Remember radio  when it was – King?  

Before television, families gathered each night around the essential piece of lounge furniture – a stylish floor level radio console (perhaps branded Atwater Kent or Gulbransen) – or faced the ornate mantle model (Philco), waiting with expectation for the crackling  radio valves to warm up.

Then Dad (usually) manipulated the green magic eye tuning into the programmes. What were those favourites some of us still remember from that time so  many years ago?

As I write I can still hear the opening themes…..Serials included DICK BARTON (with its up tempo theme “Devil’s Gallop”), PAUL TEMPLE (with famous music “Coronation Scot”) and at 8.30pm DOSSIER ON DEMETRIUS with Gregory Keane, Yoti Blum and Heidi Bergna.

Earlier in the evening, JOURNEY INTO SPACE, HAGEN’S CIRCUS and famously, NIGHT BEAT with Randy Stone who always ended with the phrase, ‘copy boy!’ These were young reporters –   cadets, who   literally ‘ran’ copy from senior reporters to the Newsdesk where it was ‘tasted’ for its  interest;  the Chief Reporter who later assessed the copy’s quality; and finally the  Press Association agent who filed it to newspapers around the country. All of this  happened at urgent calls of ‘Copy !’

But back to radio of that time: Comedy programmes set the scene for the night’s entertainment. ITMA (it’s that man again – Tommy Handley), MUCH BINDING IN THE MARSH (Kenneth Horne and Richard “stinker” Murdoch, THE GLUMS and TAKE IT FROM HERE ( with Professor Jimmy Edwards, Dick Bentley and June Whitfield) …remember Ron and Eth?  And HANCOCK’S HALF HOUR

Readers of this story will be laughing like crazy and there was  THE NAVY LARK, THE GOON SHOW, PORTIA FACES LIFE and DR PAUL and many other favourites.  We remembered those family occasions with extraordinary affection.

Today’s radio, dominated by vacuous commercial talkback and youth-orientated, tuneless music, could never compete with long remembered 40’s and 50’s programming – when radio was King.

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Chris Bourn

Chris joined WNTV1 as a Presentation Officer 1964 and became the channel’s first Sports Producer. He went on to become Entertainment Producer and Director and then for 12 years was Head of Presentation, Promotion and Publicity. Other positions included Head of Entertainment, and Director of Opera in the Park, Christmas in the Park and Symphony in the Park for 20 years. Chris retired in 2002, and was awarded the Golden Disc from the NZ Recording Industry for services to Entertainment, and the NBOA Award for service to Television.