Launching today in ’97 – Hitz Melbourne’s 12th broadcast

Collage of videoclips from popular songs in September 1997

Hitz Melbourne’s 12th broadcast begam on this very day, in 1997. It was a broadcast that had both massive changes, and yet business as usual.

But I’ll get to those things in moment.

Let’s talk music.

September 1997 was the time of Ecuador (Sash!), Dammit (Blink 182), Free (Ultra Nate) and Got Till It’s Gone (Janet Jackson). Hitz was pumping out I Wanna Be The Only One (Eternal), Some Kind of Bliss (Kylie), I Know Where It’s At – All Saints and the BIG one… It’s Like That (Run-D.M.C. vs. Jason Nevins).

A big departure

But for the first Hitz broadcast ever, co-founder Nick Karlas wasn’t involved.

After many years of service he’d decided to hang up his famous ‘loud trousers’ and take a rest. Nick was there in the very beginning in mid 1992, putting the Hitz concept together with Anton Van Derlely. Nick ran the promotions department for many years and the team were very sad to see him leave.

Part of the front-cover tribute to Nick Karlas in the Hitlist members' newsletter
Front-cover tribute to Nick Karlas in the Hitlist members’ newsletter

Whilst there were big changes behind-the-scenes, much of the onair lineup was similar to what was heard in Hitz broadcast 11. Adele Cookson, James Ash and The Talking Man stayed in their afternoon, drive and evening roles. On the weekends, The Pete Repeats and Weekend Siesta continued as before. The live broadcast from Inflation stayed on Saturday nights, as did the current affairs show Metropolis on Sunday nights.

And yet ANOTHER one

Speaking of Weekend Siesta, host Paul Dowsley (a popular announcer and long-time Hitz volunteer) was turning 25. Under the rules Hitz FM required him to retire at that time. That of course, meant one hell of a final episode.

Paul Dowsley and La Bouche at Hitz FM

Wanna go back and LISTEN to it?

You can read about his time at Hitz FM, and stream the audio of Paul Dowsley’s final Weekend Siesta in a blogpost from this time last year.

Hitz Melbourne’s 12th broadcast continued through till October 17, 1997.

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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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