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]

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas Quiz- Answers


As I'm going to be out later I am posting the answers to the Christmas Quiz now, but entries will still be accepted up to 10pm GMT today (Boxing Day). So go to the entry here if you still want to take part and don't click below to read the answers until you have submitted your entry via the Comments box in the Questions post. Good luck, everyone, and thanks for taking part - hands across the water, indeed. 

I have tricked out the answers with a few pics and youtube links, so even if you didn't outperform the others at least you will get a bit of diversion. I now feel slightly bad that I didn't contribute a prize - maybe next year. Okay, prepare yourself. And the blogger's decision is final, unless you can provide proof positive to the contrary (and no, self-adjusted wikipedia entries don't count):

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.

Quiz Time


 [ANSWERS CAN BE FOUND HERE]
Yes, already it's the annual Pop Quiz. If you've been listening to all the great DJs like Pete Drummond and John Peel and buying gatefold LPs, ideally while wearing a greatcoat bought from the Army and Navy Surplus Store, then you'll probably get all the answers. Well done in advance!
If, on the other hand, you've been listening to Alan Dell and David Jacobs on boring old Radio 2 then almost certainly you won't have a clue, and chances are you'll experience a lasting sense of humiliation if you attempt the questions below.

But don't let that put you off. This is merely a bit of fun to enliven the festive season.
Add your answers in the Comments section below, but do write in block caps at the top "not to be read by other participants", otherwise that will ruin the fun for everyone - all because you couldn't be bothered to obey one simple rule.

Just to be clear: there is no prize of any kind. It's just a bit of fun. Oh, and best of luck. And I really mean that. Ready?

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.