Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

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ian b
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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by ian b »

It's 12 from the Sound Archives...

1.28: 11-10-49 the dinner gong - the motor show
1.30: 25-10-49 fortune-telling - the lighthouse
1.31: 01-11-49 salesmen - the will
1.32: 08-11-49 the dog - the old lady issued on cassette
1.33: 15-11-49 The argument - Father Christmas
1.34: 22-11-49 Kitty's dream - the forgers issued on cassette
1.36: 06-12-49 the new secretary - the school issued on cassette
1.42: 17-01-50 house-keeping - the film star
2.01: 21-09-50 back from holiday - the private enquiry office issued on cassette
5.27: 01-04-54 The daily help
9.05: 24-10-58 cigarette coupons
10.21: 29-01-60 the pay rise



Then these were added to the repeat list...

9.02: 03-10-58 the new secretary
9.04: 17-10-58 the loan
9.06: 31-10-58 body-building
9.11: 05-12-58 work's new dress code
9.15: 02-01-59 not married
9.17: 16-01-59 Baron Ted 300th show
9.18: 23-01-59 the camera
9.19: 30-01-59 the French visitor
9.20: 06-02-59 Ted, the fountain of energy
9.21: 13-02-59 chickens



And, for the record, these are the remaining 9th series episodes - of which we'll hopefully get a few...

9.22: 20-02-59 Ted the mariner
9.23: 27-02-59 the dress-makers dummy
9.24: 06-03-59 The stamp
9.25: 13-03-59 cider-making
9.26: 20-03-59 the horoscope


(The titles are my descriptors. The scripts I've seen don't carry titles, and only most of series 6 and the latter half of series 11 had titles in the Radio Times).

Mark
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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by Mark »

Thanks, I missed out 1/33 for some reason.

Looking at Genome, there were a few repeats in the 70's/80's, but nothing other than those on the list, so maybe that is it, of the pre-series 9 episodes.
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ian b
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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

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Yes, repeats would usually be drawn from what was held in the Sound Archives - which obviously limited exactly could be pulled out for a re-airing.

IIRC it wasn’t until R4’s SMASH Of THE DAY had pretty exhausted the obvious titles that R4 had to go to Transcription Services to provide longer runs of a programme.

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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by Mark »

Yes, I recorded the very last "Clitheroe Kid", "What's Welsh For Trouble", from that time, which exists only as a TS.

It's mentioned in a book that "Ray's A Laugh" was very successful overseas, so I suppose it depends when they started TS recordings for the series, although if there were any, 4ex would have started with the earlier ones.

Laughterlog mentions that some of the original TS recordings for "Take It From Here" were disposed of, but Australian copies exist.
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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by stearn »

AFAIK there was a ground zero for TS in 1955. Some earlier programmes were re-issued in later series, but on the whole it is programmes form the mid 50s onwards. I believe this was in part driven by the move to smaller 12" and 10" discs from the very cumbersome 16" that was more common for transcription recordings beforehand, and what was perceived as having runs its commercial life

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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by Mark »

Thanks for that!

So, there should be a fair few of "Ray's A Laugh" from series 9 onwards, anyway, that's good news.
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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by stearn »

I was talking in general rather than the specific holdings of Ray's A Laugh. I haven't looked into what was taken by TS for that series.

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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by Mark »

Oh yes, I realised you meant in general, but just applying it to "Ray's A Laugh", 4ex repeated the Sound Archives episodes ( as mentioned by Ian) and when they moved on to the TS recordings they started with the (58/59 series) suggesting they are the earliest ones surviving.

Having said that, shouldn't some from the 55-58 period survive, if they are on the smaller discs?
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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by stearn »

The earliest TS catalogue pages I have refer to the 10th anniversary of the programme in 1959 and there are a 14 half hours available in the package (no details of the shows). It seems a little odd that it wasn't picked up by TS earlier than that, but usually there are references to other available packages on the catalogue pages and I can't see any. Perhaps it just wasn't deemed suitable for overseas audiences.

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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by Mark »

That's very interesting, thanks.

There is a mention in the book ,'Broadcasting Empire: The BBC And The World', it says shows like "TIFH" and "RAL" became very successful overseas, ("Much Binding" became a 'religion in Australia') so presumably its the 58/59 "RAL" editions onwards it refers to.

Also says that "The Goon Show" was taken from 1956, so that fits the mid-50's smaller discs that you mention.

Perhaps "Floggits" wasn't offered, which would explain the 4 or 5 that exist ( from the Sound Archive).

Anyway, it's a shame there doesn't seem to be more of the earlier "RAL" shows, all those lost Peter Sellers performances.
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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by ian b »

No...
ian b wrote:9.22: 20-02-59 Ted the mariner
But the 4th August we’ll get...
9.23: 27-02-59 the dress-makers dummy

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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by Mark »

Shame about "Ted The Mariner" (sounds like he hires or buys a boat for a holiday or something).

Sunday's episode was very good, It sounds like they have room for the odd ad-lib, Connor with 'Your ears are drooping, they always did!', and Ray replies 'Don't get personal', adds to the fun.

Connor and Ray were obviously a hit with listeners, as their sketch together in the 58 "Christmas Night With The Stars" proves.
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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by ian b »

Another jump on 11th August to 9/25: cider-making.


If we get 9/26, then that would make a total of 14 ninth series episodes in total, which would tie in with Stearn's comment about TS offring fourteen shows, (albeit one is from the Sound Archives in this case, but maybe R4X didn't think it worth broadcasting the TS version of it).

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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by stearn »

It is quite possible that the edition held in the Sound Archive is actually a TS disc. This was certainly the case for a number of plays and some editions of TIFH that I saw years ago

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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by Mark »

I didn't know that...that complicates things a bit.

In this case ("RAL") though, I'm pretty sure 9/5 in the sound archive is the full edition, so likely to be one of those instances of both versions surviving.
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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by stearn »

You are probably right. Going back to my notes, the sound archive copy has a tape number, so it highly unlikely to be from TS. Usually the stuff held in the sound archive from TS was on disc.

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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by Mark »

Would "Ted Ray Time" be listed separately ? ( even though it's the same series) a rare example of a brief change of title.

The same trick pulled on "Educating Archie", briefly as "Archie's The Boy".

( The only TV example that springs to mind is "Sez Les", becoming "Les Sez" for the 72 series).
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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by Brock »

Mark wrote:Would "Ted Ray Time" be listed separately ? ( even though it's the same series) a rare example of a brief change of title.
Wasn't series 3 of ITMA re-titled "It's That Sand Again"?

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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by ian b »

Mark wrote:Would "Ted Ray Time" be listed separately ? ( even though it's the same series) a rare example of a brief change of title.
No - different format entirely, (yeah, I know the first few series of RAY’S A LAUGH aren’t exactly similar to the sitcom-like later runs...), and Audrey Jeans not playing Kitty.


The same trick pulled on "Educating Archie", briefly as "Archie's The Boy".
That was an attempt to move the format on, with Archie having outgrown “education,” not altogether successfully hence the following series reverting back to type.

In both cases the following series’ scripts don’t include the differently titled runs as part of the numbering, (eg: the series nine episodes currently on R4X are tagged “Series Nine” and not the tenth series.)

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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by Mark »

Oh yes, I see what you mean, it seems to be more of a variety show ( judging by Genome).

I suppose an exception to the separate series numbering would be "The TV Lark", as it is part of the series narrative.
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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by ian b »

THE TV LARK only counts when they wanted it to round up to a certain "important" number.

IIRC those shows aren't included in the numbering for the 100th NAVY LARK, but are when they celebrate the 200th edition.


Anyhow, RAY'S A LAUGH on 18th August is 9/26 The Horoscope.

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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by Mark »

Ah, thanks, underrated series, I thought, not as good as the main one, certainly, but amusing enough.

Good news about 9/26, so that is the TS collection for series 9, then.
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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by ian b »

A return to more “new” episodes from the 1959 series of A LIFE OF BLISS will follow on from RAY’S A LAUGH.

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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by Mark »

Short and sweet, but hopefully won't be too long before there's some more.
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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

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ian b wrote:9.02: 03-10-58 the new secretary
9.04: 17-10-58 the loan
This pair, the first of the fourteen ninth series shows issued by Transcription Services, are number 62 and 63 - so it looks like 61 earlier shows also made it out.

If we assume a similar hit-rate as series nine of shows thought suitable for overseas, then that could mean RAY'S A LAUGH was taken by TS from series five.

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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by stearn »

If there were 61 editions issued by TS before those, they were issued prior to the cull at Transcription Services in the mid 50s and don't appear on the main catalogue once it was restarted. Numbers 62-89 do, but there are no details of episode titles. Edition 70 includes Jimmy Lavall, and 84 is a Christmas edition.

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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by Mark »

Edition 70 must be 9/19, which must mean that 9/5 in the Sound Archive, does also exist as a TS.
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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by stearn »

Not necessarily - there is no reason for the editions issued by TS to match to original running order or even the same series. It all came down to what would sell overseas, edit to the right length easily and possibly what might be a good episode to sell another batch of shows, a bit like what was bunged on VHS releases of yesteryear - a well known ep with two others that were not quite so remembered - that way you got people to buy all the videos.

I'll see if I can pin down titles if I get a bit of time

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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by Mark »

Ah right, looks like there are 5 episodes with Jimmy Lavall.

Certainly makes it more complicated, fascinating though.
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Re: Ray's a Laugh - new to 4 Extra

Post by ian b »

Mark wrote:Certainly makes it more complicated...
Certainly! I can only scratch the surface of TS selection and numbering, but I've learned that you really can't go by logic to try to fill in any gaps.

The full TS runs for both THE GOON SHOW and HANCOCK'S HALF-HOUR can be found with a bit of searching, and there are some examples some of as-UK-transmission-order-maybe-with-shows-dropped-as-unsuitable interrupted with a show from earlier in the same run, or even a series before.

There's a whole book to be written about the Transcription Services, and I expect Stearn will be the one to write it...

fascinating though.
Isn't it just! Esoteric, but interesting...

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