Sometimes I get over enthusiastic. It’s not a trait we Scots excel at usually, but there are times reader, there are days I gush. It usually comes when someone expresses disappointment on my behalf that I’m not available on a Tuesday night to go to football/ gigs/ ballroom dancing/ attend real-life drawing (I made some of these up).
As I slowly let down those seekers of my social attention I confirm that they mustn’t feel in any way sorry for me. I, I tell them, am the happiest cove alive. If my 16 year old me….hell if my 25, 35 or 35 year old me could imagine old-codger me getting to bring in a pile of records and share them with my chums over the airwaves all of these ‘Mes’ would have clumsily and collectively punched the air.
I remember the summer of 75 so well. I worked in McGill Bros. Sports Department (bottom of the Hiltown, people) where, through my high-end skills in keeping the Tayside public dressed in Adidas T Shirts and convincing them they should spend the Dundee Fortnight in one of our tents, (we sold camping gas and sleeping bags too) I was able to purchase my first real stereo. Record deck by Garrard, Pioneer amp and Wharfedale speakers, thanks for asking.
There wasn’t much left for buying albums but sometimes sacrifices were made and records were bought anyway. On last week’s show one of the albums purchased that summer was played on vinyl – oh the joy. At that point the only people I could play records to were the occasional unsuspecting visitor to my lonely downstairs den. My big sister once got so frustrated at my changing albums over she implored me to keep the record playing. It felt like she was suddenly speaking Klingon. Surely she could see the joy was in picking the tracks and mixing it all up? How wonderful, I imagined, it would be were I able to fade out one song and surreptitiously drop in another from a different record. When I heard the term segue-way I felt my life began a new chapter.
So this Tuesday and as a bonus for me, on Wednesday too, I’ll be in our studio in BBC Scotland playing out the records which most excited me over the last seven days. In fact some of that is not true – I’d have to have a much longer time on air to do that – but I shall try to self edit and bring you the highlights.
Kenny Rogers then….
On this week’s show we’ll be celebrating the 80th Birthday of the great Kenny Rogers. We’ll bring you new music from Phosphorescent, Joshua Hedley, our fab new discoveries, Mountain Man and The Nude Party as well as welcome return visits to Maren Morris, Madison Violet and Richmond Fontaine. We’re allowing ourselves a little nostalgia this week too as we celebrate our ten years on air.
So…it’s not that I don’t enjoy special nights, sessions or live concert shows. It’s really just that playing out records over the airwaves is still the best part of this job. Join me if you can. Tuesday on BBC Radio Scotland from nine and, for the next few weeks, BBC Radio 2 on Wednesdays at the same time where you can hear my New Tradition.