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Arch McKirdy



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Recently Played on ABC Jazz.

12:00pm Aug 31
album cover
SongRelax With Me - Final Show (1972)
ArtistArch McKirdy
AlbumRelax With Me 1972
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On Aug 31, 2013. 12:14pm
Peter said

Just listening tp the last Arch McKirdy show on ABC Jazz. Beautiful music! I seem to recall that Arch had a signature tune that he played at the start of every show called 'What are you doing the rest of your life?' However it wasn't at the start of his last show. Did I imagine that he played this song in every show he presented? I think it is a well know song, but when I mention it to modern jazz singers they haven't heard of it!

On Sep 1, 2013. 5:00pm
Kevin said

Very sad to hear of the passing of Arch McKirdy. His program - Relax With Me - set a bench mark in its day which remains unsurpassed.

Friends of my vintage in fact still refer to Arch's program & how we would tune into 2BL & its regional equivalents when travelling by road at night, just to hear "Relax With Me".

I hope you make a special CD release of Arch's last 2 hour program - I have my money at the ready!


On Sep 2, 2013. 11:31am
peteka said

What a memory!!

On Sep 2, 2013. 11:42am
peteka said

You are correct Peter. It was a tune writtenby Michel Legrand and played by Bill Evans.

On Sep 2, 2013. 2:56pm
Peter said

Thanks Peteka,
So help me with the song - did he play it as a signature song at the start of his program or is my memory getting worse!!

On Oct 2, 2013. 6:56pm
DeeBee said

Peter, I recall Arch playing "What are you doing with the rest of your life" from time to time - but I don't recall that it was his theme tune. I seem to recall that "Stairway to the stars" was his theme.

On Oct 25, 2013. 8:52pm
Christine said

I seem to recall "What are you doing the rest of your life?" was the theme to Ian Neil's Music to Midnight. As to "Stairway to the Stars", the name Jack Pleis Orchestra has sprung into my mind for some reason, but hey, memories are faulty. My research has shown that "I'm a fool to want you" played by Kenny Burrell, was another signature tune used.

On Oct 25, 2013. 9:47pm
DeeBee said

Christine - thanks for that... another blast from the past! I used to love listening to Ian Neil. And I reckon you're right about his playing 'What are you doing the rest of your life' - and about Kenny Burrell, too. Both Arch and Ian often programmed Burrell tracks (though I don't remember 'I'm a fool to want you', so I'd better look it up!)

On Feb 7, 2017. 10:45pm
Gavan H said

I grew up listening to my tiny trannie in far west NSW and being enchanted by the voice and music of the ABC's great Ian Neill and Music To Midnight in the early '70's (trying not to study). Ian's opener was What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life but can anyone tell me which version it was, please?

On Feb 8, 2017. 7:16pm
Christine Hinton said

"What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?" played by the late guitarist Bruce Clarke from his 1972 album "Vichyssoise" with Maryan Kenyon, on his own Cumquat label.

On Feb 8, 2017. 7:31pm
DeeBee said

Gav, I'm not totally sure which version Ian Neill played - bu it may have been Barney Kessel's. I've got it from his 'Solo' album, and it sounds pretty much like the version I recollect. However, Peteka (above) remembered it as the Bill Evans version, and that may well be right.

On Feb 9, 2017. 12:07pm
DeeBee said

Christine - sorry, your reply to Gav came in after I'd sent mine. Did you mean that the Bruce Clarke version is the one Ian Neill used as theme, or just that it's a goodie?

On Feb 10, 2017. 10:37am

Hello...I'm pretty sure it was the Bill Evans version that was used for Music to Midnight with Ian Neill.

Mal Stanley

On Feb 10, 2017. 9:15pm
DeeBee said

Mal, thanks for that input - I was about to email you to ask if you remembered; I figured you were the most likely person to know!
You don't happen to have an idea of which version it was, I suppose? I've listened to most of the tracks available, and none of them fit my vague recollection very well!
:-) David Blair

On Feb 11, 2017. 5:33pm
Christine Hinton said

I think the Bill Evans version was used initially then the Bruce Clarke recording certainly took over, a fact confirmed in a biography that can be viewed on the Musicians Union website: http://www.musicians.asn.au/ezine/archives/issue18/page3.html

On Feb 13, 2017. 10:35am
DeeBee said

Thanks, Christine, for finding that good solid evidence!. And that would certainly explain why not one of the Bill Evans tracks sounds familiar to me! I suspect the truth is that it's the Bruce Clarke version I associate with Ian Neill, while Arch McKirdy played the Barney Kessel recording from time to time. Not long before he died, I did a compilation CD for Arch, of the music he'd introduced me to and which I associated with 'Relax With Me' - and the Barney Kessel version of 'What are you doing...' was the opening track on that CD.

On Feb 13, 2017. 12:35pm

The Bill Evans version I seem to recall that was used for a time by Ian Neill was from the 1970 album" From Left To Right " ..

Mal Stanley

On Feb 13, 2017. 1:51pm
DeeBee said

Mal, I just listened to it - and I reckon you're right! I didn't pick up this version in my earlier searching...
It certainly brings the memories back. Thanks for your help.

David Blair

On May 11, 2017. 11:14am
Garry Lee said

With respect to these themes my memory is that Arch McKirdy played Kenny Burrell's version of "I'm A Fool To Want You". Initially I thought it was played by the great Sydney guitarist, George Golla because he sometimes played it at the Wentworth Hotel's 5th floor Supper Club with Don Burrows Quartet. George, who I later studied jazz guitar with, confirmed that it was KB.
Surely Ian Neil played several versions of "What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life?" including one by vibist Cal Tjader. I also play vibes and learnt this tune inspired by Cal's recording

On May 15, 2017. 10:05pm
Christopher Lynch said

It's so heart-warming to know this wonderful man is still so alive in the hearts of many long-term jazz lovers.
Arch certainly enhanced my jazz knowledge all those years ago when I was an eager teen hungry to discover more. His excellent programmes on the old family valve radio were unmissable.
Christopher Lynch.

On May 17, 2017. 1:06pm
Peter two said

I also remember him playing 'What are you doing the rest of your life?' but like you when I ask a band if they can play it, no one has heard of it - a great shame!

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