Saturday, 28 January 2017

Theme Time: The Shadows - Radio 2's Sound of the 60s

Normally my Theme Time posts are related to TV programmes but I can't let what has happened this week pass by without marking it in some way, and so today I'm sharing The Shadows' 1963 hit Foot Tapper, the theme from Radio 2's Sound of the 60s, the long running Saturday morning series that has been a mainstay of the station since 1983.

The reason I'm sharing it is because the time has come for the show's legendary presenter, the warm and mellifluous toned Brian Matthew, to hang up his headphones of the show at the age of 88 due to recurring ill health.

Matthew had presented the show for twenty-six years, taking the baton from previous presenters such as Keith Fordyce and Simon Dee in March 1990. He continued to present the show each week right up until the 19th of November last year when a fall at home took him off the air. Since then, the show has been hosted by Sir Tim Rice and yesterday it was announced by Radio 2 that the production company that makes the show and Brian both agreed that it was "the right time for Brian to step off the weekly treadmill of presenting the show", and that they hope that Matthew will be well enough to present special one-off programmes for them in the near future. However, Matthew told The Telegraph that this version of events was "Balderdash" adding "I was ready, willing and able to go back, and they've just said that they are going to put the programme in the hands of other people" If that is really the case, then this is the most shoddy way to treat a national institution and the voice of several generations - but not unexpected given the BBC's track record with its talent.

Brian Matthew joined the BBC in 1954, hosting the Saturday Skiffle Club on the Light Programme in 1957, which became Saturday Club the following year and Easy Beat, interviewing the very best of the music world in the 1960s. By the '70s, Matthew was hosting My Top 12 on Radio's 1 and 2, before becoming the presenter of Round Midnight on 2 from 1978 to 1990. He received the Gold Award at the Sonys in 2008, a fitting tribute to the man whose catchphrase was "That's your lot for this week, see you next week"

It's a shame we won't now.


  1. This is a shame. Sounds of the Sixties is one of my Saturday routines, and this morning Tim Rice was talking over records, name-dropping, and making comedy gurns and groans about some of the more stylised performances. He's no longer a cautious temp, and his own style is not a patch on Brian Matthew.

    1. I haven't listened since Matthew's absence. Not a fan of UKIP lover Rice. I believe they've yet to decide who should take over, but yes by the sounds of it he's clearly angling for the gig full time. They should give it Johnnie Walker, but it's shocking they've rode roughshod over Brian Matthew's willingness to return.