Yes What? The Golden Age Of Wireless
Nowadays we talk about radio and you can generally categorise radio into two segments, Music and Talk Back.
But if you turn your mind back to the days before Television, radio was the centre of home entertainment. The broadcasting stations served to entertain, educate and inform.
Generally radio did not monopolise one category such as music or talk back. The stations served up a wealth of variety which continued up until the mid 1960s
There were the various radio serials where you had to listen in each day at the same time to follow what was happening in the serial much like today’s soap operas on TV. Did you know that the term “Soap Opera” came about due to radio when companies such as Colgate, Lever Bros etc sponsored the radio serials.
As well as the “Soap Operas” radio also had quiz shows, talent quests, comedy and introduced us to creations or characters such as “Sammy Sparrow”. Now I have always loved radio as a medium.
What has stirred my memory of the golden age of wireless as I like to call it, is that a couple of months ago, my darling wife bought a series of books by Ross Napier about the Castlereagh Line etc.
“The Castlereagh Line” was a long running “soap opera” on radio and can still be heard on various stations around the country. I was or rather still am a fan of the radio series and told my wife about it, hence she bought the whole series of books which is a rather good read also.
Last year I mentioned, in some of my “Memories” Facebook groups, radio shows and by far the one that most people remembered was “Yes What?” although of those who remembered that particular show most remembered the main character, “Greenbottle” and called the show by that name. Now this was a classic although the humour of the show may be lost on present day’s audience. The antics of Greenbottle and his classmates at school was, in its day, hilarious. We must not forget that very long running series of “Blue Hills” also. Blue Hills written by Gwen Meredith, was broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) for 27 years, from 28 February 1949 to 30 September 1976. It ran for a total of 5,795 episodes, and was at one time the world’s longest-running radio serial. Each episode lasted 15 minutes. It succeeded another Gwen Meredith serial The Lawsons with many of the same themes and characters, and which ran for 1,299 episodes.
Some of the old radio characters that I also recall fondly included “Andrea”, who I guess you would say was a sort of Agony Aunt who one would call and she would try to sort out your problem. Eric Baume was also yet another from that era. In the mid-60s radio stations went into formatting their programmes so that you would have stations which would bring you “The Good Guys” who played the latest record releases. The announcers became known as “Dee Jays” or “Disc Jockeys”. Many became household names such as Ward “Pally” Austin, Bob Rogers, John Laws and a whole host of others including a good friend of mine the late Keith McGowen, who passed away just over two years ago. We must not forget either those radio personalities who live in our area such as Pete Graham, remember Pete’s “Juke Box Saturday Night”? and also Ray Hadley a current talk back radio presenter.
What radio shows do you recall? What disc jockeys do you remember?
Did you know that many of the soap operas and comedy series such as “Yes What” are available on CD from Grace Gibson Productions? You can also order books such as the “Castlereagh series” from them . You can contact them for a catalogue of old radio serials and comedies at 9906-2244; Fax: 02 9906-2114 Email: email@example.com Address: PO Box 7377, Leura NSW 2780.
With the advent of FM radio, which specialise in music, a number of AM stations turned to “Talk Back” radio. Now I am not a fan of such stations preferring to be entertained with music and news. “Talk Back” radio leaves me dead as I have listened to opinionated radio broadcasters, they do have a role however in drawing attention to some issues but I also find that quite often their views can be biased and sometimes they may have been misinformed.
Now What About Your Memories Or Your Story
If you have some great memories, or perhaps you belong to a local community organisation and would like to share your organisation’s history or story with us then feel free to share your memories or experiences by writing to PO Box 1278, Baulkham Hills, NSW 1755 or email to metropoll@optusnet. com.au. You can also share memories on any of my facebook memories groups including Hills District Memories which you will find here https://www. facebook.com/groups/Hills.memories/. You can write about childhood memories of where you may have grown up. Tell us about your school days. Where you worked, played or went on holidays. Your first car or that first date or maybe the history of your group or organisation in the district. This page is about memories so tell us yours.