TV Cream

Radio 2: The Shows

Sounds Of The Sixties

"..and this week we come to the letter 'P' - John Lennon had this to say about petrol when I spoke to him in 1965"STARTED off as your standard-issue ‘swinging hits of the Flower Power days of Merseybeat, daddio!’ run-through of the hits of yesteryear, most of them also to be found on the handful of surviving Top Of The Pops clips from the sixties, under the stewardship of former Ready Steady Go mainman Keith Fordyce. Then Simon Dee took over for a bit in the late eighties, adding at least a flavour of pirate radio-era presentation magic until he predictably fell out with the producers. Then came a rotating roster of guest ‘names’ from the decade including Sandie Shaw and Viv Stanshall, who insisted on playing some of the more obscure offerings made by their pop pals amongst all the predictable big hits. This set the turntables in motion for a complete reinvention in 1990 under the watchful eye of ‘Your Old Pal’ Brian Matthew and Roger ‘The Vocalist’ Bowman, going all Record Collector on an unsuspecting early morning audience and subjecting them to a playlist as likely to feature Tinkerbell’s Fairydust, Yvonne Baker and The Waltham Green East Wapping Carpet Cleaning Rodent And Boggit Extermination Association as it is Herman’s Hermits. Regular features include people asking to hear singles that nobody else believes actually existed, the seemingly never-ending and increasingly alphabetically tenuous ‘A-Z Of The Beatles’, and, of course, The Shadows’ closing burst of Foot Tapper extending well into the timeframe that you thought the news would have begun in.



  1. Richard Davies

    February 6, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    A firm favourite of my Dad’s.

    Until I moved out I always used to listen to it was well, often bein surprised at some of the lesser known stuff, like foreign language versions of well known hits.

    Connie Francis singing V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N in Japanese being the most surreal.

  2. Matthew Rudd

    February 9, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Still a fine programme. Records don’t exist, only discs.

  3. John Sergio

    November 4, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I’ve been listening to SOTS since 1983 when it was a 1 hour programme that started at 00930 or 1000 (the time changed between the two at one time) It is compulsorthe Saturday listening for me and the show just gets better. I think Keith Fordyce presented the show in the early years. It seems I have been listening to Brian Mathew on Saturday mornings for most of my life. Long may SOTS continue.

  4. Glenn Aylett

    May 7, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    Tony Blackburn does the show now quite well, but I do miss some of the obscurities Brian Matthew used to play and some of the more bizarre tracks listeners used to request, particularly from the late sixties. I was driving to Newcastle one morning and someone requested Deep Purple’s cover version of Help, a sprawling 11 minute rock workout with an organ solo by John Lord. Not something Radio 2 would do now sadly.

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