Pop up station for 1930s singer
This Sunday, the 17th of April, will mark the 70th anniversary of the untimely death of one of the greatest jazz singers of all time and certainly one of my favourite crooners of the 1930s - Al Bowlly. His classic rendition of The Very Thought of You (above) remains for me one of the great love songs and his voice and style is incredibly redolent of the period.
By way of a commemoration Hampshire-based community radio station Angel Radio, some of whose output includes 1920s, '30s and '40s music, has gone semi-nationwide on the DAB network with a series of programmes showcasing the songs of the period and particularly those of Al Bowlly and the various bandleaders he worked with.
Ever since the advent of digital radio I have been longing for someone to set up a station devoted to early dance band and big band music (plus other related genres), and I'm sure I've not been alone in that wish. Since the shameful treatment of the late Malcolm Laycock, who used to present Sunday Night at 10 on B.B.C. Radio 2, and the B.B.C. later dropping British dance bands from the programme completely, there hasn't been a single exponent on the national DAB network so far as I could see. While I will continue to get my dance band fixes from Internet radio stations Soundstage and Radio Dismuke, this new addition to the DAB ranks is a long overdue one.
It's not clear to me whether this is a temporary arrangement to coincide with the anniversary or something more permanent (I hope the latter!) but either way I welcome this new station and look forward to hearing what it has to offer. If you're in any of the areas mentioned in the article and own a digital radio, my advice is to do a quick re-tune and look for a the station called "Pop Up". For those of you outside the UK or in areas not covered the programmes are available online at www.popupradio.co.uk. Happy listening!
I have just heard that this station is temporary and will cease broadcasting on the 28th April. However if you like 70 Years Without Al Bowlly (and I suspect that if you're reading this, you do!) Angel Radio urge you write to them to show your support so that they might "do it again". Who knows, maybe they'll even be able to make it permanent. "Every letter counts", they say, so I will be taking up my pen and paper and if you wish to do the same the address to write to is:
17 Market Parade,