« Previous | Main | Next »

Scotland On Song

Post categories:

Nick Dempsey Nick Dempsey | 14:39 UK time, Monday, 12 April 2010


As a Scot whose musical career began in Fife folk clubs some 46 years ago, it's perhaps no surprise that Barbara Dickson is a strong advocate for the songs of her homeland.

'Like the Irish, Scots know who they are and where they come from,' says Barbara. 'We speak strong dialects, we have a very strong culture, and I think it's really important to keep that alive.'

One way of ensuring the traditions are passed on is to make quality radio programmes, and indeed Barbara is very busy at the moment doing exactly that, with Radio Scotland's new Thursday night series, Scotland On Song.

'I live down in Lincolnshire and we're making the show in Aberdeen, so I had an interesting time getting up here this week thanks to the volcanic ash. We're recording eight programmes, each on a different theme and with a different guest. I've just finished programme number five on the theme of work with Sheena Wellington, which is the third we've recorded in two days, appropriately enough.'

What's it been like getting to grips with presenting a radio programme?

'I've obviously been on the other side of the mic a fair bit over the years, but I have done a bit of radio presenting - actually my first gig was standing in for David Hamilton on Radio 2 - that tells you how long ago that was.

'But it's been a lot of fun, very stimulating to me as a singer and it's a wonderful production team. The themes mean the programmes are very distinct from each other, each with their own feel. The hardest thing has been keeping it down to two hours and deciding what to leave out.'

But what of the future for Scottish song?

'I've really been enjoying discovering the new generation of Scots like Kris Drever and Catriona Watt. In Scotland these artists now have the opportunity to learn traditional songs at college - at the RSAMD in Glasgow or the National Centre of Excellence in Plockton, for instance. This is an amazing thing that they've done in Scotland - and great for ensuring that the future for traditional music is fit and healthy.'

Hear Barbara doing her bit for Scottish music with Scotland On Song, Thursday nights at 8.05pm on BBC Radio Scotland.



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.