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 Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?

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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 20 Feb 2013, 12:47

As the Archers MB site fades, I qonder if the series is on its way out also.
In my formative years I was devoted to the radio. If the thread interests then I shall enlarge on that. As a child, not only Children's Hour but the news also along with radio plays and comedy shows and above all, music
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 20 Feb 2013, 13:04

Many of my childhood memories revolve around sitting on the dresser beside the big, brown, bakelite radio listening to the Home Service and Radio Luxembourg.
Journey into Space, The Red Planet, Perry Mason, Francis Durbridge serials, Take it from Here - it certainly impacted on me and it still does. My radio runs from first wakening until early evening and I find it hard to sleep without it burbling away beside my bed. The World Service is not what it was.
It's always been speech that has been my favourite even though there was lots of music of all kinds in our house. Apart from the teen years of course. I had a primitive portable radio around 1960; the size of a lap top and had to be carried open like one to receive a signal but boy, did it give me street cred. I wish I still had it.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 20 Feb 2013, 13:20

"Round the Horne" - I loved it, even though I was too young to get the jokes.

I absolutely adored Julian and Sandy.
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 20 Feb 2013, 13:34

Oh yes and 'I'm Sorry, I'll Read that Again' - but I was a bit older then.
Radio really does have the best pictures, 'Hitchhiker' on radio has never been equalled in any of its other incarnations.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 20 Feb 2013, 15:09

Radio had tremendous impact on those of us in far flung colonies, for the first time people didn't need wait weeks or months to hear of events happening in the outside world. And the World Service was listened to by everyone, even if it was in the middle of the night.

The children of the outback were also schooled via the radio until relatively recently, not sure now though, the lessons could be done on computers instead?
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 20 Feb 2013, 21:16

Radio broadcasts to schools began in New Zealand in 1931 and ran to 1987 and NZ children grew up with this hour in the afternoon where they listened to the radio as part of their education and entertainment. The Correspondence School also had radio broadcasts from 1937 - 1997.

This afternoon the radio here is to play some of the music the children listened to - they specified folk music and shanties. I certainly date my knowledge of Turkey in the Straw and Marianina to those times. I'm looking forward to hearing this, really, as a lesson in nostalgia.

Like ferval, my radio goes on at 7.30 and is turned off about 11. (Unless the noise clashing with television irritated me too much, or a certain (almost always man's) American accent chattering 19 to the dozen ditto. Or some of our more annoying politicians arrive to have their interminable say.) Radio NZ's National programme has far more rational arguments and indepth analysis of news events than our television (not that that would be hard) or other radio stations. And you can do other things while you listen to the radio, unlike reading newspapers or watching television properly.

As for the Archers, when I was at school in the 1960s one of my hostel-mates listened to the Archers for which she was mocked as it was hideously old-fashioned then. It hasn't been on our radio for decades, and we were amazed to hear it on British radio (seemingly constantly) when we were there in 2004.

I suppose some of our radio in my childhood came from America - Dexter Dutton, Randy Stone I think would be American. Other were New Zealand or Australian based - Dad and Dave comedy, request programmes, pop music programmes - songs coming here a little later than in Britain and the USA. But most women at home listened to Portia Faces Life and Dr Paul while they did their housework. Company for them, just as it is for me today. The big change here over the years would be the Maori content and the amount of NZ readings and drama. And an accent change, no longer RP needed by radio announcers (though still on this station a pretty clear educated speech and no shouting or ridiculous excitability).
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Thu 21 Feb 2013, 10:20

Radio fosters the imagination in the way that children - as did our ancestors keen for the told story. For me it was the radio plays for children on Children's Hour that entranced. Not only was each another world for me to mentally explore, the music chosen for each series was extremely good - even when somewhat unsuitable. 'Bunckle and The Young Detectives' wasoddly prefaced by a dreamy piece from 'Daphnis and Chloe' - I think.

Another very funny series about a mole had a superb Oboe rondo - and whenever I have heard it since I picture the grumpy mole.

As a war time child - and very young at the time, I listened to the news with intense interest. The important bits as I judged I then relayed to my busy mother and any one else who may have missed it. .... our crossing the Rhine being one of them that caused excitement. I had no idea what a Rhine was and had a disturbing image of a very big bit of bacon; whatever - we had crossed it and that was apparently good.

Oh for a radio channel that would stimulate children's interest and spin their imagination beyond the all too graphic stuff imposed by adult visual perception.
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Vizzer
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Thu 21 Feb 2013, 21:38

One radio play which sticks in the mind was a BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time. I seem to remember listening to it on a rainy summer's afternoon in 1983. One website, however, claims that it was broadcast on Christmas Day 1982 - so maybe I heard a repeat. Either way it was such an excellent production that its memory is still with me 30 years later. It's one of those things which makes one wish that the BBC's archive of programs was much more accessible.

It also makes one wonder about all the other great plays and radio broadcasts which one didn't ever happen to hear or even know about...
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Thu 21 Feb 2013, 23:09

Oh yes, what a delight it would be to have recordings of all the many splendid things the BBC used to produce. I heard the very first Under Milk Wood production on the Third Prog as it was called then and was entralled. Many years later I took several of the parts in a Son et Lumiere production. But that's another tale... my Mrs Pritchard against a splendid muttering Mr Pritchard stays with me still and only possible because of my first hearing of it.

Radio Luxenburg has been mentioned that and in our house we also tuned into AFN - American Forces Network as a nightly must - we always slept late and still do, come to that. Memories of 'A train' and 'Sunny side of the street' echo in the the ghostly corridors of memory.
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Fri 22 Feb 2013, 05:52

And on the AFN there was always Les Paul (I think) and his band of renown, he could have played the intro music.

In England there was always Wilfred Pickles and on the piano Violet Carson, and way back, Workers Playtime.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Fri 22 Feb 2013, 19:56

Yes, the radio...
We had a German radio Telefunken with a 78 tours gramophone on the top build in...it was mainly the gramophone who played and the radio was open for the news. We listened also, my sister and I, to the, how do you say it in English, the "long wave" (in German on the radio set LW (lange Welle) (Dutch: lange golf), where we could pick up some "exotic" music from everywhere on the world...all that, end of the Fifties.
And then the school radio...one afternoon in the week...beginning of the Fifties...we, the boys (not yet mix in those days)...mostly history...and how do you call that "luisterspelen" (in Dutch) listening fictional episodes?...and in those days the class was still (Dutch: muisstil) quiet as a mouse...we then boys between 8 and 11...I remember I was always quite interested...not sure if all other boys...
Regards, Paul.
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Fri 22 Feb 2013, 20:37


Schools radio! Music and Movement!
There may have been other programmes but this is the one I remember.



The theme tune

http://www.whirligig-tv.co.uk/tv/memories/snippets/snippets7.htm

Here's what one musical mover had to say about it.

Quote :
Last evening, while listening to the radio archive quiz 'Wireless Wise', I heard a voice I never expected - or wanted - to ever hear again: that of Ann Driver, the perpetrator of surely the most otiose programme ever to disgrace the airwaves: The School series "Music & Movement". When I was a boy in the '50s this ghastly aberration was inflicted on schoolchildren not once but TWICE a week (Tuesday, as I remember was M&M 1 and Friday, if memory serves was M&M 2). I have one enduring memory of being about six, with raging toothache, being exhorted to ''do our wide dance''.

For those mercifully young enough never to have heard this series, I should explain that Miss Driver, of the jolly hockey sticks school of broadcasting with a permanent plum in her mouth would dream up some absurd scenario, and then a crudely faded in "musical" link would come in. They sounded literally crudely faded-in from pre war 78s, or else a heavy handed pianist would bash out suitable music on a piano that probably hadn't been tuned since Sir Henry J Wood had used it.

The programme ran for well over 30 years from the forties till (unbelievably) the early 70s. It sounded antique in the mid '50s. Goodness knows what the children of the '60s or '70s thought of it.

Normally in my postings I take into consideration that time has dated some programmes but they were good in their day. This is one case where I cannot make allowance.

I spoke to a former School's Programme producer many years ago about Miss Driver. he told me that she was 'extremely competent'. I have no doubt of that, but, in addition to her extreme competence she managed to produce, in my opinion, the most crass, banal mind-numbingly absurd programme - even for six year olds - a hotch-potch of crackpot scenarios, all delivered in a smug voice.

I however enjoyed it - I was ever odd.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Mon 25 Feb 2013, 23:13

Ferval,
did some research to find more about our Belgian school radio of the Fifties, if possible in English. I started first in Dutch and French as in the Fifties the Belgian radio was still "unitarian"'


In Dutch the word is "schoolradio" but Google wanted "school radio" and then I was immerged into the British and American links. With "schoolradio" I did find only one! page about the school radio and "luisterspelen" (listening plays?) of the Fifties and it is still irrelevant to our discussion...
I suppose that Google gives only the results of what present days contributors find "interesting" and when one is in a small language area (Dutch: some 22 millions) the "hits" are even less...? Nevertheless I was some 1 1/2 hour busy with all that...
I suppose our great Nordmann will have some interesting comments (and rectifications;)) about this phenomena...?
Kind regards, your friend, Paul.

Book
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Tue 26 Feb 2013, 09:51

To be of any real value, school radio as I recall it when tachin Juniors, although accompanied by illustrated booklets and such, also needed considerable teacher input to be of any value - or relevance. I think head teachers subscribed to it to compensate for some inadequate teachers or fill gaps where there was no specialist. For the teaching of music, for instance, it could be most enriching. I sympathise with the guy who hated the Ann Driver approach to radio dance lessons used in our school - very twee. My being trained in Rudolf Laban dance I had the edge there and din't use it. Even the toughest boys seemed to respond to that approach.

However, radio programmes did bring a fresh approach into schools and prepared the way for a change in educational methods. The value of tha should not be underestimated.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Tue 26 Feb 2013, 18:32

Quote :
I suppose our great Nordmann will have some interesting comments (and rectifications;)) about this phenomena...?

Paul, have you tried limiting your Google search to Dutch language only? After the first search displays there's a "cog" symbol which appears over on the right and which gives you an "advanced search" option if you click on it. In there you can specify only to show Dutch web pages if you want.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Tue 26 Feb 2013, 22:07

@nordmann wrote:
Quote :
I suppose our great Nordmann will have some interesting comments (and rectifications;)) about this phenomena...?

Paul, have you tried limiting your Google search to Dutch language only? After the first search displays there's a "cog" symbol which appears over on the right and which gives you an "advanced search" option if you click on it. In there you can specify only to show Dutch web pages if you want.
Nordmann,
thanks for the immediate reply.
I did as you said, but found hardly more. And yes, I knew it from other research if I put

When I as usual pressed the "preview tab" to see my whole message before I send it, the computer said the web is too busy and when I returned as usual and renewed my message all my new text was gone...
I start again where my message was eradicated...
And yes I knew it from other research that when I started in Google France, Google Deutschland or Google UK, I had quite other results. Sparked by your message I see now that I am automatically connected to Google Belgium and there I can choose between Dutch, French, German and English. But as Google apparentely knows (by my browser?) that I reside in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium I am connected automatically to Google Belgium Dutch...
And even in Google Belgium Dutch even with "search words" in Dutch I have a lot of English language URLs on the first pages, less with "search words" in French and even less with German one's...of course with English ones...the first pages are all in English...
From the above I stick still to my supposition that as English is nowadays the world language the chance to find other languages in the first hits is less obviously than with that world language...secondly I suppose that if some history or events are not interesting to the general contemporaneous public you will hardly find some hits in the first dozens of pages of Google or any other search robot...
Kind regards and with esteem,
Paul.
PS: To search for my messages on the old BBC forum I do "advanced search" with the BBC URL and there when you eliminate the /html/ in the URL you have again the "blue" original messages...
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 09:06

Listening to these tunes has made me feel all warm and happy. How sad.

The Ovaltineys song should definitely be adopted as the Res Historica theme tune.





Oh, found some more - starts with one that is all too familiar:

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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 09:15

Quote :
But as Google apparentely knows (by my browser?) that I reside in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium I am connected automatically to Google Belgium Dutch...

Hi Paul - not really what I meant. While you might default to a Dutch or Belgian front page the search engine will still simply take the entire internet as a default when running searches, hence the proliferation of English language results. As I said, to narrow the results down to Dutch you still have to click on the cog symbol, choose advanced search, in the language option nominate "Dutch only" and then repeat your search.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 09:18

How I hate The Archers theme music. Along with Coronation Street, Eastenders and Neighbours, just the first chord struck has me doing a manouevre of which Pavlov could justifiably have composed a lengthy dissertation and diving for the remote/button/hammer (whichever will work fastest).
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 09:18

And here's the last ever Jules and Sandy.

"A brand new Aristotle bound in Morocco..." What a thoughtful birthday present for Jules!

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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 09:33

And the public's affection for Julian and Sandy helped the cause of gay rights - it seems incredible now, but being gay was a crime back then....

The humour acquired a real edge with jokes that were both risqué and controversial, as homosexuality was still a crime punishable by imprisonment at the time in the UK. Lines such as the following were very daring for their period:

SANDY: “Don’t mention Malaga to Julian, he got very badly stung.

HORNE: “Portuguese man o' war?”

JULIAN: “Well I never saw him in uniform…”
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 11:44

You might be interested in this essay from 2002 about the use of Polari by Julian and Sandy and its contribution to the construction of a gay identity in the UK in its time.

Construction of gay identity via Polari in the Julian and Sandy radio sketches.

Personally I thought it was just yet another "nudge nudge wink wink" routine of which there were so many at the time on British radio and that the joke wore thin very quickly. I am sure that was Took and Feldman's main reason for writing them too - though they may not have agreed with me about quickly thin it wore.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 12:46

@nordmann wrote:


Personally I thought it was just yet another "nudge nudge wink wink" routine of which there were so many at the time on British radio and that the joke wore thin very quickly. I am sure that was Took and Feldman's main reason for writing them too - though they may not have agreed with me about quickly thin it wore.

Thank you for the link - I'm having problems accessing the essay, but that should be resolved later today.

I suppose it was all dreadfully nudge nudge wink winkish, but still funny (well, it makes me giggle Embarassed). I was of course far too young at the time to understand any of it. I'm actually surprised now that I was allowed to listen to "Round the Horne "at all. But the Julian and Sandy sketches were much better than most of the Carry On stuff that was so popular at the time. Without Kenneth Williams - who was a comic genius - those films would have been absolutely dire.

Polari I think dates back to the 16th century - the language of the London fish markets? I wonder if it's completely died a death nowadays?


Last edited by Temperance on Wed 27 Feb 2013, 12:57; edited 1 time in total
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 12:56

This is what the essay's writer, Dr Paul Baker (a linguistics guy) has to say about Polari's origins:

"Its origins date back to the criminal’s Cant of the 18th Century, but also has roots in Italian, Occitan, French, Yiddish, rhyming slang, and the lexicons of beggars, prostitutes, sailors, fairground people, the American airforce, actors and drug-users at various points in its development. In the past, it was also known as Palari, Palare, Parlaree or a variety of similar spellings."

I think he's wise not to try to pin it down to one source - by its nature and the extremely furtive way in which it must of necessity have been developed over the centuries I would imagine just about any and all external sources were utilised at different times. The important thing was its unintelligibility to "outsiders", so the origin of a term was of little note as long as it was understood by those in the know.

He also claims that it went out of use in the 1970s as gays sought to establish a more open and inclusive identity, which sounds right, though I'm not sure if one of the reasons he states - that Polari was a sexually aggressive language - isn't something of an overstatement. It certainly sounds like one if, like me, one's first experience of its use was thanks to Julian and Sandy!
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 12:59

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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 13:02

PS I'm dying to say to Catigern, "What brings you trolling back then?".

But I'd better not.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 14:48

Ah those familiar radio themes of the fifties, Temps - and what impact did they have on my life? They added to my fear that if I did not ecape their constancy and loop-like hold then I was doomed. So with conscious determination, escape I did; I had forgotten about the dismay I used to feel at the nagging repetition. eating away at my growing years. That and similar certainly jolted me into revolt. This was surely what the sixties was about? I don't watch TV soaps for the same rut-stuck fear reason.
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 19:41

@nordmann wrote:
Quote :
But as Google apparentely knows (by my browser?) that I reside in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium I am connected automatically to Google Belgium Dutch...

Hi Paul - not really what I meant. While you might default to a Dutch or Belgian front page the search engine will still simply take the entire internet as a default when running searches, hence the proliferation of English language results. As I said, to narrow the results down to Dutch you still have to click on the cog symbol, choose advanced search, in the language option nominate "Dutch only" and then repeat your search.
Nordmann,
I did as you said. In "advanced search" I restricted to language: Dutch and country: Belgium. And as such I had then only the Dutch language websites and restricted to those from Belgium. And as searching words: "schoolradio" and "schoolradio jaren vijftig" (school radio fifties). But as on the normal Google I found (I agree now had to look to less pages) only one website indirectly related to the Belgian school radio of the Fifties, but yes now I had to look only for ten windows with websites instead of the first thirty of the more general search engine...
But I still stick to my two suppositions:
1/if you put search terms from a small language area in a search robot you will receive in the first windows mostly English language hits, even with a language as French or even (didn't try yet) in Spanish. I wonder if you put search terms in Russian and written in Cyrillic....?
2/ if a search term is not of interest for the general contemporaneous public it will not have a lot of hits either...and if it are search terms from a small language area even less...
I had the same difficulty for "folksongs" that I heard in my youth (the Fifties) sung by my father and others from the family during family réunions" and in "cafés" especially when they already had some "liquid" in...
And there I think the WWW is I don't say worthless, but less appropiate and you better search in a good library of your city...
Kind regards and with esteem,
Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 19:43

PS: And thanks for the interesting message from Temperance and Priscilla. With esteem.
Cheers, Paul
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 21:02

@Priscilla wrote:
Ah those familiar radio themes of the fifties, Temps - and what impact did they have on my life? They added to my fear that if I did not ecape their constancy and loop-like hold then I was doomed. So with conscious determination, escape I did; I had forgotten about the dismay I used to feel at the nagging repetition. eating away at my growing years. That and similar certainly jolted me into revolt. This was surely what the sixties was about? I don't watch TV soaps for the same rut-stuck fear reason.

Revolt seemed fun - and necessary - at the time (there was no real revolt before 1968 of course ), but now I long for the "security" we had back then - childhood in the 50s was very disciplined and orderly and sort of safe (Enid Blyton, Bunty and Cadbury's Dairy Milk - plus lashings of milky Ovaltine). But there was no security. The politics of the time were actually very scary. I can still remember the poster in the library telling us what to expect if someone dropped an H-Bomb. If you lived within a 25 mile radius of the explosion your goose was apparently cooked. Alarming, but one just hoped the bomb would fall 26 miles away...

Khrushchev banging his shoe and me asking, "Why is he so cross, daddy?"
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 21:38

I was a teen in the 50s it was safe, and we were able to rebel with Bill Haley etc, but things were not so safe in the '60s and we left England mostly because people were hoarding tins of food etc. after Cuba and with the worry of H bombs.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 22:28



To be fretted about while parents listened to "Friday Night Is Music Night" (Light Programme).
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 22:53

You can actually read the information here - this image is too big to post.

I think my memory of the zones is faulty - "total destruction" only if you lived within 8 miles of the blast (phew - that's a relief) - at 25 miles it was only "light damage". I was worrying about nothing!


The Hydrogen Bomb - Civil Defence Poster
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Wed 27 Feb 2013, 23:23

Yes, it's reassuring to us here that the UK nuclear weapons storage depot is 30ish miles away, we'd be fine in the event of a little mishap. Oh the happy hours I spent arguing with the older members of the family, one of their refrains was "Och well, we'd know nothing about it any way and we're all going to die one day". That went down well when you were 15.

Do you remember Margarita Laski's "The Offshore Island"?
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Thu 28 Feb 2013, 08:05

@ferval wrote:


Do you remember Margarita Laski's "The Offshore Island"?
I recognise the title, ferval, but I don't know the play.

I remember "The Young Ones" in the 80s doing a sketch about the ridiculous "Protect and Survive" booklet. Neil, if I remember correctly, whitewashed himself to deflect the nuclear blast and hid under the kitchen table.



But we stray off-topic and risk the combined wrath of Priscilla and His Enormousness.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Thu 28 Feb 2013, 10:19

Rather on-topic, I would have thought, given the crucial role radio was set to play in such a scenario.

Which prompts a thought - or several ...

Radio's ability to scare the crap out of people has, in my view, exceeded that of TV and other broadcast media both in terms of impact on as many people as possible, and (more especially) in terms of leaving unwanted terrors in our psyche which remain with us throughout our lives. The famous incident of Orson Welles' dramatisation of one of the best known novels in the world which still caused mass hysteria amongst people who "fell for it" as news reportage is probably the best example of the former. To my knowledge TV has yet to emulate this achievement quite as successfully, though I imagine "the internet" may have a chance in the future as it becomes the principal medium of information and entertainment.

However with respect to the latter - the ability to plant "terror bombs" in our minds which explode repeatedly throughout the rest of our lives - I believe radio leaves all other media in the ha'penny place. We can be shocked and frightened, and even left permanently disturbed by particular films, TV programmes etc, true enough. Books too can have a profound and long-lasting effect in the same way. But to plant real terror deep within us, wounds in our psyche into which life's salt will occasionally slip and reawaken to our extreme discomfort, then it is the medium of the spoken word which is supreme. Radio, as the champion of that medium, is a master at delivering such sucker blows to our contentment and well-being. It is a combination of things, I think, that make it so - its parody of conversation with the listener, its tendency to sit contentedly in the background issuing forth output unplanned by us and which therefore catches us so unaware, often at our most vulnerable and private times, when we are alone and susceptible to the "company" it pretends to provide. Most of all however I think it is that, for some reason I could never fathom, the disembodied voice is nevertheless much more of a "person" and not just a "character" as those on TV and in the cinema often are.

When we are frightened by a book it is something that we hold and scan with our eyes even as we succumb to its narrative's grasp, the notion of controlling the procedure never quite eliminated despite our thrall. In a cinema we are aware that we are engaged in a communal activity, no matter how wrapped up in the spectacle before us. A wound inflicted in that knowledge is not one that sears our innermost organs, so unlikely is it that so many people can all share the same wound from any one weapon. TV, which once fleetingly had indeed a power almost to rival radio, is now a machine over which we have absolutely no doubt who is the master in the relationship, and it is through this cynical filter that all its output is now transmitted.

But oh, that quiet voice in the background ...
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Fri 01 Mar 2013, 10:22

Three times yesterday I was told, 'I heard on the radio that....' Possibly the same guff went out on TV but it was the disembodied voice that carried the points. TV presentation is so staged, its interviews banal.......'How great a moment was it for you to have fallen off the Eiffel Tower and survived,' sort of interview question. The inevitable reply was that it was a very great moment. The only people who give screeds of heaving reply are, for instance, those who came 7th in their 50m dash heat and have much to say on that.

The power of the voice intrigues; and ones' vision of the speaker. Who has not been disappointed by one day seeing the flub behind the wonderful voice. I call to mind that wonderful nervously tensioned wife of radio's osh detective Paul Temple... Margery Westbury could never have got into all the jams that Paul saved her from in a TV drama but the radio managed it very well.
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Fri 01 Mar 2013, 10:47

I agree with the "Heard it on the radio ..." comment completely, P.

Socrates anticipated radio when he said that visual impression leaves a memory whose longevity depends totally on the immediate impact of the spectacle we initially see. But to really learn something and remember it for the rest of one's life then it is the communicated thought and feeling, not the spectacle itself, upon which we totally rely. Voice, therefore, trumps visual imagery in the long run.

So updating him slightly: A spectacle without the application of thought to analyse it is nothing but fodder for the eyes - therefore the visual medium will always be constrained by the act of providing such fodder, often at the expense of the message. An aural medium such as radio, unconstrained by such a requirement, arrests our real attention whether we know it or not at the time. We even construct our own images to accompany the words, so the speaker actually speaks almost as if from within us. The whole process is internalised. Anything delivered in that manner is bound to be better absorbed into our being, even if the realisation of that is on a slow burner basis.
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Sat 02 Mar 2013, 23:30

That internalisation is odd though. The night before you wrote that my husband was watching a Griff Rhys Jones programme about Kenneth Grahame and Wind in the Willows, and I was listening from the adjoining room. At one stage Rhys Jones (or possibly an interviewee) was reading from the novel, voicing Ratty. I found this interpretation clashed with the voice I heard in my head. I don't quite understand what voice I DO hear, as I don't think I imagine everyone speaking with a female voice. Even if I read out loud I don't quite 'hear' it as feminine. At any rate what I heard from the television didn't quite sound like Ratty to me.

But just hearing speech does sometimes gives a false impression of the physical attributes of the person speaking. Because I don't watch much television news I am often surprised by the look of a minor politician (for example) who I have heard talk on the radio but never knowingly seen. They are fat when I have "seen" thin, or good looking where I've seen plain or just somehow different from my mind's eye. It requires adjustment.
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Sat 02 Mar 2013, 23:39

Just as seeing the physical form of the person often belies the true nature of that person, something however that their speech will often convey, or even betray. The question is - which of the deceptions is the stronger?
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Sat 02 Mar 2013, 23:50

There is always an element of 'playing to the camera' - to ham it up and project visually to further endorse whatever is being expressed. In truth I am more persuaded by hearing something because all I have to do is listen. At meetings I always doodle - and I listen. The doodles also reflect my intensity of feeling. I can then usually quote back very accurately what I heard when discussion opens up. If I watch then I absorb less. Story tellers were the great newscasters of old.
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Fri 08 Mar 2013, 16:02

I have just bought some old paper packs of Alaistair Cooks 'Letter from America.' I recall many years of hearing these and perhaps one of the few times that everyone in the room listened. Anyone here ever get as interested? His opinions - or his drawing attention to circumstances provoked discussion later. I liked his style and discovered later how relaxed discussion in a small group could flow from topic to topic similarly.
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Fri 08 Mar 2013, 16:52

Wasn't he excellent - just discovered he's available online!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00f6hbp
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PostSubject: Re: Broadcast Radio - what impact has it had on our lives?   Fri 05 Apr 2013, 15:52

Radio was also the portal through which an entire generation of young adolescents first immersed themselves in that strange, enticing and totally disapproved of counter-culture called "pop". A cheap transistor radio that made everything sound like it was being generated by rutting chipmunks in a tin barrel, a signal that faded into white noise every few minutes as each ionised wave of solar radiation swept in over Luxembourg, adenoidally asinine disk jockeys out on a converted ferry three miles from Felixstowe who audibly barfed in stormy weather and spoke in alien accents they hoped made them sound American, and an innocence that precluded one from gauging the fine line between sex-related psychiatric disorders and being "hip" - equalled nirvana.
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