Going On The Record

Tuning In To Ted – The Surprise Discoveries

Ted Farmer pictured on Wolves’ long 1963 tour of America and Canada.

You think you know someone and then you hear them on a personal slot on the radio and you learn so much more!

I was sure Elvis would have been one of Ted Farmer’s musical favourites and he and various other Rock ‘N Roll legends would rank high on his dream play-list.

Apparently not, though, on the evidence of the former Wolves centre-forward’s appearance on the Inside Tracks programme on Wolverhampton-based WCR.

We have recently obtained a recording of the hour-long show in question and were surprised by Ted’s choices, which presumably had presenter Pete Whitehouse and the programme’s producers digging deep.

‘Sing As We Go’ by Gracie Fields kicked off his line-up – and, as a new-born almost at the start of the war, he referred to her and another late dame, Vera Lynn, as two of the talents who did much to lift British morale.

Although the interviewee made no mention of the Three Tenors’ association with Italia 90, ‘Nessun Dorma’ was in there, too, as were ‘Golden Days’ by Mario Lanza and the 1960 Johnny Mathis recording, ‘Oh That Feeling’.

Songs from the shows featured prominently in Ted’s list and offerings from both Gigi and Madame Butterfly came accompanied by recollections of stage performances he has attended with his wife, Vicky.

Inside Tracks guests are encouraged to offer reasons for their choices of music and there was a nice explanation for Farmer’s selection of the 1969 song, ‘Love Is All I Have To Give’, by Malcolm Roberts. “It was while I was running a sports shop,” he recalled. “There was a chap working in it who we had back for tea after a working day and we were eating one night when this song came on the radio. We had to put our knives and forks down to listen properly.”

The three other songs might be classed as more commercial or at least more popular…..’Smile’ by Nat King Cole (“from when I was 17 or 18 and your hormones are alive and you recognise what’s around”), The Platters’ version of ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes’ and, as a predictable final fling, Frank Sinatra’s recording of ‘My Way’.

Ted (left) in more recent years with friend and former team-mate John Harris.

Wolverhampton Community Radio (101.8FM) is based just off the Newhampton Road close to Molineux and has former BBC WM sports editor and BBC Radio Shropshire station manager Tim Beech as one of its presenters.

We at Wolves Heroes plan to use our friends at the station to look at the musical interests of another absolute Wanderers legend in the coming weeks.

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