Music While You Work

Sep 23, 2011, 09:30 PM

Ah. Was this the first long segue? 'Music While You Work' - a cheery continuous music programme launched on 23rd June 1940, broadcast on the Forces Programme, and subsequently on the BBC Light Programme and Home Service.

Originally, this show was live, moving to a pre-record by 1963. When I say live, I mean the music itself was live, with orchestras and military bands poised to strike up popular tunes. These were aimed at increasing factory productivity. Such a strategy was not without its risks: slow songs were banned for obvious reasons, as was the tune 'Deep in the Heart of Texas' owing to the fear that production line workers would take their hands away from the job in hand to clap along to the chorus.

The theme was 'Calling All Workers', all the better for being written by Hucknall's (Notingham) Eric Coates, who also wrote the theme to 'In Town Tonight'.

29th September 1967 saw the last edition of the show as the Light Programme became Radio 2 (and a bit of Radio 1).