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»  Your 100 Best Tunes

1959-2007

 

Alan KeithThe show was first heard on the Light Programme on  Sunday 15 November 1959. The original title was 'The 100 Best Tunes In The World'. Alan Keith, who came up with the idea of the programme, was originally contracted for a 13 week run. The show broadcast live from Broadcasting House. The first series featured Alan's own selections from his research with music publishers. The series was so popular that the Light Programme planners extended its run. The letters poured in and on 12 February 1960 the programme changed its name to Your 100 Best Tunes. Its time slot was eventually extended to an hour. When the Light Programme ceased in 1967 Your Hundred Best Tunes found a home on Sunday evenings at 9pm on BBC Radio 2.

 

Listeners' polls were organised - the last of these was held in the BBC's 75th anniversary year, 1997.

 

The top ten listener votes were:

1. In the Depths of the Temple (The Pearl Fishers) - Bizet

2. Finlandia - Sibelius

3. The Water Music - Handel

4. Rusalka’s Song to the Moon (Rusalka) - Dvorak

5. Ode to Joy - Symphony No 9 - Beethoven

6. Adagio from Cello Concerto in E Minor - Elgar

7. The Nuns' Chorus (Casanova) - J. Strauss II

8. Piano Concerto No 2 in C Minor - Rachmaninov

9. Suite - The Planets - Holst

10. I Know That My Redeemer Liveth (Messiah) - Handel

 

The show was a favourite listen for many. The late Earl Spencer, father of Diana Princess of Wales, declared it one of his radio highlights and in 1988 he even presented the show whilst Alan was on holiday. Poet Ursula Vaughan Williams and distinguished oboist Lady Evelyn Barbirolli have also presented the show.

 

Alan passed away in 2003 aged 94, the longest serving and oldest presenter on British radio. He had presented the show for 44 years and had already taken the decision to step down with a recorded farewell programme.

 

AUDIO CLIP

Alan Keith 13th October 2002

  • Richard Baker presented the show until January 2007 when it was finally axed to make way for a re-scheduled Melodies For You.

 

* RELATED LINKS *

On Radio Rewind;

» Singles Chart History

» Alan Freeman

» Dale Winton

 

On BBC Radio;

» BBC Official Chart Show (Radio 1)

» BBC Pick of the Pops (Radio 2)

 

 

 

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