I’m delighted to be joining the team at Solid Gold Gem AM. Here I am with my cherished Ami i Jukebox. We share a few things in common. We were born at the end of the 1950’s. And we’ve shared a lifetime love of playing popular music.
I can remember seeing my first Jukebox through a café window when I was a child. It was a mesmerising moment and I fell in love with them there and then. But it was radio that introduced me to many of the songs I’ve collected over the years.
Living in the Midlands I couldn’t hear the Pirate stations in the 60’s, so it was through the crackles of Fabulous 208 that I first heard hits on my “Perdio Popsi” transistor radio given to me on my 5th birthday. Like many of the DJ’s on Solid Gold Gem AM, I had a passion for Soul and R&B music but Reggae was my first delight.
Finding Prince Buster in a small market town was a challenge, but I discovered a couple of shops in Birmingham that sold my kind of music. And it was there I met club DJ’s who had prized collections of 45’s that weren’t being played on Radio One. And their taste opened my ears to a whole new world of music. From then on every penny of my pocket money was invested in buying singles, some of which are still being played on my Jukebox today.
No surprise then my dreams of working in radio grew from childhood. Imagine my delight when the new BBC local station; Radio Birmingham suddenly started playing the kind of songs I loved on a show called “Ross & Henry”. What’s more, they invited fans to join them in the studio. So one Saturday morning I found myself crammed in to a tiny cubicle with 30 or so others as Les & John played great music. It truly was the start of the “Zoo format” radio in the UK and I was lucky to be in at the beginning. Soon I learned that instead of standing around I could make myself useful by answering phones, getting coffee, or running to the record library. And amazingly I got myself a job at the radio station as a technical operator when I left school. Fast forward 40 years and here I am still loving music radio.
Having worked in production in Radio & TV for four decades I’ve been lucky to be involved in many great projects but rarely as the host. So it’s exciting and a little scary to take to the air.