Kodály led to Bartók and Stravinsky. Radio 3 was a treasure trove: Christopher Hogwood; Tim Souster; Jazz Record Requests with Charles Fox, whose slim Jazz In Perspective I bought by mail order.
Late night radio from DJs such as John Curle, Mike Raven, John Peel, Pete Drummond and ‘Specialist Bob’ on AFN (American Forces Network) played music both esoteric and fashionable: Shirley and Dolly Collins, MJQ, Fairport Convention, Quintessence, Cannonball Adderley, Egg, White Noise … from acoustic blues to Bitches Brew. I enjoyed Julie Driscoll’s ‘This Wheel’s on Fire’, Colosseum and Jack Bruce’s angular songs for Cream.
Some great live bands toured small venues in the late 1960s, and Chesterfield’s ‘Velvet Underground’ club had them all: Jethro Tull, Family (my favourite), King Crimson, Blodwyn Pig. Through Tull’s Ian Anderson I discovered Roland Kirk’s ‘Serenade to a Cuckoo’ and borrowed a flute to learn the tune. I never saw Donovan, but enjoyed his live band with Harold McNair, who also played flute on CCA’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’, then the Top of the Pops theme tune.
The bigger bands played Sheffield City Hall; I organised coach trips to take 40 fellow schoolkids to see Traffic there, and the Incredible String Band. I discovered systems music via Terry Riley’s A Rainbow in Curved Air, and when Radio 3 played Steve Reich’s Piano Phase one night, Dad stuck his head round the door to see what was wrong with the radio.
Peter Clayton’s programme championed British jazz. My friend Albert Opalko had a Saturday job and bought all the cool records, including Michael Gibbs, The Soft Machine’s Volume Two and The Trio. Violet May’s record shop in Sheffield had jazz bargains, including Miles in the Sky and Eric Dolphy at the Five Spot.