In 2018, my radio programme Ben’s Country Music Show celebrated its 10th anniversary. That’s over 1000 hours of radio written, recorded and produced over the decade since 2008. I’ve had a fantastic time over the last ten years, playing some of my favourite music, making friends and travelling all over the UK and the USA. You can find out more about the programme below.
Each week Ben’s Country Music Show features the latest music from the USA and UK, mixed in with country classics and live sessions. Ben brings you the latest news from Nashville, This Week in Country Music and both the Billboard country album and airplay charts.
The show began life on 103 The Eye, a community radio station serving Melton Mowbray and the Vale of Belvoir and the first in the UK to be awarded a five-year licence by the government. To that end, it is the oldest community radio station in the UK. For the first couple of years, I presented the show live each week, sometimes with a guest presenter and often with a full country band squeezed into the tiny studio…. it was always great fun! After moving to Lincoln to study Media Production at the city’s University, I set up my studio at home and the show expanded to be broadcast on a series of other community stations across the Midlands, many of which it is still featured on to this day.
Interviews and live sessions have always played an important part in Ben’s Country Music Show and I have been lucky enough to interview a broad cross-section of artists from the USA and the UK, including the late Lynn Anderson, Charlie McCoy, Gretchen Peters, Bob Cheevers, The Shires, Ward Thomas, John Montague, Gary Quinn and Charlie Landsborough. Many of these artists have become firm friends of the show and returned to co-present or play live on many occasions. You can hear a selection of these interviews at any time, on the website.
Over the year’s Ben’s Country Music Show has been broadcast on a range of unique and exciting stations, including a stint on the UK’s country music station, Chris Country. Currently, the show airs on 103 The Eye, where it all began, County Linx Radio and Rasen Radio in Lincolnshire, Hermitage FM in North West Leicestershire and Wey Valley Radio in Hampshire. In addition, the show is also broadcast on Sunshine Radio UK, an online country music station. You can find out more about these stations and when the show is broadcast on the on-air page of this website.
Thinking about the show’s 10th anniversary in 2018, it’s a great opportunity to look back on all that has taken place in the last decade. When the show began in 2008 the UK country music scene was a very different place – there was no C2C Festival, no major UK country acts like The Shires or Ward Thomas and country was very rarely featured on mainstream radio outside the BBC. In the year’s that followed Ben’s Country Music show has grown to become one of the most prominent specialist music shows on independent radio in the UK with a growing number of listeners both in the UK and internationally.