Community Radio – get involved

In May I posted a blog on my exploits with South Leeds Media and the radio production course I had just completed. Within days of writing the pieceI got an email to say the studios would be closed for the week. Two similar emails followed by silence confirmed that funding had run out and the operation had folded. Talk about kiss of death. When I started out I had a vague notion that being involved as a producer would be the way to go. However, as a presenter, I was starting to improve and I had definitely got the bug.

Community Radio - Radio Barnsley
Community Radio – Radio Barnsley

By coincidence, I saw a post on Twitter about Radio Barnsley, an online, community radio station based in (you guessed it) Barnsley! The station is run by an enthusiastic, friendly and knowledgeable group of volunteers. I emailed the studio and was invited in for a chat. All went well and, as I had just completed a course with South Leeds, we decided I don’t need the full training that was on offer. After a couple of sessions to familiarise myself with equipment and software I was offered a show. At was at this point that I took my first gulp of air! Shows at South Leeds were pre-recorded and could be edited and redone. This would be live!! I was assured all would be OK and went off to compile my first playlist for the afternoon show.

This bit is my idea of heaven – trawling through my music collection and picking out which songs to play. The best bit is – I get to call it (unpaid) work! I quickly realised there was much more to planning a show than picking out your favourite songs.

Community Radio - Radio Barnsley
Community Radio – Radio Barnsley

An unexpected bonus in all this is that, as a member of a community station, I get affiliate membership with the Radio Academy. The Academy organises conferences, networking and social events. My first meeting was An Evening With Johnny Beerling at The Tetley in Leeds. It was all a bit daunting, not knowing anybody at first, but a stiff drink helped and I relaxed into it. The presentation was fascinating. Johnny Beerling was in at the start of Radio 1, working as a producer and then controller, racking up over 25 years of stories involving the pioneers and early stars of pop music radio in this country. One thing stuck in my head from that night. Johnny stressed that, for him, it was all about the music – not the presenter. That was music to my ears! I may not be the world’s best presenter but I do have a passion for music and love sharing that music – hence the radio shows.

If all of this rings any bells with you, as a passionate advocate of music or somebody with something to say on just about any topic under the sun, maybe community radio is for you. Getting involved couldn’t be simpler. Get in touch with Radio Barnsley. You will receive a friendly welcome. The training course assumes no prior knowledge and takes place in the evening. That may be enough for you or you may want to host on a show. You will be allowed to go at your own pace, guesting on another show if that is your preference. A small membership fee keeps the bank account happy and the station on the air.

Give it ago – I suspect you will enjoy it.

I am now doing two shows each week:
Monday 12-2pm Soul Man – a mix of classic and modern soul;
Wednesday 12-3pm The Afternoon Show – I play anything I fancy!

Both shows available on Mixcloud to listen at leisure.

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Soul Man 12

The latest Soul Man is available here. Links to download tracks from Amazon at the bottom of the page.

Soul Man 12 by Roy Burgess on Mixcloud

The playlist:
Martha & the Vandellas – Nowhere to Run
Archie Bell & The Drells – Tighten Up
Detroit Spinners – Working My Way Back To You
The Invitations – What’s Wrong With Me Baby – Invitations
Karen Young – Hot Shot (Original Mix)
Gene Chandler – Nothing Can Stop Me
Leon Bridges – Twistin’ & Groovin’
Incognito – Always There
Barbara Acklin – Love Makes A Woman
Larry Williams & Johnny Watson – Too Late
Billy And The Essentials – Don’t Cry Sing Along With the Music
Junior Walker & The All Stars – Take Me Girl, I’m Ready
Major Harris – Love Won’t Let Me Wait
Marvin Gaye – Too Busy Thinking About My Baby
Margo & The Marvettes – When Love Slips Away
The Velvelettes – Throw a Farewell Kiss
Denise LaSalle – Trapped By A Thing Called Love

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Soul Man 11

The latest edition of the Soul Man programme is available for streaming here:

Soul Man 11 by Roy Burgess on Mixcloud

The playlist:

It Only Happens (When I Look At You) Jackie Wilson
Gotta have your love The Sapphires
Never Had a Cream Come True Stevie Wonder
Funkytown (Single Version) Lipps Inc
Lonely Girl Annabelle Fox
Crazy Gnarls Barkley
I Can’t Turn You Loose Otis Redding
Oh Girl [*] Jay-Z/Raphael Saadiq
Don’t Tell Me I’m Crazy [#] The Fantastic Four
Giants Andreya Triana
Word Up Cameo
Shame Evelyn “Champagne” King
Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On Yvonne Fair
Can I Get a Witness Barbara Randolph
Help Me Al Wilson
I’ve Been Lonely for So Long Frederick Knight
You Don’t Know Where Your Interest Lies Dana Valery
Day By Day The Exceptions
(Win, Place or Show) She’s A Winner The Intruders

The downloads from Amazon:

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Soul Man 10

The latest Soul Man radio show is available here. The playlist is below and links to all of the downloads from Amazon. Follow me on Mixcloud.

Soul Man 10 by Roy Burgess on Mixcloud

Little Richard Great Gosh A’Mighty
Smokey Robinson & the Miracles I Don’t Blame You at All
Willie Tee Walkin’ Up A One Way Street
Isaac Hayes Theme from Shaft
Leon Bridges Lisa Sawyer
Eddie Kendricks Keep on Truckin’
James Fountain Seven Day Lover (7″ Mix)
The Pointer Sisters Yes We Can Can
Laura Greene Moonlight Music And You 
Ann Sexton You Got To Use What You Got
Yarbrough & Peoples Don’t Stop The Music
Jackson 5 I Want You Back
Johnnie Taylor Disco Lady
Chris Clark I Want to Go Back There Again
Bobby Byrd I know you got soul
Sam And Dave When Something Is Wrong with My Baby
A Taste Of Honey Boogie Oogie Oogie (7″ Single Edit)
Booker T. & the MG’s Soul Limbo

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Soul Man 8

Soul Man 8

Soul Man 8 by Roy Burgess on Mixcloud


All of the music on this show is available from Amazon. Just click the links.

Martha/The Vandellas – Dancing in the Street. Originally top 30 in 1964 but reached number 4 on re-ssue in 1969 – their biggest uk hit

David Ruffin – I Can’t Stop the Rain. From his final Motown album In My Stride in 1977 – not a UK hit.

Otis Redding – Hard To Handle. Number 15 in 68 – a year after the singer’s death 

Leon Bridges. River. From the debut album Coming Home. The album lives up to the hype.

Jim Gilstrap – Swing Your Daddy. Reached number 4 in the spring of 1975

Eddie Holland – Baby Shake. Famous as part of the songwriting team Holland Dozier Holland but 1963 solo single stands up to scrutiny!

Loleatta Holloway – Love Sensation. Written by Dan Hartman, number 1 dance song in the US but had to wait until sampled by Black Box for anything in the UK. The samples were never cleared legally and the original vocal had to be hurriedly re-recorded by Heather Small of M People. Black Box reached number 1 in 1989. The late Loleatta Holloway had several UK hits in the 90s

East Coast Connection – Summer In The Park Pt. 1

The Epitome Of Sound – You Don’t Love Me (7″ Mix) From 1968 -as featured in the film Northern Soul film

Shalamar – I Can Make You Feel Good. Number 7 in 1982

Sly And The Family Stone – Dance to the Music. Top 10 in summer of 68. This album only available on CD

Mary Wells – I’ll Be Available. From 1964 on Motown

Marvin Gaye – Can I Get a Witness. Written by Holland – Dozier – Holland

Tony Clarke – Landslide. Never a UK a hit.This album is only available on CD

The Third Degree – Mercy. From the outstanding new compilation album Modern Northern Soul,The Third Degree and their 2009 cover of Duffy’s Mercy

Rodger Collins – She’s Looking Good. From 1967

Smokey Robinson and the Miracles – I Second That Emotion. Big hit in 1967

O’JaysBack Stabbers

MFSBT.S.O.P. (The Sound Of Philadelphia

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Radio virgin at 54

Radio virgin

There is an old saying that if a job is worth doing it is worth buggering about a lot before you start (or something like that). At the tender age of 23, I got my backside in gear and got involved with hospital radio. I phoned in match reports from Elland Road, a tricky task at that time, trying to make the games sound interesting. It was also long before the advent of mobile phones (at least for me) so I had to use a pay phone in the back of the bar which meant constant interruptions. Anyway, my real job got in the way of my budding radio career before I even graduated to having my own show. I said I would go back to it once I had more time. Just thirty one years later I am back!

I left the world of corporate IT just before Christmas and said at the time it was a chance to do things I wanted to do rather than things I had to. Something in radio was secretly part of that list. But, if opportunities for a 23 year old in 1984 were limited, surely a 54 year old today has no chance? At least that is what I thought. However, while on holiday in Florida over Christmas I did a bit of a web trawl and the South Leeds Media site caught my eye. Formerly known as South Leeds Community Radio, these nice people offer radio production courses amongst other things. I fired off an email and, just two months later, got a reply. I told you there was no point rushing these things. Anyway, it turned out there was a course about to start and would I like a place? Yes please was the obvious reply and I was in.

The course

So, on a cold Tuesday night, six of us sat rather nervously in the studio in Beeston and wondered what we had let ourselves in for. (As did Phil – the technical brains of the outfit who was our tutor.)The course consisted of four sessions, each a couple of hours long. Week one was introducing us to the techie equipment – very different to 1984. We soon got to play with the mixing desk, studio and guest microphones, pc media players, CD players and headphones. We also got to look at the stuff we weren’t allowed to touch – compressors and clever stuff like that. These came under the heading of “if you don’t understand what these do – leave them alone” – wise advice in any working environment.

Radio virgin - South Leeds Community Radio studio
South Leeds Community Radio studio

Week two was devoted to the software to be used – RadioDJ to play the music and Adobe Audition to record and edit the shows. In true IT style, I scurried away to download the software at home and play with it there. Nothing scary, except that it is PC based and we have recently switched to Apple. Once I was comfortable with both packages, I realised that GarageBand would do a good job and the old laptop was mothballed once again – narrowly averting Ruth’s nightmare of a Houston style control centre consisting of multiple desktops and laptops.

By the third week we had lost a couple of the original group but gained others. The topic for the week was interviewing techniques. Portable recorders were explained and dished out and role playing chaos ensued. Remembering to speak into the pointy end before aiming the microphone at the interviewee is not as easy as it looks. Not swearing is quite a challenge as well. Making an idiot of yourself is fine – there is an edit facility. If only life were like that.

Radio virgin - Radio production course week 4
Radio virgin – Radio production course week 4

By week four, we were putting together a programme, all of us taking turns to present, interview, be interviewed etc. Hopefully, this will never see the light of day but good fun nevertheless. We were then invited back to speak to the station managers and pitch ideas for programmes. I went with a music show based on the classic era of soul music – early sixties to mid seventies, plus a bit of disco and modern soul as I see fit. They were happy with it and I have now recorded two shows with a third to come this week. I am still waiting to hear when they will be scheduled, maybe it is their way to wait until I have practised a bit before unleashing me! It is certainly a strange experience to sit in a room and talk to yourself. Strangely enough i did this quite a lot towards the end of my time with a certain bank so should have been good preparation!

I suppose it is a bit like passing a driving test. only by being allowed out unsupervised do you learn how to drive. My two attempts so far have certainly taught me things to avoid doing but, after thirty one years waiting, I don’t care if things are a bit rough around the edges. i am enjoying it immensely and, one way or another, I will get better!

The show

As a preview, I have uploaded show one to Mixcloud. Remember – it is not as easy as it looks!! Feedback and requests welcome.

Soul Man 1 by Roy Burgess on Mixcloud

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