In the autumn of 2017 we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the launch of Radio1; but this institution is far from being in the autumn of it’s lifespan as it’s longevity is based on it’s ability to re-invent itself and refresh it’s modernity thus keeping it relevant to each new generation of music radio listeners.
Radio1 first hit the airwaves at 7am on Saturday 30th September 1967, famously hosted by Tony Blackburn, opening with Flowers in the Rain by The Move. Radio 1 came about as a result of Harold Wilson’s Marine & Broadcasting (Offences) Act 1967 which in effect sunk the pirate ship radio stations in the North Sea, by outlawing offshore broadcasting. The BBC then decided to fill the void with the launch of Radio1 and Radio2.
As the pirate ship radio station disc jockeys found themselves shipwrecked, they were easy prey for the BBC in terms of recruiting them to the newly formed Radio 1. As Radio1 established itself as a monopoly pop music radio station, the Radio 1 disc jockeys became household names and huge stars in the late 1960s and 1970s, both on radio and TV via the weekly edition of Top Of The Pops.
We all have our era and for the Record Press author it would have to be my formative years of listening to pop music from 1973 to 1977. The daily Radio1 schedule is etched in my memory and I can recite it thus –
9am – 12pm Tony Blackburn ( replaced by Simon Bates in 1977 )
12pm – 2pm Johnnie Walker ( replaced by Paul Burnett in 1976 )
2pm – 5pm David Hamilton ( replaced by Tony Blackburn in 1977 )
5pm – 7pm Dave Lee Travis
The Radio 1 DJs became our close companions – they were all genial friends, but we had “besties”!! I had a particular affection for Paul Burnett, who had a particularly dry wit. My other “DJ Bestie” was Noel Edmonds. In 2017 it is fashionable to lampoon and mock Noel Edmonds, but from 1973 to 1983 he was one of the most inventive and creative of radio presenters.
In 2012 and 2013 I paid tribute to Noel Edmonds in these two blog articles…..
“Who remembers the Noel Edmonds Radio 1 Breakfast Show in the 1970s?”…… http://www.myfirstrecord.co.uk/recordpress/radio/who-remembers-the-noel-edmonds-radio-1-breakfast-show-in-the-1970s/
“Like Doctor Who, everyone has their favourite Radio1 Breakfast Show DJ”……..
To mark and celebrate the Radio1 50th anniversary, we invite you to tell us about your memories of Radio1 in the Reply Box below. Who were your favourite Radio1 disc jockeys ( DJs ) and radio programmes and why?