Sunday, 5 October 2014

Eric Clapton's Greatest Hits by James Murphy aged 3 and a half

Monday, 23 June 2014

Being insulted doesn't work for me!

Yesterday, a station contacted me to tell me they love my shows and want them on their station and it would be great for my exposure. However it wouldn't be a paid opportunity, but it would look good for my C.V.

I've spent the last five years working to try and earn a living from this. For four of those years, I didn't really earn a penny as I learned my trade and used what I earned  to improve myself. I have been managing to syndicate my shows and getting paid of late, and that's as it should be.

I understand loads of people want to do radio and many are willing to do it for nothing. But as far as I'm concerned enough is enough,

My point is this. I didn't go asking for the job at the station - they approached me. But at the same time they patronised me and insulted my intelligence as well. If they feel my shows are great and want them, then it's only fair I should be paid for my efforts.

I felt that it warranted a measured response, but at the time I was just a tad annoyed - I will say this, I turned down their kind offer - and I took a short while to put the message below together

Friday, 28 March 2014

Wanna be one of our 'voices'

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Missing In Action (the first show) - Song By Song

As it's the first show, I thought as a one-off, I'd give you a run down of the show, song by song. Loads of information and pictures for you to read whilst having a listen!

All you need to do is click the link and you'll be transported to the show!

1 Reunion – Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me)
Reunion was a studio group created around songwriters Norman Dolph and Paul DiFranco, which scored one US Top 10 single in 1974 with the novelty song ‘Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me)’. The group had already released a number of singles on RCA Records with no luck when writer/producer DiFranco approached writer/singer Joey Levine to work on the song which ultimately became their only hit. The song had been written two years previously but had remained unfinished. Levine, Dolph and DiFranco took final writing credit and it was recorded in a bubblegum style (Levine had had success writing hit songs in the 60s for studio bubblegum outfits such as the Ohio Express, and was a member of the Third Rail). ‘Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me)’ reached number 8 in the US in late 1974 but further releases under the Reunion name failed to chart. They did not record any albums and the project was soon shelved.

2 Cat Stevens – I Love My Dog
"I Love My Dog" is a song written by Cat Stevens, and was his first single (b/w "Portobello Road"), appearing the following year on his debut album Matthew and Son. Stevens later acknowledged that the song had been inspired by American jazz multi-instrumentalist Yusef Lateef's "The Plum Blossom", from his 1961 Eastern Sounds, with which it shares a melody.

(JAN 1974)
Hotcakes is singer-songwriter Carly Simon's fourth studio album. Released in 1974, it became one of her biggest selling albums. The album featured the hits "Mockingbird", a duet with her then-husband James Taylor (a cover of a 1963 hit for Inez and Charlie Foxx), and "Haven't Got Time for the Pain", as well as many other songs that reflected Simon's upbeat mood during her pregnancy with her first child. On the album cover, Simon sits in a gleamingly white kitchen, robustly pregnant, smiling brightly and wearing a somewhat bohemian white linen dress.
The album went gold immediately and it stayed on the charts for eight months, yet it was initially overshadowed commercially by two other major albums released by Simon's own label, Elektra/Asylum, in the same month as Hotcakes, Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark and Bob Dylan's Planet Waves. These took the #2 and #1 spots, respectively, on the Billboard album chart while Hotcakes peaked at #3.Hotcakes went on to sell several hundred thousand more copies than Dylan's album and was listed in the Top 40 of Billboard's Year End Top albums for 1974, while Planet Waves did not make the Top 50.

3. Carly Simon - Haven’t Got Time For The Pain
This was the follow-up to "Mockingbird," which was Taylor's duet with her husband at the time, James Taylor. Here, a once sad, unfulfilled woman has discovered happiness and has turned her back on a past that once seemed hopeless.

4 Beach Boys – Break Away
"Break Away" (occasionally listed as Breakaway) is a song recorded by The Beach Boys in 1969. It was written by Brian Wilson and his father Murry Wilson, who is credited as lyricist under the pseudonym "Reggie Dunbar". The single was relatively unsuccessful compared to the groups releases, and charted at #63 in US Billboard (top 40 in Cash Box and Record World charts). "Break Away" sold better abroad, reaching #6 on the United Kingdom charts.

5 Boomtown Rats – Banana Republic
"Banana Republic" was the first single from The Boomtown Rats' album Mondo Bongo. It peaked at number three in the UK charts and was the band's last major commercial success. Breaking from the band's previous new wave sound the song opens with a ska-reggae hook (that repeats at the close of the much longer album version). However, the song itself is a more mainstream piece musically. The 'Banana Republic' which the song describes is actually a deliberately scathing portrait of the Republic of Ireland, the band's country of origin, and was written in response to the band being banned from performing there

6 Bee Gees – Run To Me
"Run to Me" is a song by the Bee Gees. It was the lead single and released in 7 July 1972[1] and first track on the group's 1972 album To Whom It May Concern. There is also a promotional video for this song filmed in black and white. Written by Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. Lead vocals by Barry Gibb on the verses and Robin Gibb on the chorus. "Run to Me" saw the Bee Gees return to the UK Top 10 after a three year absence, climbing to #9 while in the US it reached #16. The first Bee Gees single without drummer Geoff Bridgford as he left the band in January that year.

7 Frankie Avalon – Bobby Sox To Stockings
Born Francis Thomas Avallone on September 18, 1940, Avalon was on U.S. television playing his trumpet by the time he was 11. Two singles showcasing Avalon's trumpet playing were issued on RCA Victor's "X" sublabel in 1954. As a teenager he played with Bobby Rydell in Rocco and the Saints. In 1959, "Venus" (5 weeks #1) and "Why" went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. "Why" was the last #1 of the 1950s. Avalon had 31 charted U.S. Billboard singles from 1958 to late 1962, including "Just Ask Your Heart" (U.S. #7), "I'll Wait For You" (U.S. #15), "Bobby Sox to Stockings" (U.S. #8), and "A Boy Without a Girl" (U.S. #10). Most of his hits were written and/or produced by Bob Marcucci, head of Chancellor Records. He was less popular in the U.K., but did still manage four chart hits with "Why", "Gingerbread", "Venus" and "Don't Throw Away All Those Teardrops".

8 Electric Light Orchestra - Last Train To London
"Last Train to London" is the fifth track from the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) album Discovery. The song was released in 1979 in the UK as a double A-side single with "Confusion". It peaked at number 8 in the UK Singles Chart. However, in the US the two songs charted separately, with "Confusion" in late 1979 followed by "Last Train to London" in early 1980. It peaked at number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100.[2] In Spain the single was released with the Spanish title "Ultimo tren a Londres".

9 Julia Fordham - Happy Ever After
Julia Fordham (born 10 August 1962) is a British singer-songwriter. Her professional career started in the early 1980s, under the name "Jules Fordham", as a backing singer for Mari Wilson and Kim Wilde, before signing a recording contract of her own later that decade. Fordham is now based in California.
In 1988, Fordham released her first album on Circa Records. Simply titled Julia Fordham, it reached No. 20 in the UK and eventually earned a gold disc. It contained the Top 40 single "Happy Ever After" (which peaked at No. 27 in August 1988). The album also charted in the US, reaching No. 118 on the Billboard 200 chart.

10 Canned Heat - Let's Work Together
"Let's Stick Together" or "Let's Work Together" as it was subsequently titled, is a blues song written by Wilbert Harrison, which was released in 1962. In 1969–1970, the song became a hit for Harrison and has been recorded by a variety of artists, including Canned Heat and Bryan Ferry who had chart successes with the song.
Shortly after the release of Wilbert Harrison's "Let's Work Together", Los Angeles blues-rock band Canned Heat recorded their version of the song. Unlike their previous singles ("On the Road Again", "Going Up the Country", and "Time Was") which featured vocals and harmonica by Alan Wilson, for "Let's Work Together" Bob Hite provided the vocals, with Wilson adding the slide-guitar parts. The song was prepared for release as a single in December 1969, but after learning that Harrison's song was becoming popular, the band delayed their release until Harrison's song had run its course.
Canned Heat's "Let's Work Together" was released in August 1970 and reached #26 in the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. It was featured on their 1970 album, Future Blues. In the UK, where Harrison's single failed to generate interest, Canned Heat's version was released earlier in January 1970. It became their biggest UK hit, reaching #2 in the UK Singles chart during a stay of fifteen weeks. According to band manager Skip Taylor, "'Let’s Work Together' was actually their biggest hit as it rose to #1 in 31 different countries around the world"

11 Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues
Taken from the album of the same name, the title track was released on the single format and reached No. 97 on the Billboard Hot 100 on 16 February 1991. It was the only single of Moore's to chart in the Billboard Hot 100. It reached No. 31 in the UK.

12 Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - Honey Chile
"Honey Chile" is a 1967 single by Motown girl group Martha Reeves and the Vandellas on the Gordy label. This was the first single to bill Martha Reeves by her full name, as opposed to simply "Martha" and the Vandellas.
This song, rare for a pop song, actually shows character development: at the end of the first verse she states that she is worthless without him, while in the second to last line she says she will find the strength to leave him.
Filled with Southern connotations (inspired by Reeves' birth in rural Alabama), the tune rose to number eleven on the Billboard pop singles chart and number five on the Billboard R&B singles chart. It is notable for several reasons: it is the first track to feature new member, Martha's younger sister Sandra "Lois" Reeves replacing just-fired Betty Kelley, it was the group's twelfth top 40 pop single, and it was also the last top 40 hit the group would score throughout the rest of their Motown tenure though they would score several top 40 R&B singles before leaving the label in 1973.

13 James Taylor & JD Souther - Her Town Too
James Taylor and J.D. Souther wrote this song with Waddy Wachtell, a guitarist known for his work with Stevie Nicks, Linda Ronstadt and Warren Zevon. The song tells the story of a woman who finds herself living alone after a breakup with her man, and has to deal with the small town gossip. Many people speculated that the song was doubly autobiographical: Taylor's marriage with Carly Simon was ending, as was Souther's relationship with Linda Ronstadt. Taylor and Souther refuse to say who they were singing about, which we found out when we posed that question to J.D. in 2011. When we asked if he'd like to reveal her identity, his reply was, "Of course not. You think after all these years suddenly I'd rat somebody out?"
There are some clues that this is about James Taylor's divorce from Carly Simon. Taylor's ongoing problem with drug use led to their divorce, as did spending more time on his career than with her. This is indicated in the lyrics: "She gets the house and the garden/He gets the boys in the band." The title of the album, Dad Loves His Work, could be another reference to the martial breakup.

14 Gale Garnett - We'll Sing In The Sunshine
"We'll Sing in the Sunshine" is a 1964 hit song written and recorded by Gale Garnett which reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the week ending 5 September 1964. The song also enjoyed success on easy listening and country music radio stations, spending seven weeks at number one on the Billboard Easy Listening chart and number 42 on the country chart. The Cash Box Top 100 ranked "We'll Sing in the Sunshine" at number one for the week of 31 October 1964, and it also reached number one in Garnett's native New Zealand that November. In Australia "We'll Sing in the Sunshine" afforded Garnett a Top Ten hit with a #10 peak in October 1964. Garnett's sole Top 40 hit, "We'll Sing in the Sunshine" won the Grammy Award for Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording in 1965.

15 John O'Banion - Love You Like I Never Loved Before
John O'Banion (16 February 1947 – 14 February 2007) was an American vocalist and actor
John was the lead singer in Doc Severinsen's band, "Today's Children". He was managed by Bud Robinson, also Doc's manager. They parted ways in early 1974. O'Banion said that Johnny Carson was a big fan and supporter of his career. John made five appearances on Carson's "Tonight Show", as many on Merv Griffin's and Mike Douglas' shows. He also appeared on American Bandstand, Solid Gold, and was the winning singer of the pilot of Star Search.
His song "Love You Like I Never Loved Before" was a hit single in 1981, making it to #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. O'Banion won the prestigious Tokyo Music Festival Award in 1982, with "I Don't Want To Lose Your Love", later sung by Crystal Gayle on her 1983 album Cage The Songbird, achieving as a single release, the #2 spot on Billboard's country music chart. John also got the attention of his Japanese fans with two songs written and sung for the samurai/fantasy epic movie Legend of the Eight Samurai, with those songs being "I Don't Want This Night To End" (called Satomi Hakken Den in Japan) and "White Light".
He also appeared in the films Borderline with Charles Bronson, TV movie Courage with Sophia Loren and Billy Dee Williams and starred in the 1990 independent film The Judas Project. In 1995 he released an album with jazz cover versions of such contemporary hits, such as "I'm Not in Love" (10CC), "What You Won't Do For Love" (Bobby Caldwell) and the title track "Hearts" (Marty Balin).
Just two days before his 60th birthday, O'Banion died of blunt force trauma as a result of being hit by a car while touring in New Orleans, Louisiana in the early 90s. He died at his home in Los Angeles, California surrounded by friends and family. He had been battling the long term effects received as a result of the trauma to the head following the incident in New Orleans.

16 KD Lang - Miss Chatelaine
 Second single from the album IngĂ©nue, the second solo album by KD. Lang, released in 1992. It has more of a cabaret flavor than Lang's previous work, and was her most successful album on the pop charts both in her native Canada and internationally. The samba-inspired "Miss Chatelaine" was ironic; Chatelaine is a Canadian women's magazine which once chose Lang as its "Woman of the Year", and the song's video depicted Lang — who was usually best known for a fairly androgynous appearance — in an exaggeratedly feminine manner, surrounded by bright pastel colours and a profusion of bubbles reminiscent of a performance on the Lawrence Welk show, complete with an accordion in the instrumentation.

17 Ricky Nelson - Believe What You Say
Eric Hilliard Nelson (May 8, 1940 – December 31, 1985) — known as Ricky Nelson, later also as Rick Nelson — was an American actor, musician and singer-songwriter. He starred alongside his family in the television series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952–66), as well as co-starring alongside John Wayne and Dean Martin in Howard Hawks's western feature film, Rio Bravo (1959). He placed 53 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1957 and 1973 including "Poor Little Fool" which holds the distinction of being the first #1 song on Billboard magazine's then-newly created Hot 100 chart. He recorded 19 additional Top 10 hits and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 21, 1987. In 1996, he was ranked #49 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time.

18 Carly Simon - Older Sister
The fourth track from this week’s Featured Album, Hotcakes

19 Ace - How Long
How Long" is a 1974 song by the British group Ace from their album Five-A-Side. It reached #3 in the US and Canadian charts, and #20 in the UK chart. Lead singer Paul Carrack composed the song upon discovering that bassist Terry Comer had been secretly working with other bands. Comer returned to Ace in time to play on the song.

20 Kim Wilde - Four Letter Word
"Four Letter Word" is the fourth single from the Kim Wilde album Close.
It was released at the end of 1988 — the year that had seen Wilde release a best-selling album, have four international hits (including the chart-topping "You Came") and support Michael Jackson on the European leg of his world tour.
"Four Letter Word" marked the first occasion in Wilde's then eight-year career where she released a straight ballad as a single. It also marked her last release of a song written by her father and brother (who had written the majority of her early hits together, including the pop classic "Kids in America)". It became her third consecutive UK Top 10 single from "Close", reaching number 6.

21 Frank Sinatra - In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
Taken from the album of the same name, it was released in April 1955 on Capitol Records, produced by Voyle Gilmore with arrangements by Nelson Riddle. The songs on the album deal with themes such as loneliness, introspection, lost love, failed relationships, depression and night-life. As a result, In the Wee Small Hours is generally regarded as one of the first concept albums. The album's cover artwork reflects these themes and portrays a reflective-looking Sinatra on an eerie and deserted street awash in blue-tinged street lights. Sinatra would successfully continue the "concept" formula with later albums such as Songs for Swingin' Lovers! and Only the Lonely. He had been developing the idea since 1946 with his first album release, The Voice. In the Wee Small Hours was issued as two 10-inch LP discs, and also as one 12-inch record LP, making it one of the first of its kind. It was also issued as four four–song 45-rpm EP discs sold in cardboard sleeves with the same cover as the LPs, not in paper covers like 45-rpm singles.

22 Linda Lewis - Rock A Doodle Doo
Rock-a-Doodle-Doo is a popular song and hit single by British singer Linda Lewis.
Written by Lewis and produced by Lewis and her first husband, Jim Cregan, it was her second single, her first hit and her first on the Warner Bros. Records vanity label Raft Records. The song entered the UK charts at #50 in June 1973 and reached #15 in July finally leaving the chart in August 1973.

23 Cliff Richard & The Drifters - Living Doll
"Living Doll" is a song written by Lionel Bart made popular by Cliff Richard and the Shadows (then still The Drifters) in 1959. It has topped the UK charts twice; in its original version and a new version recorded in 1986 in aid of Comic Relief.
The song was originally recorded in 1959 by Cliff Richard and the Drifters and produced by Norrie Paramor. It peaked at #1 on the UK singles chart for six weeks from July 1959, selling over a million copies in the process. The song won Bart an Ivor Novello Award for best song. It was Richard's first US hit single reaching #30 on the Billboard Hot 100.

24 Christians - Forgotten Town
Taken from The Christians' 1987 debut album and contained their first five UK hit singles: "Forgotten Town", "Hooverville", "When the Fingers Point", "Ideal World" and "Born Again".

25 People - I Love You
"I Love You" is a 1965 song by The Zombies, written by their member Chris White, which was covered by People! and The Carnabeats and by several other artists, including foreign translations.
The cover version by People!, released in February 1968 (officially, it was the B-side of "Somebody Tell Me My Name", which was written by Dennis Fridkin and Geoff Levin) (Capitol Records 2078) was a No.14 hit in the USA and went to No.1 in Japan (Capitol CR-1960). In 1968 Capitol released People!'s version in Mexico; Australia and Canada, where it reached No.7 in May 1968;

26 Roger Voudouris - Get Used To It
This song was the only hit for Roger Voudouris, who wrote the song with Michael Omartian, a producer known for producing many of Donna Summer's hits as well as "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" by Christopher Cross and "The Next Time I Fall" by Chicago. This was the only hit for Voudouris, who became a bit of a cult-figure in Australia after appearing on the popular music TV show Countdown in August 1979. Sadly, Roger died in 2003 from liver disease.

27 Ali Thomson - Take A Little Rhythm
Ali Thomson (born 1959 in Glasgow) is a Scottish singer-songwriter. His brother is Doug Thomson, of the Alan Bown Set and Supertramp. Ali began singing and playing piano in local bands and moved to London in the 1970s where he worked for Mountain Records as an office helphand. Ali signed to A&M Records in the UK and recorded two albums. The first album was entitled Take a Little Rhythm, and the title track was a hit in the US, peaking at #10 on the Radio & Records chart and #15 on the Billboard singles chart in the summer of 1980, "Take A Little Rhythm" also peaked at #4 on the Adult Contemporary charts. A second single, "Live Every Minute", charted but did not make the top 40.

28 Billy Paul - Thanks For Saving My Life
Billy Paul (born Paul Williams; December 1, 1934) is a Grammy Award winning American soul singer, most known for his 1972 number-one single, "Me and Mrs. Jones" as well as the 1973 album and single "War of the Gods" which blends his more conventional pop, soul and funk styles with electronic and psychedelic influences. He is usually identified by his diverse vocal style which ranges from mellow and soulful to low and raspy.
Paul was on the Neptune Records label for many years. He recorded much other material of note, including "Am I Black Enough For You?", "Let's Make a Baby" and an alternate version of "Let's Stay Together". Other songs he recorded include "Let 'Em In", "Your Song", "Only the Strong Survive" and "Bring the Family Back".

29 Family - Burlesque
In August 1972, one month prior to the Bandstand LP release, the band issues this single with the A-side a band like the Faces would have dreamed to compose.It's a hit, and should have reached an higher place in the charts than this modest n°13 (but it stayed 12 weeks in them). 

30 Chuck Berry - My Ding A Ling
"My Ding-a-Ling" is the title of a novelty song written and recorded by Dave Bartholomew. In 1972 it was covered by Chuck Berry and became Berry's only U.S. number-one single on the pop charts. Later that year, in a longer unedited form, it was included on the album The London Chuck Berry Sessions. Two members of the Average White Band, guitarist Onnie McIntyre and drummer Robbie McIntosh, played on the single
The lyrics with their sly tone and innuendo (and the enthusiasm of Berry and the audience) caused many radio stations to refuse to play it. British morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse tried unsuccessfully to get the song banned. "One teacher", Whitehouse wrote to the BBC's Director General, "told us of how she found a class of small boys with their trousers undone, singing the song and giving it the indecent interpretation which—in spite of all the hullabaloo—is so obvious … We trust you will agree with us that it is no part of the function of the BBC to be the vehicle of songs which stimulate this kind of behaviour—indeed quite the reverse."

31 Gene McDaniels - Point Of No Return
Gene McDaniels (February 12, 1935 – July 29, 2011) was an African American singer and songwriter, who had his greatest recording success in the early 1960s.
In 1962 he appeared performing in the movie It's Trad, Dad!, directed by Richard Lester. He continued to have minor hit records, including "Chip Chip" and "Spanish Lace", each in 1962, but his suave style of singing gradually became less fashionable.

32 Duncan Browne – Journey
Duncan Browne (25 March 1947 — 28 May 1993) was an English singer-songwriter.
Browne's biggest hit in the UK was the song "Journey" (UK number 23), as televised on Top of the Pops in 1972. The song was included on Browne's second album Duncan Browne in 1973.

33 Al Matthews – Fool
Al Matthews (born November 21, 1942, Brooklyn, New York) is a UK-based American actor and singer, best known for his appearance as Sergeant Apone in the James Cameron film Aliens (1986). He reprised his role 28 years later, providing the voice of Apone for the video game Aliens: Colonial Marines 
Matthews has played various acting other roles, such as a fire chief in Superman III (1983), General Tudor in The Fifth Element (1997) and Master Sergeant #3 in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). He has also worked in British television, appearing in Grange Hill as the father of Benny Green, as well as in theatre and radio; for the latter, as both an actor (on BBC Radio 4) and a presenter (on BBC Radio 1 and Capital Radio). In 1975, he scored a musical hit in the UK Singles Chart, "Fool", which reached number 16 in the September of that year.

34 Carly Simon - Mind On My Man
The second track on this week’s featured album, ‘Hotcakes’

35 Five Star - Rain Or Shine
Peaking at #2 on the UK chart, it was held off the top spot for three weeks by British pop band The Communards with the year's biggest selling song, "Don't Leave Me This Way". "Rain Or Shine" spent a total of 13 weeks inside the UK Top 75, five of those in the Top 10.

36 Al Johnson - Carnival Time
Al "Carnival Time" Johnson (born June 20, 1939, in New Orleans, Louisiana) is an American singer and piano player best known for the Mardi Gras song "Carnival Time".
In 1956, at seventeen, he recorded his first songs, "Ole Time Talkin" and "I've Done Wrong"" for Aladdin Records.[2] Johnson subsequently signed with Ric records and recorded series of songs at Cosimo Matassa's New Orleans recording studio starting with "Lena" in 1958. "Carnival Time" was recorded for the label in 1960.

Well... I hope you enjoyed the show - hopefully, over the next few weeks the show will bed itself in and I'll get it more refined as we go along. Feel free to get in touch and let me know what you thought of the show.

As for the notes above - they took longer to put together than the show did!

Till next time...

Friday, 14 March 2014

Crashed computer files, Champion the Wonder Horse and a new show!

Wow what a week it's been!

It all went wrong last Friday afternoon, when I booted my Music computer, which I use as the playout system for my shows.

I opened the radio software only to be confronted with no music. To say I was slightly concerned would have been an understatement. Panicked would be closer. 8 years worth of music had suddenly disappeared - that's over 41,000 songs.

I checked my music files on the computer and they were still there, so I realised it had to be the data file that had crashed. And here's where I made the big mistake! I re-opened the programme to make sure no data was being found and then went to close it down. As it closes down it asks where you want to save the session data to, and for some stupidly unknown reason, I said I did, and instead of saving it to where it usually goes, I went to where my back up was and saved it over the back up file instead!

Don't ask me why I did it, I really don't know. It wasn't bad enough the file crashing for the first time in eight years, that I then had to ruin the back up as well. Until I'd saved an empty file over a perfectly good back up, I hadn't realised what I'd done. If I've ever been really angry with myself this was the time.

So basically I've had to start compiling the database in the programme all over again. Importing the music was easy - it took around an hour to get all the music back on there. But it wasn't until I'd got the music back on there that it had me what I'd really lost. With so many songs on the computer, they need to be compartmentalised into different genres to make the songs easy to find. I'd originally done this as I imported the music a bit at a time. So now I'd have to start from scratch and do it all again.  If that isn't bad enough, over the years I've added notes to the files to tell me loads of details about the songs. For instance if the song's a 'B' side, I'd have a note saying what the 'A' side was, which album the song was on. Also when it was released and it's highest chart position if that was needed. And loads of other little details.

As you can see, the enormity of my error suddenly became clear, and it has been overwhelming. Since last week, I've spent around 10 hours a day putting the most important songs into new genre folders. So far I've managed to do 24,460, so I'm over halfway through. It's the other details that are going to be the problem. All the information that I've accumulated over the last eight years has to be found and re-input. So as you can tell, one silly action has caused me a whole lot of grief and work to do, just to get back to where I was last Friday morning.

While I was going through my files, I came across Frankie Laine's 'Champion The Wonder Horse'.
When I was a kid it used to be on the telly on a Saturday morning and I loved the show.

As I was struggling putting all my info back on the computer, I decided to see if the series was available on DVD and if it was and at a sensible price, I was going to treat myself to it. Sure enough, I looked online at Amazon and there it was. And what's more it was only £9.99 + postage. And so I bought it. 3 days later, it turned up and I was like a kid. I couldn't wait to watch it, so I took a break from data input and watched the first two episodes.

I loved it! Ricky, Uncle Sandy, Blaze and Champion, my old friends were back! I can't wait to see the rest of the shows. Simplistic they are, but nostalgia is such a wonderful thing. It's great to be transported away from being a grown up and just reliving my childhood, if only for half an hour at a time.

Talking about being transported back in time, this morning, I recorded the first 'Missing In Action' show. I explained about it in the blog last week, and I've spent the time in between choosing songs for the first show.

Well after recording it, I can only say you'll either love it or hate it! Personally I loved it, but then again, I'm biased. I've always wanted to hear a show that had these songs in it and now I'm fortunate enough to be doing it.

There are 36 songs in the first show. 21 are British Top 40 hits. There are 3 album tracks and some American hits as well as others that didn't quite make the charts, although they received airplay.

All in all I was nervous doing it, but it was great fun to do and I can't wait to get some feedback after it's been heard.

I think it'll take a few shows for it to bed in and get it how I want it, and I'll be hoping to get a lot of listener input along the was as well.

So it's been a good end to what's been a very frustrating week.

Till next time....

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Champion The Wonder Horse

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Missing In Action!

You may be wondering what this new show I'm so excited about doing is going to be? Well Let me explain.

Many times during my shows, I’ve had someone say to me, "They just don’t play songs like this on the radio any more".

Well that’s about to change – I’m going to be doing a brand new show called ‘Missing In Action’ where I’m going to endeavour to right that particular wrong.

I’m going to be playing those ‘lost pop hits’ that used to be on the radio but no longer fit their formats. I’m going to be playing those songs you’ve not heard on the radio in ages, and for a whole show!

Do you remember in the days before youtube, how you’d have some friends round and play your records and you’d dip in and out of singles, LPs, and even CDs, and find yourself going ‘Wow I’ve not heard that in ages’? Well I’m going to be doing just that.

Each week we’ll have a ‘Screwball’ – a novelty or oddball song from way back when.

The Flashback Three’ is where you’ll have the chance to remind me of three of your favourite hits that never get played anymore.

Off The Beaten Track’ will be where we play something that was in our Parents’ collection that we shouldn’t have liked, but did!

Every week we’ll feature a great album and play some songs from it

There’ll be the Bargain Bin Special’ where you can ask me to play a song that you’ve bought in a second hand shop, car boot sale or a charity shop. It’ll be a great ‘pop song’ that once again, doesn’t receive airplay at most stations. Best of all, you paid next to nothing for it.

And each week, I’ll post some songs on my blog that I’m not sure are Lost Or Not’ and you can decide. Once you have, we’ll play the songs if they’re ‘lost’ but won’t if they’re ‘not.

All in all it’s going to be a fun show with loads of hits that are still out there, but have been ‘Missing In Action’ for far too long! 

The show will be with you for the first time in just a few weeks. 

How does that sound to you?

Friday, 28 February 2014

Into the sunset for 'The Weekender'!

You know when things seem to be going OK, but you have an underlying feeling that things aren't quite right? Well that's how I've felt with one of my shows of late. So after mulling it over for a while, I've decided to call it a day with 'The Weekender.' It feels like it's the right time to say goodbye, and by the time I do the last show, I'll have done 125 of them.

The show started out as 'Friday Night Out', a cheesy getting ready to go out show that was done specifically for Ace FM over in Spain, and was so well received that after the first month, they wanted more. However, you can't really play 'Friday Night Out' on a Saturday, so after the fifth week, we changed the name to 'The Weekender.'

Since then the show has gone to stations worldwide and to be honest, it's done very well. The premise of the show was that we were going to do a cheesy show that was just about having fun, and for a while that's what I did. Along the way the show started to evolve and the music changed adding the 90s to the 70s and 80s I'd originally started playing.

However, by the start of this year, it became apparent to me that it was feeling a bit stale. Listener's wouldn't have noticed, but I'm my own worst critic and I can tell when it doesn't feel right. And as the weeks have gone on, my feelings haven't really changed. After recording next week's show, I felt that I couldn't in all honesty keep putting a show out that I felt wasn't going to get any better. And so I made the decision to call it a day. I have one more show to record and I'll make it as good as I possibly can.

It's been a pleasure to do the show for the last few years and I think the time is right to let it finish on a high, while listeners are still enjoying it.

Will I be replacing the show with something else? Absolutely. I have an idea for a show that I'm quite excited about, that I'm going to have a play with and put it out on Rewind Central and Podcast to see if it sounds as good as I think it will, and if it's received well, I'll make it available to stations.

What's it going to be? I'll let you know in good time.

Until such time, don't forget to keep listening to the shows I already produce. Also, while I think about it, if you have any ideas for a show that I may want to do, let me know.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

What I'm Listening to: Jose Feliciano - Feliciano!

Listening to this album is like listening to an old friend. Guitar virtuoso Jose Feliciano is without doubt a legend of popular music having been around for 40 years or so.

It was his breakthrough album back in 1968 and comprises of a collection of covers that warms the soul. The single from the album was his version of The Door's 'Light My Fire' which had his version of the Mama's and The Papas 'California Dreamin'' on the flip side. However you shouldn't forget his versions of 'Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying' and 'In My Life' which to be fair, he makes his own.

Jose's voice has a haunting quality about it that makes me just want to listen carefully and embrace it fully. This is an album that combines ballads, soul, Latin and Folk, and yet it's one that even if you've not heard it before will be familiar, probably because of the songs.

He shows his quality as a guitarist throughout the album, particularly on the instrumental tracks such as 'And I Love Her. Even though I can't speak Spanish, 'Nena Na Na' is enchanting,

A quick research enabled me to find out that this album won two Grammy's including 'Best New Artist'. In 1969, it was nominated for a grammy as 'Best Album Of The Year', and producer Rick Jerrard received a nomination as 'Best Producer Of The Year'.

Like I said this album is an old friend. I've not played it in ages, and hearing it again has been a joy. Oh yes, and in 1968, the other Grammy was for 'Best Male Pop Song of The Year' with 'Light My Fire'

A great album, well worth your time!

Track Listing:
  1. California Dreamin'
  2. Light My Fire
  3. Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying 
  4. In My Life 
  5. And I Love Her
  6. Nena Na Na 
  7. (There's) Always Something There To Remind Me
  8. Just A Little Bit Of Rain 
  9. Sunny 
  10. Here, There And Everywhere 
  11. The Last Thing On My Mind 

The Burning House and what I'd take.

I bought a book the other day which has caused me to evaluate what’s important to me in my life. It’s called ‘The Burning House’ and the premise is that your house is burning. You have to get out fast. Suddenly you are forced to prioritize, editing down a lifetime of possessions to a mere handful. Now you must decide: Of all the things you own, what is most important to you?

So are the things that are important to your life practical, valuable or sentimental. This is what separates us as individuals and makes us the people we are.

At first, I started to think about what I’d hate to lose in my life. Well all my music for starters. I’ve been collecting for as long as I can remember. I’d be in a terrible mess if I still had all the vinyl I’d bought over the years. Luckily, back in 2002, I started to convert all my records and CDs into mp3 format.

I now have a all my music on hard drive, well on one hard drive and two back up hard drives. There is also my playout computer system that has 42,000 songs that I can choose from for my radio shows. These songs are backed up onto 274 mp3 CDs as back up. So basically, It’s all comfortably backed up and can all be accessed from one of 3 hard drives.

Photos play an important part of my life as I’m a nostalgic kind of guy. I have all my photos on CDs and hard drives. All my pre-digital photos have been scanned and they are also on hard drive. However, there is one area I still need to address. When my Mum and Dad died, I took possession of three suitcases full of their old photos. These photos have played such an important part of my life. When I used to visit my parents, we’d often get the photos out and my Mum would tell me about the people on the photos. They were a part of the history of my family, and their friends.

I’ve managed to scan one of the suitcases of photos and have them on my hard drive, so I’ve still got a lot to do. Then, I suppose it would be a good idea to keep a back up hard drive of all the photos.

Having done that, two hard drives would pretty much contain the things that I’d struggle to replace.

Books would be another area where I’d struggle. I’ve thought about that and at a push I could leave all of them, because the favourite books could all be bought again.

I’m not really someone who values possessions too much, I could pretty much sell 99% of the stuff I have and replace with new.

So it comes down to what is irreplaceable – priceless – the stuff that it would break my heart to lose. When it comes down to it, what would I want to make sure I got on my way out of the door?

Well, the most important things to me, are probably worth very little on the open market, but they probably say more about me than anything else I own.

The most important possessions I have are four reel to reel tapes that belonged to my Dad. On these tapes are basically the songs and tunes that made me the music lover that I became so early in my life and continue to be today.

So what’s on them? Well, my Godfather owned a record shop, and my Dad used to borrow all the chart hits of the time, take them home and record them (A& B sides). The music on these tapes comes from the chart period of 1958 to 1960. I’m sure he had more tapes, but over the years they disappeared (although I don’t remember there being any more).

Besides all the singles, there’s one tape that has a very early Bill Haley LP on one side, and a Gene Vincent LP on the other side. The Bill Haley LP has songs dating back to 1953 on it, the Gene Vincent LP is from 1957. I've pretty much spent most of my life collecting the songs on these tapes.

The tapes are all still playable, but the music has degraded over the 50+ years since Dad recorded them.

It’s funny, I’d never really thought about it before, but now it seems to me that 2 hard drives and four reel to reel tapes could contain the goods and chattels of my life that are important.

Before I go, I just want to say that I’m talking about the things of my life, not the people!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Ringtones, dieting, recycling vinyl and a tune for Spring!

Well after a horrible winter, we've recently had a nice few days and I have to say it really cheers you up. As George Formby used to say, "It's turned out nice again!"

As always, I'm busy with my radio shows. The four of them keep me out of mischief for the most part and I've recently had some ideas for a few more 'special' shows.

Do you remember when we had phones that used to make that ringing bell sound? Not any more. Walking through the street last week, I heard some people's phones going, and all had different music.

I'm no different. For the last few years, my mobile phone rings to the intro of Donell Jones' song 'U Know What's Up.' In fact, I've had it so long, that now whenever the song comes on, I look around for my phone!

Anyway, the other day, I was having a little muse on Facebook as you do about ring tones and started to ask people what their's was. There are some great responses with tunes on the phones. There seems to be plenty of soul, a fair few TV and film themes and some other odds and sods. If I get enough in, I thin k we could end up with a ringtones special show!

Last week, I decided it was time to shed the winter poundage. I don't know about you, but once November descends on us, I start to comfort eat - you know, stews, shepherd's pie, all that sort of thing. The trouble is it just piles the weight on. Particularly for me as I have a fairly sedentary life. Let's be fair, I spend most of my life sat at a desk, and the thought of jogging.... well it doesn't bear thinking about does it?

So anyway, I thought it was time to start my losing weight regime again. I'm a week into it, and I've lost 2lb 6oz - as you can tell, I still work out my weight in the old-fashioned way. For the life of me I don't understand kilogrammes.

I figure if I share my weight with people on a weekly basis, I might stick with it. It makes me accountable. At least I think so. If I tell you I'm going to lose 10lbs, which is what I said, I need to stick to it, and posting the photos of my weight will let you know I'm sticking with it.

Now some people think losing 2lb 6oz isn't to much, but I look at it this way. Carry a 2lb bag of sugar around with you for a day, and then tell me it's not a significant amount.

I'm aiming to lose a pound a week. I figure it's not too much to lose and also a small goal makes it achievable and will keep me motivated to carry on.

So what else have I been up to since we last spoke? Well, I've started a new mailing list to promote my radio stuff and Rewind Central. I know I bung loads on facebook, however, I'm not really good at promoting as I don't make the effort to get out there and hopefully, a newsletter every couple of weeks will help to remedy that. If you'd like to sign up to it, click here.

On top of that, in order to bring in a bit of extra income to help with the running of Rewind Central, myself and Debz have started a little online shop. As music plays so much a part of my life, and as we've got a nostagia love, we thought we'd try to combine the two and make and sell related goods. 

The first line we have is a series of upcyled record clocks. We're taking unloved records and revamping them to make them into cool gifts that are talking points. It basically saves taking them to the tip. I bought a job lot of albums that were basically going to be scrapped and have been revamping them, giving them new labels and adding clock movements to them. We can take specific orders for them, so anything within reason is possible.

We've opened a shop on Etsy where the full range is at the moment. Hopefully, we're going to be recycling records, cassettes and suchlike into things that can be used for a bit of fun. Also we'll try to find some genuine retro bits and bobs as well. It'll be the Rewind Central gift shop for want of a better guise. You can check out the shop here.

So we've become all art and crafty too! As you can tell, it's not been idle around here.

I'd like to leave you this time with a tune to celebrate the start the end of winter with a little ditty from Donna Summer. Till next time....