Monday, February 23, 2009

Is Theme Time running out of steam?

Last week’s discussion on whether Dylan’s in decline revealed that several hardcore respondents had stopped listening to Theme Time Radio Hour.

Well, I certainly have.

But only because of the daft broadcast times adopted by BBC radio: midnight on Sundays on 6Music and late Saturdays on Radio 2, the last time I looked, though they are changeable.

Late on Fridays (10pm?), the original 6Music slot, was perfect – prime listening time when you could relax and soak it all in: eclectic music, some never heard before, and Dylan’s witty, challenging, enlightening links. Fine programming.

But the changed UK times meant you were ready to hit the hay and had to start taping the show. Then the combination of repeats, on two different BBC channels, and inadequate programme info, was confusing. You started to forget even to tape it, then lost the habit completely.

I just gave up. Not because of the programmes – they were wonderful – but because BBC radio screwed up, wasting the valuable asset they’d bought.

I’d willingly buy a recording of Dylan’s Theme Time links and book of playlists and transcripts. I heard rumour of a possible Simon & Schuster product - has anyone heard whether one is due?

Gerry Smith