Full recording: County Sound (Galway)

Full recording: County Sound (Galway)
County Sound logo (thanks to Shane Martin for the enhancement).

This is the second part of a recording of Galway pirate County Sound, recorded from 101 FM on 2nd August 1988. From 0305-0600 the last few hours of Jon Richards can be heard on his overnight show. This is followed from 0600-0900 by the breakfast show presented by Tommy Kaye and by Jeff Collins from 0900-0930. This long recording gives a good sense of the popular Galway station and the styles of various presenters in the last few months of its existence.

For more recordings of this station, click on the County Sound tab. We thank Ian Biggar for his donation of this recording.

Full recording: County Sound (Galway)

Full recording: County Sound (Galway)
Jon Richards in the County Sound studio in 1988 (photo courtesy of Big Sam).

County Sound was one of the bigger Galway pirate stations and built up a considerable listenership during its relatively short period on air. County Sound began broadcasting on St. Patrick’s Day 1987 in the town of Tuam north of Galway before moving into the city in January 1988 where it continued until the end of 1988. There was fierce competition between County Sound and another large station Coast 103, which was located just a short distance away in the city centre. Both were professional operations and covered large areas of Co. Galway and beyond.

Jon Richards was County Sound’s overnight presenter and this recording features a segment of his show from midnight to 0240 on 2nd August 1988. Jon’s voice was also heard on many of the station’s ads and he went on to build a career in local radio from 1989 when Radio West (now Galway Bay FM) was licensed. Jon is currently Programme Director at Galway Bay FM and an interview with him can be heard here. Click on the County Sound tab if you want to hear other recordings of this station.

Tomorrow we’ll bring you the rest of this overnight programme and the breakfast show afterwards. Thanks to Ian Biggar for donating the recording.

Full recording: County Sound (Galway)

Full recording: County Sound (Galway)
County Sound broadcast from upstairs in the building on the right, now an auctioneers (photo by John Walsh).

This recording of County Sound is from 101 FM on the 23rd or 24th of July 1988 and features Ciaran Wilson (Brannelly) on air. Charley Anderson of the Irish reggae group Century Steel Band, who are in town for Galway Race Week, is in studio and livens up proceedings. Century Steel Band’s version of the popular ballad ‘The Fields of Athenry’ is played and there’s a competition for listeners to win a 12-inch by the band.

Evidence of the success of County Sound is provided by the large number of adverts, many voiced by Jon Richards, now of Galway Bay FM, who was the overnight presenter. A temporary offshoot of County Sound, Tuam Festival Radio, is also mentioned. Thanks to Ciaran Brannelly for this donation.

Full recording: County Sound (Galway)

Full recording: County Sound (Galway)
County Sound logo courtesy of DX Archive (with thanks to Shane Martin for the enhancement)

Another recording of County Sound gives a sense of this successful Galway station in the final months of broadcasting. Big Sam presented an evening show from 9pm to midnight and again from 6pm to 8pm on Saturdays and Sundays. This recording was made on the 18th of September 1988 from 1818-1906 and includes the ‘Yes/No Game’ which attracts plenty of callers from around the county.

A noticeable aspect of the County Sound recordings is the large number of adverts for businesses in Galway City and County. This tape is no exception, and the first commercial break also includes a promo for a gig by Daniel O’Donnell in Salthill. County Sound closed on the 31st of December 1988 along with most other pirates. We thank Ian Biggar for sharing this recording.

Full recording: County Sound (Galway)

Full recording: County Sound (Galway)
County Sound logo courtesy of DX Archive. With thanks to Shane Martin for the enhancement.

Over the coming days we’ll bring you recordings of the popular Galway station County Sound which broadcast first from Tuam and then Galway City in 1987 and 1988. This recording is from 1607-1707 on the 3rd of April 1988, Easter Sunday, and features Ciaran Wilson (Brannelly) on air. Ciaran interviews Dave West of the Coventry band The Bonediggers who were busking in Galway at the time, as well as the band manager Gerard Joyce who is Irish. The programme contains an interesting discussion of the independent Irish and UK music scene and focuses on the challenges of being a band from the English midlands when so much of the scene is based in London. There are references to the importance of radio play for small bands of the 1980s attempting to break through. The Bonediggers also express their desire to meet the Galway singer Mary Coughlan, who was enjoying national success at the time.

County Sound broadcast on 101 FM to Galway and also had transmitters covering the county on 96.4 and Ballinasloe on 95.8. We thank Ciaran Brannelly for his donation of this recording.

Full recording: County Sound (Galway)
County Sound broadcast from upstairs in this building in 1988 (photo by John Walsh).