Bob Harris first became known as the face of the 1970s live music TV show The Old Grey Whistle Test and his infectious enthusiasm for music and ability to discover new talent has seen him become a national treasure. He continues to be a household name today and his velvety voice can be heard on Radio 2's The Bob Harris Show and Bob Harris Country.
In this fully revised and updated autobiography, with a forward by Robert Plant, Bob tells his story of over 40 years of broadcasting with the BBC, from the young, passionate music fan who moved to London determined to make music his life, to being presented with an OBE for his services to music broadcasting. Much like his musical heroes, Bob's personal life has had somewhat of a rock 'n' roll vibe: he has been married three times, gone bankrupt, fought cancer, weathered a very public spat with a fellow DJ and has had to revamp his career four times. Throughout all these times, however, his love of music and talent for broadcasting has endured.
The Whispering Years is a frank, vibrant and inspiring tale of one of the most influential names on the radio and reveals the story of the man behind the voice. Known affectionately as Whispering Bob due to his softly spoken voice, Bob Harris has worked in broadcasting since the 1970s, when he was the face of the live music show Old Grey Whistle Test. He co-founded Time Out magazine, has written books, newspaper articles and magazine columns, produced records and worked with some of the biggest names in music.
Anyone with even a passing interest in music is going to love this book, especially as it really lifts the lid off of a well-respected personality that you think you know. 'Whisperin' Bob', all laid back, mellow and 'really nice vibes'. Well think again; 3 wives, 8 children, a near-death experience and a feud with a fellow Radio One DJ are just the tip of the very deep iceberg that is the real Bob Harris.
Add to this decades of being in the deep end of an ever-changing music scene and you are in for a great read.
Narration is first-class, and keeps you engaged and entertained all the way along.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Fantastic narrator and wonderful book. Loved it. What a life Bob Harris has had. Incredible
Listening to Rintoul’s performance of this book is unbearably reminiscent of Steve Coogan’s performance as Alan Partridge in the sublime”I, Partridge” though this is not helped by Harris’ tedious hyperbole. So many people or experiences were described “one of the most (adjective) I’ve ever experienced/known” that it becomes funny after a while, then unbearable a while after that. Not only that but there were several moments in the telling of this story that I assumed the next words were going to be “needless to say, I had the last laugh”.
The early history was wonderful the rest was information, but I'm so glad Bob is still with us!
Quite interesting most of the time, but lost the story thread of the human characters a lot, in pursuit of facts about musicians.
If you like facts you'll probably enjoy it more than me.