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Paul Gambaccini

Sue Lawley's castaway is music journalist and broadcaster Paul Gambaccini.

Paul Gambaccini was born in New York City in 1949 and revelled growing up to the sounds of the 1960s. He loved listening to the radio and chose to go to Dartmouth College in preference to Harvard or Yale because it had a student-run commercial college radio station. He soon became a news reporter, DJ and eventually manager. Paul came to England to study PPE at Oxford University and, although he was despondent when the local radio station wouldn't give him a job, his luck changed following his graduation when he was offered an American Music slot on the recently launched BBC Radio 1. At 24 years of age, he was their youngest broadcaster and stayed with the network for 18 years.

He has worked on most radio and television networks, including a film review slot, which ran for 13 years, on breakfast television, and presenting the film edition of BBC Radio 4's Kaleidoscope programme. He has also written a number of books, including co-authoring The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles, which illustrates his remarkable memory for music facts and figures. He now presents America's Greatest Hits on BBC Radio 2 and Classic Countdown on Classic FM.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: The Finale of Rhapsody in Blue by George Gerhswin
Book: The complete Carl Barks Library by Carl Barks
Luxury: A piano

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 18 Oct 2002 09:00

Music Played

  • Castaway's Favourite

    • George Gershwin

      Rhapsody in Blue (finale)

      Soloist: Gary Graffman Orchestra: New York Philharmonic Orchestra

      • Soundtrack of Manhattan.
      • CBS.
  • Danny & The Juniors

    At The Hop

    • Billboard Top Rock and Roll Hits.
    • Rhino.
  • The Beatles

    And Your Bird Can Sing

    • Revolver.
    • Parlophone.
  • Edvard Grieg

    Piano Concerto in A Minor

    Soloist: Arthur Rubinstein Orchestra: Philadelphia Orchestra

    • Grieg: Piano Concerto.
    • RCA.
  • Frank Sinatra

    All The Way

    • The Great Films and Shows.
    • Capitol.
  • George Frideric Handel

    Hallelujah Chorus (from Messiah)

    Choir: Mormon Tabernacle Choir Orchestra: Philadephia Orchestra

    • The Hallelujah Chorus.
    • Columbia.
  • Ferrante and Teicher & their Orchestra


    • Film Soundtrack of 'West Side Story'.
    • HMV.
  • The Temptations Original Lead Singers

    My Girl

    • The Temptations.
    • Epic.
  • Book Choice

    • The complete Carl Barks Library - Carl Barks

  • Luxury Choice

    • A piano


Role Contributor
Presenter Sue Lawley
Interviewed Guest Paul Gambaccini


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