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The Bernard Fairclough Memory Page

Bernard FaircloughBernard Fairclough has been a big radio fan and an even bigger Radio City fan, he was able to record Radio City's output from near to it's beginning and has collected numerous tapes both on reel to reel and cassette. Bernard made contact with me and offered the loan of the reel to reel tapes so that they could be digitised which was completed by me within a 2 month timespan. I asked Bernard how he got the radio bug and he said:

"I first started to listen to Radio Luxembourg and then Radio Caroline North in the early to mid sixties, before tuning to Radio One. A Ferguson tape recorder, was acquired in the late sixties and recording of pop music commenced but the sound quality was poor. The purchase of a radio alarm o'clock with a VHF channel suddenly allowed better quality recording albeit in mono, and listening to BBC Radio Merseyside and in particular Brian Smart whose Saturday morning show played pop music and jingles. Brian included many of the old jingles in his programme and the bug started to bite."

"The launch of 194 Radio City in 1974 came just before my 21st Birthday and after listening to those early broadcasts, top of the list went a new hi-fi even though at that time City only broadcast on medium wave. The birthday produced the hi-fi system and shortly into the new year a Akai reel to reel tape recorder was purchased and recording of the output started. I regularly recorded output for a couple of years, as I was not always able to listen live to the programme so I trained my Mum to switch the tapes, particularly on a Saturday morning so the full programme could be captured. Most of the tapes were recorded over and over again but some were retained as they were deemed to be special. The subsequent purchase of a new cassette tape deck reduced the number of full programmes recorded so many to the tapes were put into boxes and almost forgotten about. I came across the The Brian Jones Radio City website a few years ago and remembered the tapes and thought it might have been idea to convert them to digital recording. Unfortunately time did not allow the idea to develop at the time, but a break earlier in the year allowed the idea to resurface. A trail was made using some material from one of the cassettes and this was sent to Brian for his thoughts from were Brian takes over the story."

When I received the tapes I was not sure what condition they were in, they were nearly 40 years old and they can degrade over time, but bar one they were in superb condition, there was slight oxide shedding but nothing to be concerned about.. The next thing was to log them as I transferred them and I found some gems amongst them such as my Radio city holy grail jingle, it was there and in superb stereo...the Barbara Dickson answer me jingle, early Graeme Dene audio and complete programmes such as the weekend breakfast shows and Soul city. I'm glad to say that they are all now digitised and preserved for posterity. A big thank you goes out to Bernard for lending me the tapes and the reel to reel machine that they were recorded on.

Bernard's Audio files on YouTube:

Extravaganza

News Peter Gould

News Mike Green

News Moira Redmond

News Roy Saatchi

American Top 20

Here is some of the audio from Bernard's tapes:

Graham Dene

CityTalk Chicago

Commercial Break

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