Monday, 10 April 2017

Sounds of the 60s

Fantasy Bob was sorry to hear of the passing of Brian Matthew last week.  Brain Matthew was the long serving host of Sounds of the 60s - the programme which has accompanied FB's Saturday breakfasting for many years.

Indeed in these days of the introduction of listener phone-ins on Radio 3 and the endless Faragification of the wider air waves, Sounds of the 60s has been just about he only radio programme FB has been able to enjoy without feeling the constant need to shout back at the set.

It was Mrs FB who suggested that for the good of his health he should desist from such vigorous responses - for if he didn't stop his caterwauling she would come downstairs and put him in hospital herself.

There was no need for such responses when Matthew took to the air.  His smooth voice was familiar and comforting.  His knowledge of the music at hand effortlessly compendious.   He conveyed the impression that he knew all the musicians personally.  Test match quality.

This was a voice FB recognised from his childhood.  For FB recalls earlier Matthews programmes - The Saturday Club and Easybeat back in the day.  He has a distinct memory of hearing the Saturday Club as he sat in the local barber waiting for his short back and sides leafing through a well thumbed copy of Reveille.  The pubescent FB found this a somewhat racy publication  although this did not make up fully for its disappointingly limited interest in cricket.  For some reason the song that comes to mind, as he sits there leafing, is Frank Iffield's I Remember You.

Just around the corner from the barber shop was a small sports shop - the type of outlet that no longer exists.  No moulded soles or screw in studs - FB recalls the box of  leather football boot studs which had to be hammered into the traditional boot, their sharp nails obtruding.  FB cannot remember buying anything in the shop except dubbin and laces for his football boots, but it was the place you went to get your leather football blown up or the grip on your cricket bat changed.  Services which Sports Direct lamentably fail to offer.

But FB digresses.

Brian Matthew was cruelly removed from the show earlier this year, very much against his will. There was a petition to reinstate him.  Sadly however the grim reaper pays such popular will no respect.

The show lives on.  It is now introduced by Tony Blackburn.  While FB can remember listening to Blackburn in the early days of Radio 1, he did so with little pleasure.  His habit of talking over the start and end of records and the inane jokes make it a trying listening experience.  He was soon a refugee to Radio 3.

But with the advent of Blackburn accompanying his Saturday breakfast, FB has found he has started shouting at the radio again.   Vigorously.

Mrs FB is suggesting that this can't be good for his health.


  1. Almost more than anything, Brian Matthew's mellow tones epitomised the sound of popular radio in the 60s. His effortless delivery, and seemingly encyclopaedic knowledge of the music he introduced, remain fixed in the memories of those who grew up in the era of the BBC Light Programme and its successors, Radios 1 and 2. For the sake of his health, I would recommend that FB avoids listening to Fearne Cotton.

    1. FB is sure that this is sound advice even though he has never heard of Fearne Cotton - what is his/her bowling action?

  2. Hard to describe really but she has a very annoying delivery

    1. Thanks. FB will make sure he stays at the non-striker's end.