Sunday, 13 February 2011

Wavelength Changes 1978 - Part 2

Here’s one of my favourite bits of audio from the lead-up to the frequency changes in November 1978 as Radio 3 announcer Cormac Rigby plays in Queen’s ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’.

Radio 3 moved from 464m to 247m, Radio 1s slot on the dial. To help its listeners before the switchover Radio 3 continuity announcers would encourage them to find 247 metres by playing a quick blast of what was going on over on Radio 1.

So here on 18 November 1978 is Cormac asking his engineer to fade in the Peter Powell show who just happens to playing the aforementioned Queen track. You can here the laugh in his voice just before it happens. What will the staid Radio 3 audience think if it?

The second part of this recording features Jon Curle on 20 November, but he just plays in part of Alan Dell’s ‘Dance Band Days’ – 247m was carrying the Radio 2 service in the evening.



Steve Morton said...

I remember the change over well!!

However, I can't remember when they went from using wavelength to frequency to identify the stations?

entssouthwales said...

I remember the changeover and having to put those little 1,2,3 and 4 stickers on the transistor radio! It was all quite exciting at the time - but it was the 70s LOL

Andy Walmsley said...

The change from metres to kilohertz and VHF to FM happened gradually in the early 80s. It was subject to some discussion on Digital Spy on this thread:
I still have some of those stickers!

Steve Morton said...

I asked some graduates what frequency they listened to Radio 1 on as part of an interview question, none of them where able to tell me the frequency or what band it was in. Or what frequency their cellphone worked on either. Scary!!

I blame the fact that most broadcast radio receivers these days being RDS or DAB, it just displays the station name and not the frequency... never mind.

Andy was that kiloHertz (capital H of course..) or kilocycles...!!!

Richard Emra. said...

When Radio 3 moved to 247m Cambridge was given a low power relay on 251m. Previously Radio 1 had been at times virtually inaudible on 247m.I wondered as a teenager at that time, why Radio 1 had not been given the same.Could it had been due to certain 'high brow' voices who despiced Radio 1's 'pop' output but could not have been expected to tolerate the constant fading in and out of the likes of Bach and Beethoven there otherwise would have been on 247m!

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