YOU MADE IT: Your Top 9 Hitz stories of 2021

I don’t want to dwell on all the ‘real world’ stuff we had to go through in 2021. I want to think about the 90s when the music was better and something amazing happened on the radio. And now, I’m excited to present your Top 9 Hitz stories of 2021. The ones people clicked on, read, shared and enjoyed more than ANY others.

Let’s go…

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Meatloaf – Hitz played Anything for Love (but we won’t play that)

With the sad passing of Meatloaf over the weekend, the song Anything for Love (but I won’t do that) popped into my head. It was one of the more unexpected songs we thrashed during our famous Summer 93/94 broadcast.

And I thought it would be good to catch up with a few of the OG Hitz FM crew to discuss this unique song, artist and time in music history.

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WATCH: Raw FM on ABC TV – inspired by Hitz

Throughout its lifespan, Hitz FM created and inspired a lot of other creative ventures and products. From their Hitz’s own CDs and Hitlist newsletters to their Hitz TV shows on Channel 31 and Optusvision. Then there were things like Raw FM on ABC TV.

This 13 part drama series was loosely based on the Hitz FM story. Raw FM debuted this week (late November) in 1997, and continued through till February 1998.

But the full tale starts a couple of years earlier.

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The final hour of Hitz FM

It was Melbourne Cup Day – this week in 2001. The day we heard the final hour of Hitz FM.

Not that the Hitz crew – or their listeners – were particularly interested in horseracing. But for such an important part of Melbourne culture in the 90s, its probably fitting for one of the station’s anniversaries to coincide with a public holiday.

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Out with a bang: Hitz’s 9th Broadcast wraps up

It was this week, back in 1996 when Hitz’s 9th broadcast wraps up. Songs like On the Bible (Deuce), Passion (A-Man), Born Slippy (Underworld) and Keep Pushin’ (Boris Dlugosh) battled it out for the end of broadcast countdown.

And a LOT had happened since the broadcast began on September 14.

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STREAM: The FINAL Weekend Siesta Dance Classics

Just like today, it was the second Sunday in October, back in 1997. Time for Paul Dowsley’s Weekend Siesta – the Dance Classics edition. For a couple of years it had been one of Hitz FM’s most well-loved programs. But this week in 1997, was its final one. Paul was about to hit 25 – and Hitz FM’s famous age ceiling for presenters was non-negotiable.

Before I jump into the streaming audio, a quick look at Paul’s wonderful career at Hitz might be in order…

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Read all about it: The Hitlist

Over 9 years, the Hitz FM newsletter The Hitlist evolved from a single black & white page to a 24 page full colour magazine. From a single writer/editor (Anton Vanderlely) to 10 volunteers, headed by editor Tracey Wooding.

But how did The Hitlist begin? How did it develop? What sort of cool content did it feature over the years?

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Today: OJ’s defence finished and Hitz broadcast 6 began

September 22. Not today – I mean September 22 in 1995. When the defence team for the OJ Simpson case was just wrapping up. When the real life battles of the film “Black Hawk Down” were happening in Somalia. And Hitz FM returned for Hitz Broadcast 6.

All morning, a recording of “test tone” (a long ‘beep’) played onair, with the occasional announcement by Adele Cookson – asking for listener requests and sponsorship enquiries.

And most excitingly, I’ve found a recording.

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The mysterious story of the Essendon tape

One of the most exciting things to bring you on this blog has been recordings of Hitz FM. Often they’re 60-90 minute cassettes recorded by the announcers themselves. Sometimes they’re 8 hour “logger tapes” which were recorded in the station (to be kept in case of legal issues).

But even more exciting – are the recordings that were made back in the 90s by Hitz FM fans themselves. They’d listen to them over and over when the station was offair. Listen to them as they got ready to go out – or when driving.

And today’s mystery surrounds a fan’s cassette.

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On this day: Hitz FM’s 9th Broadcast blasts into life

September 1996. Some of us were watching the first ever series of Friends on TV. At the movies it was all about Independance Day and The Nutty Professor. And on the radio, it was the first day of Hitz FM’s 9th Broadcast.

We were smashing Inspiration (Strike), Wannabe (Spicegirls), Macarena (Los Del Rio), Ready or Not (The Fugees), Professional Widow (Tori Amos) and a tonne of other great tracks.

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