This is a selection of adverts, promos and clips from popular Dublin station ARD in 1979, including part of the station’s final day before relaunching as Radio 257 at the beginning of 1980. Included is a promo for a phone-in show presented by Ronan Collins who went on to become a household name in RTÉ. Part of Ian Dempsey’s final show on ARD is heard on 31st December 1979. There are also clips of Sylvia on the final day and of Dave Cunningham on the new Radio 257.
This recording was made by Kieran Murray from both FM and AM and is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.
This recording is of Big D founder James Dillon on air over the Christmas holidays 1980. James gives racing tips for the fixture at Leopardstown later in the day and thanks listeners for Christmas gifts. There’s a promo for a mystery sound competition later in which listeners can win an LP. Audio is variable on adverts and there is some distortion on the links.
Within a year, the Big D was in terminal decline as more professional stations came to dominate the Dublin scene. An attempt to relaunch as Big D Automated in 1982 was unsuccessful. The recording was made between 1208-1255 on 29th December 1980 from 98.2 FM. It is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.
This is a selection of jingles and adverts from popular Dublin station Big D in 1980. The jingles are mostly generic but include some with the Big D name and others for the James Dillon show. Tony Allan voices an advert for Air Florida and there’s mention of a Big D trip to Florida itself. Simon Young is heard on a promo for Sloopy’s nightclub and other late night venues and an advert for the Red Corner shop refers to the inflation of the 1980s. A Big D promo is voiced by Bryan Lambert and there’s a advert for Tamango’s nightclub in Portmarnock, which would later be associated with Sunshine Radio based in the same hotel. Strangely, the adverts include one for the Nightmoves programme on RTÉ.
Big D began broadcasting on April 10th 1978 following a split from Radio Dublin. It was founded by former Radio Dublin DJ James Dillon and backed by businessman Noel Kirwan. Big D closed in December 1981 in the context of increased competition and professionalism in the Dublin radio market. There is some audio distortion and bleedthrough from another source, due either to an issue when recorded or to the deterioration of the cassette. Below is a a better quality but short recording of additional Big D jingles, made by Kieran Murray.
These recordings are from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.
Returning to our Northeast Series, this is a recording of Eddie Caffrey (aka Heady Eddie) presenting his afternoon show on Boyneside Radio from Drogheda. It was made from 1420-1506 on 14th March 1980. Áine Ní Ghuidhir reads news at 3pm and there are plenty of Mother’s Day requests from listeners for the coming Sunday. The recording is in mono but is a studio copy, so there are no details of a frequency. An airchecked version was posted previously on our site here.
This recording is from the Anoraks Ireland Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson. More material from this collection is available on Radiowaves and the Irish Pirate Radio Archive.
Cork’s Capital Radio began broadcasting in February 1979. The station was a breakaway from ABC which was starting to fragment and eventually closed. According to the Capital Radio magazine issued at Christmas 1980, Peter James, Dave Stewart, Con McParland and Pat Anderson decided that Cork needed a local station that would inform people about what was happening in the city. Con had operated his own small stations in Cork in the early 1970s and had previously been engineer for CBC, Cork’s first full-time pirate station.
The original plan was to locate Capital in Oliver Plunkett Street, but a change of plan meant that the studio was built over a chip shop next to the city library. The aerial was a long wire suspended between two poles around 50 feet apart on the roof of the building. The frequency initially used was around 1323 kHz, announced as 233 metres. Capital broadcast daily from 0800-2000 with a variety of music, although at one point it changed to a strict Top 40 format which caused some dissent amongst the station staff, so the format reverted to the original.
A team from Free Radio Campaign Ireland visited Capital on 2nd September 1979 and reported that the station was now broadcasting from Tuckey Street in the city centre, above a shop. The studio and transmitter were located on the top floor of the building. The equipment consisted of a pair of disco decks and a transmitter using 813 valves and a power output of about 75 watts. The aerial was a long wire supported by two five foot poles. The sound quality was reported as ‘a little below average, but not bad by any standard’. By this time Capital was on the air from 0800-0200 and non-stop at weekends.
The frequency used varied, for example in August 1979 they were noted as 1312 kHz, in June 1980 on 1336 kHz and in December 1980 on 1308 kHz. When DX Archive visited in August 1981, Capital were on 1305 kHz and in January 1982 they were heard in Scotland during the early hours on 1314 kHz.
Ian Biggar remembers: ‘I visited Cork in March 1982 and Capital Radio was still on the air, but there had been a split which resulted in Leeside Community Radio starting transmissions on 102.3 MHz. Pat Anderson, ex-Capital was the driving force behind that. When I arrived in Cork to work on ERI in July 1982, Capital Radio was still on, but nearing its end. As far as I know, it along with Radio City, it had gone by the end of the summer’.
We bring you two short recordings of Capital, both featuring evening request shows. The first recording above is an undated clip from 1980 featured some of the Teatime Express with Tony Clarke (Tony Whitnell). The clip below is of Seán Murphy and is undated but probably also from 1980.
Thanks to Ian Biggar and Pat Galvin (Pat Anderson) for background and to Pat for the recordings.