As a youngster I could see merit in classical music. However, I was seduced by Country Music and Liverpool's 1960s Mersey Sound until my late teens. I afterwards lost my appetite for music. I focused on other interests but had some inclination towards light waltz, military and brass band marches.
In the 1990s Britain's BBC 3 Radio was pompous, discordant and heavy. It treated we plebeians with contempt. BBC 2 Radio did condescend to provide a few hours of light classical music mostly on a Sunday evening such as Your Sunday Half Hour and Your 100 Best Tunes.
How do I define good music? By our knowing what is genuinely popular, not just for a year but over hundreds of years. Pop(ular) music is not what the public is told is fashionable by the music industry. By a happy coincidence this just happens to be what the music industry find most profitable.
It was about this time I pulled into a car repair garage my car for was to be annually tested. That day was a beautiful summer’s day and the car windows were down. The radio left on I seem to recall the Love Duet from La Boheme was playing.
What a conversation stopper. It was like one of those classical music flash mobs now so popular. Staff and waiting customers were enchanted. Their reaction to the aria was a sheer joy to experience. The sheeple had simply never explored what alternatives were available on radio.
Then, in the early 1990s I jumped for joy when I heard that a radio station dedicated to popular classical was to go on the air from September 1992. Classic FM was to return to the people the peoples music. After all, classical music, composed by mostly lower-class musicians, is the art form of the working classes. I looked forward to recovering our soul music from the snobbish bien-pensant set.
That morning when Classic FM was to first broadcast I was like a kid at Christmas. At 6 am the first track was played by the station's Nick Bailey. I am no great fan of Handel’s Zadok the Priest but it was certainly music to my ears that golden dawn.
Classic FM hoped that 2.8 million listeners would eventually be attracted to its broadcasts. By Christmas 4.3 million were tuning in every week and Classic FM was Britain’s fourth most popular radio station. I felt vindicated.
The popular British radio station has since collected more silverware (almost) than has Liverpool Football Club. The radio station is now listened to by 5.6 million people each week. In 2013, Classic FM was named UK Radio Brand of the Year at the Sony Awards.
I live in the Costa Blanca. Mediterranean Spain’s broadcasters ignore demand for good music. Is this an own goal? The Costa communities attract people of all nationalities who have a distinctly sophisticated middle-brow taste in music. Karaoke just doesn’t do it as well as Beethoven, Mahler or Mozart do. Country:Spain