Radio Days

A short post today consisting of left over reflections from  a previous post on the primacy of radio.

I started making conscious decisions about what I wanted to hear just as the golden days of steam wireless were coming to a close. Muir and Norden were no longer writing for Take It From Here, but they could still be heard performing on quiz shows, and if you were lucky, you might catch excerpts from “Balham: Gateway to the South” on record request programmes at the weekend. The Goons had already closed with Wallace Greenslade saying “That’s it. You’ve had your lot.” Hancock had transferred to television, as had Galton & Simpson. But there was David Hatch’s team from the Cambridge footlights and (thank heavens) Barry Took and Marty Feldman were busy writing for Kenneth Horne. (Once again, how did they get away with it?)

The radio set the timetable and created the soundtrack to our childhood.  Saturday morning trips into town were preceded by a children’s request show where popular songs would play alongside novelty records such as Sparky’s Magical Piano, or Jimmy Edwards and the ‘Take it from Here’ team singing Little Red Monkey. Sunday morning was always time for The Archers while the Sunday Dinner was being prepared to be later consumed in the company of Jean Metcalfe and Two-way Family Favourites – an indication to we ignorant and innocent children that The War was not that long ago and a poignant reminder of the existence of the Cold War. But the sound we dreaded most of all was the chilling and slightly sinister close harmony singing of the Cliff Adams Singers, for it meant the end of a weekend of freedom, the ritual preparations for school tomorrow.

Then bath and bed.

Good night everyone.


One thought on “Radio Days

  1. Interesting the difference a few years make. I too have memory of the (much-loathed) Cliff Adams Singers and Sing Something Simple – so hated that programme! – or at least, the last five minutes of it, but with opposite evocations. For me, through gritted teeth, that sound was endured and experienced as the overture to excitement and pleasure – even terror, at times – of the BBC’s drama serial that followed afterwards. (The most traumatising of which was “The Slide”, 1966) We always listened to that over the evening meal. So, allowed to stay up later, you see, and my radio weekend continued beyond Sing Something Soppy 😉 ! Lovely piece again.


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