A very good friend of mine who presents some excellent radio programmes once said, ‘Anyone who wants a career to be a radio presenter should have immediately disqualified himself from the job.’ I know what he means. It’s an odd thing and of course it takes no real talent except an ability to know when to get out of the way for someone who’s got something interesting to say or sing. There is however a great joy that comes from getting out of the way for these events. This Friday we have assembled some fellow broadcasters. Prime among these is one of the great voices of alt country music, Tift Merritt.
Tift is a three time AC guest to whom we have officially issued the ‘come back and see us any time you want’ message. Not only has she brought out one of the finest records of a very fine career that contains no low points for me, but she’s made it with some of our favourite people and done it all in record time. She was in Edinburgh this week to play at the Pleasance and, by all accounts, put on a fine show. The next day she travelled to London to perform on Later with Jools. You can see the results of that day later on Friday evening on the show itself. We will spend the best part of the second hour of the show in Tift country talking Tucker, Letterman and her relationship to her New York neighbour Andrew Bird. We also talk to Tift about her radio show. Once a month she puts down the guitar and points the microphone at another artist (writers, painters…you name it) and asks them how they go about their own business. If you know her work you are already clearing the diary for the show, and if you don’t you should.
Tift Merritt performs
New music and records this week come from other people who are no strangers to the airwaves either. Step forward Wanda Jackson, Bob Dylan and Ferlin Husky. We’ll also check out recordings from The Harmed Brothers, Caroline Herring and John Murry. We will also remind you why we all love Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale (two part time DJs) and Father John Misty – who was on fine form at King Tuts on Monday past.
We start at five past eight on Friday evening on BBC Radio Scotland.
I will talk to Yasmin Alibhai Brown about what it’s like to have to leave your home country and start again and what it’s like to be a Journalist at a time when no one wants to employ them and everyone is queuing up to blame them for everything. If you’ve not yet asked yourself the question, Why Poverty? then you can let the BBC do it for you. Eight films under that banner have been produced and are going out on BBC Four. Brilliant, heartbreaking and sometimes plain absurd they take a long hard look at why so many of the world is getting poorer while significant numbers get better off. John Harvey and Lorna Gold will attempt to come up with an explanation or two.
Bob Geldof reflects on the currency of celebrity.
Are we in the middle of a moral panic or are we in the downtime between the last one and the next one. We bring in some experts – Vivienne Cree and Claire Fox – to sort it out. Music too… Tracey Thorn goes Christmassy (that’s twice we’ve referred to it so far), Benny Goodman, Kris Kristofferson and The Impressions will all impress. It starts at five past seven on Sunday Morning on BBC Radio Scotland.