Another Good Soul has left this earth, Parishioners. John Cargher, the power behind the remarkable Singers of Renown, passed away at his home in Melbourne on Wednesday on April 30th, four days after the broadcast of the final edition of Singers of Renown.
I must apologise for my tardiness – however, sadly, it doesn’t seem that much fuss was made at all…
His retirement was noted here: So long John Cargher, Sunday, April 20, 2008
I’m not an opera buff, but for many years I’ve had Singers of Renown on in the background on Saturdays at 4 pm as I’ve worked, and doing so has improved my understanding of that rather arcane art form. The presenter is a mine of information on the genre, and he can make even a philistine such as I appreciate it.
Gravel-voiced John Cargher, who has presented the radio program each week for 42 years, is retiring this week but was too ill to record the show. Good luck to him in his retirement, and I dips me lid for what he’s given many people for so long. So long.
He has notched up records for the longest-running radio program by a single presenter, and on December 10 (this was 2005!) he will reach another milestone, when he broadcasts for the 2000th time.
His passion for music began when he was a teenager, earning 15 shillings a week and living on ham rolls. They cost threepence if he went without butter. With the little left over he went to the cinema, paying ninepence to sit in the front stalls. Someone told him that he could get in to see the Sadler’s Wells Opera for sixpence. He did, and was transfixed.
Pinchas Cargher AM, known professionally as John Cargher (24 January 1919 – 30 April 2008), was a British-born Australian music and ballet journalist and radio broadcaster. He was born in the Cockney area of London to a Jewish rabbinical family.
His many occupations included: aircraftman, art dealer, art exhibition organiser, assistant cameraman (films), author, ballet administrator, broadcaster, building designer, comedy writer, compere, concert promoter and manager, critic, diamond merchant, impresario, intimate revue pioneer, journalist, lecturer, mechanical engineer, opera producer, photographer, radio programmer, record producer, record retailer, recorded books reader, schools administrator, television presenter, theatre manager, theatrical agent, toolmaker and turner-fitter.
John Cargher has presented Singers of Renown on ABC Radio National since 1966. The program began on 17 April 1966 as a 13-week series on 774 ABC Melbourne (formerly 3LO), but such was its popularity that the program was transferred to the national network ten weeks later. Currently broadcast Saturdays at 4pm, repeated Sundays at 6am. Cargher also broadcast a general classical music program “Music for Pleasure” on ABC Radio between 1967 and 1996.
The program’s opening and closing theme is ‘Ho sognato una cassetta‘from Puccini’s one-act opera Il tabarro. It features Renata Tebaldi and Mario del Monaco
He was our very own Karl Haas