Sunday, May 23, 2010

Britain -- Fascinating Web Site on the History of Country Music in the U.K.

By Ruth Ellen Gruber

I've just run across a fascinating web site that tells the story of country music in the U.K. -- including the saga of the big country music festivals at Wembley, from 1969-1991. There are great photographs and other memorabilia.

It's the blog of Stan Laundon, who was the host of "Country Time" -- a legendary show on BBC Radio.
The programme "Country Time" was a huge part of my life during the 23 years I spent at BBC Radio Cleveland. Initially, the show ran for just 25 minutes and was first broadcast on New Year's Eve, December 31st, 1970. Six weeks later, due to popular demand, it was increased to 45 minutes, with a 'special' concert featuring recorded music by The Hillsiders from Liverpool
Over the following years, the show was transmitted at various times - Fridays, with a repeat on Sundays for one hour, then on to 90-minutes and, for many years, running for two hours "live" every Sunday afternoon.
The very first edition of "Country Time" was broadcast at 7.05pm. The first record played was "Alabama, Louisiana or Maybe Tennessee" by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos. There was recorded music from the Liverpool band, Western Union.

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