Love Songs Recap – 2 June 2024

“I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes
Love is all around me and so the feeling grows
It’s written on the wind. It’s everywhere I go, oh yes, it is
So if you really love me, come on and let it show”
Wet Wet Wet
The day has finally arrived, the premiere of Michael’s new radio show. And the above title (and song) is perfect for his opening love theme – also considering Michael recently broke one of his toes! I love the idea of giving each show a song & title. Very clever. And as the song suggests, Michael is looking for your love stories to fill the airwaves.
I confess I haven’t a clue what to expect with this broadcast, I’m literally flying blind. There might be something I miss, but eventually I hope to connect with the rhythm of this new show and bring you its full content from beginning to end. In the meantime I’ll do my best to keep up with our Energizer Bunny and hope you’ll be patient with me.
“Hello, my lovelies. Welcome to the very first LOVE SONGS with Michael Ball,” that lovely voice oozes in the opening. And on comes the theme song by Wet Wet Wet. Such a nice, gentle way to ease into the new show. “How glad I am to be here this morning. I am thrilled to be waking up with you, making the breakfast with you, walking the dogs.” And he asks for your special occasions. “I think we can have a giggle, maybe even a slow dance in the kitchen.” And Michael moves smoothly into playing John Paul Young’s ‘Love is in the Air.’ And then the tone changes a bit with Nat King Cole singing ‘Let There Be Love,’ taking us back in time to a different era. Nice, Michael. Very nice.
Michael’s first feature on this new show? “Your Special Day.” On the phone is Jeff Smith, who teaches math. Jeff speaks about his history with his other half, Debbie, and how they fell in love. “Love at first sight” is how Jeff describes it, asking her to marry him after only 3 weeks. 39 years later they’re still together and that’s what he’s celebrating. He asks for Michael to play Billy Ocean’s ‘Suddenly.’ Michael does, but not before asking Jeff to get Debbie and dance with her as their song plays. This segment gives Michael the chance to interact with a caller, a welcome addition. We hear a hint of his sense of humor and get a large dose of his kind heart here.
And the music continues, all good choices, until we get our first voice mails, people talking about the loves in their lives and their special occasions. Michael plays McFly’s “It’s all About You.” Michael then reads messages from listeners, speaking of their special days, and we finally hear that famous giggle when he has immense trouble pronouncing someone’s name! Michael, we need more giggles. We’ve missed that contagious laugh of yours.
Now it’s back to what Michael calls the Loveline. Claire is on the phone, who talks about her “best ever” neighbor Dave, who is so handy, so helpful. Dave has come to her rescue time after time. He’s there at the moment, working on her kitchen. Once again, we hear Michael’s giggles (thank you!), as he talks with both Claire and this kind man. Because Dave loves Queen, Michael plays “You’re My Best Friend.”
Michael then plays the special song in his own life – his and Cathy’s song – and he speaks about when they first heard it in New York when she came to visit while he was doing ASPECTS OF LOVE. “Love you, Cath.” Of course he plays Garth Brooks’ ‘If Tomorrow Never Comes.’ What an absolutely lovely moment. Thank you, Michael, for sharing a bit of yourself on your new show. We know how much you value your privacy, so bringing your own heart to this premiere broadcast was such a generous thing to do.
Back on the Loveline, Michael continues to speak with callers. Am SOO glad he’s doing this, as his chats with listeners/fans is something he does best. The Loveline is becoming one of my favorite aspects of this new show. It’s clever and utilizes Michael’s special gifts, allowing him to be himself. Michael being Michael is what people want to hear and is vitally important to the success of any show he does.
Love letters. Another new segment. “A segment for the old romantic in all of us,” Michael explains. He then speaks on the phone with Donna, who is celebrating her first wedding anniversary with Andy. Michael follows this with playing Elton John singing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (from THE LION KING, one of my all time favorite songs). He then makes what he calls “a call from Ball” to Andy. Once he connects with Andy, he puts Donna on the phone, who reads her love letter to her husband. Michael closes with Elvis singing “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.” A WONDERFUL segment, quite moving, but also with a splash of humor. This new feature is a winner, Michael! A definite winner!
The Last Dance. In the final moments of the show, Michael pays tribute in such a touching way to Steve Wright, the original host of LOVE SONGS, who was loved by thousands of radio listeners over the years. Michael’s words about his dear friend Steve will bring tears to your eyes. He closes the segment by playing what was almost a theme of Steve’s show, Glenn Campbell singing “Wichita Lineman.”
And there you have it. Michael has given us a delightful opening show, evoking both laughter and tears, always an excellent sign. Michael Ball and Ste Softley, along with the production company Mostest, have proven once again why this partnership is such a success. All new shows take time to settle in, but I believe they have another hit on their hands with LOVE SONGS. Bravo to all involved!
Until next week, my friends …