Early KISS FM programming

Early KISS FM programming
KISS FM car sticker (courtesy of DX Archive).

This is an early broadcast of KISS FM on 102.7 from 2130-2259 on September 11th 1982, just a few days after the station’s launch. There are a few links by an unidentified DJ, but the style is mostly the clutter-free format for which Nova and its offshoots would gain popularity at various times. Nova’s news service is now know as ‘Independent Radio News’ and is carried by both stations at 10pm. It is read by Bryan Dobson, now one of RTÉ’s leading journalists. Clearly KISS FM was still experiencing teething problems as the news jingle fires unexpectedly and there is dead air for a few seconds in the final half hour.

This recording is from the Leon Tipler Tapes Collection, donated to us by Steve England.

The early days of KISS FM 102.7

The early days of KISS FM 102.7
KISS FM flyer (courtesy of Ian Biggar).

One of several offshoots of Radio Nova, KISS FM, came on the air on September 7th 1982 and broadcast until January 15th 1984. Starting off by playing continuous music only on 102.7 FM, KISS developed into a specialist and speech service alongside Nova, mopping up additional advertising and listeners.

This is the original version of an interview conducted by British radio enthusiast Leon Tipler during a visit to KISS FM in September 1982. He speaks to Brian Edgar and Stuart McLaughlin about the plans for KISS, rivalry between the Dublin stations and the economics of pirate radio.

This recording is from the Leon Tipler Tapes Collection, donated to us by Steve England. Below is a KISS FM promo from 1982 for a giveaway of £102.70. This was donated to us by Paul Buckle.

Dublin bandscan from 1981

Dublin bandscan from 1981
Some of the Leon Tipler Tapes Collection held by Pirate.ie.

This is a bandscan of radio as heard on AM and FM in Dublin in August 1981 by Leon Tipler on one of his many visits in Dublin to document the local pirate scene. The scan gives a sense of the sheer volume of stations on AM and the less crowded FM band, where British stations could regularly be heard due to lack of congestion. We don’t have a precise date but part of the recording was made on a Sunday.

The bandscan begins on FM with Belfast station Downtown Radio’s closedown with a read- through of the next day’s schedule. This is followed by unidentified Irish and British stations on FM and céilí music on RTÉ Radio 1. Leon then switches to AM and tunes past foreign stations before settling on Radio City on 257 metres where Brian Harmon is signing off for the night. This is followed by classical music on what sounds like Radio 1 again. A live ad is read out by the DJ for the new Sunday Tribune newspaper on Sunshine Radio on AM and Leon then switches to Radio Nova on 88 FM. This is followed by exchanges from air traffic control, as was the norm on part of the FM band in those days.

Dublin bandscan from 1981
Early Sunshine Radio sticker (courtesy DX Archive).

The scan then returns to AM and Radio Leinster on 738 kHz (406 metres) where Anna Craig is signing off at the end of her Sunday morning show. She is followed by Fr. Michael Culloty with a religious programme. The bandscan ends with more AM stations include ARD and part of the Disco Format show on Sunshine.

This recording is from the Leon Tipler Tapes Collection, donated by Steve England.

Radio Dublin rings in New Year 1978

Radio Dublin rings in New Year 1978
The Radio Dublin transmitter at Christmas 1977 (photo courtesy of Bill Ebrill).

Radio Dublin was the only Irish station to ring in the New Year at midnight on Saturday 31st December 1977. The Evening Herald reported that RTÉ Radio had to scrap its planned New Year’s Eve special programme, to be presented by Pat Kenny, because of an industrial relations dispute. The state broadcaster would close down at 11.45pm, leaving the airwaves to Radio Dublin. This was an important period for the pirates as it marked the shift from hobby to full-time broadcasting. Radio Dublin stayed on air for 300 hours over the Christmas and New Year period 1977-1978 and began full-time daily broadcasting on 2nd January 1978.

This recording is of Radio Dublin staff saying farewell to 1977 and ringing in 1978. Running from 2312-0040, it features station owner Eamonn Cooke along with DJs John Paul, Shay West, DJ Sylvie, Mike Eastwood and James Dillon. There are plenty of requests from listeners and thanks to businesses for advertising with the station during the year. At midnight a recording of bells is almost scuppered by a faulty cassette tape. This is followed by the DJs singing Auld Land Syne and a message from the Lord Mayor of Dublin Cllr Michael Collins. Eamonn Cooke urges listeners to lobby the government for a licence for Radio Dublin and also thanks Prince Terry (Roger Lloyd) for relaying the broadcast on the shortwave frequency of Westside Radio International. This recording was made locally but there is some night-time co-channel interference and that characteristic Radio Dublin hum throughout. We thank Ian Biggar for the donation.

Radio Dublin rings in New Year 1978
Early Radio Dublin letterhead (courtesy of Ian Biggar)

This was an important period for the pirates as it marked the shift from hobby to full-time broadcasting. Radio Dublin stayed on air for 300 hours over the Christmas and New Year period 1977-1978 and began full-time daily broadcasting on 2nd January 1978. However, the exuberance of New Year’s Eve did not last and in April James Dillon led a walk-out of most staff following allegations that Eamonn Cooke was involved in child abuse. Dillon formed a breakaway station, the Big D, which lasted until 1982. Radio Dublin closed down permanently in 2002 following Cooke’s conviction for sexually abusing children. He was jailed in 2003 and again in 2007 and died in 2016 while on temporary release. If you require support with this issue, you can contact the organisation One in Four.

Declan Meehan’s brekkie trekkie on Radio Nova

Declan Meehan's brekkie trekkie on Radio Nova
Declan Meehan at Nova’s official closedown on 19 May 1983 (photo courtesy of Joe King).

This is a recording of Radio Nova made by British radio enthusiast Leon Tipler on 14th September 1982 during one of his visits to Dublin. Recorded from 88 FM from 0911-0956, it features part of the ‘brekkie trekkie’ with Declan Meehan. The music mix is mellow and presented in Nova’s pioneering ‘clutterfree’ format . The late Terry Wogan’s voice is heard on a well-known advert for Bargaintown. News headlines are read by Sybil Fennell and the job spot is also aired.

This recording is from the Leon Tipler Tapes Collection, donated to us by Steve England.