A weekly pleasure is listening to Cerys Matthews’ eclectic Sunday morning show on BBC Radio 6 Music while I potter round the kitchen. A regular feature is the ‘Sunday Roast’ slot just after 12.00 pm, featuring three tracks chosen by a listener. The idea is that they are analogous to the three parts of a Sunday dinner: starter, main and dessert – not necessarily related to food but enjoyable songs the person submitting can say something about. On 23 February I wrote in to the programme:
‘Having read that on 1 March 1966, Gene Clark of The Byrds announced he was leaving the group, due to his fear of flying, I thought 3 tracks related by having fly/flying in the title might be appropriate. Thus:
‘Starter: Flying Home, Harry James
Main course: Love to Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly), Caravan
Dessert: Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss, Rufus Crisp.’
‘Sadly Gong's Flying Teapot is slightly too long.’
Flying Teapot is nearly 12 minutes, and perhaps a little esoteric for the Sunday Roast (tending possibly to indigestion in some listeners) though it has its charms. Caravan is a group for whom I have a particular fondness as they have Canterbury roots, where I studied in the late 1970s; the 1971 album In the Land of Grey and Pink on which Love to Love You appears was a favourite, though I only saw them perform later in London. I was prompted to write because of the irony of a member of The Byrds, co-author of Eight Miles High to boot, being afraid to fly.
Anyway, there I was in the kitchen today dicing carrots or something when Cerys announced she was going to play the tracks I had sent in (adding ‘what a great name’)! I was surprised as I hadn’t been able to listen to the last two shows; I was away on both weekends and had assumed that if they were played I had missed them. I suspect there is a lot of competition for this slot and really didn’t expect to be picked. This was in fact my third attempt. In September 2014 I submitted the following trio, again thematic:
‘Starter: Rambling Man, The Carter Family
Main: I Got Rambling on My Mind, Otis Spann
Dessert: Rambling Sailor, Bellowhead’,
commenting: ‘they may make you forget about lunch and start checking your passport!’
And in March 2015 I chose a rather peculiar set that stood little chance of being selected:
‘Starter: High on a Hilltop, Nick Lowe
OR if that is thought to be a bit too gentle, an alternative choice:
Totensamba, Santana V. (on Ho! Roady Music from Vietnam, 2000)
Main: The Ghosts of Cable Street, The Men They Couldn't Hang
Dessert: The Ballad of Robert Moore & Betty Coltrane, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.’
So it was third time lucky, and I was chuffed to bits. Cerys gave some information about the performers and played the songs. It was lovely to hear her say at the end that I had spoiled the listeners with my choices.
At the time of writing the show is available here, the Sunday Roast segment beginning at 2:10:32.