2JJ 40th

2JJ sticker © Radio Heritage Foundation, Chris Mackerell Collection

Double J : 2JJ 1540 AM : 40 Years – Holger Brockman

Jan 18, 2015
By Adrian Zorec on YouTube

The audio here highlights the first hour of the official 2JJ broadcast from 1975 with a recent interview with the first voice on 2JJ AM which was Holger Brockman, I personally remember Holger when he presented drive, on pop music AM station, 2UW, now KIIS FM 106.5.

The Interview was part of the 40th Double J Anniversary broadcast which had a selection of previous presenters across the day doing short cameo return programs on 19th January 2015.

My personal disc jockey influences are John Laws and Bob Hughes but I also really enjoyed listening to Holger, when he was doing commercial radio he was entertaining and tight on air and I thought in the late 70’s, way cool to listen to, there is an attitudinal aspect to his intonation but it’s not over bearing or ingratiating to me, I just loved his on air sound.

On Sunday 19th January 1975 the ‘youth’ station 2JJ 1540AM was born in Sydney Australia, the ‘enfant terrible’ that shook the airwaves and challenged the established radio music culture of the 70’s with a somewhat then, progressive and counter culture view but really for the established pop music stations of the time, it was another signal in the market that eventually stole in the first few months about 5% of the then available youth segment, then more audience plus a version of the alternative type music format was born in the Australian radio scene.

Listener confirmation card for 2JJ’s first day of transmission
© David Ricquish Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation Collection

I was around in 1975 and aware of 2JJ but never ventured there as I was mostly a 2UW listener with pop music and sometimes listened to 2UE.

Hearing the first hour of 2JJ I’m now struck by the fact that by today’s standards, 2JJ in the first hour was well, pretty tame when hearing Elton John and Leo Sayer but the inclusion of the banned Skyhooks song and the playing of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple on a Sunday morning just after 11AM in 1975 was probably like the onset of the gates of hell opening up and we were all doomed to eternal fire !

There is a lot that could be written here about the politics and cultural impact of 2JJ which by August 1980 migrated to the FM band as 2JJJ FM and eventually became the national youth broadcaster of today from the government arm of the ABC : Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The ever expanding and converging media landscape in 2014 produced the re-boot of 2JJ to Double J on the Digital radio platform and online and on DVB radio across Australia.

Detail from 2JJ promotional poster, 1975
© Radio Heritage Foundation Collection

Double J now kind of serves as the ‘gold’ alternative station which allows it to look back on the music archive from a playlist point of view while still allowing new music to be played but without the focus of the main Triple J which caters to a ‘younger’ ? audience.

I guess the lines of distinction can get a bit blurred but Double J is certainly more retrospective in outlook than Triple J in the broadest possible terms.

This is a rare interview with Holger, specifically about the 2JJ first day and some anecdotes of the time with Angela Catterns as the interviewer, I’d say Holger is in his early 60’s but still has that essence and quality in his voice that makes him easy to listen to.

Double Jay poster. Image from Logopedia on fandom.com

Below is some info on Holger but I can’t verify the authenticity of this information so I can be corrected if anyone knows more than what I’ve sourced.

Holger Brockman began his career in commercial radio in the 1960s and worked for several years in the early 1970s at 2SM, then Australia’s top-rating pop music station. In line with the prevailing practice in commercial radio at that time, Brockman was obliged to adopt the anglophone pseudonym “Bill Drake” while working at 2SM.

Holger began at 2JJ in 1975 by broadcasting the “banned” Skyhooks track “You Just Like Me Cause I’m Good in Bed” but unfortunately 2JJ lost power in the first hour of broadcasting for a significant time due to a technical failure but soon regained consciousness to stay alive.

In 1976 Brockman was doing the breakfast shift at Double Jay to the jingle “We’re nice but we’re naughty.” A falling out at 2JJ saw Brockman go to 2GB in 1977 with the “Mellow Rock” format that included presenters Malcom T Elliot and Tim Webster.

I believe it was soon after this 2GB format failed in 1978 that Holger went to 2UW, then had a short stint at 2DAY FM in the early 80’s.

Then in the noughties there was a stint at ABC Newsradio, Holger still does commercial voice over work.

Special thanks to the ABC for use of this material, this is intended for educational archive purposes and not for profit.

The day Double Jay was hijacked http://doublej.net.au/news/features/d…

Double J http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/featur…

Triple J Launch : Gayle Austin

http://www.smh.com.au/news/TV–Radio/…

https://www.radioinfo.com.au/news/ori…

Two Double Jay – The opening of ABC Radio’s youth network in 1975 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbxDl…

Originally published on YouTube by Adrian Zorec, Jan 18, 2015.
Additional content from the Radio Heritage Foundation.

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