Monaghan has long been an important county for pirate radio, with various stations over the years taking advantage of proximity to the Northern market. One late arrival to the 1980s pirate scene was Hot Hits KITS from Monaghan Town, which began test tranmissions at the end of 1987. The Anoraks UK Weekly Report of 20th December noted non-stop music and idents on 100.9 FM and the following edition reported that live transmissions began during Christmas week. Professional PAMS jingles were to be produced and the station was described as one of Monaghan’s two ‘border blasters’ along with KISS FM which was conducting tests at that time.
In this evening show with Simon Dee, adverts and requests are heard from both sides of the border. The recording was made from 100.9 FM (announced as 101) on 27th April 1988 between 1812-1858. KITS also broadcast on 837 kHz AM and closed down permanently in the afternoon of 31st December 1988. The tape is from the Anoraks Ireland Tapes Collection, donated to us by Paul Davidson.
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.
Radio Star Country has relied on religious programming since the early 1990s as an income stream. As well as hosting individual gospel programmes, the station has at times relayed other Christian broadcasters. This recording from 1996 is one such rebroadcast of United Christian Broadcasters (UCB) Europe. A postal address in Stoke-on-Trent is announced and Christian music is heard.
The recording was made from 981 kHz from 0717-0723 on 8th March 1996, using a Drake SPR-4 with a 200-metre antenna facing southwest. Audio quality is poor with co-channel interference and splatter from adjacent stations. Thanks to Svenn Martinsen for the donation.
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.