Monday, 11 April 2011

Britain says "Happy Birthday" to Whispering Bob Harris and old men remember his 'Old Grey Whistle Test'

Bob Harris, is 65 years old today. Like many of my generation I remember Bob hosting 'The Old Grey Whistle Test' on tv in the 1970's where his velvety voice and quiet delivery earned him his enduring nickname, 'Whispering Bob Harris'.
According to Bob, the programme derived its name from a 'tin pan alley' phrase where the first pressing of a record would be played to doormen in grey suits and the tunes they could remember and 'whistle' having heard them just once or twice were deemed to have passed 'the old grey whistle test'.

Old Grey Whistle Test 1974 :

What you may not have known about Bob, that he :

* was born in Northampton and after leaving school,followed in his father's footsteps and joined the police force serving as a cadet for 2 years.

* left the police and helped found and served as co-editor on 'Time Out' magazine and still refers to himself as 'a journalist who can broadcast'.

* started at BBC Radio 1 in 1970 where he hosted 'Sounds of the 70s' until 1975.

* presented 'The Old Grey Whistle Test' rock music show on BBC television from 1971 until 1978 where his hippie-style beard and laid-back presentation became a distinctive feature of the show.

* has worked for a number of redio stations in the years since OGWT.

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