Unheard for 30 years: Hitz FM’s final hour at Moorabbin

A photo of the Hitz FM Melbourne studio at Moorabbin in March 1994.

My calendar can’t be right. It can’t be 30 years since Hitz FM’s biggest broadcast. It can’t be three decades since Hitz FM’s final hour at Moorabbin.

But it is.

And now for the first time ever, you can listen to it, online.
(If you’re super-keen, just flick to the bottom of this post.)

News Director Julie Doyle in the Hitz Moorabbin studio

The final month

February 1994 saw a massive jump in attention on Hitz FM. First there were the songs appearing on the ARIA chart in Victoria – that nobody else was playing. Songs like Can We Talk (Tevin Campbell), and Light My Fire (Clubhouse feat. Carl). Then two massive media appearances in one week, first the Hitz FM story on A Current Affair, then Molly Meldrum’s huge Hitz FM feature on Hey Hey it’s Saturday.

By March there were over 30,000 petitions signed by supporters. Newspaper articles every week. And in the second week of March, Hitz FM featured on every Melbourne TV news channel and newspaper.

The rear carpark of Hitz FM’s Moorabbin studio

The final week

There were hopes for a last-minute reprieve, but eventually it was clear the station had to ‘switch off’ on Saturday March 12. Volunteers compiled an 89 song countdown from 3 months of requests. Listeners could call a special ‘access line’ and record their farewells – to be played onair.

Somehow I had the incredible honour of hosting Hitz FM’s final hour at Moorabbin. The last 60 minutes of this history-making broadcast. Our little studio – normally seating four people – had 37 volunteers jammed in. Emotions were high. Glass bottles were being emptied.

And now, after 30 years, this recording is ready for you to stream online for the first time.

Hitz co-founder Anton Vanderlely and Molly Meldrum on the final night

Listen to this amazing recording

Here’s just a few of the things you’ll hear:

  • A surprise cameo from a ‘tired & happy’ Molly Meldrum.
  • The Hitz crew talking about the incredible things they experienced.
  • Classic Hitz FM songs
  • An exclusive remix, only ever heard on the Hitz!
  • The station’s traditional tear-jerking “last song”.

Then, the emotional last few seconds as the station goes to… silence.

Click on the audio player below to listen to this previously unshared audio.
(If the player doesn’t appear, use this link instead)

Hitz FM’s final hour at Moorabbin

What are your memories of this night? I’d love to read your comment below.

PS: I’ve had a few people ask me recently, ‘How can I help?‘.

Well… the biggest boost in building awareness (to get a deal for my Hitz book) is spreading the word.

Just doing ONE of the following would be brilliant:

  • Share this post on social media – there’s buttons below.
  • Like my Facebook page (<– that one’s easy)
  • Subscribe via Email for future Hitz content (it’s FREE!)

    And finally

  • Think whether you have any old “Hitz stuff” hidden away.
    Then contact me.
    People will LOVE to see/hear your old photos/tapes/other stuff !
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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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