Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008


The last RADIOLA! of the 2008 WHCL broadcast season was to have been tomorrow, Friday December 19. Owing to a severe weather forecast, I'm opting not to broadcast. I'm deeply disappointed (especially since the program is all ready to go) but it isn't worth risking the drive from Utica to Clinton in a blizzard.

This will be a wonderful program, complete with an in-studio guest, but it may be some time before we get to air it on WHCL.

I'll be uploading homemade shows (and RADIOLA! "classics") to Live365 over the next two months until I can get back on Hamilton College radio.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Just what it says on the box. I'll upload something tasty to my Live365 station to tide you over.

Friday, December 05, 2008

"London Calling" December 5, 2008 INTERNET ONLY

(Week 148)

Since BBC Radio 2 has declared an interdict on pre-1940 dance music, this RADIOLA! endeavors to fill that abhorrent vacuum with three hours of great British bands.

Owing to the broadcast demands of the college hockey season (and the resulting preemption of RADIOLA! on WHCL), this program will be recorded and uploaded directly to my Live365 station as soon as possible.

I've also uploaded a classic RADIOLA! from February 20, 2006 ("A Foggy Day") featuring a British-themed playlist.

Lew Stone – Radio Announcement (1932?) – A Tribute to Lew Stone
Carroll Gibbons & The Savoy Orpheans – On the Air (1932) – ASV Living Era CD AJA 5308
Frascatians (Allan Selby) – The Things We Want the Most Are Hard to Get (1929)– Alex 017-A [ToNY]
Ray Starita and his Ambassadors’ Band – Wake Up! Chill’un, Wake Up! (1929) – Avid AVC 539
Roy Fox and his Band – Rise ‘n’ Shine (1936) – Rise ‘n’ Shine (Vocalion)
Percival Mackey Band – A Garden in the Rain (1929) – Alex 020-B [ToNY]
Savoy Havana Band – At Sundown (1927) – Music & Memories MMD 1007
Ray Starita and his Ambassadors’ Band – Blue River (1928) – Ray Starita 1928-1931 [NVS118-ToNY]
Fred Elizalde and his Anglo-American Band – Nobody’s Sweetheart (1928) – Retrieval RTR 79011
Savoy Plaza Band – Jollity Farm (1929) – Alex 023-A [ToNY]
Henry Hall and the BBC Dance Orch – April in Paris (1934) – ASV Living Era CD AJA 5184
Sid Phillips & his Melodians – Heartaches (1931)– Al Bowlly Rare British LP Collection [ToNY]
Lew Stone & his Band (Al Bowlly, v) – Mama, I Wanna Make Rhythm (1938) – Living Era CD AJA 5435
Kit Kat Band – Riverboat Shuffle (1925) – Hot British Dance Bands
Billy Cotton Band – Huggable, Kissable You (1929) – Alex 006-A [ToNY]
New Mayfair Orch (Ray Noble) – The Blackbirds and the Bluebirds Got Together (1929) – [ToNY]
Ambrose and his Orch (Sam Browne, v) – Masquerade (1932)
Hutch with Harry Roy and his Orch – Let’s Call it a Day (1933) – ASV Living Era CD AJA 5207
Percival Mackey Band – My Heart is Where the Mohawk Flows Tonight (1931) – Alex 096-B [ToNY]
Piccadilly Revels Band – Buffalo Rhythm (1927) – Hot British Dance Bands
Jack Jackson and his Band (Alberta Hunter, v) (1935) – Stars Fell on Alabama – Everything’s In Rhythm
Lew Stone and his Band (Al Bowlly, v) – Easy Come, Easy Go (1934) – A Tribute to Lew Stone
John Firman and Band (Maurice Elwin, v) – That’s My Desire (1931) – Music & Memories MMD 1007
Terry Mack and his Boys – Underneath the Arches (1931) – Alex 022-A [ToNY]
Savoy Havana Band – Masculine Women, Feminine Men (1926) – Conifer CDHD 160
Jack Leon and his Band (Al Bowlly, v) – Oh! Rosalita (1931) -- Goodnight Sweetheart: Al Bowlly 1931
Blue Lyres – My Silent Love (1932) – Alan Miles Blue Lyres [ToNY]
Sid Lipton & his Grosvenor House Band – Happy Go Lucky You (1932) – ASV Living Era CD AJA 5182
Tommy Kinsman and his Band – There’s Something in the Air (1936) – Alex 001-A [ToNY]
Lew Stone and his Band – Look What I’ve Got (1934) – A Tribute to Lew Stone
Roy Fox and his Band (Al Bowlly, v) – Ya Got Love (1931) – Roy Fox and his Band (Flapper)
Carroll Gibbons & Savoy Orpheans (Al Bowlly, v) – Sweet and Lovely (1931) – Al Bowlly: Formative Years
Ray Noble and his Orch (Al Bowlly, v) – Midnight, the Stars, and You (1934) – Rathbone 0351
Henry Hall and the BBC Dance Orch – Radio Times (1934) – Pennies From Heaven Disc One
The Four Bright Sparks – Every Day Away From You (1930) – British Dance Bands [NVSCD 111 ToNY]
Fred Elizalde and his Anglo-American Band – Singapore Sorrows (1929) – Retrieval RTR 79011
The Six Swingers (Sam Costa, v) – A Little Bit Independent (1936) – Music & Memories MMD 1007
Philip Brown Grosvenor Band – Crazy People (1933) – Alex 017-A [ToNY]
Oscar Rabin and his Romany Band – Woe is Me! (1936) – Music & Memories MMD 1007
Ambrose and his Orch – Whistling in the Dark (1932) – Pennies From Heaven Disc Two
Ray Noble and his Orch (Al Bowlly, v) – I’ve Got to Sing a Torch Song (1933) – Vocalion CDEA 6043
Lew Stone and his Band (Alan Kane, v) – Stay As Sweet As You Are (1934) – Pulse CD PBXCD 422/1
Percival Mackey and his Band – Time on My Hands (1931) – Music & Memories MMD 1007
Debroy Somers Band – Got a Date With An Angel (1931) – British Dance Bands No.2 (Crystal Stream)
Nat Gonella and his Georgians – Nagasaki (1935) – ASV Living Era CD AJA 5300
Carroll Gibbons Savoy Orpheans – Let’s Face the Music and Dance (1936) – Pulse PBXCD 422/3
(Vocals Anne Lenner / Brian Lawrance)
Roy Fox and his Band – No Regrets (1937) – Rise ‘n’ Shine (Vocalion)
Al Bowlly (w/Ronnie Munro Orch) – Over the Rainbow (1939) – The Al Bowlly Collection (HMV Easy)
George Metaxa (w/Ray Noble) – Goodnight, Sweetheart (1931) – ASV Living Era CD AJA 5190

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


I received this email today:


I am an Al Bowlly fan who is trying to raise awareness about the recent loss of the *only* half hour on BBC national radio to feature 1930s dance bands - namely the first half of Malcolm Laycock's show on Radio 2. The executive producer, Bob McDowall, has effectively ensured this music will not get played any more.

Alan Dell played dance band music on his BBC Radio show from 1969 to 1995, and until 2008 Malcolm Laycock played it. Now this music, which has lasted this long because it is worth listening to, has been abruptly deleted from the playlist.

For more detail, the posts on this Forum, run by John Wright, tell you what's happened;
alternative shortened address:

Please could you pass the word on to anyone you know, especially in the UK, who might be willing to add their voice to the protests about this?

Best wishes
A BBC Radio 2 Listener

I heard about this issue a few days ago, and have posted on the topic on the Dismuke Message Board. Apparently. some beleaguered BBC flak responded to one of the board members with some drivel about how the 1920s and 1930s were somehow over-represented:

Musically, what is a very specific style from a short period (dance bands of the 20's and 30's) was taking up half of the programme. In effect, this meant that the past 70 years of the genre was restricted to the second half.

Of course it's a "specific style"--which is why it should be granted its own block of airtime! My rant on the topic:

I took Malcolm Laycock's link off my RADIOLA! site. I used to stream and listen to his show occasionally, but usually only the first half. Big band stuff from the mid-40s onward gives me a headache.

And it's not that it's drivel. It's real music, with sound musicianship and good musical values. It just lacks the joy and lightness I love in the pre-1940 sound. It's too brassy and too slick--and the harmonies are monotonous. Enduring big band music of the late 1940s and beyond is like being held prisoner in Las Vegas.

There were good, knowledgeable jazz hosts in my area who played Stan Kenton, Basie, Boyd Raeburn, and Sauter-Finnegan endlessly--and ignored the 1930s entirely. I built my love of the music on those stray bits of pure (pre 1940) joy that some disc jockeys would permit. And the reason I do my show is that I wanted a program on the air that someone like me would listen to.

The hot dance and jazz band music of the 1920s and the light, sweet swing of the 1930s have nothing whatsoever to do with the so-called big band sound of later vintage (except using some of the same instruments). The BBC vandals have lumped them together and crushed the joy. For true parity, these styles need to be kept distinct.

This is a worldwide issue--not just limited to the UK--thanks to internet streaming. It is worth raising a fuss and demanding that BBC Radio 2 dedicate at least a half hour a week to 1920s and 1930s music. The love for this specific style of music is why programs like RADIOLA!, The Big Broadcast, Forward Into the Past, Al Barnes' Vintage Jazz, The Original Bandbox, Radio Dismuke, etc., exist and continue to find a loyal listenership.