2JJ (Double-Jay) Radio

Monday 20 January 1975 saw the birth of alternative Australian rock radio station, 2JJ - or "Doublejay" - using an old ABC radio standby  transmitter. Apart from a minor technical fault which put the station off-air briefly after transmission began at 11:00, the broadcast was heard in most parts of Sydney. The history-making first announcer was Holger(...)

Disc Jockeys

In Britain, Radio 1 and Top of the Pops began in the Sixties, but by 1970 the Disc Jockeys (or DJ's) had been elevated to stardom, and many were household names; Tony Blackburn, David 'Diddy' Hamilton, Alan 'Fluff' Freeman, Dave Lee Travis, Noel Edmonds and Jimmy Saville (who moved to television with Jim'll Fix It in 1975). Noel Edmonds(...)

Fred Dagg

Fred Dagg was actually New Zealand-born comedian and political satirist John Clarke, who appeared as Dagg on television always wearing a black singlet and gumboots. Fred Dagg, father of seven sons all called Trev, became a household name in Australia in 1975. His first single was Traditional Air, followed by We Don't Know How Lucky We Are (which(...)

Jimmy Clitheroe

James Robinson 'Jimmy' Clitheroe died on 6th June 1973 (the day of his mother's funeral). A coronial inquest found that his death was due to an accidental overdose of sleeping pills. He was 51 - but still looked 11. Throughout his life, Clitheroe never grew taller than 4' 3" and for most of his life(...)

Pirate Radio

The 1960s pirate radio phenomenon was founded on a simple loophole and a cunning understanding of maritime law. If a ship was moored three or more miles off the British coastline, it was technically sailing in international waters. A commercial radio station broadcasting from that ship - without a licence, on a stolen frequency, and(...)

Radio 1

Radio 1, the BBC's pop music station, began broadcasting on 31 August 1967, designed to replace the various pirate radio stations that had transmitted from waters off the UK since 1964. The pirates had recently been closed down, when the legal loophole which allowed them to operate was closed with the introduction of the Marine(...)

Radio Caroline

The first British pirate radio station, Radio Caroline, was founded by Ronan O'Rahilly in 1964. Having persuaded five City millionaires to back him, he acquired a ship, a crew of disc jockeys and engineers, two 10-kilowatt transmitters (£50,000 apiece) and a stack of records. The station started broadcasting on 29 March 1964, when DJ Simon Dee(...)

Radio London

In November 1964 a 780-ton former WWII minesweeper named MV Galaxy anchored three-and-a-half miles off the Essex coast and became home to Radio London - "Big L". The American-financed pirate station was to give Radio Caroline - the original UK pirate, launched seven months before - a serious run for its money, playing an all-day diet(...)

Radio Luxembourg

Arguably the earliest commercial radio station broadcasting in the English language, Radio Luxembourg started broadcasting to the entertainment-starved listeners of the United Kingdom. Often mistakenly referred to as a ‘Pirate' radio station, Radio Luxembourg offered an English speaking commercial service for more than 60 years and shaped the radio landscape for future commercial broadcasting in the UK.(...)

Tony Blackburn

The son of a doctor from Guildford, Tony Blackburn was the first DJ to broadcast on Radio 1 when it launched in September 1967. He spent 17 years at the station and also presented Top of the Popsand was a weekly fixture on Noel’s House Party. Prior to all that, he had broadcast on Radio(...)

Transistor Radios

When the transistor replaced the bulky and unreliable vacuum tube in amplification units, transistors did the job better and were much smaller, making it possible to drastically reduce the size of radios and record players. Transistors also had significantly lower power usage which meant that batteries became an option as a power source. The first(...)

Wolfman Jack

Wolfman Jack

1 9 3 9 - 1 9 9 5 With the on-air cool of Alan Freed and the smokestack growl of Howlin' Wolf, Robert Weston Smith - a young white man from Brooklyn - remade himself as DJ legend Wolfman Jack. Broadcasting from super-power Mexican transmitters from 1958 to 1966, Jack covered the US with his lawless mix(...)