Erneside Community was one of several pirates broadcasting from Co. Cavan during the 1980s. It was a strong supporter of local country and western artists throughout its four years on air. Erneside began test transmissions in January 1985 and started full programming on 25th February, broadcasting on 1251 kHz (announcing 240 metres). A detailed report by Seán Brady of Cavan Community Radio in the Anoraks UK Weekly Report of 31st March 1985 described the ‘Cavan Radio Explosion’ and noted that Erneside broadcast from 8am to midnight, specialising mostly in Irish country and western music. Erneside also had an outside broadcast unit that had travelled to Counties Cavan, Leitrim and Fermanagh and carried community notices each day. The station later added FM and continued to broadcast until 30th December 1988.
This tape was recorded in the English midlands and is of DX quality, with plenty of deep fading and interference. No times were noted on the cassette, but it was made during the afternoon of 13th November 1985 as winter darkness fell. There are adverts from both sides of the border in the run-up to the busy Christmas period. The first DJ is Brian Gold and he is followed by Don Woods.
This recording is from the Leon Tipler Tapes Collection, donated to us by Steve England.
This short recording of Monaghan station Radio Star Country from 1997 reflects the linedancing craze that was sweeping rural Ireland at the time, particularly among country music fans. Following the syndicated news from IRN in Britain, a promo airs for a linedancing competition sponsored by Radio Star Country in a pub in Armagh. The extract also includes adverts for local businesses and a station advertising promo. The presenter is Country Girl Claire, who continues to broadcast on Radio Star Country to this day.
The broadcast was recorded on the island of Sotra in western Norway and quality worses towards the end, reflecting the distance from the transmitter on the Irish border. The recording was made sometime in November 1997 between 0858-0910 from 981 kHz. It is kindly donated by Svenn Martinsen.
This recording of Radio Star Country was made in western Norway in November 1995 during the visit of US President Bill Clinton to Northern Ireland. It begins with continuous music before 0900 interspersed with long commercial breaks taking advantage of the busy run-up to Christmas. Adverts are heard for businesses in Armagh, Down, Tyrone, Derry and Antrim including the outskirts of Belfast, reflecting Radio Star Country’s large coverage area on AM. An unidentified DJ (likely Patsy Jordan) comes on air at 0900 and refers to the Clinton visit during copious requests from listeners. There is an advertisement for a Radio Star Country sales representative for the Lisburn area, with the tagline ‘one of Northern Ireland’s biggest radio stations’. A promo for the gospel programme New Life in Christ is also heard. The recording was made from 981 kHz on Thursday 30th November 1995. Part 1 above begins at 0828 and Part 2 below at 0902.
Audio is of fair quality given the distance with some deep fading but long sections that are quite listenable. Thanks to Svenn Martinsen for the donation.
Today we feature another recording of Monaghan station Radio Star Country made on the western coast of Norway. It features continuous music at breakfast time, including a promo is heard for “your own 24-hour a day country music station from Monaghan to wherever you are” but with no commercial breaks. The fact that there was no live DJ in a peak listening slot underlines how Radio Star Country sometimes failed to provide a core schedule in the post-1989 period.
Audio quality is fair at the beginning but deep fading occurs after about 20 minutes. There is some wobble but it is not clear if this was on the station’s side or is due to the degradation of the tape over time. The receiver is retuned to an unidentified UK AM station at the very end. The recording was made in Solsvik, Norway from 981 kHz between 0755 and 0840 on 29th October 1994. The receiver used was a Drake SPR-4 with a 200-metre antenna facing southwest. Thanks to Svenn Martinsen for the donation.
In 1994, Radio Star Country marked six years on air, five of them since the strict new broadcasting regime that was supposed to silence the pirates came into effect. This recording from that year features continuous country music interspersed with station idents. One promo describes Radio Star Country as ‘Your own 24 hour a day country music station from Monaghan to wherever you are’ and indeed thanks to the properties of AM radio propagation, the signal at times travelled well beyond the core listening area along the border and Northern Ireland.
Our recording was made at an unknown time on 14th February 1994 from 981 kHz in Solsvik on the coast of western Norway. The receiver was a Drake SPR-4 with a 200-metre antenna facing southwest. Audio quality is fair at first with fading and co-channel interference later. The recording is kindly donated by Svenn Martinsen.