Retro-Heads Rock Kaikoura’s Blue 100.3 FM

Blue 100.3 FM broadcast caravan
© Radio Heritage Foundation Digital Collection

Young DJ tunes in to 50s and 60s


RETRO-HEAD: Conor Bragg entertains Kaikoura on the radio each week.
Photo: Emma Dangerfield

If you live in Kaikoura and shop in town on a Saturday you have more than likely come across this DJing duo blasting out across the airwaves on a Saturday.

Butch Bragg has been DJing on the town’s radio station, 100.3 Blue FM since 1999, and his son Conor, eight, joined him a year ago to form the retro-heads partnership.

Playing each Saturday from around midday, the duo has attracted quite a following.

They began when Conor, who often accompanied his dad to the radio station, suddenly decided to take a turn in the driving seat and try his hand at announcing.

“I nearly fell off my seat when he asked if he could have a go,” says Butch.

“It was all his idea, and he’s actually quite a natural.”

What made it all the more surprising is that Conor, although a bright, intelligent boy when it comes to reading and writing, has difficulty with his speech.

Although he reads at the level of a 9 or 10 year old, and was the only boy picked to represent his year’s at Kaikoura Primary School in their two latest speech and poetry recital competitions, he has a problem “finding his words”.

Conor therefore needs extra help in the form of weekly speech and language exercises, and the radio experience is certainly going a long way to help this along.

He has gained confidence and his speech is improving and although he sometimes has difficulty following verbal instructions, he can follow his notes and has had no trouble coming to grips with the technological side of running the show.

Conor and his dad play mainly 50s and 60s music, with some 70s thrown in for good measure, and both are avid fans of this genre – Conor’s favourite band is The Kinks.

After the initial trial at the microphone, he went on to introduce “Conor’s Choice”, the weekly segment in which he would choose and line up a particular favourite.

Now he has progressed still further, taking over for 10-minute stretches in which he introduces songs, reads announcements and imparts random facts from fun fact books.

Now he is quite the professional; he knows which buttons to press and how to introduce his songs – he even corrects his dad from time to time!

Now the retro-heads have quite a following in town.

The seniors love them and their show is always played at the hospital.

Shops like Take Note Kaikoura and Genevieves also tune in each week, which means staff and customers alike get their weekly dose of retro music.

And guess what Conor would like to do when he grows up?

Get a radio station with dad! So we can expect to hear much more from Conor (and Butch) for a very long time to come.

Kaikoura Star

© Kaikoura Star January 13, 2010.

This material remains © Fairfax New Zealand Limited and is only to be used for non-commercial personal or research use. Any other use requires permission of the copyright holder.

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