18/10/2012 10:32 pm  #1

Bing on Radio: BBC ''Music in the Air''

The following message received from Malcolm Macfarlane:-

''In the last BING magazine I mentioned the show described below. The date of the first show has now been switched to November 13 to tie in with the BBC's 90th anniversary.''

Music In The Air
Your editor had a call from Kevin Howlett in May. Mr. Howlett is an acclaimed Beatles historian and he produced his first documentary about the Beatles’ BBC recordings as a young Radio 1 producer in 1982. It made headlines around the world because Kevin tracked down many BBC Beatles sessions not heard since their original broadcasts. Out of the 53 BBC programmes with live Beatles music, just one was in the BBC Archive. Following further investigations, Kevin produced the award-winning The Beeb’s Lost Beatles Tapes in 1988.
Kevin told me that he was now producing for BBC Radio 2 a six-part history of music radio called Music in the Air which will be presented by Paul Gambaccini. Naturally they want to cover the importance of Bing’s radio work and Kevin had been going through the extensive data from Lionel Pairpoint’s book on the BING magazine web site. He had also been listening to many of Bing’s radio songs and he feels that Bing has been vastly underrated in recent years.
I supplied him with various radio recordings he wanted and we talked through some of the references to Bing in the script. Our Mr. Crosby will be featured in the first two shows in the series. The first one will be broadcast on BBC Radio2 on September 26 and it can be heard on the Internet at www.bbc.co.uk/radio2. Should be an interesting programme!


12/11/2012 2:36 pm  #2

Re: Bing on Radio: BBC ''Music in the Air''

''Music In The Air'' - the title of which seems to have been altered to ''Broadcasting is Here to Stay''!
Just a reminder about this broadcast for tomorrow.

''Paul Gambaccini presents a six-part history of music radio in the UK and USA.

The opening programme of the series reveals that the first piece of music ever played on radio was Handel's Largo - the aria Ombra Mai Fu from the opera Xerxes. Reginald Fessenden featured a recording of this music during a broadcast from the coast of Massachusetts on Christmas Eve 1906. And Paul traces the developments made by the early radio pioneers from this moment, to the end of the Second World War.

Daily transmissions by the British Broadcasting Company began 90 years ago on 14 November 1922. Pete Murray and David Jacobs recall the broadcasts of dance bands from the Savoy Hotel and the programmes of the country's first DJ Christopher Stone. American historian Craig Havighurst, meanwhile, recounts the origins of country music station WSM in Nashville and Grand Ole Opry, the longest-running live music show in the world. We also look at the network sponsored shows broadcast in the States during this era, when the most successful radio star was Bing Crosby, who presented the Kraft Music Hall for ten years.

Before the war, the BBC was seriously challenged by commercial stations such as Radio Normandy and Radio Luxembourg beaming entertainment shows to millions of British listeners. The outbreak of war in September 1939 led to the BBC playing a vital role throughout the conflict. As radio critic Gillian Reynolds recalls, popular music became more available on the newly established Forces Programme. And Vera Lynn remembers the success of her request show Sincerely Yours. A livelier American presentation of music was heard following the launch of the Allied Expeditionary Forces Programme on 7 June 1944 and, although aimed at troops in Europe, it was also heard in the UK.

Link here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00z1yvy

     Thread Starter

14/11/2012 12:43 pm  #3

Re: Bing on Radio: BBC ''Music in the Air''

The first episode of this series skipped rather rapidly I thought from the very beginnings to WWII and the forces broadcasts, and I think that much of potential general interest from the period was ignored.

Thankfully Bing and the Kraft Music Hall did get a reasonable segment with some all too short clips of some early broadcasts, plus clips taken from interviews of the 1970s with Bing reminiscing about earlier times.  The only other major star to achieve lengthy mention was Vera Lynn.

The original title was ''Music in the Air'' which should have been kept. Changing the title to imply broadcasting in general is misleading - if it was such it would surely have included such matters as comedy, sport, outside broadcasts and so on. Possibly even a look at the technical side. The focus was certainly on music.

The series extends to 6 episodes with the next covering the end of WWII to the 1960s, so the impression could be that the whole lot will be weighted in favour of more recent material, unless later episodes intend to cover more specific aspects.

     Thread Starter

29/11/2012 8:55 am  #4

Re: Bing on Radio: BBC ''Music in the Air''

The second episode of the series had a further substantial chunk of Bing.

If anyone is interested in the broadcasts but for some reason cannot access them, email me.

     Thread Starter

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