London calling. David Oke, in a Melbourne radio studio, speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Soul Music. July 2019.

In the third of our Centre Stage series we shine the light on David Oke, one of our most prolific writers.

A musician and music teacher, David has written 25 Stereo Stories, since first having a crack at our niche genre in April 2015, with a yarn about cheekily playing a little of Great Balls Of Fire while visiting Sun Studios in Memphis on a family holiday.

We had been given strict instructions to not touch any instruments. The piano lid was open. The piano stool awaited. Will I or won’t I?

He followed up with another family story, about visiting Graceland. This time he was laying down the law.

I explained to my sons that we are about to enter holy ground, that there are some people who worship Elvis and that the memories of some people we will be amongst are unique, special and strong. “In other words,” I said, “ Show some respect.”

Alas, it was David who found himself laughing, as he stood by Elvis’ grave and recalled Spinal Tap trying to harmonise on Heartreak Hotel.

David also wrote about the continuing joy of teaching music to primary school students and the fun of playing in bands many years ago.

The more David wrote the more confident he became in taking on deeper topics: grief, Vietnam, nursing homes, his heart attack. His recent parenthood story based on Wind Of Change caught the attention of the BBC Radio 4 program Soul Music. David was interviewed by Soul Music and his story kicked off the program dedicated to Wind Of Change.  Soul Music has an approximate audience of 1.75million.

As well as his many stories, David is an enthusiastic ambassador for Stereo Stories. Thank you, David.

David Oke’s stories.

David’s sons Dan and Liam have been part of several of David’s stories.

David is a Melbourne musician, music teacher and primary school teacher. His debut Stereo Story was about playing Great Balls of Fire at Sun Studio in Memphis. He has assisted in the organisation, and leading of gospel music workshops and Sunday gospel celebrations at the Anglesea Music Festivals, and is a member of The Seddon Jammers. His son Dan is the creative force of the band Jarrow.