From David’s Desk: Issue 19

Christmas 2007 Gift Catalog

2CH Christmas Party at the Trocadero, Sydney. 1937.
© Sam Hood Collection, State Library of NSW.

Make a donation to help our fund raising and we’ll send you the items of your choice from our Christmas 2007 Gift Catalog.

Gifts include ‘World Radio TV Handbook 2008’, ‘Passport to World Band Radio 2008’, Set of 10 Art of Radio Japan Postcards and much more.

Choose now from the following versions of The Christmas 2007 Gift Catalog. Click on the version you want, read the catalog and make your donation with VISA, Mastercard and American Express using the secure PAYPAL server. You do not need to be a PAYPAL member to use your credit card to make your donation.

[Donations of over $NZ5 are tax deductible. See catalog for full details and get $1 back for every $3 you donate.]

Every dollar you donate helps us collect, store, digitize, research and publish all kinds of radio heritage memorabilia and we need your financial help to cover our operational costs.

Other Christmas 2007 Gift Ideas

You can also help us by doing your Amazon shopping through our store links. We have a large collection of radio and media books and other media merchandise all at great prices, and free shipping may be available for your order!

Choose now from our Amazon links for more secure Christmas 2007 Gift Shopping ideas. Click on the following direct links:

Top 50 Radio Books
Antique and Vintage Radio Books
Pacific Radio Shack [our unique new store with David’s Wish List, Books, DVD’s, Magazines, VHS and Electronic Equipment]

Every dollar you spend through these three on-line store links helps generate needed funds for our radio heritage preservation programs.

This Christmas, make your dollars count for the Radio Heritage Foundation!

September 30 2007

Kiwi Radio Legend – Ambrose Reeves Harris

3YA Christchurch On Air
3YA Christchurch Opening
© Winstone Harris Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation.

I recently met with Winstone Harris in Christchurch and we spent several hours chatting about his fathers pioneering role in establishing radio broadcasting in New Zealand and his own memories of those early days. We’re fortunate that some of our earliest radio heritage remains within living memory of those closely connected at the time.

Young Ambrose traveled to the USA to work alongside Thomas Edison at his Edison Laboratories between 1910-1913. The world of radio in those days was small enough for a young electrical engineer from Wanganui to work directly with Edison, and when he returned home he helped construct the Lake Coleridge power station near Christchurch and introduced fleets of battery powered trucks to local businesses decades before the current ‘eco’ vehicles were in vogue.

David Ricquish outside old 3YA Christchurch studios in 2005. Note the set of bronze radio towers still used for outside decorative lighting.
© Radio Heritage Foundation Collection

As Edisons’ representative in New Zealand, Ambrose moved into selling a range of electrical goods, including early radio receiving sets. By the mid-1920’s he and dairy farmer William Goodfellow negotiated to establish a national broadcasting service and together they formed the Radio Broadcasting Company of New Zealand that began operation in 1925.

This private business operated stations 1YA Auckland, 2YA Wellington, 3YA Christchurch and 4YA Dunedin. It also installed a transmitter for 2YB New Plymouth and supplied programs to provincial stations 1ZH Hamilton, 2ZF Palmerston North, 2ZD Masterton, 3ZR Greymouth and 4ZP Invercargill.

From its headquarters in Christchurch, the RBC effectively introduced through its programs a shared feeling of what it was like to be a New Zealander at the same time as radio sets appeared in every home and ‘talkies’ graced cinema screens.

The ‘Radio Record’ a weekly publication listing the RBC’s programs was launched 80 years ago in 1927 and soon became one of the nations most popular and well read magazines with feature columns about radio, film, stage and theater productions.

Ambrose was a man interested in modern and efficient management methods, and he built both the RBC and his own company, AR Harris Limited on foundations of fairness and free enterprise.

Holding the gift plaque from the staff of the RBC to Ambrose at the closure of the RBC are [L] Radio Heritage Foundation Chairman David Ricquish and [R] Winstone Harris.
The plaque features the twin towers of 2YA atop Mt Victoria.
© Jo Del Monaco, Radio Heritage Foundation 2007

Winstone remembers his father taking radio receivers to their holiday home at the Selwyn Huts [near Christchurch] and 30-40 people gathering around to listen to programs as varied as concerts, talks, farming news, interviews, sports results and much local talent appearing live in front of the 3YA microphones. Not to mention ”Chuckle & Chook’ two early radio personalities.

In 1931, after six and a half years of nation building via radio, the contract of the RBC expired and the government refused to allow a renewal. Instead, they nationalized the RBC network that then became the NZ Broadcasting Board and headquarters were quickly moved to the capital, Wellington. Compensation at below real value of the plant and equipment was paid to the RBC and within a few years, the government also closed down most of the remaining private stations.

Ambrose wrote shortly after the RBC was nationalized: “The site chosen for 2YA was the rocky eminence of Mt.Victoria, overlooking the city [Wellington], whence, untrammelled by man-made structures, the radio waves sweep the whole of New Zealand, across the Tasman Sea, to the South Sea Islands and to the furthest shores of the Pacific.”

At the time, 2YA with 5kW power was the most powerful radio station in the Southern Hemisphere and second only to Daventry in the British Empire.

We’re grateful to Winstone for sharing some of his engaging memories of his father and for providing photos and other memorabilia for the Radio Heritage Foundation archives.

AR Harris in later years.
© Winstone Harris Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation

Ambrose Reeves Harris 1885 -1963 – Kiwi Radio Legend

Please contact us if you have any photos, recordings, booklets, printed materials, posters or memories of the Radio Broadcasting Company or any other early broadcasters from the period 1920-1940.

Mainstreet Radio Onehunga

Celebrating over 75 Years of Popular Kiwi Radio

Mainstreet Radio goes silent

By Heather McCracken – Central Leader

No one knows when adverts stopped playing on Onehunga Mall. And retailers can’t agree if they should start again.

So Onehunga’s Mainstreet Radio looks set to be silenced for good unless a buyer is found for the 10-year-old business.

Some shopowners will be happy to see the end of the automated system playing a mix of music and local advertising through shopfront speakers.  > read more

SOUNDS CONTROVERSIAL: Cafe owner Jason Marconi doesn’t want adverts playing to shoppers outside his business.
© JASON OXENHAM/Central Leader

GuruFM Kerikeri

Celebrating over 75 Years of Popular Kiwi Radio

New radio station a guru of music

With Kerikeri’s growth, more young people are settling in the area. Among them is Rob Fussell whose new GuruFM radio station is filling a gap for alternative music enthusiasts.

Rob, has spent the past eight years travelling which has helped him compile a collection of more than 20,000 tracks which he is broadcasting from his Hone Heke Road bedroom.

The low power community station can be heard on 107FM in an area between Bulls Gorge and Matauri Bay, depending on the weather.  > read more

LOVE OF MUSIC: Rob Fussell at Living Nature, where he works as a massage therapist.
© The Bay Chronicle

Ross FM Palmerston North

Celebrating over 75 Years of Popular Kiwi Radio

Making Waves

By Judith Lacy, Tribune

Learning broadcasting skills isn’t just a theoretical exercise for Ross Intermediate School students on Friday the Palmerston North school launched its own radio station.

88.6 Ross FM is broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 88.6FM.  > read more

AIR WAVES: Ross Intermediate School students do a test broadcast of their radio station 88.6 Ross FM before launching it on Friday. From left, Sophie Lim (DJ), Timothy Leppard (technician) and Billy Innes-Drewery (DJ.)

Council to demolish original 3ZB building

In the same week that Christchurch [New Zealand] hosted the UNESCO World Heritage Conference, local city councillor Gail Sheriff confirmed she was on the panel that agreed to demolish the original 3ZB transmitter building in North Beach. This is one of the few remaining radio heritage sites in a city where Ernest Rutherford conducted his radio broadcasts in 1894, possibly earlier than those of Marconi.  > read more

3ZB transmitter building today
© Radio Heritage Foundation

4ZR – Roma
The Maranoa Broadcasting Company

4ZR Roma, owned by the Maranoa Broadcasting Co. Ltd. and situated in the wealthy Maranoa District provides both extensive entertainment and an excellent information service. Besides national news taken on relay, an independent local news service is followed twice daily by graziers who have no other means of learning of events. This news is collected by three reporters.

The studios of 4ZR, which include a broadcast studio and an audition studio whence local shows are broadcast, are located in the Town Hall buildings in McDowall St.  > read more

Malcolm (Mac) Irvine

Keeping the past for the future
Library of American Broadcasting

By Martin Hadlow

Entrance to Library of American Broadcasting, University of Maryland in College Park, MD.
© Martin Hadlow

When the LAB’s Curator, Chuck Howell, brought out the first box of QSLs for me to thumb through, I knew that I was just glimpsing the tip of a very big iceberg. “We’ve got over 30,000”, he said.  > read more

The Base FM Te Aroha

Celebrating over 75 Years of Popular Kiwi Radio

Sounds from The Base soon to reach Te Aroha homes

By Jeremy Smith, Piako Post

As Ken Knight discusses his newest ambition, he is clearly beaming – and soon he’ll be beaming right into the living rooms of Te Aroha.

Well, at least his voice will be.  > read more

Ken Knight is raring to get on the air in Te Aroha.
© Piako Post.

Today FM Dargaville

Celebrating over 75 Years of Popular Kiwi Radio

Music to the ears of mature radio listeners

Brent and Alison Robertson enjoy the music being played on the Dargaville airwaves but feel there is room for a station that provides real nostalgia.

“I knew what I wanted to do but I wasn’t sure how I’d get the right gear, like a transmitter, and I wanted to provide something for the more senior generation who like nostalgia,” Brent says.  > read more

ON THE AIR: Brent and Alison Robertson want to cater for the 50 plus age group.
© Northland Local News.

Splat FM Whangaparoa School

Celebrating over 75 Years of Popular Kiwi Radio

Kid DJs start with a Splat

Splat FM is a local radio station with a difference.

Like other stations, it plays a selection of modern music, mixed with soundbites and live DJ spots.

But unlike others, none of its crew have graduated from primary school.

“We feel like it’s our station,” says Sam Hagen, 10  > read more

SPLAT-OUT: DJ Georgie Williamson, front, with Jordan Pope and Sam Hagen of the station communications team at Splat FM.
© North Harbour News.

The Paddle Palmerston North

Celebrating over 75 Years of Popular Kiwi Radio

Beat Generation

By Sam Baker – Tribune

The Paddle no, it isn’t a canoe or swim club but a community-based radio station which has just hit the Palmerston North airwaves.

The station is the idea of Jesse Herbert (DJ Jessmon) and aims to unite the already established DJ scene in the city.  > read more

ZK1ZA Cook Islands Educational Radio

By Arthur Cushen

Broadcasting to the islands of the South Pacific was introduced in various ways. In the case of the Cook Islands, it was an educational radio station that started the interest in broadcasting.

During 1954 a station commenced operating from Rarotonga, when the New Zealand Government gave a gift of post and telegraphic transmitters and technical staff to commence an educational radio station.  > read more

ZK1ZC logo.
© Keith Robinson Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation.

7QT Queenstown Conqueror of Mineralisation

The claim is made for 7QT that it is unique among broadcasters.

The extreme ruggedness of the country – plus the mineralised nature of the soil itself precludes selective and effective reception from all distant Radio Stations in Tasmania, and on the Mainland. Thus the broadcasting effectiveness of 7QT is readily appreciated, covering not only Queenstown alone, but the entire west coast.

7QT has been 8 years in operation, having been officially opened on May 31st, 1937.  > read more

Irene Wedd

KSBK 880AM Radio, Naha, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands

By Bill Conine

During the first decade of the American occupation of the Ryukyu Islands, the English speaking population listened to the familiar sounds of local Armed Forces Radio, part of the Far East Network [FEN]. By mid-1955, a civilian radio station was in advanced stages of planning, and in this uniquely frank letter to New Zealand radio enthusiast Merv Branks, the man behind KSBK explains his plans.

I’m so busy I meet myself coming back from work every day. I’ve toiled 16 to 20 hours a day, seven days a week, for the past three weeks, getting ready for KSBK, starting September 1, 880kc, 500w, 0530 to 2400 daily, except on Sat. when we’ll continue to 0130.  > read more

Listener card for reception of KSBK and Japanese language sister station KSAR.
© Keith Robinson Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation.

Radio History – KRHO Honolulu 1944

KRHO was a powerful shortwave radio station broadcasting in English and Japanese languages to the Far Eastern Pacific region in the closing stages of WWII.

We continue our tour of the facilities by introducing Joseph Whitehouse, Engineering Director of the Central Pacific Operations. He supervised installation of the transmitter at Lualualei on Oahu. Operating at full capacity, Station KRHO, one of the most powerful shortwave stations in the world, was on the air 20 hours a day.  > read more

Jack Hitchcock
© John C Seehaas Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation.

Good Morning Hanoi – A Year on the Airwaves in the New Vietnam

By Iain Finlay and Trish Clark

At the entrance to the Voice of Vietnam’s radio headquarters, the administration offices in Quan Su Street, sits a gigantic old loudspeaker, the mouth of which is close to two meters in diameter.

We saw it as we were being shown across the courtyard and up a flight of stairs to a reception room where we would meet our new employers.  > read more

Hanoi is a city of flowers
© Good Morning Hanoi

May 09 2007

Armed Forces Radio – A Night with the Stars

It’s now 65 years since the first AFRS stations went on air in Alaska, and it’s getting harder and harder to piece together the jigsaw that is the story of how well over 100 AFRS stations served and entertained the region in the decade that followed.

Our major station guides are: AFRS Alaska, AFRS Japan, AFRS China-Burma-India and AFRS Jungle Network. Several others are in preparation.

There are also a growing number of stories from individual stations as varied as WXLE Eniwetok, WXLF Canton Island, WVUV American Samoa, WVUS New Caledonia, WXLI Guam, WXLG Kwajalein, KMTH Midway and many others.

We’ve recently added AFRS Radio WVTK Leyte, our first Philippines story, and have others from India, China, Wake, Johnston Island and McMurdo [Antarctica] in preparation.

If you’ve got stories, memories, photos, memorabilia or other materials about any AFRS station in the Asia-Pacific region, please share them, and we’ll make sure the memories of these special stations are recorded safely for future generations to enjoy and remember.

You can email us or write to Radio Heritage Foundation, PO Box 14339, Wellington 6241, New Zealand.

HQ 14th Emergency Rescue Boat Squadron. Monthly Intelligence Summary, January 1945.

Rumors: Enemy propaganda and a few insignificant rumors reached this organization via Radio Tokio, but interest in program is fast disappearing due mainly to the splendid programs presented over the local Armed Forces Radio Station.

A month later: This organization has practically ceased listening to the propaganda programs from Japanese sources, due to the excellent programs presented by our local radio station WVTK.

The Beat Fleet [The story behind the 60’s ‘pirate’ radio stations]

Everyone who listened to the offshore British ‘pirate’ radio stations can remember the personalities, the music, the jingles and the commercials. Behind the scenes, real life rivalry led to gun battles and midnight boarding parties as stations fought to capture a share of the lucrative commercial radio market. And there’s a strong New Zealand and Australian connection too!

‘The Beat Fleet’ is now available worldwide from us as a thank you gift in return for donations to support our radio heritage activities.

Mike Leonard has brought together an excellent collection of stories, backed up by thousands of documents from his own archives, to ‘cover the waterfront’ of the British ‘pirate’ radio scene. Lots of photos and station ephemera give a real flavor of those exciting times. [Mike also wrote ‘From International Waters – 60 Years of Offshore Broadcasting’ in 1997].

Published in 2004 with over 100 pages, ‘The Beat Fleet’ documents how commercial radio came to British listeners for the first time since pre-WWII French based stations such as Radio Normandie had broadcast directly across the Channel and since Radio Luxembourg had demonstrated there was a massive audience demanding change.

Household names such as Radio Caroline South, Radio Caroline North, Radio London, Radio Scotland, Radio 199…these were also the inspiration for Radio Hauraki in New Zealand. In another Pacific connection, Australians were involved in everything from financial backing to supplying announcers for several offshore stations.

Radio Veronica, the successful Dutch offshore station [that saw the British pirates come and finally go silent] tested with English language programs in 1962, and had even been heard as far away as New Zealand with just 500 watts loaded into its antenna on 1563kc in 1961.

Postcard signed by Gunther EC Herrmann Sr ‘designer, constructor and operator’ of the Radio Vessel Veronica. April 9 1961.
© Keith Robinson Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation Collection.

For British ‘baby boomers’ Mike’s book will bring back fond memories of those days when the transistor radio suddenly crackled with pop music, lively DJ’s, wonderful jingles and commercials. The BBC, bureaucrats and politicians were aghast at the turn of events and eventually legislated and bullied the stations into silent submission, helped along by North Sea gales and the grudging emergence of legalized onshore commercial radio.

But the radio pirates, they started a revolution. “The Beat Fleet’ tells the story behind that revolution and we’ll send your copy as a thank you gift within the next few days in return for your donation.

For gifts sent within the UK, the donation is just 22.95 UKP. Within Europe, it’s just 37,95 Euro, and for anywhere else in the world, your donation is just US$57.95 [a tax deduction receipt will be sent to New Zealand based donors on request]. Shipping is included.

We’re grateful to Mike for making ‘The Beat Fleet’ available to support our radio heritage activities. Ask for your copy today, and pay with your VISA/Mastercard/AMEX for instant processing of your thank you gift.

Sorry, no longer available.

May 06 2007

Don’t Touch That Dial [Australian Commercial Radio 1958-1988]

Sorry, Don’t Touch That Dial by Wayne Mac has now sold out.

Wayne Mac, former DJ and program director has written the definitive story of Australian commercial radio during the baby boomer years and it’s now available worldwide from us as a thank you gift in return for donations to support our radio heritage activities.

‘Don’t Touch That Dial’ chronicles Australian radio from the days when teenagers were first seduced by the new sounds of Top 40 pop and DJ’s in the late 1950’s. It’s a 400 page A4 coffee-table sized giant of an effort, nearly a decade in the making, crammed with photos, anecdotes, interviews, DJ details, old logos and so much more….’a gold mine of primary sources’ as one review puts it.

Wayne takes you on a journey across three tremendous decades of pop culture, an entertainment phenomenon that has touched the lives of generations of Australians. This is the ultimate inside story of commercial radio in one of the hottest radio markets in the world today.

Buyer comments: ‘this book must never leave the premises unless I’m with it’….’you’ve captured the real essence of commercial radio during the baby boomer years’….’you’re very brave to have published something like this on your own’…

For Australians interested in radio, working in radio or who just listen to the radio, this is one radio book that deserves a place in your life. A copy should be in every radio station library as a reference, so everyone can understand how radio got to where it is today. For everyone interested in radio heritage, it’s an excellent example of bringing together data from everywhere to make sense of the exciting and revolutionary 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s period.

Wayne helps us answer many questions about Australian radio stations and personalities, giving generously of his time and knowledge. Please make your donation today and we’ll send your copy of ‘Don’t Touch That Dial’ within the next few days.

For gifts sent within Australia, the donation is just US$80. For gifts sent to New Zealand addresses, the donation is US$110 [a tax deduction receipt will be sent to New Zealand based donors]. Asia/Pacific donation level is just US$120. For the USA/Canada, the donation required is US$125 and, for Europe, the donation is US$140, UKP 75 or Euro 110. Your gift will be shipped via airmail.

Radio: a deadly serious game of strategy and psychological warfare. ‘Don’t Touch That Dial’ takes you inside the world of glitz and glamour, behind the microphones and into the studios and boardrooms with never before published anecdotes and stories of the real world of Australian commercial radio. Ask for your copy today, and pay with your VISA/Mastercard/AMEX for instant processing of your thank you gift.

Sorry, Don’t Touch That Dial by Wayne Mac has now sold out.

Urban Daydream

Shane Urban [L] and Simon Richards [R] in the ultimate outside broadcast unit at DREAM-FM.
© Radio Heritage Foundation Collection.

In the very early 1990’s, the Southern Pacific Hotels Corporation operated a resort on Daydream Island in Queensland and the following item appeared in a company newsletter.

The world is full of aspiring disc jockeys, so when Shane Urban arrived on Daydream Island he thought that the Travelodge Resort was a perfect haven for his budding radio talents.

Together with Simon Richards he set up DREAM-FM and it has proven so popular that they have increased their number of hours on weekends to cater for demand.

‘We’re always getting requests, especially for couples celebrating honeymoons, anniversaries, birthdays and so on’ says the urbane Shane.

‘While our playlist is mainly current hits, I have to say that our most popular request is, yes, Daydream Believer by The Monkees. I suppose it does capture that wistful, fun feel which is what Daydream is all about, so even if I’ve played the song 100 times [and know the words backwards!] it’s still always great to play it.’

DREAM-FM is on air for two hours each day midweek and three hours a day on weekends. Besides music, the station broadcasts details of activities happening throughout the island resort.

We wonder if ‘urbane Shane’ played disc jockey and even hummed ‘Daydream Believer’ at the recent wedding of his brother [New Zealand born country music singer Keith Urban] to Australian actress Nicole Kidman?

Radio History: I Shot Roy Acuff on AFRS Radio WVTK Leyte

By Bob Campbell

“I was with WVTK in Leyte and I and one other soldier went to Samar and built a station, selected and trained personnel, got the station to air and turned it over to the navy. The station on Leyte then closed down. I then went home.”

Bob Campbell, WVTK

 > read more

Radio Shacks: Quartz Hill Collection

Antonio Montero Garrido EA4GL, Madrid, Spain

In the first of a new series, the Quartz Hill Collection, amateur radio stations from around the world that have worked ZL6QH feature in the Radio Shacks Gallery.

Quartz Hill Amateur Radio Station ZL6QH is based at an old short wave receiving station located about 30 minutes drive from central Wellington, New Zealand.  > read more

Long Lost Radio History Image

WSZD, Ponape

Radio Station WSZD was a government owned broadcaster serving Ponape in the US Trust Territory of the Pacific…  > read more

Radio History: ANZAC Day 2007 Radio Salute

During World War 2, Australia sent a number of mobile radio stations overseas to broadcast to troops, mainly in the South West Pacific, and also operated a station at Gaza, in Palestine.

New Zealand’s National Broadcasting Service sent mobile units to the Middle East and the South West Pacific, not to broadcast… > read more

The NBS Middle East Mobile Recording Unit was built by New Zealand Railways and shipped to Egypt where it saw service from 1940.
© Radio New Zealand, in ‘Voices in the Air’ – Radio Broadcasting in NZ: A Documentary.

Radio History: Happy 70th Birthday 2ZB Wellington, New Zealand

In April 1937, 2ZB began broadcasting to Wellington using a modern 1kW transmitter on 1120kc.

To celebrate, here are some images…  > read more

From one of the first 2ZB QSLs.
© Eric Shackle Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation.

Easter 2007

Radio Heritage Foundation Collection

WDJD ‘What Did Jesus Do’ was the callsign allocated to a radio station in American Samoa several years ago. WDJD broadcast on 585 kHz from these studios. This was the first W prefix callsign West of the Mississippi line for several decades, and was soon replaced by KJAL, now on 580 kHz.

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