About half way through the meeting which was going really well Kate said I have a 1-hour slot on Saturday nights and I was wondering if you would fancy doing a soul show.

I tried to keep my cool and said yes I’d love to. I was asked not to discuss it with anyone as nothing was finalized as yet.

And so it was that in the run-up to Christmas 2012, I spend hours going through my music picking out the killer tunes and generally planning the show.

There were some songs that just had to be there because I know that listeners associate them with me. Never too much by Luther Vandross is one such song.

Back in the day this was an absolute Mike Shaft tune and has remained thus ever since. I decided that I would open with this.

The only other 2 tunes that were a must were April’s kiss by Rahsaan Patterson which I have been raving about for the last couple of years, and my ‘track of the decade’ Because I love you from Elisabeth Withers.

The Elisabeth Withers track is simply stunning.

I sincerely believe that if I was playing out on a regular basis like back in the day, this would not only be the biggest track of the moment, it would have the legendary status of Joy and pain by Frankie Beverly and Maze or Ain’t nobody by Rufus & Chaka Khan.

Imagine playing this song at a Manchester All-Dayer with 2 thousand people swaying to it…It is that good.

And finally the day of the first show arrived, Saturday the 5th of January 2013, and to say I’m hyped is putting it mildly. I start nice and early tweeting about the new show dropping the names of some of the artists I will be playing and generally spreading the word about the show.


When the clock hits 22:00 I am at home in bed listening to the show which is pre recorded because of my early start on Sunday morning. After a slight hitch Luther Vandross comes through loud and clear and we are on the air.

If I though having a soul show on BBC Radio Manchester after all these years was awesome that was nothing compared to the response on twitter and Facebook.

Dozens of contacts praising the show, asking how they could get it in other parts of the country and generally commenting as the show went on.

Every week I am posting the full playlist of the show as well.

If you’d like to contact me for a mention or to suggest a track I should be playing then please Tweet me – @mikeshaft.