Thursday, 11 June 2015

#Blog Alert I Saw Ron Moody's last performance.

I really enjoyed a celebration of 50 years of Oliver in 2010 at the Theatre Royal in Dury Lane now with Russ Abbot as Fagan, Rowan Atkinson had been the original Fagan.  The ensemble cast of kids were truly brilliant, the use of the stage and the sets and the clever way they played the murder scene all added to a terrific night.  Even though the Theatre was peppered with hardened members of the press we gave the cast a standing ovation and then something truly remarkable happened.

A podium was brought on and Russ Abbot walked up to and said ladies and gentlemen, please will you welcome to the stage of the Theatre Royal Dury Lane - the original Fagan - Mr Ron Moody, and on he came and spent the next twenty minutes talking about his life in showbusiness.  He held us in the palm of his hands, made us laugh, made us cry.  And then something truly remarkable happened.

The band struck up the first chords of 'Pick A Pocket or Two" the kids came on and a very elderly Ron Moody sprang, I kid you not, into life and danced and sung with the children as if he was thirty years younger.
I remember turning to Chris who was moaning about missing the last train, and saying "This is Ron Moody's Swan Song, we are watching his very last stage performance."  And again we all stood up and gave Ron a standing ovation.   

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#Blog Alert Will Apple cause radio to crumble?

I have to admit I have not listened to a lot of Zane Lowe he's not really my thing,  but he struck me as being an OK person, in that down to earth kind of Kiwi way.  I liked the way he played with sound and knows how to do radio, has a very compelling relaxed way of interviewing - but I hated most of the music he played.  So I tuned away.

But I am not the listener that Apple's Beats 1 is pursuing.  And Beats 1 is going to have to be about the listener . 

I do believe if they get that relationship right, pick the right personalities and music it will be deadly and it will travel across the time zones of the world.

When I worked with US Talk show host  Doug Urbanski, I realised that his listener was drawn to the things he said and the different time zones and day parts he popped up in either live or recorded, across the U.S. were irrelevant.

So how will Beats 1 impact on traditional radio?  To begin with I don't think it will.  It's just another streaming radio station. I read a statistic recently that only 7% of Americans have ever streamed a radio or podcast in their cars.  So traditional radio has time to keep up with new kids on the block from Cupertino.  And doesn't cupertino sound like a camp Italian drink that Costa might sell ... or is that just me?

I am waiting for Apple to put Podcast App Swell back online.  It was bought by Apple last year for 30 million dollars.  Swell was a podcast player with a difference it had a clever algorithm that worked out what you liked and played you more of the same.  I loved that and it worked - and it kept me listening and I guess it could also learn the kind of things I might want to buy and target the commercials directly at me.

So if Swell makes a return with Apple at the helm, then traditional radio should start to get worried a little sooner. 

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

#Blog Alert Radio Demos

'I guess it all began when I was viciously scratched by Liza Minnelli she jumped out from behind a pillar and screamed "Get Me Corffee' - Is probably a better way to start your radio demo than.

(JINGLE) 'Mmmm oooo ahhh it's Terry Tesco on the Radio' - 'yes indeedee it's Terry Tesco on the rageio, checkin out the travel and wever but first THIS IS the Beatles and This is Here Comes The Sun'

Always start with your best stuff, show your personality and ability as a broadcaster and story teller.  Make me laugh, make me cry but please don't make me vomit into a waste paper basket when you spit out some boring strapline:

'Oh yes indeedee we're playing the best music in Basildon on the Hot Power Best Hits More Music FM.'

Make sure your radio demo is all about you, even if you have the most fabulous guest in the studio, cut their answer as soon as possible.

I am a believer in not too many music beds and sounding so slick that the person listening just knows you've spent ten hours editing down your performance.

Keep it simple, keep it short, not too many long links, variety and ability is what you need to show.

For commercial radio, show you can sell, create a live read for a competition and prize.  For BBC or Public Radio show you care - real live interaction with callers - shows your ability to create compelling, conversational radio.

It's worth creating a demo aimed at the station or format you are sending the demo off to.  Don't attach big audio files to unsolicited emails, if you fill up or worse crash the persons inbox they are going to take a dim view.