Friday, 5 February 2016

Wake Up To Wogan: 20 Songs - RIP Terry Wogan

Cribbed mercilessly from this blogger, I thought I'd mark the passing of the great Terry Wogan by showcasing twenty of the songs I fondly recall him playing regularly on his Radio 2 breakfast show Wake Up To Wogan when I was an avid listener, around 1999 to 2006/07. Without Wogan - and his producer Paul 'Paulie' Walters who died in 2006 - I'd never have heard of some of these songs and artistes. 

20. Double ~ The Captain of Her Heart

A good breakfast show knows how delicate we are first thing in the morning. Wake Up To Wogan certainly did and would often ease us gently into the day with this melancholic '80s offering which often seemed to start the show at 7:30am

19: KD Lang ~ Miss Chatelaine

I always got the feeling this was one of Paul Walters' (aka Paulie, aka Dr. Wally Poultry, aka many many other things) favourites

18: Carly Simon ~ You're So Vain

Often concluded with Wogan informing us that Carly wrote the song about him. This ranks alongside many of Terry's great whimsies, including his audition for Bond when Connery left and his 'racing snake' physique. Fond of Carly, he often played Let the River Flow and Kissing With Confidence too - chuckling at the overbite reference.

17: Catherine Porter ~ Crazy

An artiste Terry championed in the early '00s who sadly failed to catch with the nation's imagination. He played quite a few of her songs from the album Something Good (which I went out and bought) including this one which, if I knew it was a contender in the Song for Europe, I had clearly forgotten about until looking for it today. Clearly, Terry thought a great deal of her.

16: The Corrs and Bono ~ Summer Wine

The Corrs, or as Terry teasingly called them, 'a bag of auld spanners'

15: The Beautiful South ~ Don't Marry Her

Often played with Terry and Paulie's concern that one day they would inadvertently play the obscenity littered album version rather than the clean radio edit.

14: The Small Faces ~ Lazy Sunday Afternoon

You never actually knew when this song ended as so often Terry and Paulie would provide their one cheery whistles and 'a-rum-de-doo-de-di' long after the fade-out.

13: Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston ~ It Takes Two

At the conclusion of this song, Terry would almost certainly say ''It takes two...Radio 2'' a catchphrase that never caught on with the rest of the station!

12: The Yardbirds ~ For Your Love

A pips crashing classic. Almost always played immediately before 8am and the news. So much so that whenever I hear it now, I expect to hear the pips immediately after the last rattle closes the song.

11: Juliet Turner ~ Doctor Fell

Splendid Northern Irish singer that Terry championed. Like Catherine Porter around the same time, I went out and bought the album Burn The Black Suit, which Terry played several tracks (including this, the titular track and Take The Money And Run) from in his efforts to make Turner a mainstream hit. He didn't succeed, but more fool the general public. Often concluded with the Limerick born Tel adopting a N.Irish accent and demanding an ''Ulster Fry''

10: Paolo Conte ~ Via Con Me

Another perennial fave, always referred to as ''the chips chips song''

9: Tony Joe White ~ Polk Salad Annie

Who needs Elvis? Tel played the original and the best.

8: The Four Tops ~ If I Were A Carpenter

Known affectionately as ''the cummerbund song''

7: Peter Gabriel ~ That'll Do

Taken from the Babe soundtrack and written by Randy Newman, this was invariably concluded with an ''aww'' from El Tel

6: Katie Melua ~ Closest Thing To Crazy

An example of a successful artiste that Terry helped to break, this became a sensation thanks to his repeated playing and scored a hit for the young Georgian born singer and former Womble Mike Batt.

5: Harry Chapin ~ W.O.L.D

Terry loved the rather meta thing of playing songs about radio DJ's. As well as this classic he would also often play The Last DJ by Tom Petty, sharing much of its sentiment.

4: The Moody Blues ~ Question

A favourite for the show. that never failed to revitalise both everyone in the studio and the listeners at home. Often preceded by ''Feet - do your stuff'' and, after its whiplash, lightning speed conclusion, ''Anyone hurt?''

3: The Doors ~ Riders on the Storm

I well remember being driven into work one rainy morning by my sister and hearing this being played after the 8am news. How many other mainstream radio breakfast shows play The Doors? It secured kudos from my Doors loving friend at work who had previously viewed Radio 2 as 'cardigan country'.

2: Eva Cassidy ~ Over The Rainbow

Terry loved his country. Shania Twain and Faith Hill would often get played but it was this songbird, who sadly died in 1996, that gained the most recognition thanks to Paulie's introduction of her music to Terry. They both deserve the plaudits for discovering Eva and bringing her to the UK. Without Wake Up To Wogan, Eva Cassidy would be unknown here. It's as simple as that.

1: Clifford T Ward ~ Home Thoughts From Abroad

Another much loved favourite, indeed it was - as Terry confessed - one of his all time favourite songs. Another lovely melancholic wake up, the song gained extra resonance when I heard it after I had just broke up from a long-term girlfriend in 2006. It's become one of my all time favourites too.

God bless you Terry (and Paulie, pictured above too) Heaven has a wonderful new breakfast show now you've been reunited.


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