An interesting month for all things audio.
BBC Radio 2 has made the tough decision to ditch live overnights, in favour
of “curated playlists”, complementing repeats of specialist shows.
Following that, a revamp of the weekend schedule has just been announced with
Sounds of the 60s moved two hours earlier with Tony Blackburn as the new host,
and Dermot O’Leary switching to a Saturday breakfast slot, presumably to give
JK and Lucy on the Heart Network a rough ride.
It hasn’t all been depressing on the air mind.
You could be forgiven for first thoughts on the series being
“the title must have come first”.
But having provided two delightful outings last year on Radio 2 showcasing
the finest female vocalists of different musical genres in “Nell’s Angels”
(yeah?) the singer’s follow-up series takes things out of the radio studio and
into Nell’s surroundings of New York City in search of stories behind the
many styles of music within the area ranging from jazz, disco, folk
and antifolk (all one word of course).
Not just from the songs themselves, but on-site audio of street musicians
and live music music venues.
We’re treated to a visit to the American Legion 398 Jazz Club in Harlem,
and meet Chic vocalist Alfa Anderson in a pizza restaurant, with Bryden acting
as the lively and knowledgeable tour guide of the big city.
An warm example of radio’s story-telling strengths outside of the studio.
Since September, PM has given the last quarter or so of it’s Monday programme
to Steve Hewlett, former Panorama editor now presenter of Radio 4’s
“The Media Show” giving his frank and moving analysis of dealing with
his cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
The interview broadcast on Monday just passed was even more so with
Hewlett speaking from his bed at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London,
revealing a difficult development with a careful blend of honesty and humour,
and a lesson as a whole from Eddie Mair in the role of the interviewer.
Again, difficult to sum up in writing, but if not listened to yet, definitely worth
half an hour of one’s spare time.
Though one fella who can do so, much better than I can, Iain Lee,
on his talkRADIO show last night, as part of a passionate dissection
on the stupid “style guide” from Bauer Media that has done the rounds.