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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Would any radio station in Britain allow me to play these ten records?

Music Selection (These can be of any genre as long as they mean something to you).
1. High Wide And Handsome by Loudon Wainwright III
2. Slow Train by Flanders and Swann 
3. If I Fell by The Beatles
4. Family Affair by Sly and the Family Stone
5. Vine Street by Harry Nilsson
6. Trenchtown Rock by Bob Marley (must be from Bob Marley live at the Lyceum)
7. You Never Can Tell by Chuck Berry
8. My Foolish Heart by Bill Evans
9. Will You Love Me Tomorrow by Carole King (from Tapestry)
10. Hills Of The North Rejoice by the Huddersfield Choral Society
The above questionnaire I completed for Martin Kelner's "One On One" feature on BBC Radio Leeds asked me to come up with ten records. Those are the ones I named. 

I was due to do Martin's show in a couple of weeks. Then BBC Radio Leeds decided they could do without him. They asked me if I still wanted to go ahead. I said no. These down-the-line interviews are OK if you've got some rapport with the person you're talking to. They're difficult if you don't.

In his explanation of how he came to leave his job Martin mentioned that an affinity with popular music is dangerous in local radio. I know what he meant.  BBC Local Radio managers are easily frightened by any selection that isn't thuddingly obvious. 

So now Martin's got no programme, which is very bad for him, and I'm left to put one question - is there any radio station in Britain that is not yet so heavily formatted or ham-strung by the need to be seen as hip and edgy that it would a actually allow those records to go out on its airwaves?  I know Desert Island Discs, but apart from that where?