TV Cream

Radio 2: The Shows

Organist Entertains, The

Nigel Ogden, poised at The Mighty Wurlitzer, and about to let rip with his signature rendition of In-A-Gadda-Da-VidaSHIP-IN-A-BOTTLE-like relic from an earlier age of Radio 2, more recently broadening its scope to include blokes doing Kinks covers on Hammond B3s, but forever remembered to a generation of frequency-skipping bemusees as the show where they’d all too readily break out the seagull-picking-at-stale-chips quasi-psychedelic tones of The Mighty Wurlitzer to tackle those all-important ‘standards’ and ‘Big Movie Themes’.



  1. Applemask

    May 17, 2013 at 12:26 am

    I didn’t know Nigel Ogden was Metalunan. His show’s still piss-irritating though.

  2. Gary

    September 23, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    I always refer to it as “The Organist Entertains Question Mark”.

    • Applemask

      March 5, 2020 at 3:46 pm

      “The most inappropriately named show on the radio.” – Chris Morris

  3. Droogie

    March 6, 2020 at 2:43 am

    I wonder if this show lasted so long due to unintentional listeners like myself being too tired to turn it off or change the channel when it came on late right after a previous show I actually wanted to hear? It used to follow Radcliffe & Maconie when they had the evening show on Radio 2 way back, and nearly always seemed to feature some bloke playing the Dambusters March on the Wurlitzer at the Blackpool Opera House.

  4. Glenn Aylett

    January 31, 2021 at 10:50 am

    Now cancelled, along with other long running shows like Listen To The Band and Melodies For You, although the latter was always a weird beard mix of scratchy opera records and snippets of classical pieces and pre war music. Possibly all of these shows had minimal audiences by the end and the music was too anti diluvian for modern tastes, in the same way Radio 2 culled most of their traditional Sunday daytime shows in the noughties.

  5. THX 1139

    January 31, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    I used to tape bits and pieces of music off the radio as a kid, just for the novelty of playing them back. One night it happened to be this programme, and I taped a piece (you couldn’t hear what it was taping while recording) and played it back. It was the most terrifying, sinister, menacing organ music I had ever heard, and made it difficult to get to sleep that night, so disturbing was it. So I don’t really mourn the show’s demise.

  6. Sidney Balmoral James

    January 31, 2021 at 6:02 pm

    Like the Archers, and Sing Something Simple, this was one of those eerie programmes which seemed to haunt the radio, like a ghostly broadcast from 1956 being picked up in the Internet age. It had zero charm, with frankly crappy renditions of modern songs on cheesy-sounding synths, jostling with standards played on theatre organs so brash and noisy, they made Some Enchanted Evening sound like the first day on the Somme. Perhaps one for that select cadre of completely awful or pointless British things which everyone tolerates for some nostalgic reason and pretends they’re not total crap (which brings us back to the Archers – I’d also add brass bands, fish and chips and HM the Queen’s Christmas broadcast).

  7. Glenn Aylett

    February 2, 2021 at 9:27 pm

    All these distinctly 1950s Light Programme type programmes could still be heard 20 years ago on Radio 2, Sing Something Simple, All Time Greats, The Organist Entertains, Melodies For You, Your Hundred Best Tunes and Listen To The Band, all present for the declining band of listeners from 1954 who still enjoyed them. Probably the audience dying out with the presenters saw these shows culled, although Melodies For You managed to last as long as 2009 with Alan Ticthmarsh.

  8. Richardpd

    February 2, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    There was a programme about Edwardian music which lasted to at least the 1970s, when people who could remember it first hand would have been fading away.

    My Mum used to complain about my Dad listening to Sounds of the Fifties when it seemed to mostly consist of easy listening tracks from that decade, with the odd Rock & Roll song, which was Dad was mostly listening for. I’m not sure if it was on air for long after Ronnie Hilton died.

  9. Sidney Balmoral James

    February 3, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    When I was child and used to listen to my radio in bed, with my mono ear phone, I would occasionally catch Thanks for the Memory, and Hubert Gregg he was like a time Lord- he’d say things like, ‘This is a song I wrote before the war’ or tell anecdotes about Ivor Novello. Mind you, he was a comparative stripling compared to Alan Keith. When I was a child, there were still Victorians alive (I remember my great grandfather, born 1899), and the children of Victorians – and there’s something ineffably sad about the fact that there are none of the former, and presumably few of the latter, still with us.

  10. Richardpd

    February 3, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    I can just about remember my Great Gran who was born in the 1890s.

    One of my oldest relatives is a Great Aunt in her 90s, who I think had parents born in the 19th century.

    • Sidney Balmoral James

      February 4, 2021 at 6:25 pm

      My great, great grandfather (born 1864) had two sons when he was in his seventies, who are still alive.

      • Richardpd

        February 5, 2021 at 10:41 pm

        I’ve heard that one of the American founding fathers had children in his old age, who were also in the habit of having children in their later years, so there are a few elderly people still around that had a Grandfather who fought in the American War of Independence.

        • THX 1139

          February 6, 2021 at 1:07 am

          Civil War, surely?

  11. Sidney Balmoral James

    February 6, 2021 at 10:30 am

    My fault, this chain is now about gerontology. As you may have seen during coverage of the recent American election, two grandsons of the tenth US President John Tyler are still with us (he was born in 1790, and his son was born in 1853). I don’t think I’ve seen anything that betters that (although obviously it can be bettered in theory).

    • Richardpd

      February 6, 2021 at 4:15 pm

      That’s probably who I was thinking about above, he would have been old enough to serve in the war of 1812.

      • Adrian Partington

        December 14, 2022 at 3:39 pm

        I think the US government was still paying a handful of civil war widow pensions up until the early 2000s…

  12. Glenn Aylett

    February 6, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    I knew a woman who was born in 1891 who remembered when Queen Victoria died and the coronation of Edward VII. I can remembergoing to her house in Gateshead about 40 years ago and her having no television, as she thought it was a rubbish invention, and her only entertainment being a 1940s radio, where she enjoyed Frank Wappat on Radio Newcastle and his pre war music programmes and shows like Thanks For The Memory on Radio 2.

    • Richardpd

      February 6, 2021 at 4:19 pm

      I remember someone saying that their gran used to only watch TV in the evenings & then only if there was something she wanted to see.

      By contrast she would always have the radio on during the day, normally to Radio 2 or 4, as she always wanted to know if there was any important announcements, possibly a legacy of the war years.

  13. Glenn Aylett

    February 6, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    Some elderly people never bothered with television and were quite happy with the radio, like the Victorian survivor above. I suppose Radio 2 at night and at weekends contained hours of music they would enjoy, Radio 4 still had the speech programmes from the early days of radio, and in the North East, Radio Newcastle had Frank Wappat and his shows of pre war music and religious programmes on Sundays. Another argument she had, why be forced to pay for the television when the radio was free?

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