Music Matters - with John Murray

John Murray
John Murray

Sometime this month, or early January, the broadcast regulator Ofcom will meet to decide whether Fife will be permitted to host a community radio licence.

Two radio groups, from Kirkcaldy (KYFM) and Kinglassie (K-Town) applied back in February and now await the committee outcomes having examined community benefit, key commitments and sustainability. I will keep you posted.

Of course, at this time of year radio can produce their best material or at least reprise previous hit programmes. Having presented music radio for years, I currently host a speech based magazine programme on Castle FM from Edinburgh and have become drawn to the masters of the art. Hello Again (Random House £18.99), celebrates ‘nine decades of radio voices’ and for a wireless anorak like me this is holiday reading. Author Simon Elmes is a creative director at the BBC and knows his radio history. Using his insider knowledge and real quotes we read into a potted history from the humble 1922 beginnings to the household names from these recent years like Terry Wogan and Chris Moyles. Several ‘golden eras’ emerge from the ITMA war years to the comedy fuelled 1950s surviving the (first) television revolution and still only on medium wave.

Further conflicts like the Falklands and Gulf War brought news radio to the masses in a way that TV never could. The demise of Radio Luxembourg and the rise of BBC Radio Four were just steps along the way in this long running story of radio.

Radio One afternoon presenter Scott Mills has his own autobiographical book Love You Bye (Sphere, £18.99). Having started on hospital radio (doesn’t everybody?) he moved to local radio before landing the national job but along the way we get the anecdotes and amusing stories as you would expect from the DJ who does have a programme packed with fun features. Celebrity friends like Robbie Williams and David Hasselhoff both feature and the colour photo sections offer some highlights, but for me his ‘frequently asked questions’ sections that appear throughout answer everything that a fan would never dare to ask but secretly would love to know.