BBC Radio 2 celebrates Old Grey Whistle Test’s 40th anniversary with 16-part series

Bob Harris (pictured here on the Old Grey Whistle Test set) is hosting BBC Radio 2’s 16-part retrospective on the program.

By John Curley

BBC Radio 2 is broadcasting a 16-part series that looks back on the legendary BBC-TV live music series Old Grey Whistle Test. This is the 40th anniversary of the start of the program, which was broadcast from 1971 to 1987. The series is being hosted by Bob Harris, who was one of the presenters on the program. (There are DVDs available from the BBC featuring performances from the program. They’re well worth picking up.)

The first program in the series, which covers 1971-72, has already been broadcast and is available for on-demand listening on the BBC Radio 2 Web site. Archive performances from Alice Cooper, Curtis Mayfield, and David Bowie are featured on the first program as is a new live session from Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens). To hear it, go to and click the “Listen now” audio link. The program is 60 minutes in length. There are four days left from today (Saturday, August 27th) to listen to the first program before it is removed from the Web site.

New programs in the series will be broadcast on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. BST (5 p.m. Eastern in the United States). After the broadcast, each program will be available for on-demand listening for seven days via the link above.

For more on the series and to hear a preview of it, go to


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