A Blast From the Past

I suppose I was fortunate to grow up always having a television in my life, and although it played a part in my home, it is the radio programmes of my childhood that I remember the most. It was always on, it seemed, and how many reading this now can remember listening to Radio Luxembourg on little transistor radios under the bedcovers? (“That’s Keynsham, spelt K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M”.) I would also listen to I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again, when I should have been sleeping. Sundays were filled with Family Favourites followed by the Billy Cotton Band Show, or Much Minding in the Marsh, The Navy Lark, the Goon Show and such. But it was Saturday morning radio that really remains in my head, for then Children’s Favourites with Uncle Mac would be on …“Hello, children, everywhere.”

Children and adults could write in for requests to play the songs so beloved by us kids, songs and music you just don’t hear any more. They were fun, innocent sing-along tunes never to be forgotten such as:                   

Tubby the Tuba
Sparky and His Magic Piano
The Runaway Train
Nellie the Elephant
Peter and the Wolf
The Ugly Duckling
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Three Billy Goats Gruff
Three Little Fishes
Little White Bull
There’s A Hole In My Bucket
I’m A Pink Toothbrush
My Brother
Puff the Magic Dragon
On Top of Spaghetti
Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda
Beep Beep (The Bubblecar Song)
The Happy Wanderer
The Ugly Bug Ball
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

Oh, I could go on and on, there are so many classics, so many wonderful childhood memories. How many do you remember and what song was your favourite? Did you used to listen to Uncle Mac? Did you ever write in for a request? I do think it’s such a shame there’s nothing similar for children on the radio nowadays.

If you’ve a moment or a mind to re-live a bit of the 1950s and 1960s, I’ve come across a brilliant website that is a marvellous radio and radio programmes of those times and great for doing a spot of research too! Called Whirligig, do check it out.

10 thoughts

  1. Didn’t listen to the same programs on radio here and was a few years behind you, but do remember listening to things on a transistor radio. My dad had one that had two short wave bands available on it. Depending on the weather was how well we could bring in some of the stations.

    Great times back then. Sometimes wish life were that simple now.


  2. Lovely nostalgia trip! I loved the Billy Goats Gruff(I’m a troll. fol-de-rol!) and The Ugly Duckling (me, a swan?!)
    These songs had great stories in them too. Like you, I can’t think of modern equivalents.


  3. Yes, I remember well listening to Radio Luxembourg on my transister under the bedclothes! And the amazing list of Uncle Mac’s Childrens’ Favourites requests – One that’s missing is by Max Bygraves and my sister used to love it when she was about 5. It’s ‘There’s a Worm at the Bottom of My Garden and his Name is Wiggly Woo’ Times of such innocence Kit!
    Family Favourites with Cliff Mitchelmore and Jean Metcalfe was always on the radio as we used to sit down to Sunday lunch (sometimes two way with UK and Germany and sometimes three way with UK, Germany and Cyprus – I think!). I used to listen to Saturday Club too where Brian Matthew (who is STILL on the radio) would play top ten hits and interview pop stars. Oh dear, you’ve got me going now – big nostalgia trip!


    1. Can’t recall “There’s a Worm”, Jo. Will have to track it down and see if I remember it. Brian Matthew’s top ten was compulsive listening too. Great fun, those days. 🙂


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