What's Wrong With Janice Long?

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Written out of history? On his Go West thread, Robin C rightly noted that c.1985 she represented a particular wing of UK pop taste - Smiths, Bragg, crikey, Lloyd and the flipping Commotions for all I know. In other words, she was on the same side of the cultural field as Peel. I'm not going to say she's as historically important as Peel: but I believe that she was very important for a lot of people - forming taste, maybe helping form pop identity self-belief, too - in a certain period. So -

the pinefox, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Memories? (I know she's now on late night R2, and not exactly hitting the heights.)

the pinefox, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Well she was the popular indie voice that the Evening Session still offers. Which meant she played rubbish like the Mighty Lemon Drops as well as good stuff. Yeah - important enough. Just before my time, really.

N., Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

The Richard Skinner/Janice Long/Kid Jensen slot was always listenable as a bridge between the no-go area of daytime radio one and Peely. Good, but somehow tepid. I never got the feeling that any of them *understood* what was going on, but instead just fronted up whatever the (presumably) more clued-up producers wanted to play.

I once won a competition on air on the Richard Skinner show. It was live from Reading Uni at an Otway and Barrett gig. The competition was to find the best anagram of Otway and Barrett, and I won with "Barrett and Otway".

Dr. C, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Bizarrely, Simon Mayo was drafted in for a while in this slot. Then Mark Goodier, bless him.

N., Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

She used to read letters out that said, 'my music teacher says Simon Le Bon really can sing!' etc. Nowadays they would have a presenter saying, 'shut up, you twat!' I associate her with Yazoo, Bauhaus, and something Pinky and Perky-like called 'Fish heads'.

Peter Miller, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Not Foreheads in a Fishtank, Peter?

N., Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Ah yes, "Fishheads" by Barnes and Barnes. One of Annie Nightingale's pet "quirky" records (also Barry Andrews' "Win A Night Out With A Well-Known Paranoiac") with a dodgy tuppence video played to death on Whistle Test.

Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

'Fish Heads' is owned by Annie Nightingale - in my unreliable memory anyway. RE: Janice, I'm not sure she really *got* a lot of the music she was playing. Maybe this is patronising of me. She like lots of old guff like the Immaculate Fools etc etc. I heard her on Radio 2 the other night(the PF's subliminal PR for the station is obviously working) and she was rhapsodising about Fearghal Sharkey or something. Meh. Strangely, she is filed in the same part of my brane as Karen Grant from Brookside - early lust object/role model of mine. Strangely, because Long was neither lustworthy nor particularly admirable. Hmm.

Edna Welthorpe, Mrs, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

>>> Strangely, she is filed in the same part of my brane as Karen Grant from Brookside - early lust object/role model of mine.

This is just the kind of response I was hoping for...

the pinefox, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Dr. C is spot on regards the music.

I did like her though, like the amiable big sister I always wanted, with warm Scouse-lite accent. IIRC her departure caused something of a row after she became pregnant, but did Radio 1 actually dismiss her as a result?? Surely that’s illegal?

stevo, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

They are both Liverpudlians - Janice Long always used to stick up for Liverpool groups.

Peter Miller, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Forced out rather than dismissed IIRC - i.e. in typical BBC style "we're rescheduling you to [some wholly inappropriate time slot, once or twice a week], take it or leave it".

On her R2 page, Janice claims she did book most of the guests on her R1 show - but these may have been the topical bits/live guests rather than the sessions.

Jeff W, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

She also used to play a Chinese version of Anarchy in the UK and wonder aloud whether Chinese punks were allowed to dress up as punks.

Peter Miller, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

My memories of Ms Long come from a time before R1 - when she was booking the likes of Pete Wylie and China Crisis for Radio Merseyside sessions in the early 80s. I'm sure I still have a tape somewhere of her chuckling over the end of The Human League's "Love Action"... Phil's spoken-word bit must've tickled her. Cue awkward phone-in request section... "So, d'you fancy Phil Oakey then?" "[giggling in background] Erm, yerrado! I tink ees lush!".

I remember feeling quite proud when she was snatched up by national radio/TV (see also: Charles Lambert, Clive Tyldesley).

Michael Jones, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Full Speed Ahead Shepherd's Bush!!

the pinefox, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

karen grant -phwoar!

, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Yep Kags was tasty. Great voice too - "Ahm washin' me Huuuuuur!"

Dr. C, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

"Ahm gewing to Poly!"

N., Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

"Come 'ead Damon gerrout me room... NOW!"

Dr. C, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Those are all Jimmy Corkhill's mum. No, not Jimmy Corkhill, the other one.

Peter Miller, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I think the idea was that she would co-present the weekend breakfast show and, presumably, do lots of crappy forced banter with Bruno Brookes. She was right to leave it to the piddling Liz Kershaw, really.

Dr C gets it right: the bridge, the impossible balance, between P. Powell / B. Brookes and Peel. Awesome task, but it was pretty much the only way any of Peel's favourites could trickle into daytime.

Peter Miller hits on another key factor: all BBC programmes, as late as that, paid lip-service to what "establishment" figures would think. The 1990 Broadcasting Act ended all that, I think.

Also: Mike Read (of all people!) did that mid-evening slot before doing the breakfast show, about 1980.

Robin Carmody, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I present to you, by the power of the modern interweb, the Fish Head Project, featuring cult idm heroes Joseph Nothing of Planet-Mu, Tim Koch of Defocus Records, Setz (who as far as I know isn't signed but damn well should be - er, not on the evidence of this, check out Atvope or Ratifacts), and 40+ other headache-inducing granular retrigger-crazy Fish Heads remixes. The pinefox will almost certainly like none of them. Sorry, pinefox.

I assume this is the same song; it must be. Sorry not to offer any comment on Janice Long. I just thought people might want reminding of what a strange place the internet is.

Rebecca, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

No they're not, Peter, They're Kags.

Best early Brooky line was Jimmy Corkhill's "Come 'ead, come 'ead, 'ave me wife - only five quid!"

Dr. C, Thursday, 13 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I was thinking of Billy Corkhill's mum. I suppose she is also Jimmy Corkhill's mum. 'You keep yer hands off our Billy, Sheila Grant!' That kind of thing.

Peter Miller, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

owwwwwwwwen, where's my baaaaaybeh?
that's not her either is it? Janice Long used to do the original test broadcasts for XFM too, I remember being very excited at visiting my then girlfriends flat in Stamford Hill back in '93 so I could listen to a radio station that only played indie records, it was very good then, in fact I've still got a c90 full of it somewhere.

chris, Friday, 14 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Jance Long was the poor mans JOHN PEEL in the early eighties and her enthusiasm for the likes of the Microdisney and other runts of indie music was just plain embarassing. Have you heard her on Radio Two? YUK, nothings changed.

russell dixon, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Now come on we'll have no rudery about Microdisney. Just think, without them - no Fatima Mansions and no High Llamas. OK fair enough then.

Nearly all R1 DJs of that era were fundamentally Conservative, perhaps unsurprisingly so as the original '67 DJ intake was full of pirates pissed off after Tony Benn shut Caroline etc. down. Free enterprise and all that. R1 was certainly aiming at what would now be termed the core Radio 2 25-55 audience rather than what Derek Chinnery described as "unemployed student louts with no money to spend" and so the Top 40 for most of the '80s resembled a Radio 2 chart (and indeed daytime R1/2 playlists of the time were virtually interchangeable). The whole thing was a sew-up; I remember Paul Morley's damning remark about record companies who "will only allow a certain number of records to be hits throughout the year so that they can fill three compilation albums." I think JL probably was sincere in her tastes - she did attempt to start an XFM-style indie station in Liverpool (Crash FM?) which, erm, crashed - but has probably decided just to take the Queen's shilling and do what's necessary to pay the mortgage. "So that's 12 in a row from Katrina and the Waves; hope you enjoyed those, here's another 14 from the gorgeous Simple Minds . . ."

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Which reminds me - didn't Bruno Brookes actually visit Mrs T. in Downing Street? (cue lots of crappy "he's gone straight in at Number 10" jokes, no doubt)

Playlists interchangeable - yes, but only until c.1986 when Radio 2 abandoned contemporary music altogether and went straight for the traditional Light Programme audience (i.e. started doing all week what it does now on Sundays, not always badly, but based around that appalling "character" Derek "Do They Mean Us?" Jameson on the breakfast show). Hence the impasse both stations were in by the early 90s.

That's a classic Chinnery line, but is topped by Johnny Beerling saying that Long's leather shoes made her look like "a lesbian".

Robin Carmody, Monday, 17 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

two years pass...
I have been listening to JL a lot lately.

Her being on after midnight made me think, oh, she has the graveyard shift now - but then, no: she was always a late-night DJ, wasn't she?

She plays old music and it becomes possibly as much as twice as moving.

Even new music sometimes sounds good from her.

Last night she was pursuing the question of whether it was snowing anywhere in the UK.

the longfox, Wednesday, 28 January 2004 17:09 (nineteen years ago) link

Keith Chegwin's Sister.

mark grout (mark grout), Wednesday, 28 January 2004 17:16 (nineteen years ago) link

Janice Long's great. She plays exactly the type of music you want to hear late at night (not to challenging, just comforting, as you're snuggling up in bed type music. And the free choices she plays are great.

jellybean (jellybean), Wednesday, 28 January 2004 17:22 (nineteen years ago) link

did she not have some sort of nervous breakdown at one point? the karen and shelia grant linkage upthread is otm.

jed_ (jed), Wednesday, 28 January 2004 18:33 (nineteen years ago) link

This is a great thread for reading backwards (or upwards).

PJ Miller (PJ Miller), Wednesday, 28 January 2004 19:00 (nineteen years ago) link

So that she ends up Written Out Of History?

the longfox, Wednesday, 28 January 2004 20:17 (nineteen years ago) link

"She also used to play a Chinese version of Anarchy in the UK and wonder aloud whether Chinese punks were allowed to dress up as punks"

THE DRAGONS!!!
they also did a great version of Get off my cloud

Jens (brighter), Thursday, 29 January 2004 11:35 (nineteen years ago) link

It's not the type of music I want to hear at night in bed. We prefer having Ayler or Brotzmann blasting out, because skronk goes better with sex.

Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 29 January 2004 11:37 (nineteen years ago) link

let's get it SSSKKKROONNNKKKK HHHHONNNKKKKKKKKK on....

how romantic

disgusted of Chigwell, Thursday, 29 January 2004 12:39 (nineteen years ago) link

it is for us.

Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 29 January 2004 13:10 (nineteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
R2, the other night: Bob H in for Richard Allinson. 11:45, Janice comes on the line - from Birmingham, is it? - to entice us towards her midnight show. She talks of how Belle & Sebastian played a session for her the previous night and her mother loves them. Bob H: yeah, they're really.... *great*, aren't they...

Bob H closes the show with Duran Duran live at the Brits, material just arrived at the studio!

Janice later plays the obscure Boss track 'Sad Eyes'.

One possible conclusion I draw: B&S have become a R2 band.

the bellefox, Thursday, 19 February 2004 14:42 (eighteen years ago) link

B&S have become a R2 band.

good, i say ban that annoying twee "cuckoo" single from 6 Music !

DJ Martian (djmartian), Thursday, 19 February 2004 14:46 (eighteen years ago) link

How about the world music version?

the bellefox, Thursday, 19 February 2004 14:52 (eighteen years ago) link

seven months pass...
Did anyone hear her on Popmaster?

She was smashing. Knew obscure answers instantly, like a real disc jockey.

the bellefox, Friday, 24 September 2004 14:50 (eighteen years ago) link

one month passes...
Last night, touching to hear to hear talk of an old partner: R1, TotP ('I'll only do it with Janice'), etc. When she spoke to Pete Wylie (sp?) and his voice rang with bereft scouse lamentations, her instinct to murmur motherly comfort sprang truer than ever.

the bellefox, Wednesday, 27 October 2004 14:12 (eighteen years ago) link

Yeah, she was lovely. Talking about their trip to Japan and stuff. I went to sleep just after she played 'Stood On Gold'.

Alba (Alba), Wednesday, 27 October 2004 14:16 (eighteen years ago) link


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