Flashback to July 1997 – Hitz Melbourne’s 11th broadcast

Movie posters from June 1997 - 5th Element Liar Liar ConAir

July 1997 was a great time to be heading to the movies in Australia. Hits included Jim Carrey’s Liar Liar, Nick Cage (and his hair) in Con Air and Bruce Willis’ amazing 5th element.

It was also a time of change for Hitz FM.

Hitz FM's Adele Cookson and Melbourne band CDB
Adele Cookson and CDB

Following listener feedback, Hitz adjusted its music mix. Dance tracks were pulled back to about 50%, with more funk and pop/alt rock played. There was a bigger focus on local acts, during the Australian Music Show (hosted by Kate Galea) and ‘Bizarr!’ live from the Hard Rock Cafe.

Hitz Melbourne Weekend presenters "The Pete Repeats"
Weekend presenters “The Pete Repeats”

Talkback and Talking announcers

Hitz Melbourne’s 11th broadcast also introduced talkback to the station for the first time. Listeners could call into Paul Dowsley’s Weekend Siesta to speak their minds. They also opened the lines during Metropolis and The Talking Man’s Top 20.

In terms of announcers, Damian Nicholas hosted ‘The Burnt Toast brekkie show’, while Adele Cookson and James Ash returned to Hitz after a break. Friday night’s club simulcast switched from The Metro to The Chevron, including ‘Get Funked!’ hosted by Chris and Nina. Captain Turntable returned Sunday nights from 9pm.

Front and back of Hitz FM's Original Hitz volume 5 CD cover
Front and Back cover – The Original Hitz Volume Five CD

Meanwhile, the station had just released its latest CD The Original Hitz Volume 5. Highlights included Remember Me (Blue Boy), Make the World Go Round (Sandy B), Sex Drive (Dead or Alive), Jellyhead (Crush), and In the Evening (Sheryl Lee Ralph).

Visitors during Hitz Melbourne’s 11th broadcast

Hitz Melbourne’s 11th broadcast was also a great time for special guests, with CDB and Nicola Charles (Neighbours) amongst the names passing through the doors.

Finally, after 4 big weeks, Hitz FM’s 11th broadcast wrapped up on July 19th, 1997 with a live transmission from Inflation Nightclub. But it was only a month or two till the station returned for Broadcast 12…

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Author: Gabe McGrath

Gabe McGrath is a radio creative and freelance writer. He helped set up 89.9 Hitz FM Melbourne in the 90s. This youth radio station caused a sensation and 30 years later many a 90s kid will smile when 'Hitz' is mentioned. Gabe is working on a book about that era and now blogs about Hitz Melbourne. GabeMcGrath.com includes tonnes of streaming audio recordings, photos, stories and behind-the-scenes info.

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