Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Not 'Arf ...

Just as I remember one deceased childhood hero, another one slips his moorings and sails away.

As a lad at boarding school, I spent many happy hours with my head pressed against a battery-powered portable radio listening to (hang on, I started yesterday's entry with the same line) ...

Each and every Sunday afternoon we schoolboys were keen to learn which group or singer had crept up or fallen down in the music charts - 'Pick Of The Pops' as it was known. 'At The Sign Of The Swinging Cymbal' theme announced the beginning of the show and the smoothest and most recognisable 'cool cat' voice on radio opened the mic; "Greetings, pop pickers!" Alan 'Fluff' Freeman was it's presenter and he presided over the rundown of chart success or popular flops. Such was his following, another of his verbal trademarks is still mimicked by the nation "Not 'arf!"

Freeman was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1927. He started his radio-life as a radio announcer (and occasional singer) in his home town. His baritone was voice ideal for singing too but as he said, "it was good, but not that good". In 1957 he took a holiday in the UK - a holiday which lasted more than 40 years. He started working as a relief DJ on Radio Luxembourg and transferred to the BBC in 1960. As for his nickname, 'Fluff' ... according to sources, his BBC colleagues gave him his monika early in his career because of his habit of turning up for his show in woolly jumpers.

He was associated with chart-based shows over the coming years, whether they be on BBC Radio 1, London's Capital Radio or Virgin Radio. This overshadowed his tireless championing of other music styles - heavy metal and classical. In May 2000 he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award at the Sony Radio Academy Awards.

Cut and paste this link into your browser to hear Fluff at the mic: http://www.radioacademy.org/halloffame/freeman_a/sounds/clip6.mp3

See? There are good things that come out of Australia.

Oh crap, now I've pissed off the Aussies. Here we go with the hate mail; cricket, weather, pommie bastards. Yeah yeah. Change the tune ...



Blogger Debbie said...

Take the link out of this post and your sidebar will pop back up to the top in Internet Explorer. It's just a thought. :)

Friday, December 01, 2006 5:49:00 am  

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