Wednesday 01 September 2010
Further to your obituary of Bernie Andrews (30 August), we do in fact have Bernie to thank for the existence of the BBC Session in the first place,
writes Russell Clarke. A fixture of Radio One for over 40 years and a crucial building block in any artist's career, the BBC Session was invented by a resourceful Andrews in 1963 as a clever way of circumventing the Musicians Union rules – the so-called Needle Time agreement – limiting the amount of pre-recorded music available to the BBC Light Programme (the forerunner of Radios One and Two) to a mere 35 hours a week.
The agreement was largely in place to protect the jobs of the BBC's jobbing musicians, primarily in any of the BBC's many orchestras, whose roles were thought to be under greatest threat from the burgeoning Beat scene, headed by the Beatles and other groups from Liverpool. Faced with an enormous amount of airtime to fill and barely any allowable discs to play, Andrews argued that the members of pop groups were themselves fully paid up Musicians Union members and so should be allowed to come into BBC studios and re-record versions of their own hit songs – which could then be played quite legitimately on the radio without counting towards the Needle Time agreement.
This small piece of Andrews initiative made the Light Programme and shows like Saturday Club and Top Gear appointment-listening for Britain's youth. It would also have earned the BBC a small fortune since they decided in 1990 to release to the general public the tapes he had hoarded.
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software Tester is required t...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: The Company sells mobile video advertising sol...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have a vacancy within our ra...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - 1st Line Helpde...