Do You Remember Lying In Bed? A Radio Reminiscence

My first memory of the radio in our house was, as an early 1960s preschooler, hearing 5DN’s Mel Cameron in the morning shift. If I heard the Baby Elephant Walk, A Walk In The Black Forest or Frank Ifield’s I Remember You on Mum’s Kriesler mantle radio once, it must have been (as they say) a thousand times. That’s without mentioning the “Lawlors The Whiteant People” mini-ads or the Solomon’s Carpets jingles that bobbed up every ten minutes. Why the middle of the road 5DN was chosen when Mum was Beatles-aged herself remains a mystery.

 

 

Before its run in with my cap gun

 

I loved that radio, the sonorous tones from its valvic innards providing my first listens to the range of footy calls that took my fancy once I started school. Rod McLeod’s references to the Woodies scoreboard stand out, but 5AN, 5DN, 5KA and 5AD’s array of commentators and around the grounds blokes like Horrie Nelson and Jim Slaven also spring to mind.

 

I eventually disgraced myself one Saturday afternoon when I grabbed an extension cord and the blue tartan Onkaparinga rug and took the radio out onto the back lawn to listen to the footy. My 8 year old temper got the better of me when Centrals got rolled on the siren and I flung my cap gun at the radio in disgust, cracking the plastic cover on left hand side of the dial, somewhere in the vicinity of 5CK.

 

Somehow this major transgression was forgiven. A Christmas or two later, I was given my first transistor radio. It came in a fashionable maroon and black livery, with a wafer thin plastic case, to which was attached a carry strap that lasted about a month until my penchant for chewing on things brought about its demise. The small wheel that was used to tune in to your selected stations required particular dexterity to ensure that an earful of static was avoided. The single earphone was a marvel of modern magnetism, but I explored its insides once too often and it too became less than functional. I’m still pondering the effects of many a fried tongue received via a furtive 9v battery taste test too.

Ear wax optional

 

What a world was opened to me. No more Mel for me as I was now free to take in whatever I wanted to. There was only one question at first – 5AD or 5KA? The weekday answer was initially 5AD, with ex-Footscray and Woodville “utility” Barry Ion’s breakfast show with its regular 7:45am appearance of Peter Plus tipping the scales towards the top of the dial.

 

Weekends were a different story. Four out of five of the SANFL games were covered, but the extent of the live action differed between the racing (5AN, 5DN) and non-racing (5KA, 5AD) stations.

 

Summer weekends  meant locking in to 890 (as it was) for 5AN (the local #1 ABC station) and its cricket calling team of Malcolm McDonald, Bob Bower and co. reporting from their rickety portable scaffolding under the Moreton Bay fig trees on the exploits of Kevin McCarthy, Mike Hendricks, Barry Causby, Ian and Greg Chappell, Rowdy and briefly, Barry Richards. I wasn’t the first kid to take my tranny to bed to listen to the past-my-bedtime overseas series, but the 1972 Ashes won’t be forgotten.

 

KA and AD delivered their standard but welcome teen pop fodder and both published weekly charts in the local press and on glossy sheets that could be picked up from your local record store.

 

An unexpected find round age 10 or 11 was a Sunday morning show on the ABC, called ‘Pop Seventies’. It featured the UK Top 10 and was my introduction to the likes of T-Rex. What made this show important was that there was usually a delay of several weeks between a single’s UK release and its appearance on the radio here (and video clips were virtually non-existent). It gave curious and interested listeners a musical “heads up”.

 

My tastes matured somewhat once high school started. I was on my second or maybe third tranny by then as they became regarded as a portable and consumable item, prone to loss or damage. 5KA had a slightly more album oriented playlist, sort of GTK-lite, thanks to Bill Page’s musical directorship. (Sunday nights were still taken up with various offerings from Maughan Church thanks to the station owners, the Uniting Church).

 

Australia was becoming more Americanised during this period. My tranny brought me the weekly dose of Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 – over the three or so hours wafted a different musical cocktail than I’d been used to, softer, perhaps blacker and often less familiar. Terry Jacks’ version of ‘Seasons In The Sun’, ‘TSOP’ by MFSB or Harry Chapin’s ‘WOLD’ stick in my mind as examples (I could certainly relate to the latter).

 

I was just the right age when the Oz Rock revolution began to boom, which was given a leg up by Countdown but also a big shove forward by the radio. Skyhooks and Split Enz swept me away and it was the radio’s daily dose of both singles and album tracks that kept me going between weekend TV appearances, especially as my vinyl collection only consisted of the occasional 45 to that point.

 

The legendary and much loved John Vincent was a breakfast-time must-listen around Second Year. Such a unique take on Australian life and very very wry. My politics have changed in a big way since Graham Colman and I sent in a ditty titled ‘Farewell Uncle Gough’ (… we wish you’d nick off …) for Vinnie’s recitation.

 

I had a fruitful run with radio call-in competitions during my mid-teens, swelling my bank account significantly with my $63.45 win on the Hi-Lo Game (my innate understanding of binary search techniques helping out me there) leavening a regular supply of free tickets and the occasional album.

 

Over the next few years my musical preferences developed into a melange of styles, informed as much by what was on offer at the local lending libraries as the airwaves. Bowie, Roxy Music and 10cc were right up there, but I also developed a likeness for King Crimson, Budgie, Alan Parsons, ELP and Yes. Of the latter quintet, they were never heard on the local stations, until ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’ found its way into Seven’s World of Sport coverage (where it remains to this day, I suspect).

 

Once I was de-Prog-rammed by my life-saving discovery of The Saints, Radio Birdman, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello, Blondie, The Modern Lovers and their ilk, as only the occasional track of theirs made it onto KA or AD (I was astounded to hear Steve Whitham back-announcing The Birdmen’s ‘Anglo Girl Desire’ late one night), radio had lost much of its appeal at that point.

 

It was still handy for sport – footy, races, cricket – but back then there were no weekday shows devoted to sport as such.

 

University came with a pleasant discovery. Adelaide Uni had it own station at the very bottom of the AM dial, 5UV on 531. Each weeknight from late until very late, Student Radio took over. It was my main source for the latest New Wave etc releases, introducing me to the Only Ones, Wire, The Flys, Dave Warner and a host of others. I still have a couple of cassettes, taped during those heady days. One pseudonymous regular compere was Vincent Wong, who turned out to be future AUFC Blacks teammate Peter Maddern.

 

Around this time, favourites such as Elvis Costello and the Attractions (Radio Radio), The Ramones (Do You Remember Rock n Roll Radio?) and The Sports (Who Listens To The Radio?) created memorable musical reflections on radio’s past and future.

 

The future of radio had as its Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, er Genesis, the newly created 5SSA-FM, soon to become SA-FM. Unknowingly, this station became the world’s FM radio template, with Black Thunder herbing up Greenhill Road, Anzac Highway and whatever that road near West Beach is called, handing out ice cold cans of Coke, gallons of Ambre Solaire Coconut Oil and enough Aerogard to wipe out entire insect species. Sonically, if you liked Dire Straits, you loved SA-FM, as their roster of 40-something announcers (no longer DJs) abandoned teen music for bland AOR central. They loved INXS from their early days, but didn’t embrace Models until ‘Barbados’. if you know what I mean.

 

Car Radio you say? I’m not even sure that my first car, a XP Falcon with welsh plug and fuel pump issues had a working radio. My XT was a little bit better behaved, but its entertainment was AM only. By the time I hit the big time, my TD Cortina came replete with a cassette player, so my listening was self curated.

 

If I did listen to the radio much in the 80s it would have been KG “Strike Me Pink” Cunningham in his surprising role as the voice of sport on 5DN then 5AA.

 

Come the very late 80s, Triple J came to Adelaide and became my default setting thereafter, although by then I was getting a bit long in the tooth for some of its “youth radio” leanings. I appreciated the daggier Maynard and its Top 100 Rage tie-ins. One year I was even heard on-air with Richard Kingsmill, reciting my Top 3 songs of all time (Modern Lovers, Husker Du, Ramones were on the faxed entry form) and suggesting that a new mob called Nirvana may have a future.

 

We moved to Melbourne in the mid-90s, sticking with the Js for a while, but I also flirted with 3AW (sorry), as a way to tap into the pulse of the new city.

 

Eventually I gave away the Js in the early 2000s (stopping at the Hottest 100 Volume 6, but I did buy the rarely played Eleven compilation) but shamefully I didn’t replace it with the local public radio offerings RRR and PBS as I should have. 3AW was my default breakfast option, but really only to hear Sly, grabbing snatches of Gerard Healy and Hooksey on the way home.

 

SEN’s breakfast was intermittently in the frame, as was KB’s first half and hour or so, but I found it too taxing to keep up with the bland formulaic utterances from both players and pundits alike.

 

The one constant on the radio over the past couple of decades has been the Coodabeens, as I’m sure it is with many of you.

 

I eventually settled into a routine of 774 with Red in the mornings and off to bed with Finey. But those pleasures are no more. I’ve still got a couple of trannies for the footy, a couple of clock radios with obsolete iPod fittings and a pretty good digital radio for the kitchen. But I don’t love them like I once did their 1970s equivalents.

 

===

 

It is obvious that I’d given away the radio as a source of musical sustenance some time ago. My airwaves became my own thanks to the iPod and that cassette-y converter doover that let me hear my own music and last week’s Coodabeens night time shows on my pre-Bluetooth in car system, before I traded up to something built this century. Not forgetting CDs and the very occasional tape.

 

I’m no “Luke from Colac”, that’s for sure.

 

 

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About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right

Comments

  1. Parallel memories Swish.
    When I got sick of Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Fleetwood Mac I would go to the 5MMM, which was then community radio. That is where I first heard the early work of the Saints (I’m stranded), the Clash (All lost in the supermarket), etc.
    You have forgotten key programming on 5AN: “The Goons”, “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” and “The Naked Vicar Show”. I can’t believe you did not listen to those.
    I used to listen to the valve radio late at night in my bedroom. The valves would light up the room. You could often pick up the interstate stations of an evening broadcasting with 50000 Watts. Luckily all the radios had every station in the country on the dial.

  2. Ta Swish.

    My first combined bedroom/radio memory was Dr Hook’s , Sylvia’s Mother. This was early 1970’s. I recall going through a phase/period when i was between 8-10 laying in bed reading a book(s), eating an apple(s). Sylvia’s Mother is from that period.

  3. Thanks Swish – some great memories there. Spending my formative years in Whyalla (a former country town now wiped off the map) meant that I was out of the FM range, but many weekends were spent with duelling “trannies” in the back yard as my Dad hooked in to the 5AN coverage while I was glued to whichever station was covering the Bays.

    Strangely, I miss having a car radio of the type where there were about 5 protruding black buttons for preset stations and seleciting one of them sent the needle shooting along the dial in a very satisfying way.

    I still use the tranny to follow the cricket on a summer afternoon, and offered it to my daughter who was complaining she couldn’t follow the Hottest 100 when we were out and about over the weekend. Strangely generation post-millenial didn’t have the patience to manipulate the dial in the precise manner needed to get a decent JJJ signal and decided to stream off her Mum’s phone instead.

  4. Great article Swish. My radio memories go back further – to the early fifties and listening to the popular songs like “I didn’t know the gun was loaded”, “Seven lonely days”, “Shrimp boats” an my favourite Guy Mitchell with “Truly, Truly fair and “She wears red feathers”. Then, of course, was the serials. Biggles, Inspector West, Raffles,Hop Harrigan,Superman, Speed King-king of space and the Silver Spur. Jack Davey and Bob Dyer’ s shows were a must.Who could forget the “HIGHLY ESTEEMED GOON SHOW” and Yes What? Then there was Wednesday nights over summer when Mel Cameron would broadcast the Night baseball from the Norwood Ova on 5DN. If I couldn’t make the footy on a Saturday arvo, three radii stations would broadcast matches. I hoped the Redlegs’ matches weren’t on AD because they were always interrupted, often at crucial moments, by the races.Yes, the radio was a must for us until gradually, TV took over.

  5. Love it Swish. Will respond more fully later but for now I have 2 vivid memories of radio listening: the first is listening on a circa 1955 radio in Dad’s shed to Sheffield Shield commentary and interstate score updates including “interruptions” to regular ABC programming with “a wicket at the oval “. The second is listening to test cricket commentary from the West Indies in 1973 very early in the morning when Ian Chappell’s team toured.

  6. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Love it Swish,
    Still plug it in one ear every night and listen to ABC or BBC, doze off and wake up with it.
    Early days was 1422 3XY ‘Hot Hits’ (Before it became a Greek station in 1992 and now very popular in Greek nursing homes apparently)
    When Mum and Dad ran a milk bar in Richmond in the early 70s the radio would always be on in the background, either 3XY or 3KZ.
    Two songs stood out for me as a 4 year old: Billy Don’t Be Hero – Paper Lace and Old School Yard – Cat Stevens. Whenever I hear those songs it takes me back to that milk bar.
    “Radio what’s new? Someone still loves you.” (Queen)

  7. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks for all of the comments, which have reminded me how much I’d forgotten.

    6% – 5MMM had limited transmission reach from what I remember, but I do recall the work of Elizabeth High’s Hadley Mortimer. I wasn’t that big on radio comedy, strangely.

    Glen! – Thank you for writing and sir won’t you write back again

    Steve – That’s a big yes from me re those black buttons

    Fisho – Mel Cameron’s night ‘ball deeds preceded my time at The Parade, but I can imagine his voice over the crackly pa

    Charlie – sigh!!

    Phil – keep your pretty head low

  8. THINK of we expat. Aussies (patrol officers, ag. officers (known as Didimen in Pidgin English), chalkies and private enterprise sods trying to scrape out a living along the Papuan coast in the early to mid-1960s.

    Our only weekday evening contact with the outside world was via ABC shortwave radio, beamed in across the Torres Strait. It was ABC north Qld, from memory but quite listenable.

    Then on Saturdays it was the ABC sports outfit perfect for we Viccies with Smooth Booth and Smokey Dawson behind the mics. Dunno what happened for the rugby fans but there must have been a separate station somewhere in the stratosphere obtained by much dial twitching.

    Didn’t need much entertainment from the radio after dark on Saturdays. These were the days of the Stones and the Beatles. Provided the out-station electricity generator was switched on and running, our turntable, prehistoric.record players could provide ample entertainment for we boondocks residents.

  9. Fantastic reading. I traversed a similar path, particularly in the 70s.

    My first radio was a red National pocket trannie with the black PVC casing. Did well for some time, but when my first cricket scoring cheque came in 1978, I upgraded to a National Panasonic radio cassette (mono) on which I religiously recorded radio hits on to Maxell cassettes. You Really Got Me by Van Halen would be followed by Lady Love by Lou Rawls – I would tape anything, painstakingly getting the pause right on the end of song or backannounce.

    One thing I reckon Swish may have omitted (surely you listened to this, Mark) was the Thursday night team selections on 5AD with Craig McGahan in the late70s. Not so many ducks and drakes with the teams in those days. Also, the number 1 team of Rod McLeod and Brian Lees.

    In addition to Malcolm McDonald and Bob Bower (McDonald, in particular, a favourite of mine), what about the other great cricket callers on the wireless – Alan McGilvray (still without peer), Colin Egar, Norman O’Neill, Drew Morphett, Terry Jenner, Terry Alderman.

    Another favourite on Sundays was BBC Sports Round Up, where a man with a quintessential English accent read the scores of all four English football divisions in a magnificent sing-song style – *slightly surprised tone* Bristol Rovers 2, Shrewsbury Town 2; *of course tone* Bury 1, Scunthorpe United 0″.

    Magnificent memories. Thanks Swish.

  10. Phil – similarly I recall The Night Chicago Died and Ballroom Blitz as though it was yesterday (almost).

    McAlmanac – yes loved BBCs sports roundup. And quite right. His intonation made the program worth listening to for that.alone. Brilliant

  11. So many ditto, ditto, dittos. Love it Swish.
    Late 60’s ABC cricket radio was open top benches from the top of the Creswell Stand. Bob Bower and Vic Richardson (sportsman extraordinaire and Chappell maternal grandfather) doing the special comments. Not even a closed box – I can recall sitting behind them and being shooshed.
    Chickenman on 5AD. What became of Miss Helfinger? Regionals went off the air at night (11pm?). They had “The Shadow” serial on 5PI (Port Pirie) 10 minutes before closing. (“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows……..)
    5CK was mid north ABC (Crystal Brook). 5SE South East. 5RM Renmark. 3WV Western Victoria (Horsham). How I learned geography and phonetics.
    Late night drunken pie floaters at the GPO Pie Cart and talking to Barry Bissell on the 5KA intercom in Franklin Street. I remember Leon “Binky” Byner and Big Bob Francis as 5AD rocky jockeys before they became Radio Redneck.
    My music is now an iTunes algorithm that leads me from Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne and Emmylou Harris to ancient and modern offspring that share an R&B; country; acoustic sensibility. Radio and CD music long since shelved. I just have myself on high rotation.
    Radio survives Saturday nights. I mostly retire at 10 (Perth time) and nod on and off in the spare bedroom to BBC 5Live Sport on ABC News Radio. A guilty pleasure. There is a rhythm to sports calls that I find comforting even when I have no idea of teams or players.
    Similarly when I can’t sleep I adjourn to #2 bed to turn on ABC late night and always nod off in 15 minutes. Listening to random radio shit displaces the random shit circulating in my brain. Works every time.
    Spoken Word when driving is mostly podcasts now – golf and true crime. Bit of SEN Gerard in the footy season. Breakfast radio Perth time.
    Habits never change, just the technology for how we feed them.

  12. https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/gabba-test-day-3-bakelite-radio/
    Our Bakelite tops your Bakelite I reckon Swish. “Blue Hills” for mum on the ABC at lunch time, and “Life of Dexter” for dad after the Evening News. Why did our family gather at the dining table to WATCH the radio?

  13. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks again everyone, you’ve helped me remember things that I probably should have also included.

    Edward – thanks for reminding us of the importance of radio as a link back to home.

    McAlmanac – the names keep flooding back. Remiss of me not to mention Mick Clingly, Jim Deane or Fritzy Freeman amongst many others. I tuned in for the BBC soccer scores religiously.

    PB – yep, Binky Byner as GG Dobbin, how could I leave him out. Also could have had a serve at Adelaide radio’s shark jumping efforts when importing the likes of Don Lunn, Ken Sparkes and Ian McRae.

  14. Swish- great memories there. Like you and many others I’ve great affection for the radio of my youth. I’m a bit young to have strong recollections of AM radio but Bazz and Pilko held a prominent spot. My first great love was Vinnie and Grant Cameron on the newly-hatched SA-FM with the Greek-Chinese philosopher Con Fu Sing as well as the Dover family including Ben and the family dog Run (Dover). Jane Riley doing the weather added a contrasting voice too.

    I was then besotted by Triple J’s Helen and Mikey. It was dangerous and funny and unlike anything I’d ever heard. I recall a segment they ran called “Me. Me. Fabulous Me.” during which punters would call in and boast of their achievements. Once there was a string of callers with run-of-the-mill claims and then Mikey said, “Sue, what’s your achievement?” Sue replied, “I’m a female ejaculator.” They immediately cut to a song (probably the Pixies or the Breeders). This made an impact on a young man.

    Thanks Swish.

  15. In the early eighties, radio 5DN re broadcast all, except the final series, of the Major Gregory Keen Series that my Dad wouldn’t miss for the world in the fifties. Keen had been described as the first Bond like character in fiction.I began listening to his first adventure, Dosier on Demetrius whilst taking a bath in 1985. Immediately it was obvious to me what had captivated Dad all those previous years. DN followed with Deadly Nightshade (a story that enfolds like the petals of a deadly flower), then Twenty Six hour sand finally Two Roads to Sumeria ( the high road and the low road and at the end of them, for Denzel Bagragen, death was waiting). For some reason they failed to broadcast The Smell of Terror. Along with Charles Chilton’s Journey into Space Series, I believe these were the Rolls Royce of radio series broadcast. They are , to the best of my knowledge, still available for purchase. Swish, I truly recommend them to you.

  16. Joe De Petro says

    Love it Swish.

    Did you listen to “American Top 40 with Casey Kasem” in the early 70s? It was on, from memory, the old 3KZ on Sunday nights in Melbourne. I am not sure what the SA equivalent would have been.

    I discovered so many of my all-time favourite bands and singers through listening to this show. Dr Hook, Loggins and Messina, Kansas, the Grateful Dead, Kris Kristofferson, Glen Campbell. It just went on and on. I was blown away by Elvis’ American Trilogy one night. Much of this music was not played on any other stations or on any other shows in Aus at the time.

  17. Joe De Petro says

    Sorry Swish, I meant to write that I also listened to Kasey. Serves me right for posting comments while I am on hold on the phone at work.

  18. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Knowing the Js Mickey, my guess would have been Nirvana’s Come As You Are. I too had my Baz and Pilko period. They did ok in Sydney too, which surprised me.

    Duly noted Fisho.

    I knew what you meant Joe. Thanks.

  19. Luke Reynolds says

    Brilliant Swish.
    My first tranny was a black General Electric in the late 1980’s. Would accompany me everywhere.
    Where my experience differs from yours is that all my radios were mostly on 774 3LO.
    My music listening came from my Mum’s LP’s, then cassettes in the car. I ended up discovering my own new music not from radio but TV. Would record “Rage” through the night then get up early on Saturdays to see the top 60.
    Have dabbled through the years with Triple J, and community stations RRR and PBS and still do if I hear about a guest that I follow being on.
    Double J gets a run now from time to time but in the main it’s 774 and Spotify for me, plusl the podcasts I’ve subscribed to.
    My current tranny is an aging Sony. It owes me nothing.

  20. Sensational Swish yes I was the radio re sport and yes the search on the Saturday to find which station was broadcasting your game re Sanfl.Sheffield shield games I may have got in to trouble at school tuning in to get a score ( I knew the cross to Adelaide oval times off my heart) The 72 series in England my 1st main memory I was 9 with the dulcet tones of John Arlott.thank you

  21. Wonderful reminiscing here, Swish – although some of the Adelaide references are (as usual) lost on me!

    Growing up for me it was 3XY (1420 – then later 1422 – on the dial). In the mid to late 70’s, 3XY was king. It was essential every Friday to visit Ernie Marr’s music shop on Ferguson St in Williamstown to pick up the weekly 3XY Top 40 chart. My brother-in-law still has years’ worth of these, meticulously filed.
    Of course, 3XY was killed by a phenomenon called FM. Radio had never sounded so good! The king was dead, long live the king EON FM (92.3).
    I listened to Kasey Kasem regularly in the early-80’s. His American Top 40 was broadcast on 3DB every Sunday night, so I combined listening with homework.
    I was never much of a transistor man, but I recall laying in bed at night listening to Ashes broadcasts – the most vivid of which remains Botham’s heroics in 1981.
    Cheers

  22. I should add that I have been a passionate subscriber to 3PBS for many years now….

  23. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Carry on the legacy Luke – thanks.

    Sheffield Shield and the radio were synonymous weren’t they ‘Book?

    I had three of four years of charts Smokie – they might have made the trip across the border with me, but didn’t survive the culls since then.

    There are one or two sites that have images of the charts but this one is amazing.

    https://www.top100singles.net/2011/11/every-amr-top-100-single-in-1970.html

  24. Robert Bath says

    Little-known fact: there’s an earlier Almanac post involving listening to the tranny… about 2 years ago, but posted in late August, so I doubt many September-focused footy fans read it.Anybody out there remember Ian Sells and the Loco Show? – before your time, Swish. I think you’ll find it if you click on this:
    https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/almanac-fiction-thunderballers/
    (or SEARCH the site).

    RB

  25. Brilliant bit of reminiscing Swish and as many others have mentioned, being of the same vintage as you the essay triggered a lot of memories.

    Where I differ is that the thing about radio that always frustrated me was the DJ. Cutting into songs, talking over the start of a song and so on. I do know now that it was a deliberate ploy to stop home recordings but as a teenager it bugged the shit out of me.

    By 1980 (first year of Uni and my first car, a 1962 Ford Anglia, with its very own dashboard plastic fan) I was weening myself off radio. I bought a k-mart cassette player for the car and played what I wanted. Haven’t looked back. Never did Triple J. Every-time I went near it I heard pretensions; as in “we’re not Triple M” (or 96FM in Perth) but man they sure sounded like it.

    Through my adult years I have enjoyed Twang and Off the Record on Triple R, Phillip Adams and Lucky Oceans on Radio National though.

    Having said that, the India vs Australia 2001 series almost brought me back to radio. I listened to that, glued to the ABC, with the sense that I was in the Stands, especially the last day of the Third Test. That was gripping stuff.

    Other radio ‘songs’ of the late 70s/early 80s include This is Radio Clash, Radio Free Europe by REM and Radio Lover by George Jones, about a DJ who, er kills his wife and her lover.

    Cheers

  26. The Sheffield Shield broadcast the 1st half hour at 11 live from Ad oval then it was the cross for the score in the 12 o clock news generally at 12.08 then the score after the 12.30 update then the lunch summary in the 1 o clock news.
    The score in the 2 o clock news then broadcast live at 2.30 till 3 it kept going thru to stumps although,KG and
    5dn gave scores as well from 4.The abc and radio were a Sheffield Shield institution,Swish
    ( while away games weren’t quite as thorough coverage was still pretty thorough )

  27. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Found it Rob, a good read, thanks.

    Top stuff Rick, thanks.

    I wonder if the other states were the same ‘Book?

  28. Lots of familiar ideas in your evocative piece and the comments, Swish. My first memories of radio listening are ’80s Ashes tours at night in a shared bedroom with my older brother. Regardless of the results the voices and crowd noise was always soothing.

    My first radio was a Xmas present in the shape of Optimus Prime which, while undoubtedly cool, lacked the dial-twiddling pleasure and preciseness that I have demanded from every subsequently self-purchased radio. I traversed a path from ABC for sport, 5KA (stereo AM) for music, then SAFM, then the Js as primary school gave way to high school to uni, then back to ABC local as uni gave way to work.

    Bed time involved Bob Francis’s talkback on 5AA (yeeks, but where else would you regularly get people calling in specifically so the host would call them a dickhead?) onto many years of the BBC world service. Podcasts have taken over all but the sports and car driving, now, and having surrendered control of the car radio to the kids we are back to Triple J (and conversations about why some people can say a word and not others). The lad has even installed one of my old radios next to his bed to he can listen to it at night. Be still the restless brain.

  29. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I wouldn’t have picked you as a Bob Francis listener Dave, but I’m guessing that there’s not much Kane Cornes on your radar. Thanks.

  30. Earl O'Neill says

    Ramones on Countdown, 1980, Johnny drawled “This is Kim Duuurant and she’s from Brisbaaayyne” Dad huffed and muttered and left the loungeroom.
    With the covers pulled up over my head, I listened to Double Jay, then I got a ghetto blaster. FM community radio, Triple Jay, I became very adept at hitting ‘record.’
    Spring ’82, late night movies ‘Five Easy Pieces’, ‘McCabe and Mrs Miller’, ‘Vanishing Point’, walked into my bedroom at midnight, flicked on the radio and a sound pinned me back against the wall.
    It’s on that flashdrive, Radio Birdman live at 2JJ, 1976. Rock and roll radio led to the most fantastic fun and love and tragedy and adventures a body could wish for.

  31. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks Earl, you prompted me to track down that Countdown appearance too.

  32. Love this Swish.
    Radio has been a constant for me. The sound of a late 60’/early 70’s footy replay evokes a wave of sentiment in me, not because I was an active listener at that point but because I think I was bathed in it as an infant..
    Eon Fm would have my first go to by choice, early/ mid eighties. To listen at night one had to take the kitchen Radio/Cassette player (mum’s, set to 3Aw/Hinch) and plug in the headphones to listen to the top 40 countdown, yes. It was big and cumbersome and so I was rapt when the Sony Walkman came out, simplifying this whole awkward arrangement.
    I still love radio. In my kitchen I have a Tivoli , love it, had it for many years now, the sound is still great and despite its age does have the modern aux thingies at the back.. meaning you can play you iPod/phone music thru it with good sound and volume.
    Doug Aiton was one of my early favourites when I went beyond music. I did do a 3Aw phase but got tired of it.. the ads in particular.
    One of my all time favourite broadcasters was Alan Saunders. Very sadly missed. He had such a compelling dialogue, not to mention voice tone as well.
    I’m not terribly good at sitting for any length of time so I’ve never watched much television; radio has been my staple for music news and current affairs. Current technologies have such depth and variety.in the many digital options and devices such as wireless head phones, listening to a radio has never been better…portable, personal and practical.

  33. Kate, If you like listening to the radio, you should listen to Helen Reddy sing “ANGIE BABY” on you tube. It’s about a crazy lady locked in a room listening to her radio all day. It’s a great song sung by a very special lady.

  34. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Glad to have struck a chord with you Kate. Thanks.

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