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300th spin for vinyl vault, reliving music’s one hit wonders

By John Lewis

If you ever get talking with Matt Dowling or Anthony Brophy about one hit wonders and the forgotten songs of pop - set aside an hour or two.

What they don't know about obscure ditties and Countdown hits of yesteryear could be written on the label of a 45rpm vinyl.

Here's Matt Dowling on the 1975 hit Una Paloma Blanca by George Baker and its link to the United States criminal Gary Gilmore who demanded his own execution in 1977.

“Interesting story - when Gary Gilmore was being driven to his execution, that was the song playing on the truck radio - and the guard was about to turn the radio off but Gilmore told him to leave it on, so that was the last song he heard before he was shot."

For the past eight years Matt and Anthony (Broph to his mates) have tossed this sort of thing around on Broph's Vinyl Vault on Matt's ABC radio weekday breakfast show.

Yesterday marked the 300th time listeners have heard the creaking door straight after the 7.30am news slot which signals a piece of musical nostalgia is about to hit the airwaves.

Pop songs from the past five or even six decades are dragged out of the archives every Tuesday morning and given a whirl preceded by a chat about the meaning or the making of the song.

And the segment often drags up forgotten memories for listeners.

“We get comments - texts and emails and from people you run into, sometimes weeks later. People say it reminds them of their dad, or their youth. People say they pull over to the side of the road to listen,” Matt says.

“Yeah Love is All by Ronnie James Dio was a good one, oh and Roger Whitaker's The Last Farewell - that got a strong reaction,” Broph says.

Matt admits that not all Vinyl Vault segments are live to air.

“Sometimes we pre-record but we prefer to do it live. We recorded four in a row once when Broph had a sniffle and it sounded like he had the flu for a month.”

So will we hear the 500th episode from the vault?

“In radio we're taught to renew and regenerate, but you know I do think that if something works then don't stop it. We've done 300 shows - but do I think we've exhausted the amount of potential songs out there? The funny things is, of course we haven't,” Matt says.

Do they have a personal favourite?

“Well I do love David Soul's Silver Lady from 1977. That was a classic you don't hear much of these days. He was Starsky in Starsky and Hutch.”

This is too much for Broph.

“No he was Hutch. Ken Hutchison. Actually, his real name was David Soulberg, if you really want to know..."

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