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Radio icon Tony Blackburn brings his Sounds of the Sixties to the stage

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 May 2019

Tony Blackburn brings his Sounds of the Sixties to Bromley. Picture: Richard Cannon

Tony Blackburn brings his Sounds of the Sixties to Bromley. Picture: Richard Cannon

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Who doesn't enjoy the music of the 60s? The iconic era straddles rock 'n' roll with psychedelia and heralds the start of an entirely new style of pop, men wearing makeup.

And to captivate hefty chunks of the decade Tony Blackburn will be taking to the stage at The Churchill, Bromley on June 30.

The BBC Radio 2 DJ has seen it all from pirate radio to the BBC - and now he is hosting his popular Sounds of the 60s series live.

Audiences will hear songs, stories and memories from the golden decade of pop music performed live by the Sounds of the 60s All Star Band and Singers.

It brings the radio show from the studio to the stage for the very first time.

Tony said: "I have two special music-based memories from the 60s.

"The first is from July 1964 at 4pm in the afternoon getting into the Radio Caroline studio and doing my first ever radio show.

"The first song I played was Rag Doll by the Four Seasons. The second memory has to be September 30, 1967 in the Radio 1 studio and opening up Radio 1 with Flowers in the Rain by The Move. Both of these were life-changing moments for me."

It was a decade that launched so many stars we still know and love today.

Tony said: "The standout music figures for me must be The Beatles and The Rolling Stones as they just revolutionised music and each had their own distinct set of followers.

"Diana Ross was also a terrific influence along with the likes of Marvin Gaye, The Drifters and The Four Tops. These guys commercialised black soul music which meant it quite rightly made it onto mainstream radio stations both here and in America. Also artists like Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke were phenomenal… so many great artists.

"The funniest thing that happened to me was doing a Radio 1 roadshow at Weston Super Mare where the tide goes out a long way. The roadshow was rigged on the sands but too far out. The tide started coming in and by the end of the show the audience were up to their waists. Amazingly they still stayed right to the end."

There have been many and numerous changes in the music scene since then and radio has altered too.

Tony said: "Radio has changed quite a lot and in my opinion not for the better.

"In so many cases there is a lack of personality, with the radio presenter not being allowed to have one because of three-in-a-row rules and rigid time check restrictions. There are too many radio stations all tending to sound the same. Having said that we do have some very good, proper DJs still working but they are swamped by the TV people, who in the main are not that great.

"From this tour you can expect a night of great music, fun and nostalgia. I will be talking about the people I have met over the years; Frank Sinatra, Dusty Springfield, Cliff Richard, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, the list goes on and on.

"It'll also look at my time on the pirate ships and the opening of BBC Radio 1 and how I got into radio in the first place.

"We will have an array hits from the best music decade ever performed live by the Sounds of the 60s band and singers. Towards the end of the show there will be a short Q & A session but what it's mainly about is the fun and music of the sixties."

Even Tony tried to get into the hit-making, releasing two Top 40 singles in the '60s, but will audiences hear them?

He said: "I won't completely rule it out but I don't think so. We're trying to sell tickets."

Tickets start at £21 from livenation.co.uk.

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