There’s a certain smell made by an old valve radio, hot dust I guess, and then there is the glow that comes from the etched glass dial which promises radio stations from far away places such as Moscow, Monaco and of course closer to home the BBC light program. This was my first memories of radio as a teenager, an old valve set purchased from a jumble sale and quickly pressed into service in my bedroom with yards of wire to try and get the best reception possible.
One record that will always stick in my mind from this old valve set was The Eagles with New kid in town; it had a lovely tone and this particular track always sounded great. This for me was to be regular late night listening with only the glow of the radio dial as company.
My love for radio and then electronics led me to a career which never seemed far away from the opportunity to get behind a microphone and play music.
I became fond of Jazz and particularly Jazz Fusion in the late seventies, while at the same time listening to all types of Rock and Blues. I also love reggae music and bands such as The Mighty Diamonds and Steel Pulse just to mention a couple, were always being played at home.
Working the pub and club circuit as well as mobile disco work meant that my taste in music became very broad, although I always came back to Classic Rock and Blues which I feel are where my own personal musical roots are.
My first words to be broadcast were on an illegal A.M Citizens Band Radio, which I quickly picked up only to be disappointed when the Government legalised CB in the U.K on F.M and took the magic away. It was in 1983 that I joined Hospital Radio Wey for the first time and enjoyed a Sunday afternoon show from what is affectionately know as the ‘Shoebox Studio’ in Weybridge.
It was over 20 years later that I rejoined Radio Wey and was given the opportunity to take up a Friday night slot from 9 to 11pm. It was not long before I started to play Classic Rock during my show, much to the dismay of the Program Controller who suggested easy listening after 9pm would be more suitable. I persisted because the majority of my listeners were on-line and clearly supported this type of music on a Friday Night. I won (so did the listeners) and Classic Rock and later Blues started to stream around the world and before long ‘The Blues Session’ was born. I love to play the Blues late at night, they make ideal partners and I can imagine even now laying once again on my bed, the glow of the radio dial and the sounds of the Blues masters drifting across the room. Long live the blues…
For some classic rock and the very best blues music, come and join me very Friday night on Radio Wey. Just go to www.radiowey.co.uk and click on ‘Listen to live radio’
Martin Clarke – April 2009