|Bluehaze Multimedia - Chapter 1 (of 3)|
Rex's home-made train - some JPEGs and MPEGs and a story
Come and explore Victoria's old railway lines on Rex's home-made train
|The Orbost-Nowa Nowa train line and an introduction to Rex's home-made train - - a few JPEGs and MPEGs and bit of a story. An unorthodox adventure in the Australian countryside ...|
|The Kilcunda line - the earlier days of Rex's train. More JPEGs (and short MPEGs), and again - a bit of a story. From 1988.|
Friday June 15,2001 Has a classic My Word segment about 10 minutes in, followed by Till death us do part, Round the Horn and more. If you can't get it to stream reliably, right-click here instead and select "Save link/target as" to save and play locally.
Monday June 18,2001 Includes excerpts from Take it from here and Steptoe and Son. If you can't get it to stream reliably, right-click here instead and select "Save link/target as" to save and play locally.
Friday June 22,2001
Includes classic excerpts from Dave Allen (body language),
Goons, Monty Python (lumberjack), Just a minute,
Steptoe and son, Armpit Theatre, and more.
And if you can't get it to stream reliably,
here instead and select "Save link/target as" to save and play locally.
If you want better quality, click here for the MP3 version - about 22 Mb.
Tuesday June 26,2001
Includes excerpts from Not the 9 O'clock news, Tony Hancock,
Pete and Dud, I'm sorry, I haven't a clue, To the manor
born and more.
And if you can't get it to stream reliably,
here instead and select "Save link/target as" to save and play locally.
If you want top quality, click here for the MP3 version - about 32 Mb.
Monday July 2,2001
Includes excerpts from
I'm sorry, I'll read that again, Bob Davis, Who's line
is it anyway?, Till death us do part, Round the Horn,
and an overrun into the next program!
If you can't get it to stream reliably, right-click here instead and
select "Save link/target as" to save and play locally.
If you want top quality, click here for the MP3 version - about 29 Mb.
Multimedia Chapter 2 has complete versions of some programmes ...
A jump back in time - Radio Melbourne 3AW in the War years - 1940
The Pepsodent Show (Sunday Night at 8) from 3AW, October 1940. This programme was networked around Australia from Melbourne's Comedy Theatre, and compered by Terry Dear. The running time of this excerpt is about 25 minutes. RealAudio or MP3. (re-encoded 25-Jan-2004)
This is one of a series of acetate broadcast discs uncovered by Chris Long during a trip up the East coast of Australia a couple of years ago. It has a great rendition of Melancoly Mood by Dita Robinson about 9 minutes in. Click on the RealAudio version for a quick preview - or to get a better idea of the quality, download the 18Mb MP3, which is encoded at 96 Kbit/sec to get a reasonable response up to 15 KHz.
Old acetates dry out and become brittle, and you can hear plenty of groove damage on this disc - probably as a result of them having been played with a low compliance cartridge or worn stylus. Nevertheless, the frequency response was what surprised me. It does sound as though condenser microphones may have been in use at 3AW in 1940, at least for live concerts.
If you enjoyed listening to the above sample, here's one more excerpt from the series. It was the final show of the year - Sunday 10th Novmeber, 1940. As with the first sample above, this one also has some groove damage on Dita Robinson's song (someone obviously liked listening to Dita!). Running time of this excerpt is about 25 minutes. RealAudio or MP3. (re-encoded 25-Jan-2004)
By 1975, of course, things had changed a lot.
Radio variety shows, dramas and daily serials had already disappeared, and
3AW was in the process of moving from their well established "something for
everyone" mix of music programmes, news specials, magazine segments and
speciality music shows towards a new, very specialised "format" - that of
The existing generation of well established 3AW personalities from the 1950s and 1960s - such as Martha Gardiner (the legendary "Martha Gardiner Recommends" show at 1pm weekdays), David McGee (Chief Announcer), Norman Banks (with his famous world travel interviews and news comment that he'd originally established on 3KZ), Arthur Lyster (sport and comedy), Geoff Manion (cool music and interviews), Ralph Rickman (late night jazz), Tony Doherty (Top 40), and John Bright (breakfast) were now in the process of being pushed aside to make way for a brash new group of "Shock Jock" on-air presenters.
The new breed lacked formal voice training, had little or no background training in the radio or entertainment industry, and (more often than not) sounded quite "nasal", but such changes have nevertheless kept 3AW at the top of Melbourne's radio ratings throughout the ensuing years. This also happened in spite of their decision to stay on AM (1278 KHz) when so many other stations were making the (very expensive) jump to VHF FM in an attempt to improve their ratings.
The following two excerpts are from December 1975, somewhere in the middle of this transitional period of 3AW from their general "personality, magazine and cool/MOR music" format over to their present, almost pure "talkback" format.
It was also right in the middle of an unprecedented political upheaval in Australia, whereby we'd just had an elected and reformist Government (headed by Labor leader Gough Whitlam) sacked by the Australian Governor General, John Kerr. This happened after the Opposition party (the Liberals, headed by Malcolm Fraser) had blocked the budget Supply Bill. (Click here if you want more background on that particular upheaval.)
The first off-air log below features the one and only Claudia Wright, feminist
extrordinaire, interviewing Bob Hawke (then of the ACTU). One almost feels a
bit sorry for Mr Ian McFee MHR (25-30 minutes in) when listening to this,
but I guess that's politics.
Claudia Wright (3AW) interviewing Bob Hawke (ACTU), December 1975 - Streaming RealBubblingAudio version or the bigger (34Mb) and better quality MP3 version (re-encoded 25-Jan-2004, running time = 73 minutes).
Another excerpt from the same period - this time on the theme of alleged press bias. The names of some of the political parties mentioned near the end of this one are interesting. There's even an interview with the leader of the DLP (the Democratic Labor Party), Frank McManus. (Although, listening to Frank, it isn't difficult to imagine why the DLP disappeared soon after.) Again, you can listen via the streaming RealBubblingAudio version or you can go for the bigger (15Mb) and better quality MP3 version (re-encoded 25-Jan-2004, running time = 31 minutes).
Incidentally, you may notice some slight "volume jitter" and the odd signal "drop out" in the above off-air logs, mainly due to the particular reel of tape having suffered many years of hard use prior to this particular recording. This was just one of the many frustrations we had to tolerate in the bad old days of analogue recording.
Nevertheless, as Melbourne listeners may notice, the transmitted audio quality from 3AW was significantly better in 1975 than it is now. The frequency response was excellent (from around 30Hz to 12KHz), to the point where when the studio desk is occasionally bumped, you can almost feel it! The transmitted dynamic range was also very good. Since the 1990s, the transmitted quality from 3AW has become so poor and the distortion so bad that listener's telephone calls often sound clearer and smoother than the on-air presenters.
Presumably, this is a by-product of the concomitant trend to "self-regulation" in combination with poorly skilled technicians as employed at Australian metro AM stations.
3AW have a web site of sorts - here, although it contains very little history and no sound archives. Good times to listen these days are 6pm to midnight on Sundays (Bruce Mansfield and Philip Brady), and 12 midday until 4pm weekdays (Ernie Sigley) - if you can put up with the 5 minute back-to-back commercial breaks every 10 minutes (yet another aspect of commercial radio that's been deregulated in Australia).
Some other related links - Carols by Candlelight had lonely beginning (Norman Banks) and What makes a good radio presenter from a 1995 ABC Media Report.
Arrrr, what the heck - let's drop in a session or two from back in 1991 when Geoff Manion dropped back in to 3AW to join Bruce Mansfield in "Remember when" (when Philip was AWOL for a few weeks). The quality isn't that great because when I tuned in and heard Geoff's voice, I discovered that my high quality tuner was dead. So I frantically had to grab the portable GX 300 radio and set up a patch cord for that instead. As a result, the sound is a bit distorted.
Anyway, listening to this, it's still the ever cool, inimitable Geoff Manion that most of Melbourne loved and listened to on 3AW for so many years from 1956 into the mid 1970s. In this first session, Ralph Rickman rang in from Queenland as well ...
Geoff Manion returns to 3AW in 1991 - session 1 of 2 (28 mins, 14Mb, MP3)
This 2nd one also featured Bob Horsefall - plus lots of old ads that we
hadn't heard for years. And an excerpt from a Dad and Dave serial (a
legendary Oz radio serial from the 1930s to the early 1950s). And the
history of organisations such as Lee Gordon who were the first to bring
entertainers such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Sammy Davis Jnr out
to Oz. Plus Alan Heferdon (Lee Gordon) and Hec (Hector) Harris ...
Geoff Manion returns to 3AW in 1991 - session 2 of 2 (68 mins, 32Mb, MP3)
And while we're here, on the same tape (GD4 - general dubs #4) I found
another Bruce and Phil session (or several) from 1991 that featured bits of
a radio serial that was well before my time (1940s) but quite fascinating
to hear nonetheless. So sit back, turn out the lights, and listen to ...
Excerpts from a 1940s radio serial - Five Fingers (spy drama) (30 mins, 14Mb, MP3)
Another jump back in time, to Melbourne's 3DB in 1962
The Hit Parade of Victoria from 3DB/3LK - the whole 30 minutes worth from 6:30pm to 7pm on Sunday July 1st, 1962, as presented by Ernie Sigley.
Owned by Melbourne's Herald-Sun newspaper empire, 3DB was sold off in the 1980s when the (Labor) Government of the day decided that cross-media ownership was a bad thing. The new owners promptly changed the name from 3DB to 3TT, and then shortly afterwards bought an FM licence and moved to FM as TT-FM (101.1 MHz) with the usual ultra-slick, boring "limited playlist" format consisting of "music only, no informed goss on the songs allowed" that continues to the present day. (Heaven forbid that announcers might be allowed to play a few songs of their own choice, whether from this era or any other. Nah, can't allow that ... things might actually start to sound a bit interesting!)
Ernie has always been versatile - he worked in radio, and also recorded a few hits, then moved into TV for a few years, and now - 43 years later - works at Melbourne's 3AW on their afternoon ("magazine") shift. And he's as popular as ever, maintaining his characteristically warm "common touch" without being in the least condesending.
At the time that Ernie did this shift at 3DB way back in 1962, he was just starting out in radio, and must have been all of about 19 years of old age. You can listen to it in limited quality via RealAudio, or in considerably better quality via the (16Mb) MP3.
Barry Ferber was also at 3DB in 1963, and was just as well known as Ernie. As with that cut, this is from another tape that Chris Long picked up in May 2003 from Alan Bresnahan's collection. Broadcast from Herald-Sun Radio 3DB on Sunday evening, January 6, 1963 from 6PM to 7PM, this was a round-up of "The Top 20 Tunes of 1962". Complete with "Loves" department store 'live reads' plus The Loves song as recorded by Radio Melbourne's 3AW's Denis Gibbons, full-time radio announcer and part-time folk-singer. (Denis was also a terrific practical joker, as I discovered when I was fortunate enough to work at 3AW as a panel-operator in 1963/64!). As usual, you can listen to this log in limited quality via RealAudio, or in considerably better quality via the rather big (30 Mb) MP3.
Lyn Nuttall was a keen 3DB listener in those days too - check out his Poparchives Blog for more about Barry Ferber, the music of the time, and more!
Stan Rofe, aka Stan the Man, originally on 3KZ in Melbourne in the late 1950s and 1960s, and then on 3UZ in the 1970s (and on various FM stations after that) was a true icon on the local rock music radio DJ scene. This 1970 aircheck was passed on by a person who wishes to remain anonymous but who's enjoyed some other stuff on these pages and just felt the urge to contribute something back (and for that, we're really grateful, R).
Listening to this 1970 one hour excerpt from Stan's Sunday arvo Top 40 countdown on 3UZ and hearing all the ancient music being played, it suddenly hit me - this was the first time these songs had been aired! The thought of that suddenly rocked me - people were actually flocking out to buy these 7 inch singles in their millions. Elvis Presley was still alive, rating number 8 with "The Wonder Of You" (and touring Detroit) ... wow!
3UZ was then run by Nilsen's Broadcasting Service (part of Nilsen Electrical as owned by Oliver J Nilsen) and they had an excellent frequency for an AM radio station because the efficiency of groundwave propagation improves as the frequency is lowered - precisely why the Government placed their ABC stations at the low frequency end of the AM band. But as a commercial station, 3UZ had the next best thing - they'd been allocated the lowest frequency commercial licence in Melbourne, 930 KHz. As a result, their powerful long reaching signal provided excellent daytime reception to all of Victoria (and Tasmania) - and most of Australia at night.
I've done some equalising on the original, boosting the highs and lows with a Cooledit FFT filter until it looked fairly flat in its spectral analyser, and then run it through level (a peak-limiter program I've written) with very gentle settings just to get the level fairly constant. Finally, it's been encoded to MP3 using Lame 3.96.1 at 48Kbit mono, so the frequency response does brickwall now at 10KHz. Being an hours worth, it's a large file (21Mb) so you'll need to be patient downloading it as always (even if you're lucky enough to get all my limited bandwidth, it will still take you more than 10 minutes to download).
Your rocky jockey, Stan the Man on 3UZ, 1970 (1 hour MP3 - large, 21Mb)
This is a lesser jump back in time - unfortunately not to 3XY itself, but close. Some recollections, jingles and hits, presented by an enthusiast ...
The 3XY 10 From Then was a regular segment in The Morning After, a Saturday afternoon 70s hits program hosted by Ken Francis in the mid 1990s on Southern FM (88.3) here in Melbourne. I was intrigued by Ken's obvious love of 3XY and the pop industry, and with his own funny, flamboyant on-air style, and I couldn't resist recording some of his shows. So what you'll hear via these 2 excerpts is more of a flashback within a flashback ... recorded in 1995/96, but more a celebration of 3XY and the ABC's Countdown and so on from back in the 1970s.
Ken Francis on S-FM with (part of) his "3XY 10 From Then" countdown for 1976 (MP3 - 15Mb)
And another one (more complete ... 45 minutes worth) - Ken's "3XY 10 From Then" countdown for 1980 (MP3 - 23Mb ... big!)
Another of the many weird and wonderful personalities on Southern FM at that stage was a guy calling himself "F W De Clerk" - who has what must be the most nasally sounding voice you've ever heard on the radio - but his shows were similarly great to listen to. Again recorded in the mid-90s, "F W" specialised more in current music (this is a long excerpt - around an hour's worth):
Part of an "FW De Clerk" show on S-FM (MP3 - 29Mb ... yeh, very big!)
These days, most of these kinds of guys seem to have been pushed out of Southern FM - I've tuned in a few of times recently but the music was all ... well, not sure what the genre's even called - it's the one where there's a fixed beat off a synthesiser and there's someone talking rubbish more in less in time to the beat and it's all happening in the one fixed pitch. Anyway, whatever it's called, it did nothing for me and I couldn't spin the dial away fast enough.
Ken Francis has a bit of a
of his own, BTW - courtesy of
Bruce and Phil
(on whose show he apparently helps out these days). I can't find any trace of
Mr "F W De Clerk" though, so I've no idea as to what's happened to him.
As with the "3XY" lot above, this clip is not, unfortunately, from 3AK itself, but it is very much connected with that station as it existed in the 1960s, as you'll hear. I was going through my tapes the other night and I came across a recording of an amazing Melbourne DJ, Grantley Dee, doing a guest spot on a "Golden Oldies" hit show as run by a mate of mine (Geoff) on a local community station, 3CR (837 KHz AM).
The quality is fairly awful, I'm afraid - it was recorded by a mutual friend via a radio-cassette recorder and reception wasn't just distorted, it was also rather weak, muffled, and noisy. (I've tried to improve things as much as possible for the MP3 clip, BTW). The weak signal was largely because 3CR at that time only ran around 200 watts, and that was fed into a rather small and inefficient transmitting mast located in a nearby park not far from their inner-city Collingwood studios.
Anyway, getting back to Grantley Dee and 3AK - for us Melbourne kids, Grantley was the face of Top 40 pop music from around 1960 to 1972 ("Where no wrinklies fly") and I figure there are probably one or two of you out there who'll enjoy hearing Grantley's typically high-pressure DJ style of the 1960s once again ... distortion, static and all.
Why was Grantley Dee so amazing? Well, for one thing, he was completely blind from birth. For another, he began his high-pressure top-rating radio career as a DJ on 3AK in 1962 at the tender age of 16. And he got top ratings. And if that's not enough - he could sing, and he had a string of hit records.
Anyway, getting back to this sound clip as recorded off 3CR in 1979 ... for those of you who've never heard of 3CR, it's very much a "community" station, with a policy of avoiding anything which is at all "commercial" sounding. Part of the point of establishing 3CR was to provide an alternative to the usual high pressure, formularised and Americanised output of Australian radio of the 1970s. Programs consist of 30 or 60 minute talk and discussion slots put together by their 120 or so paid-up station affiliates, and all music shows concentrate quite heavily on local Australian content.
I even heard a rumour at one point that some music (such as the pop group "ABBA") were banned from airplay for being too "commercial". So I hate to think how far the station committee's collective jaws must have dropped when they heard this little Monday afternoon session.
I've had a go at correcting the frequency response and killing off the static, incidentally. And Geoff himself even dropped in and added a little intro and outro to it (via an inexpensive Behringer B-1 condenser microphone I bought out of curiousity back in November 2005) for a bit of extra amusement ...
Part of a surprise guest spot by ex-3AK DJ Grantley Dee on Geoff's 3CR "Hits and Memories" show from August, 1979 (MP3, 15Mb - about 42 minutes)
Here are a couple of good links if you're interested in the amazing life and times of Grantley himself, or of 3AK:
Grantley Dee - his life and times via the Rockabilly Hall of fame (brief but fascinating)
An online history of 3AK
- by Ash Long Media, Melbourne
Here's a brief selection of 1970's Australian sound (radio) commercials from the tape archives here. These were recorded at various advertising agency studios in Melbourne (and Sydney) in the mid-1970's.
By the way, the order is slightly different in the RA and Ogg versions at the moment:
Part 1, via streaming RealBadAudio or high quality via Ogg Vorbis.
Some more of these via RealBadAudio or Ogg Vorbis.
And even a part 3 - RealBadAudio or Ogg Vorbis.
An old Chappell 78 called "Melody on the move" which was recorded in the early 50's (Queens Hall Light Orchestra, UK). These 10" discs were single sided and pressed on vinyl. They were specifically recorded for radio program "mood music" and program themes.
The particular copy I've got was thrown out from 3AW in the late 50's because it was excessively worn, and as was common practice when replacing such recordings in the library, a yellow oil crayon was scoured around it to indicate unsuitability for air-play.
Out of interest, I've processed it direct from disc to WAV via an Ortofon MC10 cartridge into mag pre-amp with the RIAA de-emph disabled, and then through "Cool Edit" for de-crackling, and finally out to a RealAudio file. Unfortunately the Ortofon is only fitted with a "microgroove" elliptical stylus, which means it tends to ride down the bottom of the 78 groove!
Interesting though ... although the (PCM) WAV is 14Mb (16 bit, 44100 b/s mono), the corresponding RealAudio result squashed down to only 316K - a compression ratio of around 50:1 (for a 16 Kbit data rate). How the heck do they manage that? I find it quite amazing.
And here's episode 3 of the John Polianakis Spanish Guitars show.
John is really into classic Spanish flamenco and does a regular spot
on 3ZZZ FM here in Melbourne. He passed on this program in July 2001.
So if you enjoy spanish flamenco, have a listen to this test program.
To multimedia Chapter 2 ...
Last update to this page - Sat 11-Mar-2006 (add 3UZ/Stan Rofe)