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Lives in Music


Oct 1, 2019

'And then, Bill Haley and the Comets arrived with Rock Around the Clock' and that was the end for Big Bands...'

Older (and not so old) UK readers of these notes will remember the TV show Bullseye, which was made first by ATV and then by Central TV. This Lives in Music episode features the man who dashed off the theme for that show. Twenty five years on, he still gets royalties for Bullseye - and his other TV theme compositions. The show survives on repeat on one of Sky's remoter TV channels. 
So repeat fees still land in John Patrick's account.

I first met John when I started work in the 70s at the first commercial radio station in Birmingham, BRMB. John was on the board. At that time, he was also the music director at ATV/Central. And he wrote the very first BRMB jingle package - The Sound Way To Spend Your Day, which you can hear in full on this launchday audio clip.  

But that's really not more than a footnote in John's career. He is now well into his ninth decade; he still plays. He's had a long career as musician, composer, Musicians Union official, broadcast exec and more. But his particular perspective is very interesting - he was making music professionally before rock and roll arrived to upset the apple cart. And his entire career has been framed by the adjustments that tastes and new technology have brought to the life of a working musician. Ironically, that led to him hanging with Frank Sinatra in Vegas. Not at all bad for a local boy. 

The Lives in Music series celebrates people who have spent a lifetime in music. They may be famous; they may be people who have spent their lives working in the background for the love of it. They all have stories.

The theme music for this series is by Big Q Fish. 'Boksburg Jive Toon' was written by Brian Neil, and recorded at the Jam House, Birmingham, in 2017.

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