Thursday, 15 May 2014



What are your over-riding memories of 1977? For myself as a teenager, it was listening to the fantastic music of the era on Metro Radio. And there were other 'little' things as well that I remember... college and GCE 'A' levels! And I remember undertaking long cycle rides with my friends on a jazzy 10-speed Peugeot racing bike, complete with handlebar radio tuned to 261! I also remember Peter Powell kites... stunt kites that you could operate in formation!

But of course there was also the really big local, national and international news that was brought to the north east on Metro 261. There were two really big stories in 1977 here in the north east. And they were the visit of US President Jimmy Carter to north east England in search of his roots and the defining news that shocked the world: the death of Elvis, the King of music in every respect.

We could console ourselves by listening to Elvis Presley on Metro and sharing the sentiments of its presenters. And despite the sad news about Elvis, there was some fantastic music in the charts in 1977, and if you didn't like the charts, Metro had a daily oldies segment, The Mid-Day Music Explosion at 12 noon!

Anyway, enough of the news, let's get into the music and the radio of the time. And what a treat we've got lined up for you with the following programme downloads, all lovingly recorded and preserved by Neil Siddaway of Middlesbrough.

Firstly, we have an hour of the Giles Squire Evening Show which featured the best in chart music, rock and soul broadcast on a weekday between 7pm and 10pm in the autumn of 1977. An ideal programme to enjoy while you should have been doing your homework or revising! Giles always played some superb music which often included the best new releases, thus allowing listeners to discover new artists and music. Canadian singer Burton Cummings (formerly with Guess Who) was one such artist for me. His song I'm Scared still remains one of my favourite tracks to this day (and yes, I bought the seven inch single on the Portrait record label!).

Secondly, we have an hour of Steve King's Mid-Day Music Explosion, except that this programme was presented by the late Marc Paul while Steve was on holiday. Marc was a popular sound on Metro Radio in the late seventies and he eventually left the UK to broadcast on National Iranian Radio and Television (NIRT). Although the chart music on Metro came from a weekly playlist formulated at a management and presenter's meeting, oldies were on the shole, chosen by presenters themselves. And judging by what you'll hear in Marc's programme, he had a phenomenal taste in the music of the sixties.

As always, I hope that you thoroughly enjoy these vintage recordings and once again, thanks to Neil for recording them, keeping them for four decades and sharing them!

Giles Squire Evening Show, Air date: October 3, 1977. Duration: 60 minutes.

The Mid Day Music Explosion, presented by Marc Paul. Air date: October, 1977. Duration: 31 minutes.


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