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1930s music ignored by Radio 2
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John W



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
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Location: Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:22 pm    Post subject: 1930s music ignored by Radio 2 Reply with quote

For over 30 years, since the days of Alan Dell, Radio 2 has proudly broadcast a programme of BRITISH music from the 1920s and 1930s, featuring dance bands playing the great songs from the dance floors, films and shows of those pre-swing days.

Last Sunday Malcolm Laycock announced that the BBC would no longer broadcast 30 mins of British dance band music. Stopped. That's it. It's finished.

No consultation with listeners.

Seems the policies of Lesley Douglas continue in her absence? Rolling Eyes

And instead of Henry Hall and Jack Hylton we'll be subjected to an additional half hour of Ted Heath, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw etc. Now I do like swing music, a bit, but surely that genre already gets about two hours a week coverage when you include tracks played by Desmond Carrington, Russell Davies, Clare Teal, and Malcolm's second half hour?

Again, the BBC doesn't think of it's remit first, to complement other stations. Radio 2 was the ONLY station to broadcast British dance bands, so do the controllers not realise they are killing that music?

British dance bands were broadcast live from their hotel venues in the 1920s and 1930s, so the BBC played a big part in popular music development in Britain, and this link continued right up to the early days of Radio 2 with DJs Sam Costa and Jack Jackson (who were big names in the dance band music scene).

This tradition was kept alive for 30 mins a week, not a lot, but just enough to keep the music alive, support the music's fans and the independent CD issuers who have done fantastic work at audio restoration of records over 60 years old.

So with Lesley Douglas in charge, with the loss of a proper classic jazz programme and now dance bands, add to that Richard Baker's light classical show, we have completely lost half a century of pre-pop popular music.


John W

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MadeinSurrey



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shame. Not a surprise, but a real shame. I just don't see the point of Radio 2 sometimes, this is precisely one of the things it should be doing.
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gazmando



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yet another sign that Radio 2 doesn't care about anybody over the age of 20 anymore.
They're content to play screeching Beyonce 4 times a day 5 days a week, which is over 30 mins in total, yet they won't even give a genre that a lot of older listeners probably enjoy a 30 minute slot
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MadeinSurrey



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gazmando wrote:
Yet another sign that Radio 2 doesn't care about anybody over the age of 20 anymore.
They're content to play screeching Beyonce 4 times a day 5 days a week, which is over 30 mins in total, yet they won't even give a genre that a lot of older listeners probably enjoy a 30 minute slot


What about that that bloomin' Alesha Dixon record - it's on every 10 minutes....aaarrrggghhh!

It beggars belief, it really does, that the R2 music "policy" is structured in this way. For goodness sake, why do they think we want to hear this constant repetition? And this at the expense of any number of quality songs that never get heard.

Obviously, they couldn't possibly fit in a measly 30 minutes of dance band records Rolling Eyes Crying or Very sad Evil or Very Mad
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NickSheffield



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MadeinSurrey wrote:

What about that that bloomin' Alesha Dixon record - it's on every 10 minutes....aaarrrggghhh!


I agree with everyone about the decline in Radio 2's music policy. However, am I allowed to admit with some guilt that I always secretly sing along to the Alesha Dixon record?... :s
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MadeinSurrey



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I defy anyone, however much they like it, to not get fed up with it the amount of airplay it gets on R2.
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gfloyd



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've said this before, but anyway Rolling Eyes Radio 2 dont see certain music genres as living genres. They see them as something they have to carry until the audience dies off. So they dont try to grow the audience or attract the next generation of listeners. And the whole thing becomes self fulfilling: audiences decline, shows get cancelled.
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Cherskiy



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gfloyd wrote:
I've said this before, but anyway Rolling Eyes Radio 2 dont see certain music genres as living genres. They see them as something they have to carry until the audience dies off. So they dont try to grow the audience or attract the next generation of listeners. And the whole thing becomes self fulfilling: audiences decline, shows get cancelled.


Or try to get rid of the shows by shunting them into graveyard slots, then getting rid of them when surprise, surprise, the audience numbers plummet.

I've listened to Malcolm Laycock's programme on occasions and found myself actually enjoying it, despite having absolutely no clue as to who I was listening to. Those of us who have been here from the start will probably know that I was quite happy to listen to most of the minority shows on an evening in addition to the normal programming, before they were exiled into the middle of the night - I called it broadening my musical education. Clearly TPTB at R2 want me to listen to a certain type of music only, and s*d the rest.
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gazmando



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't mind the Alesha Dixon song either but that doesn't mean i don't like 50's 60's 70' 80's music either.
Everybody I know loves loads of different types of music, the only people who don't seem to agree are the music programmers at Radio 2
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MadeinSurrey



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whilst I enjoyed ML's show as ever last night, I am still steaming over the removal of the Dance Band music. The BBC has done a lot recently to alienate we who fund it, and this is another to add to the long list of vexations.

As Ian said in his excellent OP,

"Again, the BBC doesn't think of it's remit first, to complement other stations. Radio 2 was the ONLY station to broadcast British dance bands, so do the controllers not realise they are killing that music? "


Well said Ian, this is a crying shame Mad Crying or Very sad
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RockitRon



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The decision is a little odd. What harm did half an hour of such vintage music do? And is such heavy-handed control of content of a specialist programme presented by a long-established expert in the field really necessary?

Like many, I only hear the programme very occasionally and can hardly say I will miss it, but it does seem to be another step in the homogenisation of the music presented by Radio 2 in the evening.
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John W



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I issued my complaints about the removal of British dance bands from Malcolm's show, I included a mail to Radio 4's Feedback. Today the producer called me and asked me to record part of my e-mail over the phone, to be included in this Friday's programme (R4, 1.30pm).

It seems then, at least, Malcolm's listeners' voice/opinion will be heard. Feedback normally covers about 3 or 4 different issues during each show, if we are lucky we may get 10 minutes and hopefully a Radio 2 programme controller will be in the studio to respond.

Won't get my hopes up too high. Last minute major issues this week could replace any time they have planned for us.

The email I had sent was quite long with explanation of the importance of the music, but my recorded message had to be limited to just two of the paragraphs so I could not put all the points across.

What I was able to say was something like:

"Last Sunday Malcolm Laycock announced that the BBC would no longer broadcast 30 mins of British dance band music. Stopped. It's finished. No consultation with listeners.

Seems the policies of ex-controller Lesley Douglas continue in her absence? Radio 2 was the ONLY station to broadcast British dance bands, so do the controllers not realise they are killing that music?

When will the BBC consult with listeners before banning important music from the radio schedules?"

As I say it's not as much as I wanted to say but they said it's important to include at least two questions to grill the BBC with.

No guarantee I'll be featured in the Feedback programme, but let's hope so as this week's programme is the last in the current series.

John W
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Helen May



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hope you get more sense from whoever R2 send than I did when I fought the censoring of the old R2 boards when Chris Evans was appointed!

At least they then had no option other than to reinstate the post as they said they had not censored posts and there was nothing wrong with the post.

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Jazzmin



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a BBC "explanation" forwarded to me by Michael Bennett-Law of the Piccadilly Dance Orchestra; I hope it is of some use in formulating arguments.
I cannot bear to let Radio 2 get away with this ...
Wouldn't it be great if the BBC found a big 1920s/30s anniversary to commemorate, and showed some documentaries, some Dennis Potter programmes, introduced more people to the music instead of ignoring the demand. Paul Merton is doing this for silent film - and he sells out 1600 seater venues with no trouble at all!

Bob McDowell, get ready for a lot of letters...

REPLY FROM BOB MCDOWELL, USING THIS EMAIL ADDRESS: caroline.snook@bbc.co.uk

Dear Mr Bennett-Law,

Thank you for your email concerning the Malcolm Laycock programme on BBC Radio 2.

A great deal of thought has gone in to the future of the Malcolm Laycock programme. For me, the main challenge has been how to represent what are now 80 years and more of music making by dance and big bands.

The format of the programme that has existed up until now has been rigid and one that harks back to the days of Alan Dell on a Monday night. At that time the show was divided into 2 sections by a news bulletin and was in effect 2 separate programmes; one concentrating on British dance bands, the other on big bands.

As you know, air time for big band music is in short supply and the existing format threw up a number of issues. 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. In other words, there was a lot of great music with limited opportunity to be played. This format has also restricted a theme being followed over the course of a programme and makes the inclusion of studio guests a problem too.

Dance bands will still feature on the programme but for reasons of musical merit rather than fitting a format. Musically, the emphasis will remain very much on melody and the great British big bands will continue to be featured.

The decision to alter the format is not one that has been taken lightly.

However, I feel strongly that the change in emphasis will allow the whole of the big band genre to be better reflected.

Yours Sincerely,
Bob McDowall

Executive Producer
Audio & Music Production
BBC Birmingham

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BDG



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be interesting to hear you John will try and remember to listen tomorrow good luck with it.

I enjoy the big band sounds one of my greatest pleasures each year is having the opportunity to dance and enjoy the company of the Joe Loss Orchestra yes still with a couple of the original members! It will be there 30th Anniversary performing at my son's school this year. They manage to play live music across the whole of the 80 year period. Including their signature tune "In the Mood".

Anyway didn't the big band sounds go into the 40's 50's and beyond? So why are they saying it is only 20's & 30's? Not that I'm that knowledgeable on it.
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John W



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BDG,

Dance bands started around/after the WWI time, 1920-ish, and with the development of 'swing' became 'big bands' from 1940-ish, and yes the genre continues to this day. The BBC's argument is that on Malcolm's show 1920-1940 gets half an hour and 1940-2000 gets just half an hour.

That's an unfair argument in my opinion as there are other R2 programmes that play big band music, including Desmond Carrington, Russell Davies and Big Band special on a Monday.

The first half of Malcolm's old show was just the good old British bands who made popular music popular, via live radio (from swanky hotels like the Savoy) and through the sale of records, millions of them. That tradition will now just be all but erased from the R2 'playlist' on Sundays.


Jazzmin, welcome to this forum,

Thanks for copying the e-mail from BBC's Bob McDowall. I read something very similar quoted on the Yahoo group for dance band fans yesterday.

John W
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The Green Puffin



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I posted elsewhere, I can't understand the stupidity behind this decision. As a 40 something, without Malcolm Laycock's regular slot I never would have heard Al Bowlly, Lew Stone, Ray Noble et al. I just don't get the logic behind the decision. For consistency, Sunday Half Hour shouldn't have any hymns of Wesley, R3 should never feature Beethoven and so on.

I wonder what Malcolm Laycock thinks about this. If I could get his email address, I would write to him personally.
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RockitRon



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, in theory, from the BBC reply, there should be a mix of dance/big band music played throughout the programme, rather than the specific line dividing the 20s/30s British dance bands from the rest.

Shame that didn't seem to be applied this week

If they are talking about the full range of big/dance band music, are they going to start playing the likes of James Last and countless other European orchestras, or the likes of Jools Holland?
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Cherskiy



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done for the efforts made so far to point out that not everyone is prepared to let R2's minority output be further marginalised or withdrawn altogether.

I'll make a point of Listening Again to Feedback tomorrow night.
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John W



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum Green Puffin!

The Green Puffin wrote:
As I posted elsewhere, I can't understand the stupidity behind this decision. As a 40 something, without Malcolm Laycock's regular slot I never would have heard Al Bowlly, Lew Stone, Ray Noble et al.


Indeed. Back in 1976 I had 78s featuring Al Bowlly but didn't know it was his voice until I heard the Dance Band Days show (with Alan Dell).

Quote:

I wonder what Malcolm Laycock thinks about this. If I could get his email address, I would write to him personally.


Malcolm is very disappointed, and was refused his offer to present the music elsewhere at the BBC. His mail to his bbc.co.uk address gets opened by assistant Caroline Snook. If you want his private address it's noted at this site:

http://www.jazzservices.org.uk/Directory/tabid/72/Default.aspx?ContactID=2510


John W
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BDG



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for explaining it John, so I've got it right what you are saying then is that basically only 1/2 hour at present gets dedicated to the Big Band sounds of the 20's/30's and they intend to cut that in the latest proposals?

Welcome Jazzmin and Green Puffin Smile

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John W



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BDG wrote:
Thanks for explaining it John, so I've got it right what you are saying then is that basically only 1/2 hour at present gets dedicated to the Big Band sounds of the 20's/30's and they intend to cut that in the latest proposals?


You've almost got it BDG.... but the bands weren't referred to as 'BIG' bands in Britain in the 1920's/30's. Some of the hotel bands might have had 15 musicians but they weren't referred to as 'big'.

Ambrose band 1927:



Ambrose band in 1935:








The term 'big' came from the US with the likes of Dorsey, Goodman, Basie, Miller.



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Jazzmin



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BDG, thanks for the welcome.

Thanks to Alan Dell, Malcolm Laycock and Dennis Potter I fell in love with the sounds of the 20s, 30s and 40s. Personally I've often put on a Bowlly track when the big band stuff is on in the second half hour, as the 1950s and later stuff is so different it does not appeal to me.
I am *so* irate at Auntie Beeb that it is keeping me awake at night!
Couldn't get to sleep till after 3.00 this morning, kept thinking of more ways to protest about it and ended up getting a pen, jotting them down, and spending most of today emailing and letter writing.

If you estimate Al Bowlly did (at least) 1000 songs at 3 minutes each, you could fill 100 half- hours just with his songs, never mind all the other talented people.

Are there any sympathetic journalists on national newspapers? National press coverage would surely help. Could we arrange for some dance bands to play outside the BBC and hold up the traffic? - I think I was pondering that at 2am.

I had another look at my recording of the BBC4 Bowlly documentary shown last year and these were the names connected with it; would they agree to help lobby the BBC?

David M Jackson - Executive producer
Rhodri Huw - BBC Wales
Russell Davies, writer
Dennis Norden
Kenith Trodd
Jimmy Perry
Carrie Grant, vocal coach
Joyce Stone
Tony Staveacre
Hugh Hefner
Ray Pallett

I emailed Memory Lane and got this sympathetic reply from Ray Pallett:

Thank you for your e-mail. I, too, was disappointed to discover what the BBC have done to Malcolm Laycock's programme. And without warning or explanation. What contempt they have for their listeners!

The BBC decided to axe the dance bands and Malcolm Laycock was upset about this, to say the least.

All I can suggest is that everyone writes to the BBC (and gets their friends to do so also) to ask for the dance bands to be reprieved. Everyone should write individually and use their own words as the BBC are not swayed by "interested groups". The points to emphasize are the dance bands are:

*** part of the BBC musical heritage
***still popular among all age groups and all walks of life as evidenced by the number of CDs being produced.

Add that if the music is not heard regularly on national FM radio it will die when the current fans die as no one else will discover it.

And maybe ask the BBC what responsibility they feel they have for preserving British musical culture?

You could write to the Controller of Radio 2, The head of the BBC trust, your MP or all three and anyone else you can think of.

I can't think of any other way of influencing the BBC. If they get enough letters they just may reconsider.

Regards

Ray Pallett

Memory Lane
P O Box 1939
Leigh-on-Sea
SS9 3UH
England
www.memorylane.org.uk
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John W



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jazzmin,

Yes I expect most of those names you list will be putting in complaints.

Russell Davies has the show on before Malcolm's and his producer Roy Oakshott used to be Malcolm's producer. Roy is a keen researcher in jazz and dance bands and I provided some of the tracks for the show when he was with Malcolm.

When will we ever hear Al Bowlly on the BBC again? Desmond Carrington plays the occasional track. In fact I hope that Desmond and Russell Davies will use their more open playlist to feature more dance bands.

But even names like Denis Nordern and Jimmy Perry might be ignored by the arrogant BBC controllers who have already removed light classical music from both R2 and R3 in the last 2 years.


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BDG



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't really understand the names and music you were talking about to be honest but felt your passion. I've never listen to the show you mention either on R2 either.

I'm pretty hopeless at remembering names of singers/bands! Anyway I've been inspired to listen to some Bowlly on You Tube and although many of the songs are familiar I didn't know he was the first to record them way back them. So thank you for enlightening me. Smile

I can well understand now what you mean, the beauty and well what I can only describe as the pure innocence and purity of his singing and music. I've become a fan overnight so thanks for telling me all about it.

I do hope the BBC change their minds and keep this small section for those of you enjoy it. Where do I have to email and I will write too.

Will listen out for you tomorrow John good luck.

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Jazzmin



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BDG - another Bowlly fan! Hooray! I promise you will not regret it, and the enjoyment you get will deepen over time.

Listening to the Bowlly documentary again got me worked up once more, and I just sent this message to Feedback, along with a copy of my letter to BBC Complaints. Thinking about it and trying to put into words WHY this music is so good, has usefully clarified things for me - I think this is the argument I will use on the uninformed, from now on.

" I am appalled at the way Malcolm Laycock’s listeners on Radio 2 have been treated. The dance band music MUST be played again.

Part of its wide appeal is that it is so poignant: because although it is light, happy music, it is made in the full knowledge that we have to face the darkest of times. This makes it MORE, not less, relevant today - the more you listen the more you realise it. The truth is that the humour, the sentimental lyrics, are not superficial at all. They are the light that drives away the dark!

Dennis Potter knew about this particular appeal, the awareness of dark and light, of course. He knew why women (including me) will always sigh to hear Al Bowlly sing, because there is no-one who could deliver a song like him.

Malcolm Laycock’s fans should not have to argue the merits of this music, when its appeal has already been proven over and over again. This is why it is so shocking that the axe could fall without warning like this."
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The Green Puffin



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the welcome, John, and for all your hard work.

I have experienced the full range of emotions regarding this decision, from shock to disbelief to anger. Now I'm bloody furious! Twisted Evil

I'm in my forties. I first heard Al Bowlly et al a number of years ago on Malcolm's show and was hooked. Without exception, every person I play Bowlly for (wheher in my car or at home) remarks on the quality of his voice, and the stunning musical arrangements. My eight year old son loves the music.

I'm not a luddite, my musical tastes range from Massive Attack and The Blue Nile through to Sibelius and Beethoven. Radio 2 is my station of choice, precisely because it catered for my eclectic range of musical tastes. Now TPTB have decided that 30 flipping minutes can't be spared for one genre of music, presented by an expert.

And yet we have Steve Wright six days a week.

Give me strength!!!!
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Jazzmin



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I just received the Bob McDowall reply (exactly as in my first post) by letter. This is clearly the only reply the BBC are sending to all enquiries.
Reading it again I realised:

- I came to the show when it was Alan Dell presenting "Dance Band Days" - ie when, obviously, it was a programme about dance bands.

- since then, as Mr McD points out, it became one show but in 2 segments, one about dance bands and one about big bands, with the news in between.

- All his comments come from the point of view of someone who sees the show as a single show about big bands;

- but I wonder how many "dance band" listeners, like me, really perceive it as still - rightfully - consisting of 2 distinct halves? I think this is where the problem lies; this is his justification for dealing with the "issues" (whose issues, exactly?)

- Why he can describe the format "rigid" and harking back to the past I don't know; to me these are weasel words; he does not see it as a show 50% about dance bands any more, he has reclassified it as a big band show without consulting the listeners - has there been a flood of audience letters asking for this change?

- personally (apologies to the big band fans) I feel this is a "cuckoo in the nest" situation. We have gone along happily with a show of two halves, welded out of what were essentially 2 separate audiences. And now, one half is squeezing the other out. Two separate shows again would be the answer; if only. I will be sending him this argument!

BBOOM! (Bring Back Our Old Music!)
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Cherskiy



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And Bob McDowell pretty much stuck to that script on Feedback today - so I don't think you're going to get much joy from the powers that be.

Nice to hear our esteemed John W being given airtime to voice his grievance, though.
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Jazzmin



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*sigh*
Yes. It sounds like, whatever question you ask him, his reply will be the same; just like a politician.

All I can say is, let's pursue this using the BBC Complaints procedure, and MAKE them go through ALL the stages of that, as high as we can get. Letters may be ignored - but complaints have to follow a procedure.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/handle.shtml

Bob McD has I'm afraid decided to change the show without having a clue what it is he is changing...

I'd like to know what proportion of listeners tune in specifically for the first half of the show - because I've never heard anyone say they preferred the second half; have you??
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John W



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Jazzmin and all for support.

I wasn't too happy with my rough and muffled voice that they recorded over a dodgy landline, and I suddenly become Scottish again on the phone Surprised)

I wasn't impressed by Bob McDowall's arguments. The best thing about the formatting of Malcolm Laycock's show WAS that listeners KNEW that British dance bands were featured only for the first 30mins, yet McDowall sees that as a problem?? Surely the separation was doing a favour to
listeners.

He failed to mention the other Radio 2 big band music, that can be heard every week on Monday's Big Band Special and tracks featured regularly on the shows presented by Desmond Carrington, Russell Davies, David Jacobs, Jools Holland, and the Radio 3 jazz programmes.

Yes, I will also continue with the complaints procedure.

Jazzmin, if you are not a member of the British dance bands Yahoo Group (run by Peter Wallace) you would be very welcome at

http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/british-dance-bands/?yguid=332975

There's also an Al Bowlly group (run by Barry McCanna) at

http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/Bowlly/?yguid=332975


John
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iwarburton



Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 2133
Location: Northumberland

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a bit ashamed of having not got involved in this earlier but pressure of work has got in the way of my posting a little bit. I'll put something up in Coffee Bar to explain what I've been doing.

I don't regularly listen to Malcolm Laycock but suspect that the same arguments apply to the broadcasting of British dance band music as to that of light music, namely that the Beeb is ignoring public interest in it because it somehow doesn't fit their preconceived views.

Here's wishing you success. I'll see if I can find the Feedback programme on Listen Again.

Ian.
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BDG



Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 202

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi John

Just listened again and I think you made the points very well...so well done but yes you did sound Scottish nothing wrong with that!

I think the answer would be to a specific programme for the Dance music of that era and a seperate more general programme for the rest. Surely they can spare 1/2 somewhere!!! It doesn't seem that unreasonable to me. Otherwise hearing such beautiful and historical music will be lost for ever on British Radio.

B XX
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gazmando



Joined: 15 Apr 2007
Posts: 560
Location: Huntingdon

PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just like to wish you all good luck in your protests
I fear that you won't be listened to as I and countless others haven't been regarding the apalling daytime music output.
PS have any of you listened to Paul Barnes on Radio Cambridgeshire on a Saturday evening?
You may find a lot to enjoy on his show
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Jazzmin



Joined: 24 Nov 2008
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been continuing to email all and sundry about this...
I hope one day soon I will hear something positive back (fingers crossed).

In the meantime, here are some specialist internet radio stations that might make your ears feel better: I have been enjoying the first three...
Dismuke is more ad-free on LoudCity than on Live 365. Live365 has some ads, (unless you pay and go VIP )but as you can see the playlists scrolling you usually know when to turn the sound off for the ads.

Radio Dismuke
http://www.loudcity.com/station/440.aspx

The Big Broadcast
http://www.wfuv.org/programs/bigbroadcast.html

Jimmie Jazz
http://www.jimmiejazzarchive.com/

Radiola
http://www.live365.com/stations/andysenior

Weimar Rundfunk
European Jazz, Swing and Hot Dance from the 20's to the 40's.
NB there's also a list of more stations on this page:
http://www.weimarrundfunk.com/live365.html

Best wishes to all, J
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Jazzmin



Joined: 24 Nov 2008
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bit of good news... the following is a letter which has been emailed from Kenith Trodd - producer of "Pennies from Heaven" and "The Singing Detective" - to Bob McDowall.
I have printed it out so that I can enjoy reading it again and again.Very Happy

Dear Bob McDowall,

Several points about your strange and rather neurotic axing of the British Dance Bands from Malcolm Laycock's programme.

Since I am taking the trouble to write to you at some length, I hope you might find time to personalise a reply rather than just send out your standard letter.

1. Your piece on Feedback surely isn't even trying to be convincing is it?

The Dance Bands flourished not for 10 years but for nearer 35 and overlapped with the swing 'genre' which you prefer for much of that time.

2. Shouldn't your remarks about Malcolm Laycock's programming have been the subject of an internal dialogue between Exec Prod. and Presenter over some time, not something aired publicly as a lazy justification now for your crude diktat against the Dance Bands?

3. Both Feedback and your letter of reply imply that Dance Bands will still be allowed though not in a block. Is this true? Word from Malcolm's friends is that you have banned them totally.

4. Laycock's reputation as an authority in the broadcasting field of Dance Bands and Big Bands is unrivalled. The show is still called Malcolm Laycock. Since you have now repudiated his judgement and virtually, I believe, imposed your own personal taste, should it now not more honestly be labelled Bob McDowall?

5. Was there any significant ratings or audience pressure to remove the Dance Bands and replace them with (judging from the playlist for 30th Nov) an hour of similar sounding Americanised stuff and nearly all from one decade, the 1940's? So much for your 70 years.

6. I come late to this row because I have just returned from the second major film festival this year to show extensively Dennis Potter's Pennies From Heaven and The Singing Detective (which I produced) to enthusiastic audiences of all ages - the point being that these classic shows are dependent structurally and emotionally on large numbers of British Dance Band records. Audiences all over the world still love these series and much of their appeal comes from the charm, resonance and durability of Dance Band numbers. They were Dennis Potter's inspiration. I have yet to hear of a major creative artist inspired in this way by the music of Ted Heath, Syd Lawrence or even Tommy Sampson. Of course, these are agreeable sounds with a following but they do not 'carry' their period and are solidly US-derivative.

7. Please change your mind, you are letting a lot of good people down and squashing a small but important part of our musical heritage.

Best wishes,
Kenith Trodd
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MadeinSurrey



Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3130
Location: The Beautiful South

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting, Jazzmin. I'm glad someone with a bit of clout has taken the trouble to write, and so eloquently. I would love to see the response, let's hope it IS a personalised reply!
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The Green Puffin



Joined: 24 Nov 2008
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fingers crossed that we can continue to build the pressure, and restore the Dance Band Era to R2.
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Briant



Joined: 02 Jun 2007
Posts: 964
Location: Liverpool England UK

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 5:38 pm    Post subject: Day the music died.... Reply with quote

Hello John W. There is a very good and pertinent letter in today's Daily Maelstrom (December 10th) from 'Michael Bennett-Law of Ashford, Kent' regarding the axing of the Dance Bands programme, on Page 52.
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John W



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 3360
Location: Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Briant,

Michael is the leader of today's Piccadilly Dance Orchestra who play that kind of music

http://www.pdo.org.uk/

John
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