Thursday 14 April 2011

Pop up station for 1930s singer

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  Happy listening! 

******STOP PRESS******
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: 

Angel Radio,
17 Market Parade,
PO9 1PY.


  1. Hello there,
    This has excited me so much, thank you for sharing... my DAB tuner is poised (ooo I can use my new nifty transmitter box that can tune DAB into AM and then through my Pye Sunburst speakers)
    G x

  2. ...and he had a face made for radio. When he sings, you can almost hear the rattling flickering of a projector, occasionally warbling the voice, and all of the sensations that assuredly accompanied the era.

  3. Oooh, excellent! I'll have to listen online; we get our digital radio through the telly.

  4. Thanks for the tip off on the radio! I shall have to tune in :)

  5. Oh Love Angel Radio! When I vist my family on the I.O.W I always make sure I tune in.
    Love Al Bowlly too, he truly was the original Crooner!!

  6. Good old Al, I wonder if they will be repeating the tv thingy that bbc 4 had made about him- if not they should! Have to look up the stations- how exciting! Thanks for sharing. Tups x

  7. Just discovered 'Popup' just as it's due to close down. Stop! keep it going It's great. Al Read, Billy Cotton et al, fab listening.

    Roy of Sturry


Don't just sit there, type something! I enjoy reading all friendly and positive comments.


Popular Posts