Within minutes of uploading WFMT Chicago shows the Brits a thing or two I received the first email of support. It came from Graham Hardwick, a reader who, like me, says he pays his BBC license fee "through gritted teeth". Before dismissing my criticism of BBC Radio 3 as a lone voice two points are worth considering. First independent analysis shows On An Overgrown Path is the most widely read UK classical music blog. And secondly, I am the only prominent UK classical music blogger who does not take paid work from the BBC. Now read Graham Hardwick's email:
I was interested to read your comments on WFMT Chicago. Thoroughly fed up with BBC Radio 3, I recently bought an internet radio - swiftly followed by a iPod Touch - and it's been a real ear opener to explore some other stations. On WFMT I have been particularly enjoying Andrew Patner and his Critical Thinking programme - also available as a podcast. Hard to describe, usually conversation-based and Chicago-centric, not always music, quite eclectic which is always good, and well worth trying. One difference from Radio 3 seems to be that this is a programme with some integrity. Patner apparently operates without a script on subject matter of his own choice and there is real depth and experience here - he appears to know whereof he speaks, if you like.'One difference from Radio 3 seems to be that this is a programme with some integrity' ... the long tail of radio is here.
I've also been noticing some good stuff from ABC National and ABC Classic FM. The former, for example, has a 40 minute book programme every weeknight, again on podcast, as is a weekly philosophy programme. ABC Classic FM has a weekly two-hour religious programme - For the God who Sings (brilliant title) tied to the Christian liturgical calendar, wonderfully presented and containing some glorious music. Unfortunately that's not podcast. There's also a thread on contemporary Australian music.
Who needs Petroc Trelawny, Rob Cowan's bloody rucksack and all the other patronising BBC Radio 3 presenters?!
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