Friday, April 11, 2008

This one's for you Mark

Jonathan Ross may be paid squillions of pounds a year but the BBC should realise their real crown jewel is Mark Lamarr. He is currently some way through another of his occasional Reggae series on Radio 2, which is consistently blinding.

It’s almost time to stump up the cash for the licence fee again but I am quite happy to pay it as long as I know Mark will entertain me. When he fills in for Wossy on his Saturday morning show it’s always worth the entrance fee and that’s just a side project. His Reggae show, the Alternative Sixties, God’s Jukebox, and Shake Rattle & Roll are all top quality. The guy must be a workaholic. But I know it can be no chore. He just love’s music, has great taste, and is lucky enough to get paid for sharing it with us.

While he’s at it I’m sure he could put together a great Soul show. The BBC often seem to miss the mark with their attempts at Soul shows. Craig Charles gives it a good go with his show on Six and I think the Soul content on that show has been getting better and better recently. Beyond that there isn't too much. Stuart Maconie panders to the Northern crowd now and then. Now Trevor Nelson has started a new show. But I think at just an hour long it may fall into the same trap as many other shows have – playing to the masses by featuring too much that is already well known, when there is so much Soul music criminally overlooked. Give the job to Mark I say, and let’s get serious.

On the subject of “specialist” music not sure how Mark is with Jazz, but the BBC surely has the credentials to step in to fill the void left by the recent demise of The Jazz. Digital Radio is turning into a damp squib. The Jazz was excellent. If the BBC think they can dedicate the vast majority of Radio Three to Classical music surely they could find it within their means to start up a Digital Jazz channel. If Jazz is a turntable too far for Mark Lamarr – and of course he couldn’t do it all on his own - I’ve no doubt there are plenty of other committed Jazz aficionados that could ably man the decks and the new digital super airwaves (ha!).

The BBC, of course, has the listen again feature on it’s website for most of it’s shows, curiously - or perhaps typically - somewhat antiquated in it’s operation and the short up time of the shows. Anyway, I urge you to catch Mark’s reggae show from last night, a great hour of Studio One, so good it prompted me to write this. If you’re not already familiar with Mr Lamarr then check out his other shows too. With three hours to fill in God’s Jukebox he really gets to stretch out but it’s not aired at the most convenient of times so that listen again feature is essential.

Mash it up, Dread!

Rod Taylor – If Jah Should Come Now/Africa Just Free 1980

Buy Where Is Your Love Mankind (from the same era as this 12”)

Rod Taylor discography

1 comment:

Roman Empress said...

Despite reports that he is a woman-hating bigot, I think his radio shows are excellent quality too.