The Radio Times

The BBC’s Genome site is the new digital archive of the Radio Times (the BBC’s publication of its radio and television listings), between 1923 and 2009 in particular. A quick search for John Ireland brings up lots of interesting hits. For example, this recital on 27 March 1925, a long and lovely programme of music embracing different aspects of Ireland’s life and works, was relayed from the Engineers’ and Ship-builders’ Institute:


  1. Phantasy Trio in A Minor
  2. Spring Sorrow; The Heart’s Desire; Hope the Hornblower
  3. The Island Spell; Chelsea Reach; Ragamuffin
  4. Violin Sonata No. 1 in D Minor
  5. The Bells of San Marie; If There Were Dreams to Sell; I Have Twelve Oxen
  6. Amberley Wild Brooks; The Holy Boy; On a Birthday Morning

While some of the entries corroborate known recitals and information in other databases such as Times online, there are some new revelations, for example a broadcast on 29 March 1926 which featured a young violinist called Daisy Kennedy in the Second Violin Sonata.


Kennedy (1893–1981) was born in South Australia, winning a scholarship to the Elder Conservatorium of Music in Adelaide. She then left to study in Vienna and Prague with Otakar Ševčík, before settling in England in 1912. Her first husband was the Russian pianist Benno Moiseiwitsch,  her second the poet and dramatist John Drinkwater. According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography entry, Kennedy possessed a brilliant technique and striking stage presence, and was much admired for her innovative repertoire. The New York Times praised her ‘breadth of style’, ‘powerful tone’, and ‘certainty of intonation’. In 1927 she caused a stir when she publicly complained of insufficient rehearsal time for a Promenade Concert engagement in London. In the late 1920s Kennedy concentrated on her role as wife and mother. She performed less often, although in 1932 she formed the Kennedy Trio with her cousin, the cellist Lauri Kennedy, and his pianist wife Dorothy McBride. She ended her career as  the conductor and leader of a light orchestra at the Regent Palace Hotel in London.



One comment on “The Radio Times

  1. The BBC Genome project is a real treasure trove of information, though sadly programme details for many broadcasts are very scanty. This particular programme was an early outside broadcast by the Glasgow station of the British Broadcasting Company, 5SC, from a building that is now the administrative headquarters of Scottish Opera, shown here:…1567.13639.0.16190.….0…1ac.1.64.img..29.15.887.b7HGMuJbBu0#imgrc=zNlFBiF5AqyrCM%3A

    The hall on the top floor of the Institute was quite often used for recitals in those days and is now used for opera rehearsals. 5SC, under its first station manager Herbert Carruthers – himself a remarkable musician – was certainly one of the most musically adventurous of the BBC’s stations round the country.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s