Posted By on 8th March 2017

I’ve never listened to an episode of ‘The Archers’ in my life, nor ‘Desert Island Discs’ for that matter, yet the theme tunes to both these radio programmes are unmistakable and instantly recognisable to me.

Music is a very powerful, personal and emotive subject, and many better people than me have written about it, trying to get you to decide :- What’s the best song ever? Whose your favourite band? Which is your favourite classical piece?

These days music has never been so varied and easily accessible, but it wasn’t always so. I grew up in the days of ‘Uncle Mac’, when ‘The Billy Cotton Band Show’ was the height of Saturday night viewing followed by ‘Two Way Family Favourites’ on the radio Sunday lunchtimes. Remember them?

As children we rocked along to such numbers as ‘The Three Billy Goats Gruff’, ‘Sparky’s Magic Piano’ and ‘The Chipmunks’ and who could forget the classic ‘The Little Engine That Could’. Oh what fun we had!

‘Music’ is such a huge subject with many genres, it’s impossible to have just one favourite piece or artist, you can’t compare apples with oranges so why try to compare Mozart with Morrissey, I can’t tell you what my one favourite tune is any more than I can tell you my one favourite flower.

So instead of ‘one’ favourite, I have several in various categories, but first a list of what I don’t know.

I can’t comment on Opera at all, as it’s a complete mystery to me, apart from that duet in ‘The Pearl Fishers’, the chorus of which made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck the first time I heard it.

Nor will I say anything about Jazz, as that too is a mystery and to para-phrase the wonderful Eric Morecambe, I prefer tunes where all the notes are in the right order!

I do love a Brass Band but don’t know much about them, despite my Yorkshire heritage, other than to say they should stick to ‘proper’ band music and not drift off into ‘Yesterday’ or ‘Songs From The Shows’.

All that said, I still have a lot of ‘music’ to prattle on about.

So I’ll begin by asking, what’s the first song that you really remember, the one that awakened your interest in ‘popular’ music? For me it was the 1966 single ‘This Old Heart Of Mine’ by the Isley Brothers, and although there have been much better records since, that for me was a milestone in my music appreciation.

My best loved song by far has to be ‘Annie’s Song’ by John Denver. To be able to write something so beautiful, so quickly (or so the story goes) is surely a gift and to have been the inspiration for that writing genius must be truly humbling.

‘Annie’s Song’ has a beautiful melody, but if you’re looking for consistently good, easy listening tunes you can’t do better than ‘ABBA’, even if their dress sense in the early days was a bit suspect!

If it’s good lyrics you’re after, with a varied mix of rock and ballads I would recommend Billy Joel. I recently watched his 1987 tour of the Soviet Union on TV which was amazing.

Moving on, the best song to drive to without doubt is ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ by Meatloaf. In my view he never did anything quite as good again.

The best duo for me has to be Simon and Garfunkle and the best ‘one hit wonder’ Peter Sarstedt in 1969 with ‘Where do you go to my lovely?’

The best singer by far was the tragic Karen Carpenter, whilst the best group is Dire Straits. Best showman Robbie Williams, best combination of group and showman Freddie Mercury with Queen.

The best pop music video in terms of professional production and ‘slickness’ is Christina Aguilera’s ‘Candy Man’. The impeccable make-up and superb background colour schemes are amazing, my dad would have loved it.

Shania Twain and James Taylor stand out in the country/folk/rock section, I particularly like his ‘Sweet Baby James’.

Finally classical music. My exposure to this hasn’t been great but here goes.

Famous ballet pieces are pretty good and who could not like Pachelbel’s Canon in D, but for me the prize for best classical piece has to go to George Frideric Handel’s ‘Arrival Of The Queen Of Sheeba’.

So there we are, all you needed to know about ‘music’ in a nutshell. Feel free to disagree!

And finally. Congratulations to Lincoln City on reaching the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup and good luck for next Saturdays match against Arsenal, who are on a bit of a bad run at the moment (lost in Champions League 10-2 over 2 legs) You might just pull it off.

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