Saturday, 29 December 2012

The Richest Songs in the World (BBC 4 documentary)


If you're like me - a reasonable supposition if you've elected to read this blog - then this TV documentary probably didn't seem the most enticing of prospects. Another excuse for a musical countdown: cue overfamiliar info, annoying celeb soundbites and those frustrating, miniscule fragments of the songs themselves which make you wonder why you're wasting your time when you could be, I dunno, writing a play or something.

Still, always a bit of manufactured tension to be savoured after you've allowed yourself to get hooked and fall to wondering just what songs will feature higher up the list - though to extract maximum enjoyment it's generally wiser to record this kind of show, not watch it live: that way you've got a fighting chance of skipping to the good, or goodish, bits without being driven crazy in the meantime by the aforesaid celebs' unremarkable musings or, worse, the portentous tones of a certain ubiquitous, rent-an-authority commentator.

In the event, however, he didn't feature, and in fact this show proved to be something a great deal better than the norm, which is why I'm writing about it below, and recommending that you catch it on BBC iplayer here, where it will be available to view in the UK until the 1st of February 2016. [updated link]

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Valentines - A Christmas Prayer



As a reluctant nod to the season, herewith Christmas Prayer, a lesser-known Valentines track from 1955 - at least it isn't on the Collectables Best of collection that I have. I first came across it on a UK compilation  of Christmas-related songs from "the Roulette family of labels" on the now-defunct Westside label, which issued quite a lot of doo wop.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Snodgrass or Lost John



Today marks the third anniversary of this blog and I was all ready to do some reflecting on what it's all been for - and possibly some shameful admission of the amount of time I've wasted and why I ought never to write another word here and devote myself to Important Writing. But then I saw something and I thought: Wow! 


Now I don't know whether you will share my reaction, but I do know I want to record it for those who might. Ready? Okay.

Beat.

They're making a film of Snodgrass.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Ian Whitcomb


If you were turned on to Ian Whitcomb as a result of reading an earlier entry in this blog - or even if you've just alighted in search of information about him -  then you may be concerned to know that he is currently recovering from a stroke: details on the ukelelia site here. Luckily he and his wife Regina were at a restaurant two blocks from a hospital when it happened and Regina recognised the symptoms. He has already resumed broadcasting - I've just been listening to the second part of his Before the Beatles show - but get well cards can be sent to PO Box 451, Altadena, CA. 91001.