James Barrington was 14 when Radio City first started..... he has contributed material to this site and created the Brian Jones Radio City Tribute Website Channel on youtube, with some classic clips.
In 1972, aged 12 my interest in pop music and Radio was becoming profound, so too was broadcasting in general, and in 1972 when the television act of parliament changed the ITA into the Independent Broadcasting Authority to be responsible for sound (Independent Local Radio) a posh way of saying commercial radio, I was fascinated with the prospect of Liverpool getting its own license.
I listened to the opening of 194 and was not that impressed. Within 6 months Radio City stickers on car windows appeared on just about every vehicle, and if you walked your street at night you could see giant 194 posters in teenage bedrooms along with pop posters. City grew rapidly and I was hooked.
I went to Stanley Street in 1976 to buy the 194 T shirt and heard blasting Bryan Ferry - Lets Stick Together playing in reception, and the chief engineer dancing in the Studio as Norman Thomas was on air, and Uncle Norm commented a young boy was in reception buying a T shirt, me.
I wrote to Norman Thomas and he formally invited me down to the Stanley Street complex when he was on air, so with my best flared trousers and platform shoes, visited the Venue Show. It was a red letter day, I will never forget, meeting Norm, Dave Lincoln, Phil Easton, and the fun that happens at Radio City every day. Norm played all my favorite jingles for me that day. The DJ's gave me themes and jingles on tape for my future auditions.
In 1977, we sadly moved to New Zealand and I auditioned for Radio New Zealand and instantly failed because I had a strong Liverpool accent,and was only 17. I had voice tuition to neutralize the accent and did some radio work in NZ at aged 19, but I still loved Radio City and was homesick for that alone.
In 1984 I moved to Australia and started my own Radio Show called FLASHBACK TO THE 60's which was syndicated across Australian radio stations, as a weekly special,it was a great way to show my creative side but in 1986 the chance to set up a station became reality, and I began the long task to apply for a license to broadcast. The station was allowed 4-6 weekly test transmissions per year, and we bought airtime on a none commercial radio station to broadcast our programmes on Saturday mornings. I also became the Programme Director and used the Gillian Reynolds format.
|NZ 1979 - aged 19||AUS 1989 breakfast||Home studio 2002|
On our Test Transmissions, had breakfast, and I called the mid morning show Venue after my hero, Norman Thomas. We had a rock format after 6.30pm, specialist hour at 9pm and 10-2pm was called Downtown, and 2-6am was called Night Owl! Sound familiar? My station jingle package was a carbon copy of some of the early 194 packages (hear sample here)
A few aspiring radio stations had not been granted licenses for broadcasting because of there news content. It was never a concern for me. I remember news on the hour every hour with that magnificent 194 jingle. In fact for our studio's I insisted on a news booth being built next to the on air studio, like Radio City. News on my station was also of paramount importance. To impress the Australian Broadcasting Authority I even produced pamphlets on how to Prepare and prevent Bush Fires. Radio City did similar campaigns, Keep warm this winter.
Throughout my Radio broadcasting days, my ideas and formats were based on Gillian Reynolds (first Radio City Programme Controller) who did a magnificent job in the stations sound, because unlike other ILR stations that sounded somewhat similar, Radio City had a unique sound all of its own.
I walked away from Radio when my children were born in 1989, also burnt out from getting up at 3am for Breakfast and dealing with many ego's as the Programme Director and frankly bored with it all. I still had cassettes full of Radio City jingles in 1989, some so rare, I have misplaced and still looking for to this day.
As a 16 year old, Radio City was not just special to me, it was everything. I was eternally grateful to find The Brian Jones Radio City Tribute Website, to relive some of those jingles, and unbeknown to me at the time, Brian was at the same Comprehensive school as I, all be it a few years ahead of me. I have been able to recreate with the jingles Brian has been able to provide, the sounds of yesteryear, namely the glory days of Radio City.
Along with my interest of Radio City, I was also interested in the 70's in television, namely ITV logo's and the animations created with coloured pieces of paper to create TV logo's, so in the early 2000's I created small logo animations of my own. Recently I created some for Brian Jones for his new Channel on youtube. The Radio City animations and tributes for the Radio City DJ's that have passed on, and now posted on youtube for Brian Jones.
This has been my way of thanking Brian for continually keeping the early days of Radio City well and truly alive, and I know with Brian, there will be more to come. Thank you Brian.