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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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Our 1st Birthday

It’s time to to celebrate the first birthday of GabeMcGrath.com.

Back in June 2020 I had an idea. I’d been working on my Hitz FM book – but I had tonnes of other cool stuff that wouldn’t fit. How about I share it with the world?

After two months of boring technical stuff – GabeMcGrath.com was born on August 6th, 2020. And it’s been a very busy 12 months, full of lost tapes, photos, videos, mashups and more.

Time for a monster recap – with links galore!
Now let’s go back exactly one year…

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LISTEN: 2 hours of chaos – Hitz’s 2nd broadcast ends

July 18, 1993. 28 years ago – TONIGHT! After two fun-filled weeks, Hitz’s 2nd broadcast ends. The station had yet again managed to stay onair 24 hours a day using voluntters and borrowed equipment. And I’ve got 120 minutes of audio to share with you.

Looking back… compared to Hitz FM’s first broadcast – we’d made some great improvements.

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On this day: Hitz FM’s 2nd broadcast fired off

When Hitz FM’s 2nd broadcast kicked off on July 3rd, 1993 – things were a bit different from the first time around. The music was a bit broader; less rock (sorry Guns n Roses), more pop (hello Sub Sub) and hip hop (hello Informer). The announcers sounded a bit more polished too. But the biggest change was the location.

Hitz FM’s 1st broadcast was held at a government school, John Gardner Secondary College. It was chosen for the location (near public transport) and the cost – free. But this time around, the station was a little further north – in the rather fancy Xavier College in Kew. Picture lots of big old buildings in a slightly Harry Potter style.

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Looking back: Hitz FM broadcast 8

June/July 1996 – the time of Hitz FM broadcast 8.

On TV.. fans of hot men and women in uniform had a choice of new shows… Jag or Water Rats. Comedy fans were loving Good News Week on the ABC and 3rd Rock from the Sun on Seven.

In the cinemas we were spotting flying cows in Twister, watching Tom take on Mission Impossible, laughing at The Cable Guy and going Trainspotting.

Meanwhile, on 89.9 – the Hitz returned.

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