Perhaps I had ambitions to be an MP - or an undertaker!

Monday, February 13, 2012



Saving is a very fine thing, especially if your parents have done it for you.
(Winston Churchill)




I have in my possession a newspaper published in November 1925.

It’s fascinating to read the news items and advertisements of that time, but what interested me was the list of radio programmes being broadcast by 2LO, the forerunner of the BBC.

On that particular night the top programme was a “Radio Military Tattoo” from the studio at 9.30 pm. Taking part were the Wireless Military Band, the Wireless Choir, the Pipes, Drums and Fifes of the Scots Guards, and the Trumpeters of the Royal Horse Guards. An “Artillery Musical Drive” introducing tanks, Anti-Aircraft batteries and aeroplanes was promised. Pretty good for a broadcast from the studio! To quote the newspaper - “The presence of other troops and their evolutions (?) will be suggested by sound effects, and indications of what is happening will be given by the dialogue between two persons supposed to be watching the performance.”

Earlier that day the Royal Air Force Band were billed to give four short programmes and the reason for all this military emphasis was the fact that the following day was Armistice Day.

Now, apart from the Royal Air Force Band, what other entertainment was available on the radio that year?

Jack Payne was probably the first of a long line of dance band leaders who would fill a great part of broadcasting schedules for many years. Outside broadcasts from hotels were frequent, and the first UK performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue came from the London Savoy Hotel on 15th June.

Among the top recording artistes were the Irish tenor John McCormack and Paul Whiteman the American Band leader.

In the London theatre, three musicals were playing to packed houses - Rose Marie which ran for 851 performances; No, No, Nanette 665 performances; The Vagabond King 511 performances.

1925 saw a large number of popular songs published, among them - Dinah, Tea for Two, Don’t bring Lulu, Show me the Way to go Home, and Always, which Irving Berlin wrote as a wedding gift to his wife.

The first popular song I ever heard was Alexander’s Ragtime Band (another Irving Berlin hit) sung by my mother as she did her housework. I wonder where she learned that!!!



A Flemish Festival
by David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690)



“Holiday Strings” composed by David Rose was a popular light music item in the 1940s. Uploaded by ufrp136



It is sad to grow old but nice to ripen. (Brigitte Bardot)


Next post Wednesday 15th February


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