My grandson is a year old today. We visited this morning and weren’t surprised that it was his older brother (27 months) who opened the cards and presents. After birthday cuddles we left the family to their planned day out. I looked after the boys yesterday so I’d had my time with them – today was for Mummy, Daddy and their babies.
It was only later in the day that I realised that another birthday is imminent. Tomorrow Radio 1 celebrates its 50th birthday. Fifty years since I tuned into my little transistor radio every morning before school and listened to Tony Blackburn. It became the soundtrack to my high school years. I’d just started at the local grammar school and everyone was talking about Radio 1. I was so glad that my aunt had given me that little radio for my birthday a month earlier.
That very first song, Flowers in the Rain became a favourite but I didn’t buy it since I had no record player and, unlike many of my friends, my parents didn’t own a radiogram. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about – this was a sideboard-style piece of furniture which housed a record player and had storage for 7″ singles and 12″ LPs (Long player). But by the time Dusty Springfield released Son of a Preacher Man in 1968 or 69 (I Googled it but there seems to be some confusion), I had my own record player and it became my first single. Soon after I bought my first LP, The Moody Blues Days of Future Past. Funny the things that stick in one’s mind.
It was 1972 before I went to my first pop concert. I felt as a teenager that my parents were very hard on me but looking back, I am amazed at how much freedom they gave me. My best friend Margaret had a sister who was five years older and so long as she was accompanying us, I was allowed to go to places that I’d never have experienced if it wasn’t for her. She and her boyfriend took us to see the band Deep Purple and I was hooked on live bands from that moment. Over the next couple of years we saw The Rolling Stones, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Procol Harum, Family (and even spoke to the lead singer in the bar of Birmingham Town Hall – and did we live on the glory of that encounter!!).
I bumped into Margaret’s sister at a wedding a few months ago and told her that my teenage years wouldn’t have been half so much fun if it hadn’t been for her kindness and tolerance in taking responsibility for two much younger girls (for five years is a lot at that age). What’s more, she loaned us fashionable clothes, plucked our eyebrows, and helped us with our hair and make-up. No wonder I so wanted a big sister of my own! Anyhow we reminisced about the parties and concerts we’d gone to and then ….we talked about our grandchildren! How quickly those decades have sped by.
I loved live music and later in the 70s saw Roxy Music several times, many more bands thoughout the 80s and 90s, and more recently Elton John, Tina Turner and Neil Diamond but I think my concert days are now over as I developed a dislike for big crowds nowadays. I still listen to music a lot though and rarely drive without either Smooth Radio, Classic FM or a CD playing. No more Radio 1 though because I’ve turned into my parents – ‘What a row’ I think!