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Singing live on local radio

Northerner 01 Aug 12 - 03:07 PM
Deckman 01 Aug 12 - 03:15 PM
Northerner 01 Aug 12 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,loki 01 Aug 12 - 06:55 PM
GUEST,loki 01 Aug 12 - 06:57 PM
Northerner 01 Aug 12 - 07:11 PM
Leadfingers 01 Aug 12 - 07:40 PM
Backwoodsman 01 Aug 12 - 11:37 PM
Deckman 02 Aug 12 - 12:42 AM
Northerner 02 Aug 12 - 02:56 AM
stallion 02 Aug 12 - 03:56 AM
Backwoodsman 02 Aug 12 - 04:05 AM
Northerner 02 Aug 12 - 04:37 AM
GUEST,Don Wise 02 Aug 12 - 04:55 AM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Aug 12 - 11:17 AM
GUEST 02 Aug 12 - 01:32 PM
Don Firth 02 Aug 12 - 04:03 PM
Northerner 02 Aug 12 - 06:00 PM
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Subject: Singing live on local radio
From: Northerner
Date: 01 Aug 12 - 03:07 PM

Hi! I've just been invited to sing a set of folk songs on my local radio station. I've been asked to sing 4 songs over the 2 hour programme. Do you have any advice or tips for me? I've largely been a floor singer till recently. I did two programmes this spring for older people where I incorporated songs into a mixed programme together with storytelling and poetry and the audience loved my voice. And last night I did a 3 song set at a music and spoken word event. The radio presenter was in the audience and he really appreciated my performance. I've already done one guest spot at the radio station where I nattered on about local arts events and my involvement storytelling, poetry and folk song. I have a very good speaking voice and a reasonable sense of humour.


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Subject: RE: Singing live on local radio
From: Deckman
Date: 01 Aug 12 - 03:15 PM

I've done a fair amount of radio work over the years. One thing I always try to implant into my brain just before I start is this thought: SMILE ... HAVE A GOOD TIME. If I'm having a good time, it clearly comes through on radio. And "SMILING" brightens the tone and improves the diction. bob(deckm,an)nelson


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Subject: RE: Singing live on local radio
From: Northerner
Date: 01 Aug 12 - 03:24 PM

Thank you Bob! I believe I have already come across the "smile" tip before. I can't smile for the entire two hours but I can certainly smile across at the presenters when I sing. I do intend to have fun. I am trying to select songs that are quite light-hearted and sprightly. No long dirge-like ballads with 70 verses...


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Subject: RE: Singing live on local radio
From: GUEST,loki
Date: 01 Aug 12 - 06:55 PM

local radio station studios are usually much smaller than wherever else you sing. I close my eyes and sing to an (imaginary) audience in a club I'm familiar with. and I smile.


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Subject: RE: Singing live on local radio
From: GUEST,loki
Date: 01 Aug 12 - 06:57 PM

oh, and remember, you can have the words there if you need 'em, 'cos no-one can see 'em!


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Subject: RE: Singing live on local radio
From: Northerner
Date: 01 Aug 12 - 07:11 PM

Thank you Loki! My friend Pamela is a volunteer there and she has already messaged me on Facebook to say I can have words with me. I have already been in the studio - which is small - I will probably sing to Bob and Rob, the presenters, and my friend Pamela.


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Subject: RE: Singing live on local radio
From: Leadfingers
Date: 01 Aug 12 - 07:40 PM

Whatever songs you sing , be sure that they are songs you know well and feel sure you can deliver to the best of your ability , but still have the words with you . Not matter how well you know a song , just having a Microphone in front of you adds a LOT of pressure , so lyrics are a useful prop , just in case ! And have FUN !


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Subject: RE: Singing live on local radio
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Aug 12 - 11:37 PM

I echo what Bob and Leadfingers said.
Also, try not to think about all those people 'Out There', just sing to those actually there in the studio. If you make a mistake, don't panic - it's a live performance so fluffs are transitory, and its most likely that no-one but you will notice or remember them.
And, most importantly, ENJOY!!


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Subject: RE: Singing live on local radio
From: Deckman
Date: 02 Aug 12 - 12:42 AM

I well remember when the late Walt Robertson recorded his second album, back in the fifties. It was released by Moses Asch of Folkways fame. It was recorded in a very small studio in a home in west Seattle. He had enough "smarts" to make sure that he has some live people in the studio with him. That gave him the focus to "sing to the audience." It made all the difference.

So .... sing to those in the "audience. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Singing live on local radio
From: Northerner
Date: 02 Aug 12 - 02:56 AM

Thank you all for your advice and encouragement. I am sure it will go well. I am pretty sure about my song choices now and have enough time to give each of them a sing through at one of my local folk clubs.


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Subject: RE: Singing live on local radio
From: stallion
Date: 02 Aug 12 - 03:56 AM

When we did it we recorded the songs in the studio and then the presenter spliced them in to the interview. It was interesting cos we popped them off one after another and the presenter (Michael Brothwell) asked us if we wanted to hear them back, No! was the reply, which was followed by a Michael anecdote of one performer who spent all morning singing and playing back and then doing it again, kinda makes the live bit a bit false. Anyway ours was as live as it gets without actually sitting around the mics and singing during the interview.


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Subject: RE: Singing live on local radio
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 02 Aug 12 - 04:05 AM

I've done it a number of times, usually three songs, all 'live' during a programme, and in fact I found performing the songs was the easy part - being interviewed throughout the programme, having to talk about myself etc., was far worse, very stressful and, at times, quite cringe-making.


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Subject: RE: Singing live on local radio
From: Northerner
Date: 02 Aug 12 - 04:37 AM

I think it will be "live." I will have to contribute chitchat about my involvement with folk music. At the gig I did on Tuesday I mentioned that Ewan McColl once asked me to sit on his knee, so Bob has asked me to mention that again. There are two presenters who chat away plus my friend Pamela who is doing some voluntary work at the station. I'll just have to join in with the chat. Bob and Rob will have prepared ideas for the chitchat. Not too bad really!


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Subject: RE: Singing live on local radio
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 02 Aug 12 - 04:55 AM

I can remember doing spots for BBC Radio Nottingham way back when.....   

Whatever happens.......DON'T PANIC!!


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Subject: RE: Singing live on local radio
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Aug 12 - 11:17 AM

Are you confident with the particular kind of microphone they have - how far away to be, whether you need to sing into the top or is the side okay, etc?

I have heard radio interviews where the mic was too close to the person's mouth and I could hear the flesh slurping with every ch and th. I refuse to listen to that.

Other than that, it sounds like you could do it standing on your head. Best of luck.


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Subject: RE: Singing live on local radio
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Aug 12 - 01:32 PM

Not sure I could do it standing on my head! It helps that I have already been there and nattered away so I know the presenters and the layout of the studio. The microphone is one where you have to speak into the side of it. It's reasonably OK for speaking into but may not be as good for singing into. I'm getting used to microphones though, I remembered on Tuesday to reduce the volume - I am used to going out on full throttle to reach the back of the folk club room! I am busy going through my songs.


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Subject: RE: Singing live on local radio
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Aug 12 - 04:03 PM

In 1959, I'd been singing for maybe six or seven years, mostly at parties and hoots, but with a few performances under my belt, such as singing at hospitals and retirement homes and such. Then I got tapped to do a television series on my local educational station. It's now our big, local PBS affiliate, but at the time, it had been operating for only a couple of years, and the studios were in the Communications building on campus.

A series of six half-hour broadcasts funded by the Seattle Public Library, and to be called "Ballads and Books." And the shows were live, because KCTS couldn't afford a videotape machine. At the time, they cost about $50,000, and only one station in town, a big commercial station, had one. So—live it had to be.

As we are approaching the beginning of the first telecast (all the songs planned and rehearsed, as was the chit-chat with the host), I was so nervous I was practically paralyzed. Sally Sauerwine, a broadcasting student at the U. of Washington, noticed my state and laid some very good advice on me.

"You're probably thinking of the thousands of people who will be watching the show, right? And that's pretty intimidating."

I allowed as how that was the case.

"Well," she said, "you don't get especially nervous singing for just a couple of people, or, say, at a party, do you?"

Well, no, not particularly.

"Okay," she said, "just keep in mind that there are usually only one or two people sitting in front of a television set. Now, you may be coming through thousands of television sets out there, but you are only singing to, at most, a couple of people watching each one." Then she added, "If you know of someone who will be watching the show, sing your songs to them."

Bless you, Sally!! That did the trick!

I got through all six shows without a hitch, and felt fine. Downright exhilerated, in fact!

A number of neat things happened as a result. I was asked to do more television, and I got several singing jobs, one steady and long-lasting, as a result of "Ballads and Books."

Sally's advice made a big difference.

I know they wish actors good luck by telling them to "break a leg," but what do you tell a folk singer who's about to perform? "Break a string?"

Don Firth

P. S. By the way, as far as microphones and cameras and such, I didn't concern myself with them. I left that part to the technicians in the studio. That was their job.

P. S. Some years later, I went on to work in radio broadcasting as a disk jockey and newscaster, including at a prestigious classical music station, and Sally's advice stuck with me. I was never bothered by mic fright.


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Subject: RE: Singing live on local radio
From: Northerner
Date: 02 Aug 12 - 06:00 PM

Wow! Fabulous story! Thank you!


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