Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - Sunday, February 7 - With Ivor Jones & Friends

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: info@graceg­ib­son­ra­ 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. You can also share mem­o­ries on any of my face­book mem­o­ries groups in­clud­ing Hills Dis­trict Mem­o­ries which you will find here https://www. face­­o­ries/. 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.

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