Friday, 17 April 2009

Sir Clement Freud, Handel and the People's Chart

Hello Bloggers

I am sorry, I've neglected you of late. As some of you may realise I have had rather a nasty cold - but since you ask it is getting better thanks. One or two of you may prefer my more gravelly tones, though I still have some way to reach the depths of our afternoon soul and jazz presenter Warren Knight!

Anyway, I was on three times this week. On Tuesday we remembered the 250th Anniversary of composer Georg Freidrich Handel who died on 14th April 1759. Although we tend to concentrate on today's popular music and comment on the news, I have to tell you that this event was too big to ignore. Mack who I met in the Robin Hood pub described Handel as "the Jimi Hendrix of his day!" He wrote some great music, oratarios, choral works such as the Messiah and Zadok the Priest and that tune they use to advertise the Harrods sale, so I put some of that into the show. Although he was German, he actually spent most of his working life in London and wrote much of his work in English so I think we can claim him proudly as one of our own.

On Tuesday, I also shared with you the results of the People's Chart, a Top 75 by PPL which licences all public perfomance of songs played not just on radio and tv but anywhere including pubs, clubs, cafe's and shops. The poll covers 75 years of music so there were some real surprises. The Beatles failed to make the Top 10, but they manage to appear three times as does Robbie Williams. Most other artists only appear once or twice. There's no Motown in the chart and very little soul. In case you missed it here's the Top Five: 1. Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade of Pale, 2. Queen -Bohemian Rhapsody, 3. Everly Bros - All I Have To Do Is Dream, 4. Wet Wet Wet -Love Is All Around, 5. Bryan Adams - Everything I Do, (I Do It For You).

During the week, I also managed to play you tracks by Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Joy Division, T Rex, Renee & Angela, Chic, Fleet Foxes, Prince, 10cc, Morrissey, Joan Osbourne, Junior, Bee Gees, Beyonce, Isaac Hayes, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, George Harrison and many others. I am also featuring the odd track from the Scottish poet Ivor Cutler.

In the news I was sorry to hear of the death of Sir Clement Freud, the former Liberal MP who is probably best remembered for his lugubrious personality, appearances on 'Just A Minute' and for those commercials he made in the 1970s for dog food with his bloodhound, Henry. He is a reminder that there are at least some decent people in public life. I am getting bored hearing about politicians' expenses and dodgy emails but I remain angry about the wrongful arrest of opposition MP Damien Green for simply doing his job. The continuing news about how the police handled the G20 demonstrations remains a cause for concern. All I can add is that the position of the home secretary Jacqui Smith is becoming increasingly untenable. On a lighter note, I also told you about a man who found a fir tree growing inside him and covered local news including the resignation of two councillors in Welwyn Hatfield.

If you have any ideas about the music you would like to hear or topics we cover on Radio Verulam please use this blog to add your comments.

My partner in crime Danny Smith (minus goatee beard now, I understand) is looking after you three days a week. I am back with you Tuesday and Thursday 4-7pm


John B-S

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