Radio Rewind ’98

My on-air radio career is, let’s be honest now, a vanishingly long time in the past which is why I rarely hark back to it these days. What doesn’t help is that I have vanishingly few good examples of it, most of the tapes I have dating from a period when I was frantic about where my career was going and with a note of panic sounding in my voice.

Hence it was a nice bonus to the other day stumble across a tape from a period when I was sounding happy, confident and above all something approaching good. Havin digitised it, it seemed a shame not to share, not just for the benefit of those friends who begged to hear it but the world in general. If only as an example of how local radio sounded almost 20 years ago.

Here then is 100 minutes or so of an off-air recording of a show I presented on a Saturday afternoon in October 1998. When listening to it the following should be borne in mind:

  1. It was a football results show, so precious little room for many so-called personality links. But this does also date from a period when in my one claim to fame this was the most-listened to show in the area on a Saturday afternoon. I was literally Number One in the ratings.
  2. My style was very much of its time, and a reflection on that of the people I had worked with and learned from. The cheery and sometimes strident tone I’d adopted is far from what would work on air now, when the emphasis is on being slightly calmer and more friendly.
  3. I’ve left in one particular link that makes me cringe to hear it now, but again it was very much a part of the whole notion of “share something of yourself with each broadcast”.

You can hear the show in two versions:

First, a telescoped version featuring just the links. 17 minutes or so of non-stop me, you lucky people.

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Or alternatively, here is the full uncut tape. Music, adverts and Masterton all combined. Hope you enjoy. You’re on The Pulse.

Never Go Out Of Style

Gone For A Leak For a couple of days at the start of this week, it appeared to be all anyone with even the remotest connection to the radio industry could talk about. The “leaked” (ie, a single photograph posted on Twitter) excerpt from a new presenter style guide issued…

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Always Will

The final weekend before Christmas always reminds me of a song. It isn’t even a Christmas song, although it was released at that time and was in the charts for the holiday.

I’m reminded every time I hear it of one particular occasion when I played it on the radio. Saturday December 19th 1998, just after the start of the regular sports updates show I presented on local radio at that time. Not long after it had finished the studio phone rang. On the end was a lady who informed me she had just parked up to do her last Christmas shopping and wanted to thank me for the song I’d played because it had made her feel so happy.

It made me happy to hear that too. And so every time I hear the song (far less often than I should) I think back to the day it just happened to catch someone in the moment, made them feel their life was worthwhile and inspired them to share that with the local radio disc jockey who helped. Even if all he did was line up the CD that his computer printout had told him to.

So when I hear this song I always think of the final weekend before Christmas. Always have, always will.