Fans of vintage music in Eastbourne are in for a rare treat from today (1 May) as nostalgia radio station Angel Radio is broadcast across the town on the DAB digital radio airwaves for a fortnight to celebrate the life and work of Bing Crosby.
This year marks the 85th anniversary of Bing's first solo radio performance and 3 May would have been his 113th birthday. Angel Radio will pay tribute to the performer who was widely perceived to be the first artist to embrace radio, television and film.
Throughout the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, Bing achieved phenomenal radio ratings, record sales and Hollywood film studio revenues. His legacy lives on with three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Angel Radio will focus on the man and his music with two weeks' worth of special programming dedicated to Bing including his vintage radio shows from the 1940s. Bing's work influenced many of the great vocalists including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Perry Como.
A special radio licence has been granted to Angel to broadcast its tribute to Bing Crosby, which means its unique radio service will be heard on DAB digital radio in Eastbourne. Listeners will need to select the 'Pop Up Radio' channel in order to hear the special broadcast by Angel Radio. All programmes are also available online.
Angel Radio is a nostalgia and information radio station staffed by over 70 volunteers, most of whom are of the same vintage as the music they play. The station plays music from the 1920s to the early 1960s together with information and stimulation for the over 60s and, although its programmes are aimed at the older generation, it is also popular with younger people who are into all things retro.
Listeners across the UK will be able to phone in free of charge to request their favourite vintage records from Angel's unique library of over 138,000 recordings. The station started life as an experimental community radio station in 2002 and is the longest running of all UK community stations. Angel Radio is a multi-award winning registered charity and broadcasts to thousands of listeners across South Hampshire on FM and DAB digital radio from its based in Havant, Hants. The station features 92 year-old Audrey Anderson who presents 3 shows every week.
Special Bing Crosby programmes during the broadcast will include documentaries about his life, his song writers, his films and his lesser known recordings.
Tony Smith, founder and station manager of Angel Radio, said: "I'm so pleased to be able to share our love of Bing Crosby and the other, often forgotten, stars of the past with appreciative listeners all over the country. We have the radio transmission company, Arqiva, to thank for making this 'once in a lifetime' celebration possible. I'm sure the fortnight will bring reminiscence therapy to everyone who tunes in."