Music: October 2004 Archives

Back in December I posted an entry about the Master Singers' Anglican chant versions of "The Shipping Forecast," later enhanced with a link to their other big hit, "The Highway Code."

This week, reader Anne Kroehle sends me a link to another interesting text set to Anglican chant: The King's Singers presenting frequency changes for BBC radio in November 1978. (She also says there was a TV version of this, and wonders if it's out there on the web somewhere.)

The site that hosts this file, Vintage Broadcasting has a wonderful and extensive collection of sound clips of test signals, start and close of day announcements, station jingles, and other bits of British radio ephemera.

Here's the page about the 1978 frequency changes with links to the King's Singers' piece mentioned above, final broadcasts before the changes, and first broadcasts on the new stations.

Here's a page about the BBC Light Programme, with two stirring but very different arrangements of the "Oranges and Lemons" station theme from the '40s or '50s. I can imagine someone getting chills hearing these again, after all these years.

I still get a little thrill hearing "Lilliburlero". When I was in 5th or 6th grade, I asked for and got a shortwave receiver. I scanned the dial between sunset and bedtime, picking up Radio Nederlands English language programming, Radio Canada, Deutsche Welle, the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service, Voice of America, and sometimes more exotic stations like Kol Israel. But the signal I religiously sought was that of the BBC World Service. The top of every hour began with the announcer saying, "This is London," followed immediately by "Lilliburlero", then several timing pips, and the announcer again, "Oh-four hours Greenwich Mean Time. BBC World Service. The news, read by...." In the days before cable news and the Internet, the BBC's shortwave broadcasts were a window on the wider world. Now, of course, you can listen to all the BBC's stations, including the domestic stations, over the Internet.

UPDATE 2009/03/16: disappeared; changed URLs to

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This page is a archive of entries in the Music category from October 2004.

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