Some Enchanted Wavelengths

BBC Medium Wave Frequency Change Card (1978)

BBC Medium Wave Frequency Change Card (1978)

Having recently spent a Saturday dragging much of my worldly goods from East London to South East London, Sunday was spend initially trying to find a decent Sunday lunch as a reward (partial success) and then trying to sort out my spare 45s ahead of my LPs & 12″ joining them in my new place.

One the way to lunch, passed one of the Crystal Palace UHF transmitters on the bus (see gallery below) and right now, London is heading towards the big April switch off of all analogue TV signals and a big retune of the digital multiplexes that provide Freeview. It’s difficult to avoid this fact; every home has been sent a leaflet explaining how this will work, there are billboard adverts everywhere…. even an underground train on the Central Line has been redecorated in honour of little “Digit Al” and his retune message.

Whilst sorting through the spare 45s, I found a (long forgotten) copy of The King’s Singers “Some Enchanted Frequencies” and an insert card. Back in 1978 – which I sadly can remember – the “Medium Wave” (or AM for everybody outside the UK, or within the UK under 40 years old) bands for the 4 National BBC radio stations changed.

AM frequencies travel great distances (and are actually HUGE) and as a result, you do tend to get a lot of cross talk between stations in different countries. As a result of this, a cross-border agreement was reached in Europe on who would use which frequency bands, resulting in BBC having to make some changes (and us having to start to remember new transmission band locations).

This being 1978, this was promoted via the medium (sorry) of an (excruciating) King’s Singers 45 and associated card (with sticker for your transistor radio) so the whole thing was lodged in your head, whether you liked it or not. Imagine “We Buy Any Car”‘s jingle, with extra upper class, close harmony, choral smarts. My advice is NEVER listen to it. Really.

Nb; There’s only one King’s Singers LP worth tracking down from recollection (used to be a UK charity shop staple, not sure these days); which is original Argo pressing of this (features mighty UK session drummer Alf Bidgen bashing the shit out of his pots and pans on “Moses Magic Box”).

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About Matt Hero

Thinking global, acting yokel
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