What­ever Hap­pened to...?

Dis­cov­er­ing what be­came of per­son­al­i­ties from the past

Evergreen - - Contents - Henry Hard­cas­tle

Barry Kin­der asked about sev­eral former BBC mu­sic broad­cast­ers.

Steve Race ( 1921- 2009), was one of our finest who em­braced ev­ery form of the genre with en­thu­si­asm. A com­poser and racon­teur, his in­for­ma­tive but gen­tle ap­proach put ev­ery­one at ease. He was the per­fect chair­man of My Mu­sic ( see Ev­er­green, Win­ter 2009), amal­ga­mat­ing earnest­ness with amuse­ment, and en­joyed telling the story when he mis­tak­enly awarded sec­ond prize in a young com­poser com­pe­ti­tion to a girl who cheated by sub­mit­ting an ob­scure piece by Mozart! His au­to­bi­og­ra­phy Mu­si­cian at Large is an ex­cel­lent read.

Hubert Gregg ( 1914- 2004) was a writer, singer and ac­tor who com­posed the popular song “Maybe It’s Be­cause I’m a Lon­doner” ( see Ev­er­green, Spring 2001). Among his nos­tal­gic BBC ra­dio pro­grammes were A Square Deal and, lat­terly, Thanks for the Mem­ory.

Benny Green ( 1927- 1998, see be­low), was a proud Lon­doner and a jazz sax­o­phon­ist whose easy man­ner en­deared him to an army of fans. His ex­pert knowl­edge of jazz and popular song com­posers was a fea­ture of his Sun­day af­ter­noon pro­gramme which ran for many years right up un­til his death. Also a crick­et­ing guru, he wrote sev­eral Wis­den An­tholo­gies.

Alan Dell ( 1924- 1995, see above), was South African and a walk­ing en­cy­clo­pe­dia on mu­sic from the Twen­ties, Thir­ties and For­ties, host­ing The Dance Band Days on Ra­dio 2 from 1969 al­most un­til his death. He was also in­volved with Ra­dio Lux­em­bourg and the early days of pi­rate ra­dio broad­cast­ing.

Mal­colm Lay­cock ( 1938- 2009, see above), suc­ceeded Alan Dell on Ra­dio 2 with Sun­day Night at Ten in which he mixed dance bands with his love of big bands. A former deputy head teacher who set up a mu­sic stu­dio for dis­af­fected pupils in South London, his un­timely death sig­nalled the end for Bri­tish dance band mu­sic on BBC ra­dio, a crush­ing blow for the many who grew up with it.

David Ja­cobs ( 1926- 2013), was a highly ver­sa­tile broad­caster who took key roles in pro­grammes as dif­fer­ent as Any Ques­tions?, Top of the Pops, Jour­ney into Space ( see Ev­er­green, Au­tumn 1994), Melodies for You and Juke Box Jury. Lat­terly, he pre­sented the late night David Ja­cobs Col­lec­tion, which he mod­estly de­scribed as “easy lis­ten­ing”.

Steve Race

David Ja­cobs

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