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My Friend Jack

Jimmy Young

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I bought this in the RNLI charity shop at the lifeboat station in Littlehampton in the summer. Written in 1982 and published the following year - the 10th anniversary of JY's move to Radio 2 to commence a daytime current affairs Prog - it's a slim but interesting take on the world that we've left behind. In those days, I never listened to R2 through choice, and in any case I would have been working when JY was on, so I really don't remember any of the ground-breaking shows and interviews which took place during those times. The trips to the USSR, Israel and several other challenging venues provide the highlights, along with the occasional insight into politicians of the day - Healey, Thatcher and Heath are all shown to be - shock! horror! - human beings with something akin to a sense of humour.

 

You don't actually get to learn much about JY himself, to be honest, but that was never the point of this book. You certainly do get the impression that Jimmy had found his vocation in current affairs, and that the records he played were there to fill the gaps. From what is written, you wouldn't actually realise that he did play records, as he never refers to a single one, although he does make reference to the fact that he used to sing on his own show back in his Radio 1 days... which nowadays almost beggars belief!

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Oh! I remember it well. For me the JY progs were like an oasis in a desert of mind-numbing tasks whilst rearing babies and housekeeping in the 70s. It kept me sane and made me realise I still had a brain - well something that could pass for one anyway. And I too remember his singing career in the earlier decades.

Now I really do feel old. :eek:

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I can remember my Mum listening to JY during school holidays. It was sooooooooooo boring! And very samey to a child's ears. There was that strange "What's the recipe today, Jim?!" jingle - did anyone really write down the recipe and then cook it later? And a regular Thursday (?) appearance from a chap from The Grocer magazine to tell you that broad beans were in season and should be 7p a pound but lamb had gone up. Proper public service broadcasting!

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Oh, I forgot all about those bits Jen. What I remember the most are the discussions about women's lib and politics. In fact I phoned in once and left my comment, which was broadcast. It made me feel part of the real world then.

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Oh my! I've just been transported back to 1951 (?), when I went on a charabanc outing with my mother to see my very first pantomime, which starred Jimmy Young.

 

He sang his latest song "Too Young", and had all the Mums in raptures!

 

I also remember his (the original) version of "Unchained Melody" a few years later.

 

I never listened to him as a radio DJ, so can't share the reminiscences of you youngsters ;)

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He sang? Didn't know that.
Oh yes.

He was a well established, popular singer of the 'crooner' variety long before he became a DJ. My early childhood memories are full of songs from the fifties, and Jimmy Young featured strongly.

To quote from this website about him

To most listeners of today's BBC radio Jimmy Young is an ageing Disc Jockey. Only those of us well into our late 50s or beyond* are likely to remember his days as a heart-throb crooner. Yet he was indeed once one of Britain's greatest popular singers and he has an enviable chart history to prove it.

Jimmy Young, the singer, first came to the attention of the British public with his version of the song 'Too Young' in 1951, more than a year before a meaningful chart showing relative record sales began. This record received a lot of BBC air-play and helped him establish himself as, arguably, the UK's top crooner. However it was during 1955 with his versions of 'Unchained Melody' and 'The Man From Laramie' that he became the first British artist ever to achieve the coveted #1 chart position with consecutive releases.

* definitely 'beyond' I think, by now.

 

I was, you must realise, not 'a fan' as I was far too young, but was very aware of what was being played regularly on the radio, and later on TV.

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Oh, I forgot all about those bits Jen. What I remember the most are the discussions about women's lib and politics
Really! My memories are from those never ending holidays from primary school and I just remember it being something that stopped me from listening to Radio One. Glad to hear that there was more depth to it than I gave JY credit for.

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