Wake up little Susie

Every so often I think I’d like to have the radio on but then I remember how little there is that’s worth listening to in South Africa.

Thank goodness for Internet radio because at least I can get an occasional fix and listen to some music that I enjoy. I went over to BBC Radio’s (bbc.co.uk/radio) website the other day and was pleased to see that another season of Suzi Quattro’s excellent radio show has begun.

Suzi is “the” rock goddess, as far as I’m concerned, and she spins a great selection of American music from the 1950s and 1960s. What makes the show so compelling for me is that she has seen, played with, or interviewed many of the performers whose songs appear on the show.

My musical education is coming on in leaps and bounds, thanks to Suzi, and I’ve heard stuff, such as Elvis’ King Creole, which I’d never heard before, Dorsey Burnett’s It’s Late, and Debbie Reynold’s hauntingly lovely Tammy, which might otherwise, never have come my way. I have now even heard of Ricky Nelson, motown and Doo-wop; amazing, but true!

The show is broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on Saturday nights at 9pm, but you can visit the show’s website at any time during the next week and listen in. You’ll need to have the RealPlayer software but they have a free version of it which you can download.

I kept an eye on my bandwidth graph during one of her hour-long shows and it only used up about 50 or 60Mb. Given the high price of our bandwidth, you probably couldn’t listen to the radio all the time over the Internet, but at least you can get a few decent programmes.

From the front page of the BBC site, you can listen to what’s playing on any of the company’s radio stations or you can listen to a huge selection of programmes which have been broadcast but which remain available for a time.

You can search for a programme by name or by genre, and I specially recommend the humour section as a rich source of entertainment. It’s off at the moment, due to the death of the presenter Humphrey Lyttleton, but the long-running show I’m sorry I haven’t a clue is really great comedy and is repeated regularly.

Many of you reading this are not going approve of my taste but there is no reason why you shouldn’t plunge into the world of Internet radio and find something great to listen to yourself. It is surely going to be better than dying by inches listening to those interminable chat shows on SAFM, where morons tell you what they’re thinking; and that’s a misnomer if there ever was one.

Local terrestrial radio station East Coast Radio isn’t too bad except that their musical content isn’t aimed at my age group. I enjoy the occasional song and the traffic reports are valuable. They have an online presence but, even though their advert played OK on my PC, I was going to have to download another plug-in to listen to the show. Then I thought, why bother?

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