April 27, 2018 I released my rookie record Boots, Bras, and Drawers on CD Baby. I staying home with my two children and trying to figure out how to live life after my husband had gotten laid off with the oil field crash. A string of random events shortly after my release lead me to Bob, and I am forever grateful.
An interview with Bayou Country Music Association lead me to an invitation to play The Third Street Songwriter’s Festival in Baton Rouge, LA. which also lead me to an invitation to The Solo Songwriters Festival, and finally an invitation from The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation to attend The Chris Difford Songwriting Retread in Somerset, England.
A couple of days before I departed for England, I got an e-mail from Country Music People Magazine informing me that Chris Smith had given me a favourable review and it would be published in June’s issue of their magazine!
Bob's wife, Trudie Myerscough- Harris, who had incredibly produced the SOLO Songwriters Festival I had attended, picked me up from the airport in London. Before departing for Somerset, we stopped off at Trudie’s home. There I met radio icon and legend, Whispering Bob Harris.
Naturally my first question to him was, “Bob, do you receive Country Music People Magazine?” He said “Why, yes Sara! I do!” He ran and fetched it for us. Bob and I sat together reading Chris’s review of my record. I got 3.5 stars out of 5, and he only knocked me in one area: saying I would do well to find a good producer.
Bob said “Sara! Chris Smith is notoriously harsh. This is a GREAT review! Congratulations! Do you have a copy of the record with you?”. I was so broke that I had not even made hard copies. I explained this to Bob, and he bought it on iTunes! What a man!
Later that week, while I was at dinner at The Chris Difford Songwriting Retreat, Bob called Trudie. It was a serendipitous moment as I was seated right next to her and we were at table with many people. Trudie hung up the phone and turned to me:
“Bob loves your record, Sara. He is going to play one of your tracks on his radio show on BBC Radio2 tomorrow night.”
That week, Bob played "We're Just Dancing" on his show. I remember him telling me that he thought "it all comes together on that song". It was his favorite on the album.
Bob went on to play SIX of my songs from that record on his weekly show.
He took a stay at home mom to Major Radio and never batted an eye about it. Bob has a heart like no other. He makes no one wait in line. He plays what he feels is good, and he plays it from the heart. It is people like Bob, who care not about status, but champion the music, that make our world great. The music business can be a tricky one to navigate; but not with people like Whispering Bob Harris. Bob plays from the HEART, helping listeners to know incredible, life changing music; and helping artist who deserve a shot, get into his spotlight.
What I cherish the most about Bob, are the conversations we have had over dinner or on a long walk. We talk about the influence of music, and how important radio waves are. We never know who we have reached, or how far they have traveled.
A few months after my first play from Bob, I was walking around Americana Fest in Nashville. I must have sold every album I had on me to kind British festival goers who would approach me at random and say "Are you Sara Douga? We love your songs that Bob Harris is playing on the radio."
I played my first live show for Bob's Under the Apple Tree platform at C2C in October of 2018. Before the show started, I nearly sold out of my merchandise. Radio is powerful.
I challenge every radio DJ to play from the heart, like Bob.
Keep Whispering, Bob. We are all listening.
Happy 50th Anniversary to Radio
P.S. If you haven't read his book, Bob Harris: Still Whispering After All These Years, you should. It is an inspiring story of how he got to where he is today. He signed my copy
"Sara, thank you for being part of my story".
I love that man.