Tuesday, 21 May 2013

One Year, 52 Shows, 104 Hours and 6240 Minutes

Welcome, one and all, to The Boogie Wonderland Blog: not just an information point for all things Boogie Wonderland, but the ramblings of a DJ with too much time on his hands!  It should be pointed out at this stage that this blog has no connection with any organisation I work with, it’s just my thoughts on the music and artists I feature (and maybe the occasional rant).


Well that's the boring bit over so why, might you ask, the title?  Well, in less than a week’s time I will be one year old (not really, but I can pretend) or, as the title puts it 52 Shows, 104 Hours and 6,240 minutes.  I cannot believe how quickly the time has passed since I got the gig and put in play the ideas that were first formulated as a gangly 13 year old messing about with 2 turntables and a host of vinyl records. Was I nervous (hell yeah!!); what was I going to say and, crucially, what was I going to play as I owned less music than the local Tea Dance Club.  


Panic stations set in but there was no need to worry as the music soon came rolling in and the show started to form its own identity, moving from a traditional soul music show to one that encompasses the whole form of the art; some say ‘left field’, some say ‘centre-left’ and others say ‘to the right of centre’. I bend the rules; I will fill a show with Porter Robinson, The Pharaohs, Shaolin Afronauts and Shalamar.  If it sounds good I will play it.


The format of the show has changed as we dabbled with the different styles but the core will always remain the music.  Too much auto tune and you are out with the trash... God gave you a voice so use it to create pleasure for others.  Now it’s time to turn to my four highlights of the first year:


1.         The First Show:  A dream was realised, 30 years in the making and numerous practice runs I was finally let loose on the airwaves.  Some cheered, some cried and others said: ‘Take that fekin idiot out the back and shoot him!’  Who cares, well deep down I do but, although my style may not always be pleasing to everyone, you know what you get and the music is bloody good (if I say so myself).


The show can be described as a box of Milk Tray, something for everyone and bits others just do not like.  As the show the was 30 years in the making, what did I play?  The tunes I had in my head for that period were blown out of the water due to old age and my inability to remember the titles but gradually my notebook filled up and The First Playlist was born. For those who missed the show, here it is:


§    Chicago - Street Player (Remastered LP Version)

§    The Commodores - Lady (You Bring Me Up)

§    Cheryl Lynn- Shake It Up Tonight

§    Brothers Johnson - Strawberry Letter

§    Light of the World - Dancing On The Floor

§    Conya Doss - Letter

§    ARI LENNOX - Cliche RnB Joint

§    Mark Morrison - N A N G - Radio Edit

§    Orlando Johnson - Do You Care About Me

§    Chinah Blacc - Blown Away - Radio Mix

§    Joy Salinas - Keeping The Planets - Frank Minoia Disco Mix

§    Jaheim- Aint Leaving Without You

§    Lalah Hathaway - If You Want To

§    Kirk Franklin - Looking For You

§    Mary Mary - Go Get It

§    Marvin Sapp - Keep It Movin

§    Kenichiro Nishihara - Consider My Love

§    Sunlight Square -I-Believe-In-MiraclesOriginal-Havana-Mix

§    03 Lack of Afro - First Break

§    Rose Royce - Wishing On A Star

§    Quincy Jones - The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite

§    Randy Crawford – Changes

§    Georgie B - LETS BREAK THE ICE - Album Mix.

§    Sugar - Live& Now..2012

§    Mezzoforte - Garden Party


A few unusual song choices in that play list but they went down well I think and set the standard for the future.


2.         The First Live Interview:  After much persuading and cajoling I went for my first live interview during February this year. I am not a natural social butterfly so getting artists which have more talent in their little finger than I have in the whole of my body is daunting but then to ask them questions was enough to send me over the edge.  It finally happened, yes in February Dan and Hannah from the Bristol based band Thelonious visited the studio. We played their music, had a chat and it was fun. I learnt so much about my style from that interview and this has helped me so much for my next highlight. Thanks so much Thelonious.  I hope that you make the breakthrough this year.


3.         Cheltenham Jazz Festival:  A big ‘up’ to John Oldham for all his persistence on this one as we got the gig. I really wanted this festival and would have literally given my right arm to have done it. The time came, we landed some cracking interviews and the shows produced around these were top quality. In fact I know (my own opinion) that you would be hard pressed to find another station with such good quality output.  If, in music terms, I was a boy before then post the Cheltenham Jazz Festival I have definitely evolved into a MAN!  I no longer fear interviews thanks, in part, to the fact that the artists I met are just like you and me: ordinary folk with a dream.  


A huge thank you to Candice, Lauren and Ian from Cheltenham Festivals; Gregory Porter and his manager Heather Taylor; Dave Stapleton and Edition Records; Mike Stern and, last but not least, John and Ben for all their hard work over the weekend.


4.         Finally, Radio Winchcombe:  Without the station and the great people that work for it there would be no Boogie Wonderland Show and, for this reason, you will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you to everyone who put in hundreds of unpaid hours to make the station what it is, I have never worked with such a team (yes we are a Team) of dedicated professionals.  Winchcombe and the rest of the world, you are lucky to have such a great radio station.


So that's it for my first blog. Yes it has been One Year, 52 Shows, 104 Hours and 6240 Minutes but it has been the best time of my life, outside of getting married and having children.  Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way, no names as you know who you are... here’s to the next 52 shows.