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Bob Harris

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 02 February 2014

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the broadcaster, Bob Harris.

Known affectionately as Whispering Bob, he's rarely been off our air waves in the past 44 years.

His big break came standing in for John Peel and he was so good that not long after he was given his own show on Radio 1. Throughout the seventies he also hosted the true music-fans' must see show, The Old Grey Whistle Test. His beard and tank top were almost as legendary as some of the guests - The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and John Lennon were among the line up. However with the arrival of punk things got personal.

The closest his family ever got to showbiz was when his dad, a policeman, clambered on stage to arrest the singer PJ Proby when his trousers split. Young Bob did follow his dad into the force but music and above all else radio were his obsession.

Much like his recording heroes, his own life has something of the rock n' roll vibe - three wives, eight children, a spell of bankruptcy and coping with prostate cancer. Yet through it all his skill, knowledge and love of broadcasting has always endured.

He says, "I'm a music anorak, a fan who got lucky ... from the moment I bought my first record aged 11, I couldn't wait to share music with others."

Producer: Cathy Drysdale.

Music Played

8 items
  • Image for Mark Germino

    Mark Germino Rex Bob Lowenstein

    Caughtin the Act of Being Ours…, RCA

  • Image for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

    Robert Plant and Alison Krauss Gone Gone Gone

    Raising Sand, Rounder

  • Image for Paul Anka

    Paul Anka Diana

    Paul Anka: 30th Anniversary Collection, Demon

  • Image for Love

    Love Alone Again Or

    Forever Changes, ELEKTRA

  • Image for Neil Young

    Neil Young Cinnamon Girl

    Everybody knows this is Nowhere, REPRISE

  • Image for Dick Stratton

    Dick Stratton Music City U.S.A.

    The Best of Tennessee & Republic Records Vol. III - Hillbilly Honky Tonk, SnailWorx

  • Image for Kacey Musgraves

    Kacey Musgraves Merry Go 'Round

    Same Trailer Different Park, Mercury

  • Image for Ben E. King

    Ben E. King Stand By Me

    The Ultimate Collection: Stand By Me, Atlantic

Credits

Presenter
Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest
Bob Harris
Producer
Cathy Drysdale

Broadcasts

Free downloads

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