Category Archives: Music

HOSPITAL RADIO LEIGHTON OLYMPIC SHOW BROADCAST 8TH AUGUST 2012

Four years ago I fulfilled my London 2012 Olympic volunteering duties at Old Trafford. The next day I was doing my regular shift for hospital radio, gathering requests and airing my “Angie’s Allsorts” music show. This is my very own dedicated tribute to the Olympic Games ideal, with Olympic year hits, Olympic sports trivia and musical references to every decade of the modern day games since the 1900s.

Playlist

ELBOW with FIRST STEPS (2012 BBC theme tune- 2010s)

Request (outside usual time slot): BUDDY HOLLY with IT DOESN’T MATTER ANYMORE (1950s)

ELVIS PRESLEY with IT’S NOW OR NEVER (best seller of 1960-Rome games- 1960s)

Linking Lyrics Artist of the Week: ENYA

ENYA with ANYWHERE IS (2000s)

ENYA with ON MY WAY HOME (2000s)

Rarity Record of the Week:

OLYMPIA BORONAT with LES HEUGENOT from Meerbeer (recorded 1908-London’s 1st games)

CELINE DION with MY HEART WILL GO ON (reference to 1912 and Titanic sinking-1990s)

AL JOLESON with I’M SITTING ON TOP OF THE WORLD (1920s- big star in 1910s as well)

BANGLES with ETERNAL FLAME (for the Olympic torch/flame-1980s)

GEORGE FORMBY with BICEPS, MUSCLE & BRAWN (1930s)

RONALD BINGE with ELIZABETHAN SERENADE (1950s)

MONSERRAT CABALLE/FREDDIE MERCURY with BARCELONA (city of 1992 games-1990s)

RAY EBERLE/GLENN MILLER with AT LAST (1940s)

THE NEW SEEKERS with I’D LIKE TO TEACH THE WORLD TO SING (best seller 1972-Munich)

GARY BARLOW/COMMONWEALTH SINGERS with SING (2012-London’s 3rd games)

Duration: 1 hr 18m 27s

If you would like to listen to my show you can stream it from here:

https://soundcloud.com/angies_allsorts/radio-leighton-olympics-from-2012

Summer Festival at Radio Leighton

ANGIES ALLSORTS SHOW 163 RADIO LEIGHTON 15th JULY 2015
7.37-8.37pm: Duration 1hr 1m 17s

My show includes a musical reference related to a major news item, three birthday artists spanning a wide range of music genres, a new song from Neil Diamond’s latest album Melody Road and a current top ten hit from the UK charts.

Playlist

  1. ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN with THE GAME

Linking Lyrics Theme: Pluto (news)

  1. KIDS LEARNING TUBE (audio only) with DWARF PLANET SONG

Rarity Record of the Week: 3. TORNADOS with TRIP TO PLUTO

The New Horizons mission successfully made a fly past Pluto at lunchtime on Tuesday 14th July. The close encounter with the dwarf planet came within about 8000 miles of Pluto’s surface as New Horizons hurtled past at approximately 31,000 mph. The first message sent back from the craft took 4 hrs 25 mins to traverse 4.7 billion kilometres of space. The arrival of this data indicated that the New Horizons craft had survived the encounter intact. Other mission data will take even longer to arrive as New Horizons continues its journey away from Pluto. New Horizons is the fastest craft to have left the Earth’s orbit and has travelled the furthest distance across space.

Birthday: Professor DAME JOCELYN BELL BURNELL astronomer & astrophysicist 72

  1. DIDO with HERE WITH ME
  2. NEIL DIAMOND with (OOO) DO I WANNA BE YOURS (from new album Melody Road)
  3. NEIL DIAMOND with YOU GOT TO ME
  4. ABBA with LAY ALL YOUR LOVE ON ME

Birthday: TREVOR HORN 66 record producer-co-writer, vocalist, percussionist for…

  1. BUGGLES with VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR

Birthday: LINDA RONSTADT 69 country singer

  1. LINDA RONSTADT with BLUE BAYOU

Birthday: JULIAN BREAM 82 guitarist & lute player

  1. JULIAN BREAM with BACH’S LUTE SUITE no.1
  2. BIRDY with WINGS (UK chart no. 8 on 12th July 2015)

You can listen to the show here: https://soundcloud.com/angies_allsorts/summer-festival-radio-leighton

Neil Diamond World Tour 2015

On July 11th 2015 I eagerly travelled to Birmingham for a Neil Diamond concert in the Genting Arena. Formerly called the LG Arena the venue has a surprisingly spacious feel to it with a hint of intimacy as well. I had a “cheap seat” but with a great view, being situated at the opposite end of the arena directly in line with the stage, not too high up and midpoint between the video screens. The stage was simply set with the silhouette of a huge diamond back drop from which Neil emerged to huge applause at 8.15pm. For the next 2 hours and ten minutes the crowd were entertained by a set that spanned virtually fifty years of song writing. As always Neil Diamond highlighted what a consummate performer he is and it was a huge privilege as always to hear his distinct dulcet tones sounding as strong and emotive as ever.

Beginning with the cheery I’m A Believer Neil moved effortlessly into the more heart rending Love on the Rocks and Hello Again. Pretty Amazing Grace followed which I’ve always thought is a stunning piece of work with the feel of a ball-room dance tune woven within it. Then came the full repertoire of Diamond’s songs full of storytelling about growing up, falling and feeling love, loneliness and heartache. Lyrics that are poetic yet easily understood with rhythms that pulsate with emotions of joy, sorrow, fun and empathy. The poet revels himself in Play Meyou are the sun, I am the moon, you are the words, I am the tune, play me”. When Neil sang back to back Shilo and Brooklyn Roads he recalled the story of his upbringing and having an imaginary friend called Shilo. This was a wonderful way for the couple to my left side and the lady to my right side to be introduced to Neil, as none of them had ever seen him perform before. That intimate simple story-telling immediately gave the audience a better affinity with Neil and in this concert the feeling was elevated further. The backdrop diamond suddenly became a movie screen as images of Neil growing up flickered from home movies his father had made. I marvelled at the technology we now have that probably made possible the digitisation of those irreplaceable fragile movie reels.

Three songs from the latest album Melody Road were performed around the mid-point of the show. It was fascinating to hear how The Art of Love took Neil over five years to write the 150 words that took only three minutes to sing. I got the distinct feeling that the album was the fruition of songs that Diamond had been trying to express for some time, but hadn’t been in the right frame of mind to put down before. This album has a different feel to me as it seems to find Neil in a more melancholic, introspective mood, yet there remains an identifiable “Diamondesque” element within several songs. (OOO) Do I Wanna Be Yours makes me think of an epic Greek poem with a languid yet gorgeous harmonic melody, and to hear it live on a warm summer’s evening was wonderful, the song just washed over you. Later there was a reference to the legendary “Hot August Night” concerts of the 1970s when the rousing tribal Soolaimon and the pseudo religious Holly Holy rocked the auditorium. I Am…I Said concluded the main part of the show and Neil returned a couple of minutes later to thunderous applause for his encore. By this point I think just about everyone was on their feet to bop to Cracklin’Rosie and Sweet Caroline. Brother Love kept the groove going whilst Heartlight quietened the mood before the life-affirming sound of hope that is America. The British and American flags appeared on the video screens and an eagle soared above the stage thanks to the diamond back drop screen capabilities. A wonderful (though some might say corny) image to finish a vintage show, and as Neil departed the stage I couldn’t help wonder if this would be his swan song concert tour. I hope not, but what an incredible legacy of music he has shared with his fans.

 Song List of 29 (not in strict order): Main Show– I’m A Believer; Love On The Rocks; Hello Again; Pretty Amazing Grace; Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon; The Best Part of Me; Kentucky Woman; You Got To Me; Beautiful Noise; Play Me; If You Know What I Mean; Red, Red Wine; Solitary Man; Brooklyn Roads; Shilo; Nothing But A Heartache; (OOO) Do I Wanna Be Yours; The Art of Love; Song Sung Blue; Forever In Blue Jeans; Cherry, Cherry; Soolaimon; Holly Holy; I Am… I Said. Encore-Cracklin’ Rosie; Sweet Caroline; Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show; Heartlight; America.

Neil Diamond World Tour program. Image credit abmj
Neil Diamond World Tour program. Image credit abmj

Cinema “Live Event” TAKE THAT Concert 19th June 2015

The three remaining members of Take That Gary, Mark and Howard put on an incredible two hour set from the O2 Arena in London. As it was our first ever Take That concert my husband and I didn’t quite know what to expect, as we took our seats at a local cinema surrounded by obvious die-hard fans. Although we only knew a handful of songs performed by the group we were sucked into an amazingly joyful musical experience, and came out with huge grins on our faces and our hearts gladdened in some way. I’ve been to several concerts and this one ranks as one of the best seen, so well done Take That and thank you for entertaining us so beautifully.

As instructed we took our seats around 8pm for the scheduled 8.20pm start, although there possibly may have been a warm-up act just finishing, as the audience was let into the auditorium. For twenty minutes before the group appeared on stage at 8.40pm there was some odd action going on around the stage, bicycles, a man running inside a wheel and raincoat clad walkers! There may have been some significance to it all perhaps related to album themes or such like, but to Take That novices it went over our heads I’m afraid. It was enough to give us a sense of the atmosphere from London and to realise the view seen would be like sitting on stage with the group. We saw the guys preparing to get on stage and then to a huge cheer from everyone they emerged onto the concert platform. From that point on it was two hours of none stop action, dance, brilliant harmonics, musical genius and sheer showmanship. Absolutely fantastic and a complete surprise!

When Take That were first around both my husband and I knew their sound because it was everywhere in the early nineties. They were number one in the charts with Everything Changes the day we married on April 16th 1994. Both of us would say we didn’t dislike them but we weren’t a particularly big fan either. Then when they reformed and released Patience I suddenly sat up and took notice. Until then I hadn’t realised just how good Gary Barlow’s voice was, so I paid a bit more attention to their new stuff.

During the concert I recognised five of their newer songs, Greatest Day, Patience, Rule the World, Shine and The Flood. It was distinctly noticeable with The Flood that the group was a trio now, because Robbie Williams had joined his four former band-members to release The Flood for the charts. Although the three on stage did a nice job on the vocals neither Mark or Howard had a strong enough voice to fill in Robbie’s shoes. But it was the only time during the whole show I was aware of only three voices, as the five oldest songs were performed with aplomb with dance moves to match. The die-hard fans around us matched the guys with synchronised moves as Relight My Fire, Never Forget, Pray and Could It Ne Magic rang out.

Many of the songs performed came from the group’s latest album III with a sprinkling of lesser known ones from various other albums. We were on the internet over the weekend trying to identify them and largely succeeded I’m pleased to say. From The Circus album we particularly enjoyed The Garden and Up All Night. I played both of these in my hospital radio show a few days after the concert. The Garden is simply beautiful with lyrics that highlight the maturity of the band and Up All Night is a quirky happy song with a country-and-western vibe to it. My husband remarked “the key-changes in this are remarkable. God they are good musicians”. For another song the comment was “the harmonics they are singing are incredible”. Praise indeed from a man who can be hard to please from a musical perspective. Affirmation from their Progress album had connotations of electro-pop music from Kraftwerk and the clever use of the ELO intro going into Shine didn’t go unnoticed either. But much of the unexpected joy came from the III album songs which were completely unknown to us. Catchy tunes that just drew you in, where you couldn’t help yourself tap the toes drum the fingers and bop the head. We just smiled at these and muttered “downloads and album buys a must”. Stand out songs performed included These Days, Let In The Sun, Portrait, I Like It and Get Ready For It. I was also particularly struck by a lovely ballad sung by Gary which I’ve worked out could be Flaws. Gary dressed in black sang from the mid-point of the stage whilst the others in black skin-tight trousers and white vest danced on the flanks. Mark and Howard’s contemporary dance with the faintest whiff of ballet in places complemented the plaintive vocals of Gary simply and beautifully. I know the guys in the past did choreographed moves but this was a more mature and raw performance, highlighting again the growth of the group from boys to men. Their vocals, musical awareness and stage presence were a joy to behold.

An abiding memory for me will be Rule the World which closed the main part of the show (followed by encore Shine and Never Forget). The stage was bathed in light but the main arena was in darkness except for hundreds of small lights waved in unison from audience members. As I looked around the scene was replicated in the cinema as those wonderful lyrics enveloped me. It was a beautiful moment I will cherish.

Me with Robbie & Jason (missing members!). Image credit abmj
Me with Robbie & Jason (missing members!). Image credit abmj

Eurovision at 60: a Celebration

ANGIES ALLSORTS SHOW 160 RADIO LEIGHTON 13/05/15

My playlist is a musical odyssey around Europe to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Eurovision. Some winning songs, lots of contest trivia and places visited will take you from France to Vienna in 14 songs.
Eurovision began 60 years ago in the Italian speaking canton of Switzerland in the city of Lugano. The European anthem heralds the start of the show.
1. CHARPENTIER’S TE DEUM PRELUDE (Noel (NOT Nigel) Rawsthorne on a church organ: France)
Ireland the “Emerald Isle” the most successful country with seven wins. So I will assume for this show that Dublin could be considered the “Emerald City”.
2. SEEKERS with EMERALD CITY (Ireland; tune Ode to Joy by Beethoven-Germany; Seekers-Australia)
Australia invited to participate in the 60th anniversary contest. Aussie DNA runs through the contests history really, especially since Seekers member Keith Potger formed and managed the New Seekers. They represented the UK in 1972 coming second with Beg, Steal or Borrow. Other UK representatives with Australian roots include Olivia Newton-John in 1974 coming 4th and Gina G in 1996 coming 8th. And Ireland’s Mr Eurovision Johnny Logan with 2 singing and 2 composer Eurovision wins is also Australian born!
3. DANA with ALL KINDS OF EVERYTHING (Ireland’s first win in 1970)
Ireland has been happy hunting ground for the UK with two of our five wins (81, 97) being there. We have also won in Austria 67, Spain 69 (first equal with Spain, France & Netherlands) and in The Netherlands 76.
4. DANA INTERNATIONAL (Israel win in 1998)
Israel was the last country to win on British soil and the difference in style between the two “Dana’s” is marked. The 28 year difference gives the Israel song the advantage of disco, big ballad, dance and possibly trance elements within it.
5. NANA MOUSKOURI with THE WHITE ROSE OF ATHENS (Greece)
Nana Mouskouri represented Luxembourg in 1963 coming in 8th.
Considered the most important song from Eurovision is the Italian entry for 1958 which came in third. Nel Blu Di Pinto Di Blu sung by Domenico Modungno went on to win the Grammy Record of the Year and Song of the Year. It has been recorded by several artists and is better known by another name Volare.
6. DEAN MARTIN with VOLARE (Italy)
The least likely place for the contest to be held is in Portugal, as the country has failed to secure a win since participating for the first time in 1964.
7. FRANK CHAKSFIELD with OLD LISBON (Portugal)
The UK has held the Eurovision Song Contest eight times although we have only won it five times. 1960 London Royal Festival Hall; 1963 London BBC TV Centre; 1968 London Royal Albert Hall; 1972 Edinburgh Usher Hall; 1974 Brighton Dome; 1977 London Wembley Conference Centre; 1982 Harrogate International Centre; 1998 Birmingham National Indoor Arena. But although the UK has won five times the country has come second 15 times so all in the UK is probably the most successful country in the competition statistically. At least two of those second places was by a mere point-Sir Cliff Richard with Congratulations and Scott Fitzgerald with Go. At least Scott came second to an artist who became a global star Celine Dion (1988 Switzerland-Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi).
8. FREDDIE MERCURY & MONSERRAT CABBALLE with BARCELONA (Spain)
The Netherlands was the scene for Brotherhood of Man winning with Save All Your Kisses For Me. In the twelve point era (adopted in 1975) this has been the song with the highest percentage of marks 80.39% (164 from a potential 204 points). Other songs have scored higher but at a time with far more countries participating and voting. Ironically as there has been no “nul point” country since 2003, the UK’s only zero scored song Cry Baby by Jemini has gained the lowest score statistically as well.
9. BEAUTIFUL SOUTH with ROTTERDAM (Netherlands)
When the UK has held the contest France has been the most successful with two wins (60, 77) with Spain (68) , Luxembourg (72), West Germany (82), Israel (98) and Sweden (74) being the others. I inadvertently left out Denmark’s win in 1963 during my show and wrongly attributed a third French win instead (they had won in 62).
10. NICOLE with A LITTLE PEACE (West Germany win in 1982)
Great alumni of the Eurovision Song Contest who have represented the UK include Matt Monro (64), Kenneth McKellar (66), Sir Cliff Richard 68 & 73), Mary Hopkin (70), The Shadows (75), Bonnie Tyler (2013), Engelbert Humperdinck (2012).
11. MATT MONRO with FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (Russia)
Engelbert Humperdinck was 76 when he performed but is not the OLDEST PERFORMER. That accolade goes to Emil Ramsauer the 95 year old who represented Switzerland in 2013. In contrast the YOUNGEST WINNER is Sandra Kim singing J’Aime La Vie for Belgium in 1986.
12. ABBA with WATERLOO (ABBA for Sweden 1974 win and Waterloo for Belgium)
The Vienna Boys Choir was the interval act when Austria held the contest in 1967 and Sandie Shaw won for the UK with Puppet On A String. I wondered if the interval act this year might involve the Boys Choir or the Lippinzer White Horses (possibly a bit messy). Of course Vienna would be an ideal place for a ball room dance perhaps involving Austrian composer Mozart. In 1974 the interval act was very British.
13. THE WOMBLES with MINUETTO ALLEGRETTO (UK dancing to a Mozart symphony)
The 60th anniversary Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Vienna on May 23rd. Can Electo Velvet find success there as Sandie Shaw did in 1967? We shall have to wait and see. My musical journey ends here…
14. ULTRAVOX with VIENNA (Austria)
You can listen to my show here:  https://soundcloud.com/angies_allsorts/eurovision-at-60-radio-leighton-show

Happy New Year China: Year of the Sheep 2015

On February 19th 2015 the Chinese celebrate their New Year and herald in the Year of the Sheep. In honour of this event I had a celebratory playlist for my latest hospital radio show, where all the ruling animals for the 12 lunar years were represented, either as a song or group. The order of play was determined by the animal signs position in the Chinese Zodiac (Rat-1 to Pig 12). The result was an eclectic mix of songs ranging from classic to children’s music that I hoped was unusual enough to keep patients interested and listening.

ANGIES ALLSORTS SHOW 156 RADIO LEIGHTON 18TH FEBRUARY 2015

7.30-8.35pm: Duration 1 hr 5m 37s

Playlist

  1. BOOMTOWN RATS with I DON’T LIKE MONDAYS
  2.  MICHAEL JACKSON with BEN (Rat)
  3. BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS with BUFFALO SOLDIER (also described as Cow and Ox)
  4.  ABBA with TIGER

Rarity Record of the Week: 5. DEE JAY & THE RUNAWAYS with PETER RABBIT (famous rabbit)

  1. CLINTON FORD with PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON (famous dragon)
  2. WHITESNAKE with IS THIS THE LOVE
  3. ROY RODGERS with A COWBOY NEEDS A HORSE
  4. SOUND OF MUSIC CAST with THE LONELY GOATHERD (also described as Ram and Sheep)
  5. NOEL RAWSTHORNE with (Bach’s) SHEEP MAY SAFELY GRAZE
  6. THEME TUNE to THE MONKEES (Monkey)
  7. THE ROLLING STONES with LITTLE RED ROOSTER
  8. THREE DOG NIGHT with MAMA TOLD ME NOT TO COME
  9.  PINKY & PERKY (singing PIGS) with WHO’S AFRAID OF THE BIG BAD WOLF (famous pig story)
  10. SAINT SAEN (excerpt) ORGAN SYMPHONY No 3 C MINOR opus 78 4th movement Maestoso (PIG) used in the film Babe.

You can stream my show and listen from here: https://soundcloud.com/angies_allsorts/happy-chinese-new-year-2015

Off The Beaten Track 4

Radio has always been a great love of mine, and I’ve come across some heart-warming stories associated with the medium in recent weeks, that really made me smile.

ANGEL RADIO in Havant Hampshire

This wonderful radio station was featured in a BBC news feature that I saw quite by chance in early December. Angel Radio is run by a group of people largely over the age of sixty and broadcasts music aimed at a more mature audience. Any music produced up to 31st December 1959 CAN be played whilst anything younger is off limits. The Angel Radio library thus spans music production from 1900-1959 and includes about 126,000 shellac 78’s records. With an audience outreach of around 40,000 in the Havant area, broadcasts can be picked up on FM (101.1fm) and online (angelradio.tel). In addition to the nostalgia, the radio station also provides news and information that is particularly relevant to an elderly listener.

As Offcom are reviewing community radio licence agreements in 2015, Angel Radio successfully managed to raise £5000 from their listeners and supporters, to apply for consideration for an enhanced licence. The application form was put in at the start of December and the outcome will be known in August. Only one other applicant was received and that came from the current licence holder The Breeze, a much larger and more commercially backed organisation from what I can gather.

Having been on air since March 2002 Angel Radio hope they can win the bid to enable them to broadcast to a much wider geographical area in the Portsmouth region. I really hope they are successful in this endeavour, for the elderly can feel particularly isolated in this modern technological age. For a generation who grew up listening to the “wireless”, having a radio station today that plays music and dramas specifically from their youth is an invaluable asset. Angel Radio provides a wonderful service that effectively provides a reassuring hand of comfort and companionship for their listeners. It seems a relatively unique service that should without question be actively encouraged to expand.

NAS CAMPANELLA Australian News Reader

My husband heard this news reader being interviewed on Radio 5 and mentioned how inspiring she sounded. I found a podcast of the broadcast and had a listen myself and wasn’t disappointed. Nas Campanella has a radio voice that is pure velvet to the ear, silky smooth, authoritive, composed, warm and intelligent sounding. Nas reads the news for TripleJ on ABC radio in Australia and although that may not sound particularly inspiring, her journalistic journey is a bit more incredible when you realise Nas is blind. She also has a medical condition (Charcott-Marie-Tooth) that has left her with limited sensitivity in her fingers, so she was never able to learn Braille. Nas has been able to utilise technology developments in computing, to facilitate her education in school and university and now the workplace. But the stand out quality that Nas has nurtured throughout her life is the ability to REALLY LISTEN, something she inevitably has to do in her job having to contend with four sound feeds at the same time! As I listened to this young woman talk about her background and job I could only marvel and applaud what her determined spirit has already achieved. I’m sure Nas Campanella will be a broadcasting name known worldwide one day.

You can see Nas in action here.

Radio 4: Archive Hour: Singing Together

Having missed the original broadcast, I only heard a small fraction of this program on the BBCi Radio Player before “buffering” lost my connection. But it was enough to let my mind go on a trip down memory lane to my days at Cleland Primary School. Like thousands of schools before and since the 1970s, my class tuned into the BBC “Singing Together” series on Mondays at 11am. We had our specially commissioned “seasonal songbooks” with words and music to sing along too. In my day the songs spanned folk tunes from around the world, and to this day I still remember the first verse of “Troika” from Russia! Another one I recall is a real tongue twister from England “I Had Four Sisters (beyond the sea)”. I can’t remember if we ever put a musical accompaniment with the songs, although triangles, tambourines etc. were available in the school stores. I suspect not for fear of disturbing the other classes but I did enjoy our little classroom choir efforts. I heard enough of the program to learn that Singing Together began as a means of bringing together children evacuated during WW2 and boosting morale. Singing Together having started in September 1939 was a regular schools broadcast for nearly sixty years.

To my utter delight I discovered my mother-in-law (a former primary school headmistress) had a small batch of “Singing Together” song books from between the 1960s to 1980s. And one of them from the 70s I recognised immediately, even though I hadn’t clapped eyes on it in about 27 years. Opening it up I instantly remembered the songs and tunes and began to sing even though I don’t read music. This resulted in my husband’s uncle following my lead at the piano and a lovely hearty sing-along ensued. We had all got together for my mother-in-laws birthday and she remarked later, what an unexpected joy it had been to hear something again from her teaching days.