Love Songs Recap – 16 June 2024

SUNDAY, JUNE 16, 2024
“You can never have too much wine, too much food, too many hugs and too many laughs with your Dad on Fathers Day. Bloody love him…” Michael Ball
Father’s Day on LOVE SONGS. Sounds like a perfect fit. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, and a special shoutout to Tony Ball, Michael’s charming father, also to Michael himself. We know this is a working day for Michael (concert in Huddersfield), but maybe this evening he’ll be able to get a little pampering from his family and sweet furballs.
“Good morning, my lovelies. Welcome to Love Songs on this 16th of June,” Michael opens with great enthusiasm. He sounds happy and lighthearted. “It also happens to be Father’s Day. Could be the greatest day.” And as always, his words are the lead-in for the opening song, Calum Scott’s “Take That. This Could Be the Greatest Day.” Michael returns, urging everyone to “make this the greatest day for all the dads and the granddads and the uncles and the big brothers and foster dads – for anyone at all who’s made you the person you are today.” Michael opens Father’s Day with the perfect song – Boyz n the hood’s “Father and Son.” This one had me reaching for the tissues.
Your Special Day. Michael speaks with Barry, who recently celebrated his 10th wedding anniversary. Ten years ago, to Michael’s great delight, Barry and Lucy’s marriage turned into a trilogy – a ceremony in Ireland, in the UK and in France! And they now have 3 girls. Barry also speaks Lucy’s granddad, who just celebrated his 102nd birthday. Michael plays The Beatles’ “Real Love” for Barry and family (I forgot what a great song this is!).
Voice Mails on the Love Line: So many messages from people who express their love for their fathers, parents and spouses, and Michael always seems to pick the perfect music for them. Michael also reads the emails that came in over the week. What I love about this segment is listening to Michael’s rich voice as he puts his heart and soul into each one, and we’re even treated to a smattering of giggles now & then. There can NEVER be enough giggles in this 2-hour time frame for me! What can I say? Michael’s laugh is infectious, and laughter is what gets us through life.
Michael addresses those who are missing their dads today, especially if this is the first Father’s Day without them. “I’m sending you all the love and all the light in the world. Michael then reads a quote from Winnie the Pooh: “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever. “ He follows this with Luther Vandross’ “Dance With My Father.” More tissues. Lots and lots of them.
And finally Michael plays today’s theme: Celine Dion’s “I’m everything I am because you loved me …” And, yes, Michael calls his dad. “Hello, Mike!” I think I love Tony Ball’s voice as much as I love Michael’s. “I’m calling to wish you a Happy Father’s Day,” to which Tony responds, “Well, bless your darling heart. I’m feeling a bit sentimental today … I’ve been thinking how lucky I am to be your dad.” And Michael, of course, feels lucky to be Tony’s son. These 2 are always so touching, so honest about their feelings for one another. Tony recalls he was 28 on the day Michael was born and felt his life couldn’t have been better. He looked up what Michael was doing when HE was 28, and “Love Changes Everything” was already a hit. Tony then checked to see what was the hit in 1962 when Michael was born, and it was Ray Charles “Can’t Stop Loving You.” Tony adds, “Love squared all the way around with you and I, Mike.” Michael thanks his dad for all he’s done for him. “I don’t know if I would have had the introduction to what I do, to the theater, to music, to the arts, if it hadn’t been for you. You’ve been there, my biggest cheerleader throughout my life. I hope you’re there for many, many more years.” Tony answers, “God bless you, Mike.” Michael closes the segment by playing Ray Charles’ “I Can’t Stop Loving You.”
When Michael returns for the second hour of the show, he says, “Hello again, my lovelies. It’s Love Songs with Michael Ball, three weeks in.” And then that wonderful giggle. “I’m still so excited to say that.”
Michael speaks to Jane Dawson who lost her dad a year ago. “It’s those first anniversaries that are painful, aren’t they?” Michael soothes. She talks about a medical miracle her father went through which gave him many more years with his family and she’s grateful. Still, on this particular day she misses him and requests Bette Midler’s “The Rose.” We all know what this particular song means to Michael, but In such a sweet and selfless moment, he allows Jane to introduce the song and dedicate it to her father. You’re a class act, Michael Ball.
Love Letters and ‘A Call From Ball.’ Michael speaks with Jamie, who talks about his dad, Dave. “He’s my everything. He’s always there for me, was even my best man at my wedding.” Five weeks ago his dad lost his lifetime partner and ‘Princess,’ so he’s grieving. Michael plays The Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand By You” for Jamie and family (such a magnificent song). Michael then calls Dave, and he puts Jamie on the line to read such a touching letter to his dad. What makes this so special is the raw emotion in Jamie’s voice, followed by Michael’s poignant words – and giggles – to both men. Only Michael can express opposing emotions simultaneously! Moments like these are what makes Michael’s new show unique.
As the broadcast nears the end, Michael singles out those who are missing someone today. “I hope today’s show brought you a bit of comfort, made you think of the lifetime of memories you were lucky to have. Hold them dear in your heart. Now let’s sway in the kitchen to this.” And Michael plays “Ooh, Baby, I Love Your Way” by Big Mountain .
Michael’s closing never varies, and I hope it never does. They are words to live by. “Be safe. Be positive. And ALWAYS try to be kind. See you next week …
As Michael said, we’re three weeks in with LOVE SONGS. Michael’s new show is an adjustment for all of us, especially the man himself. I think Michael deserves major kudos for transitioning from his old show, which fit him like a comfortable slipper, to a different one with a different format. The same is true of Ste Softley, his longtime producer, who’s navigating these new waters alongside Michael. Michael is walking an incredibly fine line, trying to please Steve Wright’s longtime listeners and his own fan base from THE MICHAEL BALL SHOW. If he changes the show too much, he upsets one set of fans. If he doesn’t change it enough, he upsets the other. It’s not easy, and I don’t envy him. My faith in Michael and Ste is rock solid. It will be both interesting and fun to watch LOVE SONGS develop in the coming weeks and months. As both Michael & Ste settle in, the possibilities for the show are endless. I’m anxious to see what the future has in store for us. Until next week …