Sunday, October 31, 2010

52. Science Fiction - Science Fact

Broadcast on 2nd November 2010

A story from the pen of Ursula Le Guin read by the author, the dulcet and infinitely reassuring tones of Peter Jones as the Book in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and a comprehensive account of the theory or relativity by Dr Edward Teller - easy reading for your ears!

Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams

I have loved the work of Douglas Adams since I watched the very first episode of the BBC TV production of Hitchhikers Guide as a small boy. Peter Jones' voice is one those very special voices that send a tingle up the spine when I hear them. I wish I could play more of this.

The Size And Nature Of The Universe. Relativity Dr. Edward Teller
Spoken Arts/General Dynamics Corporation, New York, c1957

This time we hear all about Relativity. If you're not interested in Relativity then marvel in the germanic accent that Dr Teller rolls around his tongue. Informative and entertaining! Notably this record was also directed by the fabled Arthur Luce Klein who was responsible for most of the Spoken Arts recordings, many of which we have played on the show.

Gwilan's Harp and Intracon read by the author Ursula K. Le Guin
Caedmon, 1977

Here's an author I'm not that familiar with, but since finding this record in a junk shop in Portland round the corner from Matty and Kimberley's place, I will be looking out for some of her novels. The sleeve notes to this record are priceless and written with true wit and style. I will try to scan them or get a good quality photo and will post them here at some point soon.

51. Comedy and Comedians

Broadcast on 26th October 2010

Ooops, left it a bit late to update this page and can't remember the strapline or running order, so below is subject to change or correction.

Several comedians and comic actors at work.

Steptoe And Son
Pye Golden Guinea, 1962

Wilfred Brambell as Albert and Harry H Corbett as Harold in this excerpt from The Diploma entitled The Gentle Art Of Totting. Vintage double act from the BBC series, music by Ron Grainer of Doctor Who theme-tune fame.

Scott Dobson's Larn Yersel' Geordie with George Russel and Mike Neville.
MWM Records, undated.

Should have been a double header with Teach Thissen Tyke but I only just found this at the car boot sale last week. Hello to Bennett Hogg and all at the Toon Uni.

Watch Out For The Bits! The explosive exploits of Blaster Bates volume four.
Big Ben, 1971

Blaster tells the tale of the Butterless Butty and dispenses other pearls of northern wisdom. Sorry about the swearing but it's all good fun.

Barry Humphries by permission of Dame Edna Everage PROUDLY PRESENTS Housewife Superstar!

Actually, we don't hear from Dame Edna herself but the fellow who introduces her show with a warm act of his own as his capacity as the Australian Cultural Attache to the Court of St James, Les Patterson.

Friday, October 22, 2010

50. Betjeman and Larkin

Broadcast on 19th October 2010

Welcome to our landmark fiftieth show. Standing back for a moment that suddenly seems like an awful lot of broadcasting and all the effort that has gone into the show has, I hope you will agree, been absolutely worthwhile.

I am delighted to present two wonderful recordings of the late poet Laureate John Betjeman and the late refused-Poet Laureate Philip Larkin, together with Michael Hordern reading Kipling and the weird world of Arthur Lipsett.

John Betjeman reads selected poetry
Argo, 1959

Directed by Arthur Luce Klein, recorded by Spoken Arts but released in the UK by Argo, with a photo on the cover by Cecil Beaton. Also features Betjeman introducing each poem and providing some rare and illuminating extra details.

Philip Larkin, reading his own poems, soon to be released on Trunk Records but at the moment I have no further information...

Arthur Lipsett, Soundtracks

Globala Records, 2003
This is a reissue but from an undated original, and I played the track Very nice, very nice. I guess strictly speaking, it's music, but since there is so much spoken word in it I thought it would be very nice to play it for you. Seems to originate from the National Film Board of Canada - if you listen carefully you can hear someone say "aboot". Sadly the sleeve has almost no information on it at all.

Just So Stories vol.2
Readers, Michael Hordern, Barbara Jefford, Richard Johnson.

Argo, 1973
This is a double album box set but I played only one side, so more later...
We played you La Crabbe qui jouait avec le mer in about episode 12 in the show on Musique Concrète, and here is the original English version read by (Sir) Michael Hordern.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

49. Scotland

Having made three shows each on Wales and Ireland, and one on English dialect through the ages, it is only fitting that we should make a show about Scotland, especially given that the show is written, recorded and produced in Edinburgh. Some might say that the Shetland episode counts as a Scottish episode and some might take umbrage at such an outrageous suggestion. Nevertheless, here it is. Scotland.

Paisley's Own WILLIE McCULLOCH "The Story Teller" OOR WILLIE "The Man With Many Voices"
a product of S.M.D.Recording Studios, Paisley.
Scotia, 1973

Originally recorded in 1947 and transferred from 78s in 1973, produced by Reta McColl, engineered by J.B.Wallace.
I found this in the car boot sale last week. It absolutely reeks of stale fags giving that authentic Glasgow experience, and you can see the encroachment of tar and nicotine around the edges of what used to be the white sleeve. I know nothing about the man himself, but this must be one of the very few records from the 1940s that we've played on Voice On Record, and it's a good document of attitudes and humour north of the border in the mid 20th Century.

English With A Dialect - and Irish, Scottish and Welsh Accents
BBC Records, 1971

Examples from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, and Ayrshire.

William Shakespeare Macbeth
The Shakespeare Recording Society
Caedmon, 1960
The final part of the Scottish Play.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

48. Planes, Trains and Wes Harrison

Broadcast on 5th October 2010

I came across this record in Amsterdam whilst doing a short intro at STEIM. My interest in sound design was the reason for buying it and I was amazed when I got it home and listened through to it. Despite the questionable taste of some of his jokes, Wes manages to recreate certain sounds with an amazing aptitude for detail, and there are many lessons here for sound designers in any medium.

Also on today's show is the third part of our four part serialisation of Macbeth.

The World Of Steam Steam locomotives heard at work on railways in Britain, Germany, Spain and Turkey.
Argo, 1970

Salute In Sound Aircraft of the RAF, specially recorded in Stereo, introduced by Group Capt. Douglas Bader CBE, DSO, DFC.
Music For Pleasure, 1968

You Won't Believe Your Ears Wes Harrison
The Comedy And Sound Effects Of America's Funniest Man.
Philips, undated
I just played side 2 of this record - The Duck Hunt.

William Shakespeare Macbeth
The Shakespeare Recording Society
Caedmon, 1960
With a cast including Robert Hardy as Duncan, Ian Holm as Malcolm, Stanley Holloway as the Porter, Jill Balcon as Lady Macduff and Anthony Quayle in the lead role. Another cracking production under the direction of Howard Sackler on Caedmon.