Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hello Children Everywhere

Back in 1954 the BBC Light Programme started a show called Children’s Favourites presented by Uncle Mac (Real name Derek McCulloch). Every show began with the immortal words “hello children, everywhere” over the theme song of Puffing Billy. The show was built around the genuine requests from the shows audience, as often as not children and their parents. Some weeks thousands of requests on a postcard (50’s email) were received for songs such as Max Bygraves You’re a Pink Toothbrush, I’m A Blue Toothbrush, or Sparky’s Magic Piano.

Every now and then there was something unusual requested and one particular week someone wrote in to ask for a song that helped shape the rock era. Listening from his childhood home in Surrey was future guitar legend Eric Clapton. “The first blues I ever heard was on that programme. It was a song by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, with Sonny Terry howling and playing the harmonica. It blew me away. I was ten or eleven.”

With the advent of Radio 1 in 1967 Leslie Crowther replaced Derek McCulloch and the show renamed Junior Choice. Increasingly pop music was taking the place of little white bulls, laughing policemen and tubby tubas….thank goodness that it didn’t change any earlier!

1 comment:

ian russell said...

it blew him away, I wonder if it was Big Wind. they use that for a current advert but being the susceptible consumer I am, ha ha, I don't know which product it is they want me to buy - there's a lot of wind and objects flying around by the seaside.
one of the few true blues acts I got to see, sonny and brownie, on account they waited around long enough for me to grow up. it was a good gig too.