Johnnie Walker’s Long Players

Sometimes I hear a radio programme and it blows me away, it melts my heart and soothes the soul.

Former pirate Johnnie Walker has a new series on BBC Radio 2 in which he discusses some of his favourite albums from the 1970s. The first episode featured Hunky Dory and Aladdin Sane by David Bowie. Both of these have been my favourite Bowie album at different times in my life, so it was a joy to hear the songs again and the chat between Johnnie and his guest David Hepworth.

I listened to the programme this morning while on delivery. Usually I rush to get finished as quickly as possible. But two or three times today, I just had to stop and listen, paying full attention.

Any time something like this comes on that makes me wish I’d been there at the time must have something going for it.

I’d forgotten that Rick Wakeman played the piano on Hunky Dory, for instance. And it hadn’t occurred that David and Angie Bowie were a ‘celebrity couple’ before the concept really existed.

This show is one I’ll keep forever because it was brilliantly entertaining and informative – and it left me wanting more. (Yes, I know, I can always play the records at home!)

I might find the next episode more difficult to listen to. It’s about Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, from 1973. I’ll probably listen in the privacy of my own home. Why? Well, this was the last album that my wife Sarah and I listened to, the night before she died. I’ve not listened to it since, and it’s been nearly 11 years. But when one of the songs is played on the radio, I still get goosebumps.

Johnnie Walker’s Long Players, BBC Radio 2, next Thursday at 11.00pm. And the previous show is here on BBC iPlayer until Thursday. Highly recommended.

PS I have a Johnnie Walker story, a David Hepworth story, a David Bowie story and an Aladdin Sane story – but I’ll save those for another day, when this blog has settled down and I have a better idea of what I’m doing here.

PPS I named this blog Radio Top Soup on Day One in a moment of desperation because all the other names I thought of were already taken. I now have a better name (I think) so as soon as I find out how to change it in WordPress, I shall do so. Meanwhile, don’t change those bookmarks.

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