Monday, 21 July 2014

UPDATE No. 1




MANY THANKS to all of you who've been private messaging and emailing me to ask how I am keeping and what mischief I'm getting-up to now I'm a full-time pensioner. Well, first things first, I'm in pretty good shape, despite the on-going, ever-deteriorating, pesky Dystonic Tremor symptoms.
Nevertheless, I'm still walkin' and a-talkin', so I ain't finished yet!

Secondly, if I have anything to do with it, I'm only a full-time pensioner for a little while longer, so watch this space later in the year. Until then, I guess it's more pottering around in the garden (weather permitting), plus more work on the sequel to my e-book "Redeeming Factor" (14 chapters and counting), and catching-up with some of my favourite music from the 1960s-1980s.

Talking of which, I've just taken delivery of three CDs ... Neil Diamond "12 Greatest Hits Vol II" (pictured above) including "Hello Again", the very first track I played on BBC radio in 1981 ~ Joni Mitchell "Blue" including the haunting "A Case of You", and the long-awaited Atlanta Rhythm Section collection "Underdog".

In fact "Underdog" includes a very special track that should be adopted by ALL my fellow musicians ... especially guitar players. The title is "My Song" and I've been searching for it on Spotify on-and-off for weeks, without success. So, in the end, it was buy the CD or bust ... see the CD cover below.


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

THE MAILMAN COMETH ... AGAIN !




MORE than one month on from my mega-blooper on BBC radio, and I'm still receiving letters and cards of support from listeners. This little lot arrived this morning (June 18) via the BBC's Plymouth studios. Firstly, my thanks to the Beeb for forwarding the mail on to me, and a great BIG thank you yet again to everyone who has been in-touch (electronically and otherwise) over the past few weeks: your good wishes and kind words have been a very much appreciated tonic!



Friday, 23 May 2014

ALL HAIL ROYAL MAIL !




SOME of the good luck and get well cards and letters I've received from all of the UK over the past week or two, and still they keep coming.

In fact, most of them have been addressed "David Lowe, ex-BBC presenter, Torquay" or similar and still they've got to me!

Well done Royal Mail, and another BIG thank you to all of you who've sent messages of support electronically or otherwise. I'm feeling ok in myself, but the pesky Dystonic Tremor symptoms are still rather troublesome. Nevertheless, your good wishes are a much appreciated tonic.

Many thanks again.

Best wishes one and all

David

Another tonic: a recent visit to the Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

Saturday, 17 May 2014

ANOTHER BIG THANK YOU




Hello again folks! Apologies for the Blog silence from me since last Tuesday (May 13).

No kidding, I've been away for a very timely, pre-booked few days in Cornwall, which took-in visits to the Eden Project (pictured above) and the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Thankfully, strolling through the woodlands, and among the plant and wildlife, made for a comparatively restful and peaceful break from the manic few days that preceded it. The gloriously sunny and warm weather was very welcome too.

On my return home yesterday evening (Friday May 16), I was greeted by thousands more supportive messages from all over the world. It's a massive understatement to say I'm truly staggered by the response.

Many, many thanks to you all, especially those of you who've expressed your concerns over my health issues. Rest assured, I'm feeling okay in myself: it's just the pesky Dystonic Tremor symptoms in my hands, arms and head that have been badly affected.

My job now is to try and get those symptoms back to their more manageable pre-Easter levels, and that's going to take time. Thank you again for your messages of support. I just wish I could reply to you all individually.

Kind Regards
David


I guess I'll be pottering in the garden a bit more from now on...


Monday, 12 May 2014

A HEARTFELT THANK YOU




UTTERLY OVERWHELMED! I just wanted to say a very BIG thank you to each and every one of you who’ve posted comments of support here on my Blog and elsewhere over the past few days. As you can probably imagine, the past couple of days especially have been absolutely manic. Yesterday (Sunday May 11), I lost count of the number of times my BT 'phone and mobile were ringing simultaneously. I wish I could respond to all of you individually, but I've also received several hundred supportive emails from all over the world, and this Blog took more than 10,000 hits on Friday alone. I'm sure you will undertsand that it's probably going to be impossible for me to respond individually to all the good wishes I've received, so I hope my heartfelt thank you here will suffice for now.

Before closing, I must set one record straight. I'm partially disabled by Dystonic Tremor ... one of the Dystonia range of conditions. Dystonia is NOT "a stress condition" as widely reported in the news. On the contrary, it is a neurological condition and like all neurological conditions (e.g. Parkinson's, Motor Neurone Disease, MS, etc) it reacts very badly indeed to unexpected periods of stress. That's where I've been over the past couple of weeks, so I now have quite a recovery curve to tackle. It's going to take time, but I know I'll have all your kind comments and good wishes to help me along the way. Thank you again! My kind regards to you all. David



Saturday, 10 May 2014

AND FINALLY, FINALLY....




MY HEARTFELT thanks to all of you, not only here on the Blog, but also on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for your support and kind words over the past 24 hours or so.

The BBC have, this evening (Saturday May 9, 2014), magnanimously asked me to return to my former Sunday evening programme slot, but I have respectfully declined their offer.

Let me explain why. As some of you will know, I am partially disabled by Dystonic Tremor: a condition rooted in the central nervous system. To put it mildly, these past two weeks have played havoc with my tremor symptoms, and it's going to take quite some time for me to get back to where I was before this "N-word" issue blew-up ... if I ever do.

I feel sure, therefore, most of you will understand that I now need to focus on recovering, as best I can, the limited dexterity I enjoyed before this regrettable episode began.

Thank you again for your support. With my sincere best wishes ... David




Friday, 9 May 2014

AND FINALLY....






AFTER more than 32 years of programme-making for the BBC and UK Independent Local Radio, I have hung-up my headphones for the last time. Why? Because I made a silly mistake. Yes, I know we all make mistakes, but where political correctness is concerned in UK today, there is no room for excuses or forgiveness. That said: let me stress here, I have no quarrel with anyone at the BBC in the West and South West. However, I do have issues with a repressive system that encourages wholly disproportionate reactions to innocent errors of judgement.

On April 27, I featured an 82 year old recording, one I’ve heard hundreds of times over the years, and even featured occasionally on my programmes. Unbeknown to me, however, that recording by Ambrose & His Orchestra of “The Sun Has Got His Hat On” contains a line of lyric that includes one of today’s ‘forbidden’ English language expressions … the “N” word! You’ve got to listen very carefully indeed to actually hear it but, yes, it is there on the recording.

I was alerted to my error by an email from the BBC management who had, in turn, received a complaint from a listener who, by his own admission, never listened to my programmes, but just happened to switch-on his radio sometime after 8 pm on Sunday April, 27.

Suffice it to say, the listener in question was “horrified” by what he heard, and added, “I hope that someone in authority will deal with Mr Young appropriately.” (He referred to me as David Young throughout his email, a copy of which was forwarded to me with the BBC complaint alert).  By the way, I know of no other complaint. Of course, there may have been others, but none have yet come to my attention via post, email, Facebook, Twitter or on my Blog.

Nevertheless, I admitted my mistake immediately after listening closely to the ‘offending’ track. I then apologised to my BBC managers, and offered to apologise to the listeners at the beginning of, and again during, my programme on May 11. Alternatively, I offered to fall on my sword.

A series of emails between myself and the BBC ensued over the following few days, including one which stated, “We would prefer that you don’t mention anything about last week’s broadcast.”  In the end, the BBC wrote to say, “Regrettably … we will have to accept your offer to fall on your sword to resolve the situation.”

So, first and foremost, here’s what I would have said on-air on May 11, had I been granted the opportunity of doing so: “I would like to apologise unreservedly to all of you, especially those who may have been offended by the track in question.”

Unfortunately, this was a genuine error on my part … the first of its kind I made in my 32 years of broadcasting … but, given today’s unforgiving obsession with political correctness, I have been compelled to pay the ultimate price.

Sadly, many thousands of BBC listeners have now been deprived of a programme they have come to look-forward to each week, while I’m left to ponder this: how can one oversight on my part, followed by one email complaint (that I know of), have such a negative impact on the lives so many innocent people? Maybe the answer lies in the fact that this regrettable episode provides proof of the damaging effect political correctness in all its pernicious forms is having on British society today?

Sorry folks, but I made a stupid mistake and I was left with no other option but to fall on my sword. In closing, however, let me say this: it has been an honour to entertain you for so many years, and I thank each and every one of you for your support for my efforts.

Kind Regards

David Lowe






Afterword: On Tuesday May 6, I was asked if I would agree to a BBC Devon News item or other audio feature announcing my "departure to pursue other interests.” I respectfully declined the offer. I then decided to wait three more days, just in case the BBC changed its mind and agreed to my request to make an on-air apology to my listeners during the programme on May 11. In the meantime, I have produced the running order for that programme, and it is pasted below.

I regret to say by 10 am today (Friday May 9, 2014) I’ve heard nothing more from the BBC.






            Request:                                                                                 DL X2 CD Tk 21
1)         THE MORE I SEE YOU                   BUDDY GRECO                              3:40
            Recorded: late 1960s              (Mack Gordon-Harry Warren)            Bregman,Vocco & Conn
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            Request:                                                                                 TS Disky CD
2)         WALTZING MATILDA                   THE SEEKERS                                  2:44
            Recorded: 1964                                  (Cowan-Paterson)                               MCPS
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            Request:                                                                                 DW Eclipse CD
3)         EV’RYWHERE                                 DAVID WHITFIELD                       2:40
            No.3 in Britain on 24.9.1955              (Larry Kahn-Tolchard Evans)             EMI
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            Request:                                                                     VS Vocalion CD “Ceiling”
4)         BLUE STAR              VICTOR SILVESTER BALLROOM ORCH          2:36
            Recorded: 1955                      (Victor Young-Edward Heyman)                   MCPS
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
5)         I GOT THE SUN IN THE MORNING     DM Pulse CD    DEAN MARTIN        2:50
            Rec: early 1950s      From: “Annie Get Your Gun”     (Irving Berlin 1946)     WChappell
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
6)         PLAY A SIMPLE MELODY       JO STAFFORD & STARLIGHTERS    2:29
            Recorded: 1950          Capitol CD                           (Irving Berlin  1914)               I.Berlin
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
7)         THE PICCOLINO     MEL TORME & DAVE LAMBERT OCTET          2:22
            Rec: 4.4.1950    MT Proper CD 9 on 4      Dir: Pete Rugolo         (Irving Berlin)           N/L
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
8)         ANYTHING YOU CAN DO        BETTY HUTTON-HOWARD KEEL  3:13
            From: 1950 MGM film “Annie Get Your Gun”   MDig CD    (Irving Berlin)    WChappell
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
9)         DOIN’ WHAT COMES NATURALLY    MOIR S&D  BETTY HUTTON        2:47
            From: 1950 MGM film “Annie Get Your Gun”       (Irving Berlin)           WChappell
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
10)       MY DEFENCES ARE DOWN                     HOWARD KEEL                  3:18
            From: 1950 MGM film “Annie Get Your Gun”   MDig CD    (Irving Berlin)     WChappell
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
11)       ALEXANDER’S RAGTIME BAND                 ANDREWS SISTERS      2:57
            Recorded: late 1940s             HMNCD                     (Irving Berlin  1911)               B.Feldman
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
12)       WOODMAN SPARE THAT TREE              PHIL HARRIS                       2:34
            Recorded: late 1940s              RCA NL 89526 S1 T2 MD X/F          (Irving Berlin  1911)   I.Berlin
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
13)       ALWAYS                                                       AL JOLSON                          2:23
            Recorded: late 1940s              HMNCD                 (Irving Berlin)                   FD&H-EMI
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
14)       SAY IT WITH MUSIC          MCL 1773 S1 T6 MD X/F       DICK HAYMES                2:08
            Rec: late 1940s       Piano: Carmen Cavallero      (Irving Berlin  1921)      FD&H-EMI
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
15)       A PRETTY GIRL IS LIKE A MELODY     VIC DAMONE                      3:12
            Recorded: late 1940s              Cocktail 9 on 1            (Irving Berlin  1919)               N/L
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
16)       IT ONLY HAPPENS WHEN I DANCE…  MOIR GtBallad         ART LUND          2:59
            Recorded: late 1940s       Dir: Johnny Thompson       (Irving Berlin) I.Berlin
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
17)       THE GIRL THAT I MARRY           MCL 1773 S1 T1 MD X/F      DICK HAYMES     3:03
            Recorded: late 1940s       Dir: Charles Dant       (Irving Berlin 1947)            I.Berlin
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
18)       THEY SAY IT’S WONDERFUL     PC 1 on 2    PERRY COMO                      2:32
            Rec: 1947        From:   “Annie Get Your Gun”      (Irving Berlin 1946)         MCPS
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
19)       BLUE SKIES             BC Anth CD 8 on 2                    BING CROSBY                    3:22
            Recorded: 18.7.1946       Dir: John Scott-Trotter      (Irving Berlin 1926)     N/L
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
20)       HOW DEEP IS THE OCEAN?         BENNY GOODMAN ORCH           3:03
            Recorded: c 1942        Vocals: Peggy Lee      IB MDig CD      (Irving Berlin)         FD&H
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
21)       I LEFT MY HEART AT THE….      CORPORAL EARL OXFORD        3:05
            Recorded: 1942          Decca CD                   (Irving Berlin  1942)                           N/L
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
22)       THIS IS THE ARMY MR JONES    AMBROSE & HIS ORCHESTRA   2:40
            Rec: 8.12.1943    “Lambeth Walk” CD   Voc: Jack Cooper        (Irving Berlin 1942)  Chappell
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
23)       OH HOW I HATE TO GET UP…    THIS IS THE ARMY CAST             3:07
            Recorded: 1942          Decca CD               (Irving Berlin  1918)                           N/L
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
24)       NOW IT CAN BE TOLD                  LEW STONE & HIS BAND             2:52
            Recorded: 27.9.1938        Vocals: Al Bowlly             (Irving Berlin)           Chappell
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
25)       I’VE GOT MY LOVE TO KEEP ME WARM         HILDEGARDE         3:14
            Recorded: 20.5.1937       Dir: Carroll Gibbons      (Irving Berlin 1937)       Vocalion-N/L
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: 11.5.1888 (126y)+Fred Astaire b: 10.5.1899 (115y)
26)       CHANGE PARTNERS         PP Age of Style  2 on 1     FRED ASTAIRE                   3:04
            Recorded: 24.3.1938       Dir: Ray Noble        (Irving Berlin  1937)              WChappell
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: 11.5.1888 (126y)+Fred Astaire b: 10.5.1899 (115y)
27)       I’M PUTTING ALL MY EGGS IN ONE…    PPCD FA    FRED ASTAIRE     2:47
            Recorded: 30.1.1936      Dir: Johnny Green       (Irving Berlin 1935)            I.Berlin
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: 11.5.1888 (126y)+Fred Astaire b: 10.5.1899 (115y)
28)       LET YOURSELF GO                        IB MDig CD              FRED ASTAIRE       2:32
            Recorded: 30.1.1936      Dir: Johnny Green      (Irving Berlin 1936)             WChappell
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: 11.5.1888 (126y)+Fred Astaire b: 10.5.1899 (115y)
29)       TOP HAT, WHITE TIE AND TAILS     PPCD Nostalgia     FRED ASTAIRE       2:39
            Recorded: 27.6.1935       Dir: Johnny Green      (Irving Berlin  1935)           I.Berlin
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: 11.5.1888 (126y)+Fred Astaire b: 10.5.1899 (115y)
30)       CHEEK TO CHEEK     IB Avid CD                      FRED ASTAIRE                   3:14
            Recorded: 26.6.1935       Dir: Leo Reisman      (Irving Berlin 1935)             I.Berlin
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: 11.5.1888 (126y)+Fred Astaire b: 10.5.1899 (115y)
31)       NO STRINGS                        PPCD FA                FRED ASTAIRE                    2:33
            Recorded: 26.6.1935      Dir: Leo Reisman      (Irving Berlin 1935)              I.Berlin
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
32)       MANDY         Disky Film Gts 22 on 1                  EDDIE CANTOR                              2:42
            From: 1934 UA film “Kid Millions”              (Irving Berlin 1918)                MCPS
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
33)       EASTER PARADE   American Songbook CD 14 on 1          LEO REISMAN ORCH        3:16
            Recorded: 3.10.1933       Voc: Clifton Webb       (Irving Berlin 1933)          Chappell
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
34)       ME                  RE LEra CD 12 on 2                               RUTH ETTING                      2:39
            Recorded: 9.9.1931                            (Irving Berlin 1931)                            FD&H
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
35)       SHAKIN’ THE BLUES AWAY                   RUTH ETTING                      3:07
            Recorded: 30.8.1927     RE LEra CD 9 on 1                 (Irving Berlin  1928)               WChappell
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
36)       SAY IT ISN’T SO      TWTD 1                 GEORGE OLSEN & HIS MUSIC   3:08
            Recorded: 1933       Vocals: Paul Small         (Irving Berlin 1932)                N/L
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
37)       HEATWAVE             JP LEra CD              JACK PAYNE & HIS BAND           3:24
            Rec: Oct 1934       Voc: Billy Scott~Coomber     (Irving Berlin  1933)         Chappell
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            Birthday: Irving Berlin b: Israel Baline: Temun, Siberia: 11.5.1888 (126 yrs)
38)       I WANT TO BE IN DIXIE       AMERICAN RAGTIME OCTETTE        2:16    
            Recorded: late 19-teens?        IB Avid CD              (Irving Berlin 1912)                B.Feldman