TV Cream

Radio 2: The Shows

Sing Something Simple

Oh pipe down.SCARY, scary Sunday afternoon staple, usually broadcast just prior to Radio 1 taking over the FM transmitters for the Top Forty. Featuring the vocal talents of The Cliff Adams Singers and The Jack Emblow Quartet, the close-harmony renditions of Camptown Races or Banjo On My Knee, which crucially, just seemed to loom terrifyingly out of nowhere with no introduction, was and still is the stuff of nightmares. Ahem.



  1. Glenn Aylett

    June 27, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Always sounded like a choir of ghosts and Cliff Adams seemed to talk like a Bond villain, which added to the sinister edge to this show. I always wondered if it was recorded in a cemetery as it had this other worldly feel to it. Show ended when Blofeld, sorry Adams, died on 2001 and his singers were exorcised from Radio 2.

  2. Mr Grimsdale

    June 28, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Agree with the choir-of-ghosts thing, but what always fascinated me was their ability to make every song sound exactly the same. They could’ve done Rock around the clock, My Way, How much is that doggy in the window, and you couldn’t spot the join or the difference

  3. Glenn Aylett

    June 28, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    My old man used to like it, Mr Grimshaw, and you’re right everything seemed to sound the same with that accordion wailing away in the background. No one seemed to know anything about the singers or who they were, which added to the mystery.

  4. Mr Grimsdale

    June 28, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    “My old man used to like it, Mr Grimshaw,”

    Grimsdale actually, but I’ll forgive you. Send your apologies to Norman Wisdom.

  5. Adrian

    August 28, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Apparently they released umpteen albums, all with the same title ‘Sing Something Simple’ suprisingly enough..

  6. Paul

    November 20, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Coming up… (gasp) ‘Semprini Serenade’

  7. Glenn A

    July 13, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    I wonder what their cover of Another Brick In The Wall and other Pink Floyd classics would sound like. Probably the same as their 50,000 other covers and no one would notice.

  8. Matthew Harris

    August 26, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    My parents often talk about Sing Something Simple. They didn’t find it scary, just monumentally depressing, like being cocooned in treacle to prevent any escape from the looming, baleful presence of Monday and School In The Morning. They considered Cliff Adams their mortal enemy.

  9. Glenn Aylett

    April 24, 2021 at 5:57 pm

    Radio 2 on Sundays was an odd place until the early years of this century, often out of kilter with the more mass appeal weekday programming but as there were a million or two older listeners who liked singers performing covers of songs like Cabaret, or Desmond Carrington playing some gem from the 1940s, their programming lasted as long as this audience was alive. It probably wasn’t until the end of the noughties that Radio 2 removed these shows from Sundays, when the audience had died out, and Desmond Carrington and Russell Davies were still to be heard in night time slots until the middle of the last decade.

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