IT turned out to be a surprisingly low key Easter Bank Holiday on the radio on Monday. Radio 2 offered up a couple of hours of Tony Blackburn’s Sounds of Soul (never a bad thing), Radio Scotland stuck mostly to the schedule with The Afternoon Show and then repeated Nicola Meighan’s For the Record conversation with Eddi Reader, first broadcast last month. 5 Live, when it wasn’t running trailers for podcasts (maybe tone it down a bit folks), offered up an afternoon of EFL football commentary.

So, in the end, it seemed like only Classic FM and Boom Radio fully embraced the Bank Holiday ethos. Classic FM spent the day running its countdown of the Classic FM Hall of Fame, with Dan Walker revealing that this year’s winner is Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2. For the second year running.

Over on Boom Radio, John Peters was in the chair for the final rush and push of the station’s All Time Chart, the best 200 songs as voted for by listeners. Peters rattled through his section of the rundown like a man with a train to catch. But then he had a lot to fit in.

The Herald: Simon and GarfunkelSimon and Garfunkel (Image: free)

As for the result, it was, well, very Boom. Queen’s bombastic Bohemian Rhapsody was number three. Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water came in at number two. And Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade of Pale was number one for the fourth year running.

A good reminder that us baby boomers have questionable taste, you might say.

The fact that only one woman - the late, great Dusty Springfield - featured in the top 30 drew some criticism, but, let’s face it, it does tend to be mostly men who are obsessed by lists. So, presumably, they’re more likely to vote. Women possibly have better things to do with their time.

The resulting list was both predictable - 21 appearances by The Beatles, two in the top 10; Sinatra’s only entry the wearisome My Way; and way too much of The Eagles and Queen for my liking - and curiously revealing. Who knew the New Seekers were so loved? (Two entries, admittedly in the lower reaches of the 200 songs voted for, but that’s still one more than Bob Dylan.) It would appear that the voters skewed towards the older end of the baby boomer demographic.

In fact, from a cursory glance, I can see only three entries post-1980. George Michael’s A Different Corner, Mike + the Mechanics’ The Living Years and Zoom by Fat Larry’s Band.

So, no appearances by The Smiths, Blur or Oasis, never mind Amy Winehouse, Beyonce or Ethel Cain (OK, a bit unlikely, I know, but her track A House in Nebraska is better than many on the list).

The Herald: Bohemian Rhapsody was No3Bohemian Rhapsody was No3 (Image: free)

All of which tells us what, exactly? That lists are lists, I guess. Some people will like them, some people will disagree vehemently with the results and some won’t care enough to vote.

In fact, according to the i, Boom’s poll was decided on the votes of 6200 people. That’s a low enough number to see a vote rigged by a determined fanbase. I’m expecting How I Wrote ‘Elastic Man’ by The Fall to be number one next year.

Later on Monday night William and Jim Reid, aka The Jesus and Mary Chain, were in conversation with Vic Galloway on Radio Scotland. Despite their reputation (which mostly dates to their riotous early days) the result was funny and at times rather sweet, especially when they were talking about their parents.

Now and again, though, they were pleasingly snotty and lived up to their (old) image.

“If it’s got the Mary Chain on the cover it’s going to sound like The Mary Chain,” Jim Reid pointed out at one point. “If we made a record with bagpipes it would sound like the Mary Chain. It’s just the way it works. It would be us hitting a bagpipe with a hammer or something like that.”


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At other points you could hear the insecurity behind the white noise. Both brothers talked about meeting their heroes, the Ramones and being too shy to talk to them.

“I sat next to Dee Dee Ramone at a party all night and I was trying to pluck up the courage,” Jim admitted. “I felt like Alan Bennett: ‘Ooh, give me a jammy dodger.’”

There’s still time for the Alan Bennett Jesus and Mary Chain musical, I reckon. Shall we vote on it?

Listen Out For:

Frank Bascombe: an American Life - The Sportswriter, Radio 4, tomorrow, 3pm

The first of four dramatisations of Richard Ford’s novel sequence to be broadcast across the year. Kyle Soller plays the title role in this adaptation of the first in the series, The Sportswriter. It’s one of those books that gets mentioned when people are talking about the great American novel. Can the radio version match it?