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VIEWS STATED ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHORS AND NOT
NECESSARILY THOSE OF RADIO REWIND.
Opinions/memories of Radio 1 presenters, music policy, shows, style, roadshows, events
past and present are welcome, but I do reserve the right to edit prior to publishing.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE YOUR TEXT ADDED PLEASE Email STATING SO.
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Messages will normally appear within 14 days.
I was born in 68 and my mum was a lot older and quite conservative, so she listened to radio 2 and 3. When I was 10, I discovered radio 1, and was hooked. The DJs, programs, format, and of course the free choice of songs had me and my friends tuning in at every spare moment.
From the age of 11, I woke to the breakfast show every day whether it be on a school day, or later on, a work day (until I moved to Australia in '87).
While at work, we had radio 1 on all day, and laughed at all the little events and quirks (and cried nearly every day at Our Tune). Listening to the top 40 on a Sunday evening was a ritual, and hearing the jingles on this site has brought back so many memories. Listening to the many jingles tonight has brought butterflies to my stomach, and hearing the Our Tune melody has brought tears to my eyes.
My sister (22yrs old) told me 3 years ago that radio 1 has gone all funny and now radio 2 is the place to be. I couldn't believe it! The end of an era!
As much as I love Australia, there are things I miss big time from home, and radio 1 is one of them (the radio stations here are regional and Americanised).
It was part of my childhood and adolescence, and it was GREAT FUN.
Anyway my point is, Will today's youth have the same memories of their national radio as I and my friends have? I don't think so.
What happened to the Radio 1 we all knew and loved??????
Kalbarri, Western Australia
Sun 20/02/2005 16:25
NOW 2's BEST
In response to Anthony's e mail on Radio 1, I have an 11 year old niece who thinks Radio 1 is boring, plays too much dance and the DJs shout all the time. Going back to when I was 11- back in 1979- Radio 1, more so at weekends, had an excellent range of presenters who appealed to all age groups. As I'm writing this e mail on a Sunday, I can recall Noel Edmonds hilarious Sunday shows where he played practical jokes on the listeners, Jimmy Savile's Old Record Club, Anne Nightingale's afternoon request show, the Top 40 hosted by Tony Blackburn, and Alexis Korner's blues show. These days, barring the Top 40 and Dave Pearce's Dance Anthems- endured on long car journeys due to the alternative being Miseries Melodies) for You, I wouldn't have a clue who presents programmes on Sundays on Radio 1.
Though I'm sure of one thing, the current crop of non entities and loudmouths on Radio 1 could never match the brilliance of people like Noel Edmonds or the love of music shown by presenters like Paul Gambaccini, Tommy Vance and Alexis Korner. All Radio 1 seems interested in now are TV celebrities like the vile Sara Cox, tired out club DJs like Pete Tong and loudmouthed morons like Chris Moyles who seem to regard the music as a poor second to their yapping.
However, music lovers and fans of the old Radio 1 now have the alternative of Radio 2. I always tune in to Johnny Walker on the way home from work and the music and banter with Sally Boazman and Martin Shanklemann is excellent. Walker seems to have a genuine love of music, especially classic rock, and his show makes excellent listening as records are played in full and never interrupted or cut short. Similarly Jeremy Vine combines the best music of the last 40 years with interesting debate and guests, while Steve Wright seems to have transferred his Radio 1 zoo format successfully to Radio 2. Other presenters like Lulu, Jonathan Ross and Bob Harris are real music enthusiasts. I'm not surprised Radio 2 wallops Radio 1 in the ratings.
Fair enough, Radio 2 isn't perfect, Wogan seems to ramble on a bit much and some of the Sunday programmes are dire, but for a station for music lovers and Radio 1 refugees it's the best there is. (My local commercial station, CFM Radio, used to be good in the nineties but now seems to be full of Chris Moyles wannabes.) While it's very sad to see Radio 1 go downhill- like Anthony I can remember when 15,000 people turned up at a roadshow- at least Radio 2 has taken on some of the best Radio 1 DJs and plays a huge range of music like Radio 1 used to in the days before Bannister and Parfitt.
Mon 07/02/2005 00:07
KENNY EVERETT SHOWS - FUNNIEST ON THE RADIO
What a shame Kenny Everett was sacked from Radio 1 in 1970 for making a joke about the Minister of Transport's wife bribing her driving instructor. I'm sure if Radio 1 had kept him on, he would have made a fantastic breakfast show host, just as he did on Capital Radio, regularly beating even the great Noel Edmonds in the ratings in London. (Ironically Noel was his replacement when he was sacked.) Stuck in the provinces at the time, I could only hear of what a fantastic show Kenny had on Capital. Just imagine if he'd been on Radio 1 and everyone could have heard Captain Kremmen and Kenny's jokes.
To me Kenny Everett set the standard for what could today be classed as shock jocks, though he was far funnier than Moyles et al could ever be. I was delighted in the early eighties when Kenny got a contract with Radio 2 - very radical for the old Radio Senile - and his show was the funniest thing on the radio on Saturdays, complementing his hilarious television show. So what if he told the Tories to bomb Russia, it was all tongue in cheek regardless of what the lefties thought. Kenny was wasted from national radio for years because he made a joke that these days would hardly be commented on.
Kenny Everett was a comedy genius who, while not to everyone's tastes, was a fantastic broadcaster. April 4th marks the tenth anniversary of his death and I hope there is some kind of tribute to him.
Sun 06/02/2005 22:43
MISSING THE TARGET
I have two boys aged 10 & 13 and they are blessed with what seems like hundreds of mates who are always here. It makes very interesting listening when they talk about such things as Radio 1. I think their views (as the current target market for the network) speak volumes. Here are some of those views, which I have translated accurately for this letter.
They think that youngsters these days do not appreciate younger presenters. They have no respect for presenters who are too young, try to act too young or try to speak like a teenager. To quote one boy, "they sound like a pratt". Apparently, presenters should be someone who is educated who they can look up to. Someone with authority who is fun, interesting, completely professional, confident and can relate to them. We all know that only a certain calibre of DJ can do this - and sadly most of them have left. They think that Sara Cox is drunk all the time which made me laugh and (this bit is really odd) they do not like to hear swearing on the radio. They had no idea why but felt that it was wrong. They also have a problem with so many presenters sounding like they are from the ghetto.
All this came from a sleepover of 12 lads in which we all chatted and laughed well into the night. I was on duty and was fascinated at how mature and "normal" these kids were. It became pretty obvious that it was the "system" (adults in charge who think they know what kids want) that was dictating change. When you brushed all that aside, it was absolutely screamingly clear that what our kids wanted was the latest sounds introduced by professionals like Mike Read, Steve Wright, Simon Bates etc - people who they could look up to, respect and had some knowledge of life. In fact it was amazing how many of them enjoyed Steve Wright on Radio 2 ! They had huge respect for Chris Moyles (how odd, with him being much older) and I asked them if they wanted to see the Radio 1 that I grew up with - they jumped at it. We got onto the PC and I showed them your website and others, and then got some pics out that I had taken of Radio 1 in Cornwall as a lad, showing them the 25,000 people cheering and shouting. They just couldn't believe what Radio 1 used to be and what it stood for.
How incredible ! It seems that not only have those headless chickens destroyed Radio 1 but they are utterly out of touch with their audience. I feel so desperately sad that my kids do not have what I had. Every teenager should have their own "era" with music and radio. Ours have nothing - no personalities that they look up to, (thank God for David Beckham), no show on Radio 1 that is "not to be missed", no Roadshow to visit, and a bunch of presenters who are so incapable of holding their own that many of them have to have others in the studio to bounce off. Their music today has so much swearing in it that it makes even the kids embarrassed and Radio 1 has presenters who openly swear.
If someone opened up a National Pop Station and filled it with strong personalities Radio 1 would be history. How did this incredible institution get so low ? Anyway, before I get going with my own arguments, I shall sign off - I just thought you would appreciate the latest views of the current audience. Thanks for listening and thank you for this wonderful website.
While most of the comments on here have been about the DJs and music on Radio 1, no one has mentioned the longest running programme on Radio 1: Newsbeat, now in its 32nd year. Newsbeat was a unique news bulletin in the seventies, I can remember at 12.30 the serious tones of James Alexander- Gordon, of football results fame, announcing the headlines, then the less serious but still authoritative tones of Richard Skinner or Laurie Mayer going through the jollity of the Winter of Discontent, unemployment and an IRA bombing before the jingle would come on for the last, less serious article. ( I'm sure the " and finally" light article on News at Ten was inspired by Newsbeat.) I can recall Skinner, after going through the joyless news events of 1979, voice lightening as he went on to discuss which country had the best lovers in Europe. Often there would be a feature, usually on the 5.30 Newsbeat, on the latest pop news or youth cult which would round of fthe 15 minute bulletin. Rather like Nationwide on BBC1, Newsbeat was an excellent mix of serious and light hearted news that gave Radio 1 credibility with more serious listeners.
On a long journey I still occasionally put Newsbeat on, though, of course, it's at 12.45 and 5.45 now and I must say the spirit of Richard Skinner lives on as the news bulletin, despite having a rather irritating jingle that goes One, One, One, still retains its mixture of serious headlines, sports news, pop chat and the odd jocular item at the end. While I'm not a fan of the new style Radio 1, I still hold Newsbeat in high esteem.
Tue 28/12/2004 13:18
TOO MUCH CHAT
Generated to replace the pirates and full of Music Power, Radio One was all this until the Seventies. Sadly its decline began then and continued to worsen to date. DJ`s voices are present where music should be. Local commercial radio stations are more like the old Radio One with more music less talk. IE; our own Ivel FM here in Somerset and Vibe101 for dance. Oh yes! Radio One presenters my advice to you all is this; `Much More Music makes Many More Listeners!` Not Arf!
Thanks for this Onederful website!!
Sat 27/11/2004 19:19
BEST SHOWS IN THE WORLD?
Paolo's e mail about being able to pick up and enjoy Radio 1 in Italy- he preferred our Radio One to RAI's Radio Uno- just shows how popular Radio 1 has been around Europe. I can recall being in France in 1980 on the Normandy Coast, where Radio 1 reception was good, and I can recall a few of the locals tuning into Radio 1 as, one French shopkeeper told me, French radio was awful. Seemingly, apart from having 20 million listeners in Britain, Radio 1 must have had a few million more listeners in Europe as even in daytime it could be picked up as far south as Dijon in France- on a coach trip back from Spain in 1983, the driver said we could pick up Radio 1 from the middle of France, important as it was Top 40 day- and also could be heard in the Low Countries, Ireland and the west coast of Denmark. Night time I imagine most of western Europe would have been able to pick up John Peel, vital for serious rock fans. ( Living in Italy, which has created such radical alternative acts as Black Box, I can understand why Paolo tuned into the John Peel show.)
Of course, these days even someone living in Antarctica could pick up Radio 1 if they had a modem. However, pre internet, there wasn't this option, but it just goes to show that even beyond Britain Radio 1 had a following. Certainly shows such as John Peel, the Top 40- then the most important chart in Europe-, the Friday Rock Show and David Kid Jensen would have been vital listening for music fans on the continent, as not wishing to sound arrogant, British music has always been the dominant force in European music. Now I can expect my inbox to be bombarded by enraged Swedes who would tell me their country produced the most successful European pop act of all time, and from the Irish, who'll say they've won the Eurovision more times than us. However, while this is true, British music and British music radio like Radio 1 has always been the most successful in Europe.
Even now, with Radio 1 going down the drain in most respects, I was pleasantly surprised online to see a tribute to John Peel from a newspaper in Kansas. No doubt the legend that was Peel , who started his radio career in Dallas, spread to the most unlikely places, though the wonders of the internet meant he could be heard anywhere in the world and no doubt his show would have been vastly better to the advert ridden pop radio in America.
Mon 22/11/2004 17:57
PEEL---TOO LONG TO GO ON GUESTBOOK...!
I am 52 years old, was hooked to British music since 1963 with THE BEATLES of course. I was also getting to be anglo-phonic, devouring English grammar lessons, obviously I needed MELODY MAKER, the first copy of which I got in 1969, I was so shocked by the quality of the paper and the music on offer compared to here...I also read for the first time about JOHN PEEL, with such a catchy name and popularity I was immediately hooked on him, not even having heard a word from him...ahahahah. This happened when I moved to London for a long stay in 1972, with the sole intent of listening to as much live quality rock music I could! I listened to Peel when I was home not going to the Marquee....
Having returned to awful radio-Italy in 1976, I bought a 5 dollars radio, one boring Sunday afternoon I tuned MW and Peel appeared out of nothing!!!! I was so shocked and happy, I had actually dreamed of tuning the domestic range of programs, but it was actually the WORLD SERVICE I later sadly discovered, only half an hour a week of PEEL! I wanted more, I needed more he actually had played the HOT RODS live at the Marquee single that Sunday and I was so excited, that record really put my batteries at 10.000 volts and punk was happening.
So began my search for 1214 KHZ ahahahah my money went to professional maritime receivers, huge antennas, signal amplifiers....yes Radio 1 domestic was there in the night, I could hear Peel, but amid whistles, fading and F***g ALBANIAN and ROMANIAN Eastern block super watts transmitters that completely shadowed Radio 1 on the very same frequencies!!! I was so down, but persevered, had tapes sent from friends in the UK and got at least the World service very clear from here. But in 1994 BBC radios went on ASTRA and it was a dream come true!!! Excellent programs, the best Radio in the world and PEEL crystal clear almost every night. I recorded as many shows I could.
Now John has gone to the great turntables in the sky and a slice of myself has gone too. I have 100's of tapes to sort, to catalog, to relisten...
Sat 13/11/2004 19:25
JOHN PEEL SHOW REPLACED BY 'DANCE RUBBISH'
Last month saw the sudden and very sad death of the excellent John Peel, the only survivor from 1967 on Radio 1 and one of the few decent presenters left on the station. ( Peel had a genuine enthusiasm for the music he played and his audience, unlike most of the dross on the station now who regard music as an irritation between their boring rantings. )
However, rather than hand his show over to a music enthusiast with similar tastes like Andy Kershaw or Mary Anne Hobbs, I was more than annoyed to see that his replacement will be, wait for it, a dance DJ called Rob Da Bank, which I assume is not his real name. Once again the obsession with dance music, which has made Radio 1 unlistenable at weekends for years, has meant a show that has broken so much talent will be replaced by a DJ playing electronic studio formulated junk that tends to be forgotten after the clubs stop playing it.
Unfortunately for Radio 1, regardless of what Andy Parfitt and the ageing ravers he employs to broadcast this music think, dance music has long since ceased to be cutting edge and is now seen as dated drivel only fit for clubs and so called townies. Rock of various types, r n b, rap and the new generation of guitar bands like Franz Ferdinand- now more likely to be heard on Radio 2- are far more popular. Radio 1, supposedly reborn in the nineties to play cutting edge music, seems to be stuck in the nineties if it still thinks dance is the big deal in music.
Either that or Andy Parfitt, who seems to treat Radio 1's heritage with even more contempt than Matthew Bannister, has found one way of eradicating the memory of a veteran presenter by replacing him with dance rubbish presented by someone who will probably last a few years and then retreat into obscurity, unlike Peel who will be remembered for decades to come.
I'm not surprised that even people under 25 who appreciate decent music have given up on Radio 1. The station is supposed to serve all types of younger music fan, and is funded by the compulsory levy known as the licence fee, but instead seems to have become a mixture of a useless ILR station with a chart based playlist and Kiss FM. Unless Radio 1 starts to broaden its music policy, I can't see it justifying why it should be funded from the licence fee.
One tradition, amongst countless others, that Radio 1 axed in the nineties was the summer roadshow. For younger readers, the Radio 1 roadshow was an eight-week tour around holiday resorts where leading DJs and occasionally a pop act would turn up at a resort for free and entertain thousands of Radio 1 listeners from a trailer. The One Big Sunday is a similar principle.
I attended a Radio 1 roadshow in the summer of 1985 at Seaton Carew, a holiday resort beside Hartlepool. Peter Powell and Mark Page were the DJs in attendance. Even though it was bucketing with rain and freezing, standard weather for Tees Side, around 10, 000 people turned up. I had written to the station a few months earlier asking if I could see behind the scenes at the roadshow and was invited backstage with a few other people from a hospital radio station in Stockton, which meant apart from ducking the rain, I got to meet Chris Lycett, the producer, and Me Mark Page, a local who had made it big by recently joining Radio 1. Despite the weather, it was an enjoyable experience. I also got a few Radio 1 stickers and a photo of Mark Page, which I believe are still around in the house.
It's a shame Radio 1 axed the roadshow as it was the station's most popular feature. One way Radio 1 could redeem itself is to bring it back. I'm sure Chris Moyles, who I think is a bit of a Radio 1 anorak, would love to go out on the road.