Old Grey Whistle Test 40

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01012011082420131207 (6M)

Bob Harris celebrates the classic music programme.

Bob Harris presents the first in a series celebrating the 40th anniversary of the classic music TV show. Each programme looks at one complete series of the original Old Grey Whistle Test and includes archive recordings alongside both new interviews and exclusively recorded sessions with guests from the featured series.

Programme One covers series one, which ran from September 1971 to July 1972. Bob interviews the show's producer Mike Appleton about the creation of the show and speaks with Alice Cooper and Elton John about their appearances on The Old Grey Whistle Test. Both artists also feature in archive sessions and there are more classic performances from David Bowie and Curtis Mayfield. Yusuf performs two exclusive acoustic numbers and chats about both his Whistle Test days recording as Cat Stevens and his current projects. There is further live music from Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash.

First broadcast on Radio 2 in 2011.

01022011083120131208 (6M)

Bob Harris celebrates the classic music TV programme with live music from Ralph McTell.

Bob Harris celebrates the classic music TV show. Each programme looks at one complete series of the original Old Grey Whistle Test and includes archive recordings, alongside both new interviews and exclusively recorded sessions with guests from the featured series.

Programme two covers the series that ran from September 1972 to July 1973. Alongside contributions from the show's original producer Mike Appleton, Bob speaks with Rod Argent and Russ Ballard of Argent, Colin Blunstone, and Donal Gallagher (brother of the late Rory Gallagher - a regular guest) about their memories of the programme.

Singer/songwriter Ralph McTell and Plainsong (Iain Matthews and Andy Roberts) both perform new exclusive session songs; and Thijs van Leer from Focus not only remembers his band's UK TV debut, but also provides an impromptu flute solo that merges a live improvisation with a blast of an old favourite.

These performances are complimented by classic archive sessions from Bill Withers, Del Shannon, the aforementioned Rory Gallagher and the first ever British TV appearance by The Wailers and their emerging star Bob Marley.

First broadcast on Radio 2 in 2011.

01032011090720131209 (6M)

Bob Harris' celebration of the Whistle Test reaches the third series, broadcast in 1973-4.

Bob Harris continues to celebrate the classic music TV show. Each programme looks at one complete series of the original Old Grey Whistle Test and includes archive recordings alongside both new interviews and exclusively recorded sessions with guests from the featured series.

Programme three covers the series that ran from September 1973 to July 1974. Both Steve Harley and Roger Daltrey join Bob Harris in the studio to perform exclusive session songs.

Bob talks with the show's original producer Mike Appleton about the films that accompanied tracks in the "pre-video" age. He also speaks to film-maker Ian Eames about the film he created for a Pink Floyd song, which was screened on OGWT and led to a lengthy working collaboration between animator and band.

Amongst the archive performances featured in this programme are songs by Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Jim Croce and the New York Dolls.

First broadcast on Radio 2 in 2011.

01042011091420131210 (6M)

Bob Harris looks at the fourth series of The Old Grey Whistle Test.

Bob Harris continues to celebrate the classic music TV show. Each programme looks at one complete series of the original Old Grey Whistle Test and includes archive recordings alongside new interviews and recorded sessions with guests from the featured series.

Programme four covers the series that ran from September 1974 to July 1975. Roger Hodgson joins Bob in the studio to reminisce about the programme and perform an exclusive version of one of his hits with Supertramp. There is more live music from Kiki Dee, who along with guitarist Carmelo Luggeri provides a unique take on a Kate Bush classic, as well as one of her own hits from the Whistle Test years. Paul Rodgers talks about Bad Company's appearance on the show - when they were asked to turn the volume down - and there's archive interview highlights from Bob's meeting in New York with John Lennon.

Amongst the archive performances featured in this programme are songs by Captain Beefheart, Little Feat, Tim Buckley and Free, along with a rare chance to hear both a song from Elton John's concert at the Hammersmith Odeon, which was broadcast by the Old Grey Whistle Test; and one of the songs John Lennon specially recorded for the show with his band Elephant's Memory.

First broadcast on Radio 2 in 2011.

01052011092120131211 (6M)

Bob Harris continues to celebrate the classic music TV show. Each programme looks at one complete series of the original Old Grey Whistle Test and includes archive recordings alongside new interviews and recorded sessions with guests from the featured series.

Programme five covers the show's run from September 1975 to May 1976. One of the highlights of this series was Queen's Christmas concert broadcast live from the Hammersmith Odeon on 24 December 1975. Brian May joins Bob Harris in the studio with his memories of that event and of the band's first exposure on the programme.

There is live music from Emmylou Harris and Jackson Browne, and music from the Whistle Test archives comes courtesy of blues guitarist Freddie King and Lynyrd Skynyrd, whose live performance of Free Bird became one of the most requested in the history of the TV series.

01062011092820131212 (6M)

Bob Harris looks back at the sixth series with Peter Frampton and Stevie Nicks.

Bob Harris continues to celebrate the classic music TV show. Each programme looks at one complete series of the original Old Grey Whistle Test and includes archive recordings alongside new interviews and recorded sessions with guests from the featured series.

Programme six covers the show's run from September 1976 to June 1977. There are new session tracks from Joan Armatrading; Peter Frampton talks about the success of his 1976 live album and a concert special for OGWT; Stevie Nicks talks about joining Fleetwood Mac and their much-requested filmed performance of Rhiannon; and Gregg Allman visits the Whistle Test studio to reminisce about his appearance with Cher, and to play a special acoustic performance.

Amongst the archive highlights are an impromptu performance from Allman Brothers Band founding member Dickey Betts and an interview with one-time governor of Georgia and future president Jimmy Carter. There is also an archive interview with Mick Fleetwood and Lindsey Buckingham, while Bob revisits one of his favourite OGWT reports - the 1976 Macon Picnic.

First broadcast on Radio 2 in 2011.

01072011100520131213 (6M)

Bob Harris has session tracks from Randy Newman, plus he talks to Mark Knopfler.

Bob Harris continues to celebrate the classic music TV show. Each programme looks at one complete series of the original Old Grey Whistle Test and includes archive recordings alongside new interviews and recorded sessions with guests from the featured series.

Programme seven includes session tracks from Randy Newman and John Otway, who also talks to Bob about the seminal Whistle Test performance of Really Free. Andy Partridge of XTC is in the OGWT40 studio with his memories of his band's debut performance on the programme, and rounding off this week's guests is Mark Knopfler recalling the rise of Dire Straits.

The featured archive material includes XTC's Statue Of Liberty, Carly Simon and James Taylor with a duet recorded in Martha's Vineyard, The Paul Butterfield band at the Bearsville picnic and Patti Smith with her biggest UK hit Because The Night.

First broadcast on Radio 2 in 2011.

01082011101220131214 (6M)

Bob Harris celebrates the classic show and has new sessions from Squeeze and Thin Lizzy.

Bob Harris continues to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the classic music TV show. Each programme looks at one complete series of the original Old Grey Whistle Test and includes archive recordings alongside new interviews and recorded sessions with guests from the featured series.

Programme eight includes new live sessions from Squeeze and Thin Lizzy. Chris Difford and Glen Tilbrook of Squeeze chat with Bob about the early days of the band and members of Thin Lizzy reminisce about Phil Lynott and their breakthrough success with the Jailbreak album.

There are further new session tracks from Ian Anderson, who performs a Jethro Tull medley; and guitarist Gordon Giltrap provides a stunning new performance of his hit single Heartsong.

01092011101920131215 (6M)

Bob Harris talks to Debbie Harry and there are archive songs from ZZ Top and Tubeway Army.

Bob Harris continues to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the classic music TV show and episode nine marks the transition of the programme from the 70s into the 80s.

Bob talks to Debbie Harry about Blondie's New Year's Eve concert from Glasgow which was broadcast by the show and Greg Lake reminisces about the filmed reports of ELP's American tour. There are new sessions from Judie Tzuke and Steve Hackett, guitarist with Genesis during the classic line-up of the early 70s, who continues to have an illustrious solo career.

The programme also features archive songs from ZZ Top, Tubeway Army and there are period performances from Tom Waits and Public Image Ltd, the latter introduced (in an archive interview) by Annie Nightingale as her favourite Whistle Test performance during her four years as presenter of the show.

01102011102620131216 (6M)

Bob Harris looks back to 1980/1 with new sessions from Neil Finn and Hazel O'Connor.

01102011102620131216 (6M)

Bob Harris presents part ten in this series celebrating the 40th anniversary of the classic music TV show.

Split Enz and Q Tips were two of the bands that appeared during the series that ran from October 1980 through to July 1981. In fact, they appeared on the same show (22nd November 1980). Paul Young joins Bob Harris in the studio to talk about the Q Tips performance and his transition into a solo artist. Neil Finn plays a new acoustic version of one of the songs Split Enz performed that night. There's further live music from Hazel O'Connor, who sings both something from her latest album and a classic from the Breaking Glass soundtrack.

Amongst the archive material is the debut Whistle Test appearance from U2. Wilko Johnson and his band are on hand playing a new session and talking with Bob about his days with Dr Feelgood and becoming a member of the Blockheads. There's also a live archive concert performance from Ian Dury and his band, originally broadcast on the show on Christmas Eve 1980.

01112011110220131217 (6M)

With Clare Grogan and Chris Rea, plus new live music from Gang of Four and Jack Bruce.

01112011110220131217 (6M)

Bob Harris continues to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the classic music TV show, this week looking back to the series which ran from November 1981-June 1982.

Clare Grogan joins Bob in the studio to talk about her appearance with Altered Images on the programme, as does Chris Rea, who discusses his initial success in America with Fool If You Think It's Over and his individual approach to releasing music in the 21st Century.

There is new live music from Gang Of Four, Nils Lofgren and Jack Bruce. And David Hepworth talks about his years as presenter of Whistle Test, the programme's legacy and introduces one of his favourite archive performances.

01122011110920131218 (6M)

There's a Scottish air to this episode with new sessions from Edwyn Collins and Midge Ure.

Bob Harris continues to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the classic music TV show which features music from the series that began on 17 September 1982.

There's a distinctive Scottish air to this twelfth episode with new live sessions from Edwyn Collins and Midge Ure. Both men remember their Whistle Test experience with their respective groups Orange Juice and Ultravox. And Simple Minds' Jim Kerr joins Bob in the studio to talk about the group's appearances on the programme.

Dave Stewart recalls not only the Eurythmics performance during the short series that ran in the spring of 1983, but also his appearances prior to this as a member of The Tourists. Amongst the archive music are songs by Orange Juice, Rab Noakes, Simple Minds and Eurythmics.

011320111116

01132011111620131219 (6M)

Bob Harris presents part thirteen in this series celebrating the 40th anniversary of the classic music TV show.

Former presenter Mark Ellen drops by the studio both to talk about his time on the programme, and to introduce new session tracks from Robyn Hitchcock - who Mark originally introduced on the show when he performed with The Egyptians.

Fish recalls his days with Marillion and the band's appearance of the show. Nick Lowe performs both a classic Brinsley Schwarz track and a song from his recent album The Old Magic.

And amongst the archive music are tracks by Robert Wyatt and Siouxsie and the Banshees.

Fish recalls his days with Marillion and the band's appearance of the show. Nick Lowe performs both a classic Brinsley Schwarz track and a song from his brand new album The Old Magic.

And amongst the archive music are tracks by Marillion, Robert Wyatt and Siouxsie & The Banshees.

011420111123

01142011112320131220 (6M)

Bob Harris is joined in the studio by presenter Andy Kershaw and Billy Bragg.

Bob Harris continues to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the classic TV show. This week, he's joined in the studio by former Whistle Test presenter Andy Kershaw and musician Billy Bragg, who both share their memories of the programme.

Billy, John Hiatt and Thomas Dolby provide session tracks recorded at the BBC Maida Vale Studios. Completing the line-up of guests this week is Richard Thompson.

011420111123

011520111130

01152011113020131221 (6M)

Bob Harris is joined by Bob Gedolf and Feargal Sharkey in the penultimate episode.

Bob Harris presents the penultimate episode in this series celebrating the 40th anniversary of the classic TV show.

Bob Geldof joins Bob in the studio to perform new session tracks and to talk about the historic Live Aid concert, which was presented by the Whistle Test team (and features in tomorrow's Sounds Of The 20th Century). Richard Skinner, whose voice began the event, also features in the programme; as does Rosemary Barrett, who as Ro Newton was one of Whistle Test's presenters in the mid-80s.

Bob also talks to Feargal Sharkey about his musical career and appearances on the show, and live music from Chuck Prophet completes the guest line-up in this penultimate programme in the series.

011520111130

011620111207

01162011120720131222 (6M)

Robert Plant, Paul Weller and Julian Lennon join Bob Harris for the series finale.

Robert Plant is one of Bob Harris' guests, sharing his memories of The Old Grey Whistle Test in this series finale.

Paul Weller plays a session featuring a classic Jam song from the All Mod Cons album, as well as the fan favourite from his solo years.

The original OGWT producer Mike Appleton returns to the studio to give his final thoughts on the programme, and the series rounds off with live music from Julian Lennon, whose performance includes something his father sang on the show 36 years ago.

011620111207