Strewth! How ABC Australia make their radio news sound very important!

ABC Australia

This is a very annorakky radio post.

ABC local radio in Australia is superb. It is a vast network providing essential information to Australians all over their huge country. At the moment, they are providing an incredible service concerning the fires.

I particularly like the way they showcase their hourly (top-of-the-hour) news. They have this very majestic fanfare before it, which just happens to be a tune called “Majestic Fanfare”, which they have used for decades.

But one little nuance which they apply actually makes the news sound more important. They have a three second gap before the news fanfare and a three second gap after the news has finished. It really is a master stroke. And it is, I guess, counter-intuitive, as the instinct of most radio folks is to fill every gap.

Here is the short fanfare they use for their hourly news:

….And here is a fuller version with the orchestra playing it (including quite a bit of “hamming it up” by the percussion section!):

Listen to what Australian shoppers are listening to now!

Embed from Getty Images

…That is probably not an entirely attractive proposition, but I find listening to Coles radio grimly fascinating.

Coles supermarkets, along with Woolworths (yes, Woolies!) account for 80% of Australian supermarket activity.

So, Coles are big!

And when you push your trolley round a Coles, you hear their radio. Coles Radio. Cheery music interspersed with news of this week’s special offers.

Asda FM, in the UK, is allegedly available on the internet, although I couldn’t find it.

But Coles radio is available on the internet, not just once, but in seven different flavours, one for each of the main states of Australia.

I have listened this morning to Queensland Coles Radio. “A beautiful girl in an ugly Christmas sweater” by Garth Brooks was playing.

Now, I’m listening to Northern Territory Coles Radio and “Your kiss is on your list” by Hall and Oates. Lime Cordiale and “Robbery” followed, which seemed a half decent track.

All this may not be your cup of tea, but it’s worth sampling Coles Radio, if only out of curiosity.

PS. Coles NT are now playing “Ruby” from the Kaiser Chiefs. Back of the net!

Dee Time from 1968 with rare footage of The Equals

This video (below) is a rare full length recording of Dee Time from 1968. It was broadcast by BBC4 in 2004.

Dee Time was introduced by Simon Dee, a former pirate radio deejay, who became phenomenally successful on television for a short period before putting the “crash” in “crash and burn”.

On this show, you can see why he was very successful – his show was an attractive mix of music, topicality and star interviews, punctuated by his jokes.

But you can also see why his persona was somewhat brittle. Some of his jokes fall a bit flat or don’t come out right. He is Bob Monkhouse without the thousands of hours of preparation that the latter used to put into his performances.

That said, Dee Time was a real trail blazer for TV interview programmes. Incredibly it was live.

Guests on this edition are Susanna York, Lionel Jeffries (a very funny segment) and the The Equals (singing “Softly, Softly”).

The Equals, with lead singer Eddy Grant, deserve more credit in my view. They were the first mainly black British group to have a number one, with “Baby Come Back”.

The accolade for the first British black band to have a number one goes to The Real Thing. It is a shame that The Equals don’t get creditted for this achievement as they had a number one eight years before the Real Thing. It’s because the Equals were not wholly black, three out of their five members were black.