Three times in recent weeks BBC Radio 2 (my radio station of choice) has played “Mama used to say”, a 1982 release by Junior. It reached #7 in the UK charts and #30 in the Billboard Hot 100. Every time I hear the record, including these three recent plays, I recall the same scene. It… Continue reading “Mama used to say”, a musical memory
If you have any quiz books that were printed in the first decade of this century, they may well contain questions that are no longer valid, answers that are no longer correct, or answers that used to be unique but no longer are. This piece looks at 12 examples of such questions and answers, and… Continue reading 12 quiz questions that need updating
If you were in the UK in the 1970s and spent any time watching TV on a Saturday night you will have seen a musical act containing the word “Swingle”, “The Swingle Singers” perhaps, or “Swingle II”. They would appear on shows like “The Two Ronnies”, performing a cappella versions of, well, I can’t remember… Continue reading Word of the week: Swingle
Here, for the third year in a row, is a summary of my time spent listening to Pop Master, the mid-morning quiz on the Ken Bruce Show on BBC Radio 2. This piece from 2017 (“100 Rounds of Pop Master”) explains the format of the quiz, and notes that this is the most listened-to slot… Continue reading One Thousand Rounds of Pop Master
Have you noticed how some people in public life respond to a question by asking their own questions, and answering them, without any input from anyone else? Some British MPs do it. I have given up watching the BBC1 show “Question Time” in recent years but watched it regularly at the start of this decade.… Continue reading Am I the kind of person who will ask a question, answer it, and then do it again repeatedly?
It’s a while since a line from a song prompted me to write one of these occasional pieces about lyrics. It has happened again this month, with a performance by Rudimental on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2. Zoe Ball took over the morning slot from Chris Evans at the start of… Continue reading “How you gonna win when you ain’t right within?”
Rest in peace Dean Ford, who has died in the last few days. He was lead singer of Marmalade, the first Scottish band to reach the top of the UK charts. Their cover of the Beatles song “Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da” was #1 exactly 50 years ago, in the first week of 1969. In the days before… Continue reading “Reflections of my life”