Sounds of the 60s

Happy International Women’s Day – to everyone.

On BBC London 94.9 this afternoon, Danny Baker is wearing high heeled shoes to mark the occasion.


But I remember about 20 years ago on GLR when Johnnie Walker became Jenny Walker to acknowledge International Women’s Day. All the records he played were by women and it is one of those shows I wish I’d recorded for posterity.

All of which, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with Sounds of the 60s which is the main topic for today.

This is another one of those shows that I try to listen to each week, but usually end up hearing later in the week. It’s presented by Brian Matthew, and has been for over 20 years now, although the show itself has been running since 1983. The format has evolved over the years but I do like hearing songs from the 1960s, probably for the first time. Equally, it’s nice to hear some old favourites for the first time in many years.

Lately, Brian has also been playing old BBC sesions, whether from his old 1960s show Saturday Club (which I would listen to whenever I could get away with it) or from later in the ’60s, bands like Pink Floyd on John Peel’s Top Gear programme.

So, that’s Sounds of the 60s on Radio 2, and pretty much every show on BBC 6 Music playing John Peel sessions.

Something that I don’t think will ever stop surprising me is just how much 1960s music is being released now on CD: so many compilations.

And, not only that: I was too young in  the ’60s to buy new records, and I feel I ought to make up for lost time, and buy some… But then, with a programme like this on every week, I probably have my fill of 1960s pop music.

Playlists for every show are available at the BBC Sounds of the 60s site.

The Brian Matthew Story

The Sun was out this morning, not particularly warm but certainly bright enough to crank my reactolites up to 11. My glasses have rarely turned so dark, it was hard to see what I was doing.

But I was listening to The Brian Matthew Story broadcast last week on Radio 2. I’ve been listening to him, on and off, since Saturday Club on the old Light Programme in the early 1960s. He’s had an interesting career whch is still going strong with Sounds of the Sixties – apparently the most listened-to show on Radio 2.

I really enjoyed the programme. Until it came to a grinding ha

My downloaded version from BBC iPlayer suddenly stopped before the programme had finished. The file was an hour long but I should have known something was wrong when I heard the last couple of minutes of the preceding programme, Frank Renton’s Listen to the Band. Plus the three-minute long news bulletin.

I notice that the iPlayer extends the files from Radio 4 Extra, presumably to accommodate late running shows. I should write to iPlayer HQ and request the same service from Radio 2.

Interestingly, of the (admittedly very few) TV shows watched on the iPlayer, 100% have started at the beginning and stopped at the end. No premature terminations. End of rant.

Sorry, only one day left to hear (most of) this programme on the iPlayer. But I’m sure it will be repeated sometime. Maybe I’ll hear the whole thing next time!