Archive on 4 – The First A&R Man

Kicking off our double bill tonight on Good Radio Club is the ever excellent Archive on 4

This Radio 4 special at 8pm tonight was described in this morning’s Guardian Guide it like this

Fred Gaisberg recorded the early classical superstars Nellie Melba and Caruso, set up the UK’s first ever studio and travelled through Russia, India, Japan, China and Singapore in search of musicians to record for EMI’s Hayes Archive. This is Paul Gambaccini’s tribute to this pioneering collector of sonic artefacts.

I’ve been rooting around looking for background material. The best news is that a lot of the tracks being played tonight are on a new LP and there’s a good selection on Spotify.

Rough Trade have just released Sprigs of Time – The Hayes Archive . A double LP containing 30 tracks from the 150,000 78′s in the vaults. You can visit the EMI Archive in Middlesex. On spotify: Sprigs of Time | Caruso | Nellie Melba. EMI’s huge multi-disc, multi-decade, Record of Singing covers the 78 period (1899-1952).

cd duplication

Ok I’m off to do the washing up. Some quick reminders of how to join in. Steve has put together a good round up of what to do here. Tweet your thoughts using the hashtag #goodradioclub. Follow @jemstone and @bowbrick. Don’t worry if you can’t take part tonight. Its Saturday night for gods sake! Go to the pub. We’ll see you next time…

Good Radio Club is back

We’re getting the show back on the road. Putting the band back together. Starting this coming Saturday 13 June we’re planning a run of three Good Radio Clubs, starting with an innovative double-bill of heavyweight Saturday night factual fare. At 2000 you’re invited to listen to a fascinating Paul Gambaccini Archive on Four called The First A&R Man, about Fred Gaisberg who was – among other things – the first person to record Caruso’s voice

office furniture

After an interval (during which it’s suggested that you take some light refreshment) you should tune into the repeat transmission of the first of Professor Michael Sandel’s Reith Lectures at 2215, about “the prospects of a new politics of the common good.” The lectures have already had a lot of press and Sandel kicks off with a reference to the expenses scandal so this is very topical stuff.

Then, on Tuesday 16 June we’re jumping networks to have a go at a documentary that sounds right up our street about music’s response to Thatcherism, called Stand Down Margaret. It’s the first of two parts and it’s presented by Jeremy Vine. If you were there or if you’re just fascinated about the era, I think this could be a really fun GRC.

And here’s a reminder of how it all works:

People talk about radio programmes on Twitter all the time. They’re already talking about the Reith Lectures, for instance.

Good Radio Club makes it possible for everyone talking about a radio programme to see each other’s contributions and to react in real time. To debate the issues raised with others while listening and to hear a range of interesting opinions.

It’s really simple. Just listen to the programme live (it doesn’t work with Listen Again) and tweet your thoughts or reactions as you listen. To be included in the conversation, just include the hashtag #goodradioclub in your tweets. Add the hashtag #Reith if you’re tweeting about the lectures (lots of Reith nuts are already using that tag).

Follow the conversation by searching for #goodradioclub or #Reith (or #goodradio for that matter) at or Twitterfall (there are lots of other Twitter search products: choose one you like).

Bookmark this link to search Twitter for #Reith, #goodradioclub or #goodradio and this link to do the same at Twitterfall.

Jem Stone and myself (@bowbrick) will be around throughout (as will the Radio 4 blog) and we’ll try to make the occasional useful contribution. For the Reith Lecture, Jennifer Clarke, producer of the series’ interactive elements, will join in – and I know she’s prepared lots of useful material for the experiment. She’s already twittering as Reith2009.

If you have any questions or suggestions for Good Radio Club, I suggest you follow @bowbrick, @jemstone and @Reith2009 on Twitter and ask there.
Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

GRC#3 – Morning after the night before

And then this weeks Good Radio Club; for Analysis – was plugged by the lovely Stephen Fry.

So our rather small “social listening” experiment became a rather large, trending, quite crowded, coming thick and fast at you, tweeting experiment. Blimey.

I’m still getting over the fact that for most of yesterday evening instead of SXSW, Apprentice, Comic Relief etc; the most tweeted thing on the entire internet was a whole load of reactions to a fairly serious episode of a BBC Radio 4 documentary series.

Anyway i’m not sure if my red felt tip scales to Fryfuelled tweeting so you might have to wait a bit for the full report and post match analysis. And thanks again to everyone who took part; all those links, comments, feedback and photos. Nicely done. But I think this tweet from Christopher Maggs probably sums up the evening best.

We plan to do more. Watch out for an announcement on Monday for the next few. We also intend to provide you with some better tools to immerse yourself in this sort of thing either during or post broadcast.

Oh and I missed Red Riding in the end. Damn. (Jem Stone…. bowbrick is the other good sir in goodradioclub towers.)

Good Radio Club

So its part three of Good Radio Club; our small experiment in social listening. Using the lovely Twitter, a small group of radio listeners listen and tweet to different radio shows in “real time”.

This evening at 8.30pm on Radio 4 (Thursday March 12th) a few of us will be tweeting along to an edition of Analysis; Clever.Com; devoted to asking whether the web is rewiring our childrens’ brains – and whether we should be worried” .I also hear that someone called @stephenfry has also contributed to the programme with a short interview.

Presenter KenanMalik has also pledged to join in and producer; Hugh Levinson will be lurking.

If you want to play along then here’s what to do:

*Some pre-reading: The transcript of the show is already live | Summary of the topic | Daily Mail original article reporting on Susan Greenfield’s claims| Ben Goldacre on Newsnight

*follow your hosts Jem Stone and Steve Bowbrick on Twitter.

*tag all your tweets or photos with the hashtag #goodradioclub.

*Follow the conversation at places like Twitterfall (where i”ve pre-loaded some tags like #goodradioclub and #radio4) or Monitter or TweetChat.

*Share links, thoughts, feedback, provide some colour/context about where, how you are listening. Think of it like a Directors’ Commentary or somesuch.

*Take a picture of where you are listening, tag it #goodradioclub and upload to Flickr or your pic hosting site of choice.

*Feel free to just lurk if you want!

*We’ll write up a report about how it went so you can piece it together it all over again on BBC iPlayer for the “next 7 days” or download the podcast. But at your own pace.

Previous Good Radio Clubs: #1 Analysis: Social Housing | #2 Ken Clarke’s Jazz Greats

GoodRadioClub #2 – Write Up

So we hosted another of our small experiments in “social listening”. This time during the working day and this time for a fairly conventional Radio 4 hosted feature. The first part of what is now the 7th series of Ken Clarke’s Jazz Greats. Jazz buff shadow minister Clarke has a special guest; this week UK jazz musician Soweto Kinch and they canter through the biography of a Jazz “great”; in this case bebop pioneer; Charlie Parker interspersed with short clips of his music or BBC archive.

Its only 30 minutes but less intense than Analysis . We didn’t change much though. Users tweeted comments, links, feedback and this time photos of how they were listening to the programme. I enjoyed, listening in an office, the connected aspect of it as i watched the tweets “fall” in from twitter followers, other BBC colleagues and complete strangers. A few quick thoughts.

* DikJones made the point that concentrating and composing tweets; literally writing a sort of Directors Commentary as you go means you are distracted from the programme itself.

* Westpier argued that “Noticing that a lack of controversy, compared with social housing Analysis programme two weeks ago, reduces tweeting”

* Ironically iPlayer developer Dansumption found Listening via iPlayer posed some technical difficulties.

* But most tweeters said it brought what is after all primarily background listening into the foreground. Some nifty concentration was required.

And we trended. #goodradioclub sneaked into the top ten of most trended terms on Twitter yesterday lunchtime. Not exactly Obama or Superbowl proportions. It took around 110 tweets in 30 minutes from 25 people to do it largely at a time when the US was asleep.

Thanks again for taking part. Really enjoyed it. Looking forward to seeing you all again on Thursday night for GRC#3; another episode of Analysis; . (8.30pm; Radio 4, Thursday March 12th). This time might be different as a certain @stephenfry has made quite a contribution to the documentary and longer versions of the interview used in the programme are already published here. Presenter @kenanmalik is also likely to participate.

Oh and two bits of housekeeping:

the hashtag: We’ve been using #goodradioclub which is ten characters. Quite a bit for a hashtag. We’ve had a few requests from hairyhatfield, mattzki and others to shorten. #GRC is rather annoyingly used for something else search/conference related. We’ll probably switch (or rather try and switch) to #goodradio after this week. but #goodradioclub for now.

the programmes: Let me or steve know if you have any suggestions for any future programmes. They don’t have to be Radio 4 btw. And now on Good Radio Club.

The Round Up:

Kitchen Radio on Flickr – James Bridle.


Photos: Simon Smith | Fearoffours | Jem Stone | Steve Bowbrick | WestPier (view from his window)