‘Radio Head’ by John Osbourne

John Osbourne’s book ‘Radio Head’ is a book for all lovers of radio. What a joy it must ahve been researching for this book whereby each day you try a new radio station to listen to whilst at work doing a fairly boring data entry job (shame I can’t listen to radio at work – lucky man). The book has a chapter on each station he listened to from the formula musical pap of Capital FM and Virgin (now improved as Absolute Radio), Virgin’s old saying used to be ‘you’re never more than an hour away from a Queen song.’ But he discovers some new joys like BBC Asian Network, 6 Music and Resonance, a station that you never know what’s coming up next.

There are also interviews with some of the author’s radio heroes including Mark Radcliffe, Tommy Boyd (who I am pleased to report is still on radio via a weekly podcast) and Nicolas Parsons. A enjoyable and easy read that certainly relighted my interest in radio surfing…

This got me thinking about my childhood days in the late 70’s and 80’s trying to get radio stations via  medium wave on a transitor radio. Bearing in mind a) there were far fewer statiosn then and b) we lived in the countryside just outside Stoke-on-Trent I was amazed to to pick-up Liverpool based 194 Radio City, although the reception was poor; Wolverhampton based Beacon Radio which was very boring I seem to recall and Radio Luxembourg. It only broadcast at night but had a decent playlist most of the time.

I was overjoyed when Stoke got its IRL (Independent Local Radio) station in the shape of Signal Radio which first broadcast in 1983. It was a thrill to have something better than BBC Radio Stoke. Many of the original radio DJ’s had worked stints at Manchester’s Picadilly Radio including the controversial James Stannage, who attracted Stoke’s more loony fringe and often had to cut them offas they went into various rants. Other DJ’s included the late Mel Scholes, John Evington, Doug Wood, Digby Taylor and Absolute’s Geoff Lloyd, who started off reading the traffic and travel then hosted an evening show. It is now known as Signal One and is still goign string, albeit with your bog standard daytime airplay list.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: