Thursday, 12 September 2013

Hello, Darlings!

He changed the sound of popular music radio and inspired a generation of budding broadcasters. The official biography, Hello, Darlings!, is published today. He was Kenny Everett.

As well as the biography written by James Hogg and Robert Sellers (my copy is on order) this Saturday sees the unveiling of a blue plaque outside Kenny’s last home in Kensington. The event has been organised by the British Comedy Society and includes a number of star names and some rare film and audio clips (mixed together by Simon Hirst I believe) which hopefully will get a wider release.
When Kenny moved from the pirate ships and finally joined Auntie Beeb he introduced Light Programme listeners to something they wouldn’t have been familiar with: jingles and clever trailers rather than straight laced continuity announcements.  All done with just a bit of tape and a razor blade - no clever digital editing then.

To show you what I mean here’s what seems like a fairly simple piece of audio that Kenny put together to promote the forthcoming Radio 247, obviously they hadn’t finally settled on the name Radio 1.  It was only when I bought Nelson Riddle’s The Best of the Capital Years album that I realised how Kenny had done it.

First we get his multi-tracked “247” jingle over a track called Then I’ll Be Happy.

“There’ll be Light” leads into the intro to You’re An Old Smoothie.

A quick burst of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is followed by some baroque string quartet piece that I can’t identify (anyone?).

Next we have The Campbell’s are Coming and then under the bit about how Radio 247 will work its back to The Beatles and Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite.
“Music, music, music all day” is over the Irving Berlin composed tune Let Yourself Go and then a final cymbal crash.

All that in just under a minute. 

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