LISTEN: Awesome Easter holidays with Hitz FM in April 1995

After the many challenges of Hitz’s 4th broadcast, the return of Hitz FM in April 1995 was a less stressful affair. Much less to prove, new toys to try out, and only 3 weeks onair, rather than six.

But don’t just take my word for it – click on the streaming link and have a listen!

Herald-Sun Article about Hitz FM's 5th broadcast / 8th April 1995.  Mentions the station getting 800 to 900 calls a day, along with the chart success of The Original Hitz CD.
Herald-Sun Article about Hitz FM’s 5th broadcast / 8th April 1995

If broadcast 4 was a time for Hitz FM to prove its evolution since the Moorabbin event, broadcast 5 was a time for fun. Darryl Rae (pictured above) got things going at midday on April 7th, 1995.

You can stream the first 4 hours of broadcast 5, by clicking on the audio box at the bottom of this post.

The Music

The opening song was ‘Thunderchild’ by Thunderchild. (an early project of James Ash, prior to his later Rogue Traders success). As you’ll hear in the recording below there’s tonnes more great tracks over the next 4 hours.

You’ll hear tracks you remember well from Hitz FM in April 1995 (U Sure Do, Set Me Free, Reach Me, Bits ‘n’ Pieces, Nothing in the World). And a bunch you probably haven’t heard for 30 years (If you want – Luciana, Speed Racer – Alpha Team, Push the Tempo – Funkadelia)

And after its recent success (Number 1 in the Victorian compilation charts) they were also featuring plenty of tracks from The Original Hitz CD.

Front and Back views of a Factory club pass for the 75th Squadron nightclub
A “Factory” club pass for the 75th Squadron nightclub
James Ash & The Big Brekky live from the 75th Squadron. Photo shows announcers sitting down wearing headphones, with microphones in front.
James Ash & The Big Brekky live from the 75th Squadron

The Shows

Over the next few weeks, the station kept the requests, competitions and excitement happening. Friday night Paul and Adele broadcasted their show “Dribble” live from Inflation. (In the previous broadcast, it was Joy @ The Metro). Saturday nights the Big Brekkie did it live again from The 75th Squadron.

In terms of the weekday shows The Talking Man & The Thinking Man continued The Big Breakfast. Kel McWilliam continued on Mornings. Radio Control (the hour-long request show) became The Hitz Lunchbox with different hosts each day. Afternoons were hosted by Darryl Rae and Drive by James Ash.

Promotions manager Nick Karlas with giveaways in Hitz Broadcast 5. Products include Torquay drink botles and Kettle chips.
Promotions manager Nick Karlas with giveaways in Hitz Broadcast 5

Gettin out ‘n’ about

In the Promotions department, they had a new vehicle (The yellow Hitz Renegade jeep) and tonnes of events to visit. From Werribee Plaza to Knox City, from The Cadillac Bar to Moonee Ponds Billiard Cente (!) the team crisscrossed the city. And there were freebies galore from Jolt Cola (my fave), Kettle Chips, Uncle Tobys and even Easter Eggs from Red Tulip.

Gabe McGrath & Rod Cuddihy standing atop the yellow Hitz Renegade jeep. The stickers on the front window include the circular Hitz logo and "89.9 Hitz FM".
Gabe McGrath & Rod Cuddihy standing atop the Hitz Renegade jeep

And back in the studio…

If the big yellow Jeep was an obvious ‘toy’ for the team, a less obvious one was Hitz’s new ‘onair computer’. At last, we ditched the dodgy plastic “carts” that played our promos and sponsor announcements. (That’s when they didn’t fail with a whine, a clunk and a wail). The new Novation system meant that things SHOULD have sounded better. (If we were paying attention rather than raiding the promotions room for more Jolt™ cola.)

Hitz FM in April 1995 was a place full of great music (even if Ultrasonic got a few too many plays) and many laughs.

Hope you enjoy the FOUR HOUR recording below!

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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. includes tonnes of streaming audio recordings, photos, stories and behind-the-scenes info.

10 thoughts on “LISTEN: Awesome Easter holidays with Hitz FM in April 1995”

  1. Fantastic Gabe, thank you so much!! This was the year I was in year 12 (giving away my age there!) and I most definitely would have been listening to this Hitz broadcast!! Absolute gold.

    1. Brilliant! Well Dan I have tonnes more audio to share.

      It’s mostly a matter of the time required (to tidy up the recordings, find information about the broadcast, work out which photos match the year, etc).
      And of course, my work/family/writing the book need time too.

      If you have any requests or suggestions, I am all ears:-)

  2. Thank you Gabe! I am so grateful for these posts.
    How good is the Time Frequency remix of Set you Free by N-Trance!!
    This was also my Yr.12 year….at a school just up the road from the 2nd broadcast location 🙂

    1. No worries. 🙂
      And if you have friends who were Hitz fans back in the day, please help spread the word!
      It’s only through force of sheer numbers that I can hope to convince a book publisher that this story is worth getting into bookshops.

      Re the Time Frequency remix – thanks for drawing my attention to it!
      I don’t recall it from back in the day, but I do like it.
      An interesting spin on the original.

  3. Wow, I remember when Novation went live.
    It was dancing around the studio with Danny Olesh coding whilst you were trying to run a radio show, then the Soundblaster would crash and you’d be sorting out an IRQ error on the on air machine.
    It was so far ahead of it’s time for on air playback.

    1. Thanks so much for that Greg, that’s fantastic.
      If you find any other posts from ‘your era’ (hint: search bar) then I’d love to hear more of your stories.

      1. Danny is another Hitz success story too.
        Ended up at Mackie (mixers and mics etc) as the Chief Engineer who recently was acquired by Rose for $120m USD. Danny now at Rode, which is in itself a great Australian success story.
        Was also the audio engineer for a number of big headline names when they were on tour here.

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