Sunday, 21 February 2010

Lost Morecambe and Wise shows turn up in garage!

Perhaps the most exciting news I've heard this week concerning vintage recordings is BBC Radio 4's plan to broadcast some Morecambe and Wise sketches unheard for over half a century.

A victim of the BBC's yesteryear policy of not retaining programmes , these early recordings dating back to the early 1950s were recovered when Ernie Wise's widow Doreen decided to clear out her garage before moving house.

Doreen discovered hidden in old fruit boxes and a red suitcase was more than 45 hours of recordings of the early Morecambe and Wise recordings on acetate discs and reel-to-reel tapes, featuring sketches, songs, speeches and radio performances.

The recordings were passed on to Eric and Ernie's former agents who in turn contacted production company Whistledown to see what could be done with them.

Highlights from these recordings be broadcast on Radio 4 in an hour-long programme, Morecambe and Wise: The Garage Tapes on May 4 2010. Excerpts from the pair's first radio show You're Only Young Once, made between November 1953 and June 1954 and featured guests including Bob Monkhouse and Harry Secombe. The programme will be presented by Jon Culshaw.

Apparently Eric and Ernie (then rising stars) had to give the Studio engineer a few shillings at the time to obtain the recordings, it seems that historically their investment has finally paid off.

See the Daily Mail report for further reading!

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