Tuesday, December 02, 2008

In praise of Brian Matthew

I once wrote that there is something reassuring about public figures who have there for as long as you can remember. Someone who certainly fits that bill is Brian Matthew.

Just about my earliest memory is climbing into my parents' bed on Saturday mornings, and I clearly remember Matthew's Saturday Club being on the radio when I did so. I may well have heard some of the Spencer Davis Group performances from the show that I bought last year (volume 1 of Mojo Rhythms & Midnight Blues) when they were first broadcast.

Fast forward to my university years. In those days there was only one mainstream radio station that broadcast into the small hours (when, of course, many undergraduate essays are written). That was Radio 2 and between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. the programme it broadcast was Brian Matthew's Round Midnight.

Probably because of the power of the musicians' union in those days, Matthew had to broadcast an awful lot of Barry Forgey and the Radio 2 Big Band. But he also included many interviews with artists of all kinds. And he could be acerbic. I remember his replying, when a student theatre group solemnly informed listeners that they were against stereotypes, "that's very controversial of you".

And you can still hear Matthew today, introducing Sounds of the Sixties on Saturday mornings. He will be 80 in September and that dark brown voice sounds good for a few years yet.

1 comment:

Blognor Regis said...

He's on the Who at The BBC recordings as well. Interesting that he was a BBC man throughout, moving from the Light Programme to Radio 2, rather than an old and seemingly groovier Luxembourg or Pirate graduate.

Can I get a quiet, accompanied by the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, composed by Bob Farnon and currently appearing at The Chichester Festival theatre style shout out to David Jacobs while were at it?