The powerful and heart-warming moment a daughter first heard a song composed by her father more than 50 years ago and recorded by music students, has been nominated for a national radio broadcasting award.
After issuing an appeal for local musicians to help re-record the lullaby dad Brian Teasdale Senior had written for her when she was a baby, Karen Robson’s emotional reaction to ‘Little Girl’ being played on BBC Radio Newcastle is up for ‘Radio Times Moment of the Year’ at the 2022 Audio and Radio Industry Awards (ARIAs).
With prolific poet and songwriter Brian, 89, now receiving end of life care, Karen was moved to tears after hearing the new version which mixed his original vocals with the work of music students studying a University of Sunderland foundation degree in partnership with Sunderland College.
Hoping to reassure him that he and his life’s work would be remembered, Karen called Gilly Hope’s morning show to urge anyone able to restore some of Brian’s music – in particular, Little Girl, which had deteriorated over time – to come forward.
The staff and students at Sunderland College heard about the story and reworked some of the recording which received a huge reaction from listeners who flooded the station with requests to buy the song.
Music lecturer at Sunderland College, Tony Wilson, used his extensive links within the industry to secure a record deal and, in December 2021, David Smith from Durham-based Sapien Records released the track as a digital download.
After the nomination was announced, Tony said:
“From the start when we answered Karen’s appeal, we knew this was a responsibility rather than a project. We were aware straight away that we only had one chance to get this right, not just for us but for Karen, her family and for Brian in particular.
“We all listened to the show live as it went out and, to be honest, we all sat and cried together, as we know so many others did. The track is playing all over the world now and we are so proud of the sheer selflessness of our students.
“I am in regular contact with Karen to find out how her dad is doing, and we are still constantly amazed by the response and reaction to the song. For it to be nominated for Moment of the Year is overwhelming.”
The students who recorded the song, under the name Brian and the Buttercups, are studying at Sunderland College as part of their Foundation Degree in Applied Music Practice with the University of Sunderland. They are Nova Brown, Katie Chambers, Nathan Clark, Connor Dixon, Alex Harris, Tia Kyriakides, Caitlin McLaren, Jamie Rankcom, Louis Robinson, Dominic Robson, Grace Vickers-Stephenson and John Wright.
Shortly after recording the song last year, Tia said:
“We knew it was something so special and important to Brian and his family and we were honoured to be trusted with such an important task. That’s what music is all about, bringing people together.
“We wanted to keep it as close as possible to the original version, so that it was fully dedicated to Brian, but we had so much fun putting our own little twists and turns on it.”
The Moment of the Year, in partnership with Radio Times magazine and RadioTimes.com, is the only category in the ARIAs voted for by the public. Voting is open now until 11:59pm on 24 April 2022 with the winners announced on Tuesday 3 May at the Adelphi Theatre in London.
Visit www.radiotimes.com/audio/radio/radio-arias-vote-2022/ to cast your vote.
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