Being On The Radio

by Joseph Sarrington Smith

I will admit, there was a time during my teenage years (albeit my latter teenage years) where pretty much all I did was play music and talk to people about it. Therefore, imagine my delight as I currently find myself as an adult in a position where I can play music and talk about it. Let me explain…

Music was my first word as a baby. Except it came out as “Mimi” as I had no teeth and was into making up my own words. It’s always been hugely important in my life. There’s plenty of broadcasters I like: John Peel, Annie Nightingale, Bob Harris, Howard Stern, Gilles Peterson… I listened to them and became interested in their style, wanting to have a go myself. I was given an opportunity to sit-in on my Uncle’s radio show on Wandsworth Radio as a casual observer. Curiosity got the better of me and the following week I found myself not just sitting in but on the show as a guest, talking about Rough Trade Records. Then I was asked to take over the slot due to my Uncle’s unavailability.

Connections is the name of the show. We pick a theme, and we run with it for two hours, trying to connect certain tracks in any possible way we can. I chose Brazil as the theme of my first show, and have since followed it with a show about Outsiders, and most recently a show with Germany as the theme (links are included below). I’m not sure when I’m next going it alone, but I’ve already decided the theme will be Protest.

We’ve been dubbed a “specialist show” (huge compliment), in that our aim is to play the stuff that perhaps doesn’t often get heard on the radio. But apart from the music, I’m also finding the improvised chat very enjoyable. I often have no idea what the theme of the show is going to be until I arrive at the studio, and most things we say are not planned or scripted in advance. It’s another story when I’m covering the show, where practically everything is scripted – “documentaries for the ears” – as one line of feedback put it!

So, if you’re ever curious, tune in to Connections on on Friday mornings from 10-12 where you can hear either Martin Smith and myself with guests or just myself playing something a bit different.

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