Monday, 8 December 2014

Desert Island Discs

I'm sure Adam was still in short trousers when the BBC first broadcast this programme on the radio.  Well, that may be a slight exaggeration, but it has been around as long as I can remember and it is still going strong.  I have no doubt that other countries have programmes with a similar format, but in case you are unaware of it, the basic idea is very simple.

A celebrity (and I use the word in its loosest possible sense) is invited to imagine being cast ashore on a desert island.  Somehow, a gramophone (that shows how old then programme is!) is also washed up.  The celebrity names eight records that can be washed up along with the gramophone - although how one could play them without electricity is never explained.  And, of course, when the programme started out there were no such things as LPs and record albums so the selection has to be of singles.  During the 30 minutes of the programme, the celebrity chats with the presenter and the choice of music is played.

I was cogitating (as one does when walking the dog) about the records I would choose were I to be invited to take part.  I found it quite difficult to make a reasonably diverse selection.  I would not want eight records of the same type of music - that would be too boring.  Nor would i want to include too many simple tunes; I would want records that needed listening to.  At least, some of them should be like that.  So, for what it's worth (and that ain't a lot!) here's my choice:
  • On the Quarter Deck, played by the Band of the Royal Marines.  This march has a sort of swagger about it that, for me, exemplifies the Bootnecks;
  • What a Wonderful World, sung by Louis Armstrong.  Just to remind me;
  • the 2nd movement of Mozart's clarinet concerto.  This piece is sublime and would calm me in times of frustration.
  • Petite Fleur, with Monty Sunshine on clarinet in Chris Barber's jazz band, to remind me of many wonderful holidays, including the one in the Hague where we chanced upon Chris barber and his band playing quite informally in a shopping mall on a Sunday morning while all the shops were closed.
  • Jeremiah Clarke's Trumpet Voluntary.  I always think this so very English, despite its alternative name, The Prince of Denmark's March.
  • Mr Wonderful, sung by Peggy Lee.  No-one has ever said that to me but I can dream, can't I?
  • the 2nd movement of Dvorak's 9th symphony, From the New World.  Just like the Mozart.
  • Fanlight Fanny, sung by Clinton Ford with The George Chisholm All Stars.  I smile every time I hear this one, it's so cheerful.

And as celebrities are allowed one luxury, I don't see why I should be any different.  I could, perhaps, ask for an Aston Martin DB5, but there would be little point as there would be no roads or even petrol, so I will ask for an album of all my favourite photographs.

Of course, tomorrow my selection of music and my choice of luxury would probably be completely different!


Mike @ A Bit About Britain said...

Well, Mr Wonderful (C'mon - you KNEW someone would do that), I really enjoyed that post. I particularly enjoyed "Fanlight Fanny", which I'd never heard before. That could be worth a download!

Sarah said...

I was a bit worried for a moment when I couldn't hear Fanlight Fanny - took me a while to work out that one of the kittens had turned off the speakers on the keyboard! What a cheerful song, it's really brightened up my afternoon!