George Elrick - Housewives' Choice

Dec 12, 2011, 11:05 PM

Housewives' Choice ran mid mornings from March 4th 1946 on the BBC Light Programme. Given how few music programmes existed on British radio back then, it naturally enjoyed huge audiences. Listeners principally comprised those women busy at home after their husbands had unlocked the garden gate and hopped onto the omnibus to work. The programme spun a range of lush gramophone records from Jim Reeves to Nat King Cole.

Even to this day, its signature tune, ‘In Party Mood’ by the West End Celebrity Orchestra, pops up on TV ads and period pieces, evoking the feel of a time and place in history.

The programme enjoyed a range of, admittedly male, presenters: from Robert Macdermot at the outset to George Elrick, whom you can hear here, singing over the sig tune, as was his habit.

Housewives’ Choice ended in 1967, as did its host station. Although its time has gone, just maybe there is a thread of its thinking in how daytime commercial radio even now is targeted almost wholly at the female audience.