Music Box

Music Box ran from 1958 until 1967 and was one of several well-remembered shows occupying the 10 a.m. slot on the Light Programme, hitherto occupied predominently by theatre organ programmes. Initially, it featured one of several small ensembles, such as the Billy Mayerl Rhythm Ensemble, Cecil Norman and the Rhythm Players and Sidney Davey and his Players. By 1959 it had its own resident group, The Charlie Katz Novelty Sextet, with a guest instrumentalist or singer (sometimes both).

It also acquired a resident presenter, Tim Gudgin, whose humorous ( seemingly unscripted) interactions with the players added to the charm of the programme, as did the distinctive high pitched laugh of Charlie Katz - a fine violinist who, as a 'fixer' was one of the most powerful men in the music business.

The series spawned two long-playing records entitled 'Every Tuesday 10.a.m. Music Box'. They began and ended with the programme's signature tune 'The Pied Piper' - played on the ocarina! There was a special 'last ever show' in 1963 but public demand soon brought it back and it ran on until 1967, when the Light Programme became Radio 2, and several light music shows ended. 

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Text by Brian Reynolds : e-mail brian@mastersofmelody.co.uk