The death of the radio dj

I know that the first thing that crossed your minds when you saw the headline was Chris Moyles in a casket but what I am writing about today is about the demise of the radio dj in general.

Since the 1950s the Disc Jockey has had a very important role in the discovery and development of new talent. I bet every one of you can remember at some point listening intently to the radio for that exclusive play of a brand new song – your finger poised on the record button of a cheap mono tape .. Just me then?

tape recorder

The beauty of radio is that it was always accessible to everyone and the dj was there to tell you who it was and when it comes out.

As a teen my second favourite thing to do under the sheets was to listen to Radio 1 in the evening with Kid Jensen early evening as the appetiser and John Peel late evening definitely the main course. In retrospect I am surprised how well they complimented each other.

The BBC could influence the chart position of a single by refusing to play it .. Everyone can remember God Save the Queen by the Sex Pistols being banned from the airwaves during the queens jubilee year but what was the first song banned from airplay by the Beeb?

It was the bad boy of jollywood himself . George Formby with when Im cleaning windows with its smutty lyrics that the Beeb banned (strange but true)

The blushing bride she looks divine
The bridegroom he is doing fine
I’d rather have his job than mine
When I’m cleaning windows
george formby

The role of the dj took a sinister turn when Mike Read (no not that one) went all religious on us and refused to play Relax by Frankie goes to Hollywood. Of course if you tell the kids that they can not have it they want it all the more (ztt records did the perfect marketing job by bringing out a new remix almost daily until it was number 1)

Homosapien by Pete Shelley was banned by the Beeb (for “explicit reference to gay sex”) as was Spasticus Autisticus by Ian Dury, which was written for the international year of the disabled persons! But my favourite BBC ban has to be Sir Cliffs millenium prayer which was banned for being crap.

The role of the dj is under threat due to new technology. When the analogue signal is turned off we will all have to get our TV and radio via digital (why do all dab radios look so retro?)

dab radio
On dab at the moment there are stations that have no dj and the information about artist and title appear on a tiny scrolling led. Future models will have an mp4 style screen that can show information on the artist, including pictures of the cover and where to purchase/download.

But its the internet where radio is growing fastest but it is not always radio as we know it. Podcasts and build your own radio stations are popping up all over the net and its now easy to find obscure foreign stations.

So is it the end of radio djs?

I personally doubt it because I am a lazy sod who can not be arsed to lift my head towards the radio to see who the current artist is and as long as there are people like me there is a market for it.

Also radio listening figures are on the up, mainly due to mobile phone use. There are more specialist stations around -it is easier for me to listen to a radio station that plays my kind of music than for me to keep changing my mp3s.

Also i am a born again radio listener due to 96.2 the revolution. And because I am lucky enough to live within the 96.2 revolution frequency I can, as long as I dont venture too far, drive about listening to the best radio station ever all day long.

revolution radio

Its a station based in Oldham and do yourself a favour and give it a go as Mike Joyce said only last week. Its a music station made by music fans for music fans – if quims had a radio station i would hope that it would sound like this.

I apologise if this sounds like an advert but i have found a new enthusiasm for the radio that i thought i would never have again.

Here is what to expect

A 96.2 day starts with John Warburton 6am 10 am (comedian and co author of Shaun Ryders autobiography)

Then comes Phil Beckett 10am 2pm with the rebellious jukebox (a 2 hr slot at mid-day named after the fall song where he plays anything from The Snake by Al Wilson to Leaders Of Men by Warsaw . All chosen by the listeners and broadcast on daytime radio)

Late afternoon comes former mock turtles lead singer massive Bowie fan Martin Coogan 2pm-6pm (his famous brothers Steve and Brendan also do work for the Revolution)

Early evening comes Cottee 6pm 10pm(or on a Monday Manis manic Monday takes place .. stone roses/primal scream bassist showcases up and coming bands live)

Other djs include Mike Joyce (ex smiths), Alex Carter and Jeff Hordley (both off emmerdale . Seth must be spinning in his grave), and a host of other music fans.
This is not just a radio station it is a labour of love to which we are all invited. (They played all 22 mins of Autobahn by Kraftwerk last week and are the only station I know where it is not a surprise to hear ivor cutler played back to back with the clash)

Just look at the play lists etc on the website

Mike Dewsnip

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