The history of Country music on BBC national broadcasting goes back to the 1940s when all the bandleaders had their photographs up the main staircase at Bush House when it was referred to as hillbilly music. The BBC turned to their top specialist presenter, Bob Harris after his days on Radio One presenting very listenable late night music. He carried the iconic music through onto television with the Old Grey Whistle Test where he was introducing the nation to the Country rock sounds of Poco, The Eagles, The Byrd’s and Pure Prairie League, highlighting their lead singer, Vince Gill, New Riders Of The Purple Sage, the legendary Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris to name a few. Whispering Bob Harris was still carrying the nickname from the early days and he became the voice of Country music in the UK where stars and newcomers alike all accepted invitations to guest on his Thursday night show.
Voted International Broadcaster for 2004 by the CMA, he also appeared on the panel of the Americana Music Awards in 2008 and he gained a Fellowship at the University of Northampton. Bob Harris describes Nashville as his spiritual home and, with visits to Austin and the clubs of North Carolina, a close run second.