Thursday, 18 March 2021

Radio Songs #69: Back To The Start...

Longtime readers will remember a regular series on this blog that fizzled out a couple of years back entitled Radio Songs. In it I told stories from my first, and best, job, working in local radio. The series fizzled when the fun started to run out, with the arrival of my Arch Nemesis "Tim Allen", computerised playlists and the end of my short-lived on-air career (although I'm not sure I ever got to that story). There are other tales to be told... quite a few actually... and perhaps I'll return to them one day, but in the meantime I thought I'd run a few photographs stolen from a Facebook group full of anoraks who collect bits and piece from the golden age of local radio. These photos show the station I worked at, how it looked when I first arrived there in 1988... although much of it changed dramatically in the following years.

Let's start with the record library. I spent many long hours in there, cataloguing the vinyl you see above at first... and soon after overseeing the beginnings of the compact disc library. And when I say cataloguing, I'm not talking about computerisation... I mean index cards! Be still my beating heart. Just the thought of those old index cards warms the cockles.

I've probably mentioned this before, but when the process of replacing that vinyl with CDs began, a large proportion of the LPs above (along with many of the 7" singles, which were on the unseen opposite side of the central column with postcards pinned to it) ended up in a skip. I, and many of my colleagues, rescued a good few of those records and gave them better homes... but looking back now, I wish I'd rescued a whole lot more. Of course, the ones I did rescue have long since been donated to even better homes... but such is the circle of life.

I can't express to you just how precious it is to see that messy little room again. Joy and heartbreak in one single photograph.

Here's The Big O, leading the charge with the Traveling Wilburys on backing duties...


  1. "although I'm not sure I ever got to that story"

    You didn't, and I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to hear it.

    1. It's not as interesting as you might think.

  2. Have you heard the original version of "Heartbreak Radio" by Frankie Miller?

  3. That's a brilliant photo and I'm sure I'm not the only one who can't help straining a little just to see if I can read the names on the album cover spines, even though I know of course that I can't...
    More radio stories welcome any time.

  4. Yes, a great picture and it reminds me of all the dexion shelving in my old 1988 office, full of tangible paperwork before it was taken away.

    Definitely want to hear more radio stories.


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