I am struggling to understand the music policy of our friendly local BBC station, Radio York. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s an admirable station, with an excellent team of broadcasters who know their patch well; a vital part of the local community.
But, what is going on with their music policy?
Apart from the notable exception of the BBC Introducing show, where young talent gets an airing, why is their playlist stuck in a timewarp?
Of course, there will be an explanation. Budget, probably. Or more likely, “the music fits the age profile of the audience”. Der! Never heard the phrase “self-fulfilling prophecy”?
It’s all the more galling, when this city and region is overflowing with talent.
May I suggest some radical thought about the playlist over at BBC HQ at Bootham Row. How about an experiment… a York version of how the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation operates, where 50 per cent of the music output is home grown.
This brilliant policy has slowed the encroachment of wall-to-wall R ‘n’ B and bland American power ballads, allowing the Canadian music industry to thrive and giving opportunity to hundreds of great new performers.
It has also made their broadcasting output more distinctive, more a reflection of the area they serve.
Why not give it a try for a week, Radio York?
We’re not saying, don’t play oldies ever; just allow much more recent music to get an airing, and let some of that output better reflect the nature of the region the station serves.
Radio York wouldn’t run wall-to-wall features, news and interviews with people from Oklahoma, Kansas, Los Angeles or Albuquerque, so why should the music policy be significantly different?
There are hundreds of acts we could suggest. These are just a few off the top of our heads: Chris Helme, The Sorry Kisses, The Littlemores, White Firs, Dan Golisti, Sam Griffiths, Union Jill, David Ward Maclean, Boss Caine, The Lungs, Bull, Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Mark Wynn… and scores more besides.
And that’s just York. BBC Radio York serves an entire region. We haven’t even mentioned Scarborough, Selby, Easingwold and other towns where there are artists deserving of a wider audience.
Why not give it a go, Radio York.
Okay, rant over, for now. Where were we?
Fill your ears with this glorious slice of rocking pop from The Roscoes, fronted by York’s Edd Barlow. When He Gets You Down is a perfect example of the kind of material the local station could – and we say, should – be playing.
Not just in some late-night cul-de-sac slot; but right in the middle of drivetime.
Here’s the track, due for release early in March…
Taste of honey
And how about this fragile and sensitive cover of the Jesus And Mary Chain’s Just Like Honey. It’s from Cameron Etherton, aka Racoose.
And, now something you might have missed.
It’s from the towering talent that is Chris Helme. Little wonder that the super-talented Chris has had no trouble selling out the Basement for his full band show tomorrow (Friday, January 31). His excellent album, The Rookery, is never far from the YorkMix music player.
Give it a few years and it might qualify as an oldie. Maybe Radio York will playlist it then.
Meanwhile, soak up this beauty from Chris, It’s a cover of Irma Thomas’s soulful classic, Anyone Who Knows What Love Is Will Understand.
As if to underline the point, while penning this broadside, Radio York has thrilled my ears with almost non-stop oldies, including Tears for Fears’ Everybody Wants To Rule The World (1985) and Never Too Much by Luther Vandross (1989).
One bit of leavening came in the form of Paul Carrack’s That’s All That Matters To Me. Right up to the minute. The album came out in November last year.
Oh, and what’s that I can hear now? The Fortunes, ah 1965, how appropriate, You’ve Got Your Troubles…