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Thank you to Bugle for offering history for our tomorrows

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: January 01, 2014

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THE three excellent articles by Ian Henery in The Bugle in December regarding the Black Country dialect and its people was prompted by his own response and that from Dr U Clark and myself from Aston University.

It also made me think about another platform that can be used to promote the region and its people.

Several months ago I and my partner in RoosterSpake Laurence Lozz Hipkiss were approached by the Black Country Community Radio station to host a show that encompassed what we acknowledged as part of our own work.

Those who know me as Billy Spakemon and us both as Billy and Lozz from our radio and TV appearances will know we are involved in a diverse set of projects from recording (Lozz records local performers) to publishing, organising events and heading various projects as collaborators.

We took the idea of splitting a show so that Lozz could showcase not only the talents of local performers but also his own flavour for music. My show would look more at the Black Country in a socio-cultural historical way.

Your readers therefore may be interested to know of the Omma n'Chain Show (after a folk club we ran ).

It is used not only to play excellent music but we alternate hosting the shows so one can platform everything that can raise the profile of people who work and perform in our region.

Lozz not only uses performers from the region but brings his own varied taste in music to the audience so they can listen to the likes of Nick Drake, Ry Cooder, Nic Jones, Karine Polwart among others.

I have always said when listening to his voice he is the Black Country's answer to Bob Harris.

With Lozz handling the music (although he does feature other stuff) my half of the Omma deals more with the written and spoken word. The focal point of each show is the showcase which features a member of the community either talking about their work as a creative performer (also contributing pieces of that work), or members of such groups as historical societies, theatre groups, archives and so on. The idea of this part is unashamedly taken from our Brummie mucker Carl Chinn's BBC Radio WM show that was unfortunately taken off air earlier in the year.

Carl has been my personal mentor for many years and the bloke I blame for putting me through eight years of study for my doctorate. I was working in the flooring trade when he first convinced me to take it on and subsequently when the business folded gave me confidence to take on the academic world.

Based in Netherton, the idea is that if there are any poets, singer songwriters, members of organisations who want to air their work or talk about what they do then please send your work in or contact details and we can get them on to future shows.

As The Bugle is seen as the voice of the people in a written sense the Black Country Community Radio can become the voice in an audio sense. Any books, CDs. recordings can be sent to me at 123 Tower Road, Tividale, B69 1NF. Please enclose an email or contact number.

Thanks to The Bugle and staff for their continued work with regard to offering history to tomorrow and good luck in all future ventures.

Billy Spakemon,

(Dr B Dakin).

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