Horizon Radio Last Frontier
Horizon Radio Last Frontier! It Will Be If We Do Not Get Those Young Listeners Back.
Horizon Radio Last Frontier! It Will Be If We Do Not Get Those Young Listeners Back.
Lets go back to the 80’s for a minute or so. Soul music was booming here in the UK, selling like hot cakes or even better. New specialist records shops were opening all across London and beyond. Imports from the USA arriving daily purchased by those from the age of 15 up. Soul records on import lasted about 3 weeks, then got released in the UK and sold for another 4 weeks or more. The UK pop charts saw more and more soul artists inside that top 40 and that means the ARTISTS got paid for their hard work. Radio Invicta, JFM and Horizon Radio along with Greg and Robbie took soul music from the underground and put it into the mainstream. Horizon Radio can prove it had listeners from the age of 8 to 80 years of age. The younger generation (You Today) even played the station at school in your lunch breaks.
In the clubs both corporate and privately owned, crowds flocked in, they heard the new music the DJ’s were playing and purchased the records. Corporate Clubs like Cinderella Rockafella’s, The Ritzy’s, Paradise Lost, Hammersmith Palais (ETC) had thousands coming through the doors 3 to 5 times a week. These were not little clubs/pubs. These clubs had capacity’s ranging from 1000 to 3500 people a night and many did more that that with ins and outs. (90% of that music was soul).
Today it’s a very different story. After the years without those pioneering radio stations, we soon saw 10.000+ nightclubs across the UK close (fact). No more Mecca, Rank, First Leisure, European Leisure or Luminar Leisure. The corporate clubs went bankrupt, because it was not fun anymore going to a nightclub. In the 80’s you had DJ’s like (Chris Hill & John Osborne) Just naming 2 of hundreds who picked up a mic and created an atmosphere and got the customers involved, so they came back for more. By the late 90’s the corporate clubs were going bankrupt as DJ mixalot took over and the customers got bored, so stopped going. The problem was those obscure records DJ’s mixed into their sets that were easy to mix, but had no atmosphere unless you were on drugs, along with mics to gee up the crowd and get them going no longer needed as no one knew how to use one.
I can’t comment too much on radio after 1986/7 as I took no part in it and did not listen. I can comment on what I saw in the clubs as I was a General Manager for the Corporate Clubs and a sole owner of 2 clubs for many years. Get to around 2000 and it all started to go down hill fast. Attendances at clubs had been on the drop for a few years before 2000. I would stand on the doors of the clubs and talk to the customers as they left, especially if the exits started early. One thing came across that was the music is $hit and the DJ’s will not play my requests. In truth it was not the music, it was the DJ’s, Mr Mixalot aka the bedroom mixer. I often had meeting with my DJ’s and told them what the customers had said. Time and time again many of the DJ’s said it was the customers who did not appreciate good mixing, so I should get customers who appreciate great DJ’s. Talk to other managers and they had much the same response. Just to prove a point now and again I would get my records out and do it the old way, that opened a few DJ’s eyes and filled the dancefloor.
Customers or listeners come first as they pay the bills, no customers no income no job, that’s simple to understand is it not. Before you put the key in the door to open the club, your outgoings are into thousands of pounds with rent, business rates, insurance and PRS/PPL, ETC.
Radio is nearly the same, you need income to keep it going unless you have very deep pockets like some. In the 80’s, history shows what it was like and the Artists were making a good living as they should have done. Today it’s a very different story. Global and Bauer the corporate radio company’s are doing OK by the looks of things as they give away millions of pounds a year in cash prizes. Soul music stations not so good, they can’t even afford to give away a T/shirt (PS Horizon Radio gave T/Shirts away). One wonders why as back in the day some were on par with those top stations for listeners. Global and Bauer spend millions on research to find out what listeners want and then give it to them as you can hear in the way radio has changed over the years. Soul Stations are still doing what they did in the 1980’s with the added in the mix, hence the listeners have moved to the likes of Spotify and others. Once again one has to wonder why those young listeners today don’t listen anymore?
Soul music in the 80’s appealed to all ages, yes the music splintered, but something else happened also, the music was taken back underground by the DJ’s who again started to play those non commercial tracks, loved by the minority but had limited appeal to the majority. Ego’s took over as DJ’s felt they could not play certain records as it would damage their reputation. The proof of the pudding here was JFM/Solar Radio v Horizon Radio and the listenership Horizon Radio had, which cannot be disputed as those close down events of September 1985 proved. Solar Radio had a golden ticket to start it’s broadcasting career by taking over the old Horizon Radio frequency, but when Horizon came back in 1985, the listeners voted with their feet and so did the advertisers.
The Artists are still making great music, but the way it was being presented and with some DJ’s talking all over the vocals, shout out here there and everywhere to the same old names (OFFC), record after record along with their next gig times and places every time they open the mic. It gets boring you know after awhile and that is when those younger listeners and soul fans tune away to spotify as they do not want to be associated with the Old Farts Facebook Club..
Horizon Radio back in the day looked at what Capital Radio and others did and used the best bits in a soulful way to make Horizon what it became, one of the most listened to stations in London. That little bit of SOMETHING is missing in soul radio today.
It really comes across that some DJ’s today just care about themselves and the pension pot, sod the majority of listeners and Artists finances. DJ’s put events on back in the pubs or hotels, charge £10 upwards for entry, get 100+ people, so that is a nice grand in your hand for 5 hours work. The ARTISTS get sod all and neither does the tax man. Yes some do pay PRS/PPL but that goes to the pop artists of the day very little if anything goes to the Soul Artists, especial if they are independent. In the 90’s Choice Fm had 277.000 daily listeners broadcasting to a local area. Today talk to an advertising agency about radio advertising on a soul station on the web and dab and you get told not to bother as you would be loosing your money. Something has gone very wrong over the years.
This one is another big problem. Back in the 80’s, so much misinformation and crying to newspapers along with utter stupidity by the few who just could not keep their ego’s under control saw those 1986 Community radio licenses cancelled. The damage the publicity did back then saw years of hard work go out of the window in July 1986 when the powers that be were asking the question How can we think about licensing people to run radio stations who act like thugs, it’s radio gangland and it was. On the legal ILR stations of the day you never saw any negative publicity like the events that took place from October 1984. The reason you did not see problems was quite simply there was a management structure in place and not a bunch of fools letting their ego’s rampage.
Publicity or as it is today childish squabbles on facebook really does a lot of damage to the image of soul music radio. Today the washing of dirty lien still goes on and gets seen within minutes on social media, hence those upstairs will see the comments and again ask the question how can we trust people like this. Something small like telling a listener who complains to Jog Off or as we all know it means F–K Off soon escalates and gets out of control when the FB keyboard warriors get involved.
Bob Semple Solar Radio DJ starts off in a correct way and gives a reasonable but outdated (Google) answer to Gerald Walker, then screws it up by saying Jog Off. Hence what comes next and what you do not see here is the Solar Radio Keyboard Posse all on fragile ego’s coming out to bad mouth Gerald Walker which again brings Soul Music Radio into disrepute.
But with Solar Radio facebook keyboard warriors it does not end there. Lets go back to October 2021 and the boat cruise the UK government warned against. One person a lady, put a public service comment on facebook to inform others who had attended, she and others had caught Covid on that cruise. It was a Public Service Message to others on that boat cruise and simple a warning of what happened to her and her 2 friends.
Fragile personalty’s, the lady was only trying to warn fellow members of the cruise, just encase they had caught covid and might pass it on to other elderly family members. She by the way loved Solar Radio and the boat cruises. Look at the way that escalated. Thankfully a DJ on Solar Radio came in with the correct statement and shut it down.
At last someone asks the right question “Why are the Solar management leaving you to speak for the station” The answer Paul is lack of management skills or playing cards. This one went on and on and blamed everyone else including the government, yet no one in photo’s of that boat trip wore a mask. That was down to Solar Management to enforce, but nowhere to be seen when needed.
DJ June Furlong
The way this lady was treated on Solar Radio by the management and those Solar Radio old fart keyboard warriors was an insult to Soul and Reggae music lovers everywhere.
This one was the worst one of the lot and went on for weeks. Solar Radio management could and should have stopped it on day 1. At the time Adams and other Dj’s were working on Solar and other stations. Ray Bradshaw the morning DJ was 3 times a week travailing 70 miles a day in a round trip without remuneration. Ray had decided also to work on another station on a Sunday. That was it, comments started to fly on facebook. Les Adams gets hold of it and starts to do what Adams does best as his facebook still proves and that is have a go at people as he considered himself god. Ray by the way I do not know or have ever spoken too.
Yes if you agreed with what Adams said, you were his friend, dispute anything with him and that was another matter. He slated Ray and even trolled Rays wife. The police in the end even visited him when he put on his facebook “I have just bought a gun” I know they did oh yes I do?. Absolute stupidity putting a comment like that on Facebook, but that is what idiots do. But I guess some of the Solar Radio facebook keyboard warriors would not mind their wives or friends being intimidated and storked by Les Adams.
Adams in my opinion was a soul music user and abuser, his first love was rock music and his favourite station was Planet Rock, so he said many times on his facebook. His own brother said he did not get on with him. The big I am as he thought he was, did not even own his own house in the end as Tony Price had just 1 month to clear the house and give it back to the landlord. but the facebook old farts loved the squabbles as it gives them something to do.
Where was the Solar Management when all this was going on? Playing cards probably. Well Done Carl Barrington Webster of Starpoint Radio who stood up to the wannabe tyrant and shut Adams down.
Not just on Facebook, the saga went on and on, making Soul Music radio look like it was being run by 5 year olds.
Cymon H got it right but then go persuaded by the Adams crap when he replied so many times on Digital spy network but before that Cymon said this
Yep that was right, friends get preference even in the CHARTS if you know what we mean, even today Mr Happiest DJ on the radio?
None of this should have ever have seen the light of day on the web as it was a management problem, but sadly no management stood up and stopped it, WHY
Over the years if you look into it at length, the problems all seem to come from the same source. With some any publicity is good publicity, its time those people learned from the corporate management book!
One has to ask if those who use these two words would do so if they knew the history and how the words were used back in the day. So lets go back to the 60’s and the BBC who were desperate to get the likes of Radio Caroline and Radio London (Big L) and others shut down as they did not want the competition these offshore broadcasters delivered.
The BBC in a think tank meeting were trying to come up with ways of persuading the government of the day Labour to shut the offshore radio stations down. The BBC used the phrase Pirate radio to discredit those radio stations to the government, going on about how the offshore broadcasters were not paying the artists of the day to use the music. The artists of the day were using those stations to get their music played & sold as the BBC did not play the latest Rock and Pop music in those days.
15 million daily listeners were tuned into the offshore radio stations. Along comes the BBC and stirred it up with the government telling them that there was no need for a service like this. Anthony Wegwood Benn (Cabinet minister) was stupid enough to believe the BBC and then we saw the Marine Broadcasting (Offenses) Act 1967 come into play. Benn said there was no need for these stations as no one listened. BBC playing politics. The BBC also threatened the artists of the day with being banned from the new up and coming BBC Radio one playlist if they let their music be played on those offshore radio stations.
So every time you use the word Pirate Radio you are thinking, what the BBC want you to think as they did not want the competition, simpletons as some are.
Time to Que Antony J Carter the master of the pirate radio memories on Ian Box’s Solar morning show. Ian, Radio London known as Big L closed down on the 14th August 1967, Chic Everybody Dance came out in 1977, ten years after Big L closed and it was Tony Prince on Luxembourg who first played the record to a British audience. Antony, Luxembourg was not a pirate station and you spell it Like and not lines.
Line??? spelling again?<<<<<<<<<<<<
You know what they say, no publicity is the best publicity. Too much of the wrong publicity back in the 80’s and it cost us all a real Soul Music Station due to a typewriter and the bullshit it wrote and distributed. Today it is still driving those younger listeners and others away and those in power not believing in a soul music radio station on VHF
The way facebook works unless you know how to use it, all it does is deliver the posts some of you put up to the same old people, who spend hours wishing each other good morning, afternoon evening every 2 hours and playing with GIFs to see who can put the most up with the shout out as a prize. They need a shout out every 2 hours to get through the day. The Soul Children have taken over. Thankfully some DJ’s like the ones on professional radio don’t service the kids.
Northern Soul, look how good that has been and supported over the years, southern soul should take a leaf out of that book.
That came up in an email back in 2018, lets have a look at it shall we?
The Honorable Anthony John Monson born 27th April 1944.
The 3rd son of John Roseberry Monson the 10th Baron Monson. Mr M missed out on the hereditary title.
When you follow the family tree you will end up in a Sugar Plantation in Jamaica. (Ellis 1,000+ slaves).
Bermuda back in the 60’s very much like today with a population of around 60.000. As someone wrote recently “the home of those disaffected upper class gentry who have chanced their arm over the centuries and exploited others”. I would not know as I have never been there. But like so many others I do know about radio waves and how they travel. The American state of North Carolina, approximately 1,035 km (643 miles) to the west-northwest is the nearest point to Bermuda. The radio station ZBM was at this time using a 1 kilowatt (ERP) Medium Wave transmitter. Would that travel up and down the USA coastline? No, as distance is too great, as every 15 miles the earths curvature comes into play.
DXer’s may pick up the signal due to weather conditions now and again. But that’s it. It would be nice to own property out there and an estate in Jamaica?
Radio Luxembourg to London 304 Miles 489km. At this time Radio Luxembourg was using a 250.000 kilowatt transmitter and many who were around back then will remember reception at times was not very good. BBC Radio 1 had transmitters located all over the UK and for London, Brookmans Park it was a 35 kilowatt transmitter. Droitwich in Worcestershire was 30 kilowatts. There were 14 other transmitter sites across the UK with Washford Somerset rated at 60 Kilowatts.
One wonders who wrote this article which appeared in the Bermuda Life and Times back in the 1960’s on page 17, So not that important at the time then. Did the Munsonized syndrome strike the world for the first time that day?
Slavery northern hemisphere style was started by the Portuguese, but then the not so fine upstanding members of the British nobility took it to another level with the first slaves taken from a Portuguese ship in 1619. The White Lion brought 20 enslaved Africans ashore in the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia. The crew had seized the slaves from the Portugese slave ship Sao Jao Bautista. Slavery continued until The Slavery Abolition Act 1833 (3 & 4 Will. IV c. 73) provided for the immediate abolition of slavery in most parts of the British Empire.
In 1833, Britain used £20 million, 40% of its national budget (£ Billions in today’s money), to buy freedom for 3,415,500 slaves in the Empire from those who claimed to own those people, the estates and sugar plantation owners. The amount of money borrowed for the Slavery Abolition Act was so large, it was not paid off until 2015. This means that every tax payer in the UK up until 2015 (not hiding in tax havens) was still a slave, as they were paying off the debt to the Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen who owned those Sugar Plantations and estates.
In 2011 the then Lord Monson decided to auction off a family heirloom, the diary’s of one of a big slave owners of the day Thomas Thistlewood. That diary contained links to all of the worst slave owners of that period. This was purchased by Yale University for an undisclosed sum. The Diary’s were sold and not donated.
On the 29th of September 1985 Solar Radio closed down, two weeks earlier Horizon Radio closed down on the 15th of September 1985. Both stations were applying for one of the new radio licenses. The authorities were watching and listening? Both stations were left to close down without intervention from the RID. Horizons Radio’s close down was as you can hear on this website in full and other locations in part (Professional). Horizon Radio’s the close down show even invited the old Horizon DJ’s, now Solar Radio to the close down Farewell Party at the Harrow Leisure Center and said thanks to all DJ’s that appeared on Horizon Radio over the years. On Solar Radio it was a very different approach. In the clip below you will hear Barry Jameson comment on two DJ’s who once were on Solar Radio but had returned to Horizon Radio in 1985. The broadcast quality of Solar Radio that day was so amateurish (hiss up in a brewery comes to mind) to say the least as studio microphones did not work half the time and the OB was a shambles. It was 10 months of childish comments like this from some of Solar Radio’s presenters. Just spoiled little selfish brats mouthing off, no wonder the IBA said no.
I was so surprised to hear Barry Jameson (I have only just heard this in May 2022) come out with this slag, but he was another guy who must have got Munsonized during those amateurish 10 short months of Solar Radio when unlicensed radio hit the gutter as presenters reached for the stars and forgot to keep their feet on the ground. “Turn Coats Barry J”, they knew which was the best station to be on and Horizons Radio’s close down at Harrow Leisure Center proved it, unlike the Limelight Hiss up of the 29th of September 1985.
Now Barry T (Townsend) on that Solar Close Down
Barry T (Townsend) wearing his heart on his sleeve. Barry was a stalwart of Horizon Radio from the early days and I liked him a lot. Barry was always there when needed. But to hear this sort of crap (May 2022 for the first time) changed my mind a bit. You could hear in his voice Horizon Radio was in his heart, but politics was in his mouth. Another one who got Munsonized during those 10 short months of Solar Radio. I did not know he was at Harrow, but if I had known, I would have put him on that DJ stage to play a few records as Barry from his service to Horizon Radio deserved to be up there along with others from the early days who should have attended. They did not attend. That is their loss not Horizon Radio’s.
Barry T said he had no respect for any of the 1985 Horizon Radio DJ’s who unlike him and many of the Solar Radio presenters, went on to bigger things. Martin Day and John Osborne to name 2 presenters who did.
Barry T (Townsend) a question for you Did any of the following get their backsides up a tower block to help Horizon Radio?
You can answer back Barry from your Italian retreat of the The Proud Garden, just use the contact form as others can do if they can tell the truth we will print it here on the website for lovers of soul music to read. just encase he does not have the balls, no they did not ever get their ass up a tower block so you could listen to your favourite radio station or any others. “Turn Up, Play the Music, Go On A Ego Trip & Go Home Types”.
To think without Chris Stewart & Team there would never have been an Horizon Radio, hence no Sound Of London’s Amateur Radio. Why did I bother to risk my neck, I now ask myself.
PS. Barry Jones the Horizon Radio 1985 Drive Time presenter was at the Alexander Palace OB that day and give Solar the credit they put him on air after a warning from the Solar Radio studio (not to say anything). You could hear the quality of Barry Jones way above anything Solar had to offer, just listen. If you cannot find it on other websites let us know we have it.
It could and should have been a different ending to the campaign to get a 24hr Soul Music Station here in the UK. There were many people worked hard and risked their necks up tower blocks to get the job done, all of which are pioneers and should not be forgotten. Then came the pirates, many of which sat on their backsides played a few records got off on ego trips and with their lies, stupidity and immaturity blew it and stole VHF Soul Radio Away from true soul lovers.
Today we have the internet streaming radio and probably more stations than listeners. A far cry from what it used to be back in the 80’s. There are great stations out there along with presenters who are doing a great job and should be applauded for being there. Others are just there using and abusing soul music and filling their own pockets at the artists expense.The happiest DJ on radio said recently “We Don’t Need FM Radio We Have Our Phones That Go Everywhere” He has not got a clue has he, a bit like his charts? Radio in the 80’s was free, today via the web the listener pays for it and with over 1.5 million homes in the UK not connected to the web/Internet, many people can’t listen. Many others have low incomes and just cannot afford to listen to a radio station on the web as they cannot afford the bandwidth charges on their phone accounts. It’s said that 99% of the UK has phone coverage, that is a rather big exaggeration as get outside the big cities, its a very different story. A few mobile phones today have a FM chip in them, but the ISP’s don’t want phone manufactures to open the chip as it would cut their profits substantially.
In 1986/7, I and others walked away from radio due to the shenanigans going on. In my opinion >>> 1 man <<< screwed it up in his attempt to control things.
The younger generation have disappeared from supporting soul music and here I will tell you why, just listen two these to clips
Tony Monson on Horizon Radio
Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit I Forgot Forgot Forgot (He did get told to engage brain then open his mouth after that).
Tony Monson Radio 355 (Offshore station for a few weeks in 1967)
Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit, play the music that’s what the listeners want to hear, not someone who loves his own voice to much on a rabbit. If the listeners wants to know more about the artists they google it these days, so do the presenters, that is how they get the info. The younger generation and others just want to hear the music these days, so keep the chat short and que up the next record instead of going off on one, that is what the corporate stations have found out?
Anne along with Horizon Radio (Soul Music) was the love of my life back in those days, sadly idiots who were into themselves came along and screwed it all up, not just for Anne and myself, but also for you. In 1986/7 I took the decision to forget radio as my life was at risk from liars, thieves and wannabe killers. I stood back and moved on with my life. In those days I expect I was a little naive and loved the music too much, thus trusted others more than I should have done, NOT these days that is for sure. As one door close’s another door open’s. It took 4 years to get this website live on the web, as I had to relive those days in telephone recordings and notes made at the end of each night. Page after page I just stopped writing and thinking about Horizon Radio and put it on the back burner until I could pick it up again. I am not vindictive and have no wish to ruin careers & that would happen if some of those telephone recording were ever released.
Coming back to internet radio in 2018 was an eye opener and a big thanks to Roger Brooks of Chocolate Radio who made that possible. Roger (Who I Have Never Met) totally funds the station. No DJ pays any costs towards the running of the station. In March 2022 near the end of this website, I found myself back in 1986/7 and just wanted to remove myself from radio and soul music as I did in the old days as I was so depressed with it all, hence no shows from myself after March 2022.
Bloody depressing. It could and should have ended with a 24hr VHF soul station across the UK, Global and Bauer if it was done properly there is a major listenership out there, it just needs the professionals to get on and do it.
The big question is why did Brian Anthony JFM and myself come in for so much bad mouthing over the years? The answer is Brian and myself got on with it and made the stations happen, then along come those who were incapable of changing a light bulb or even getting up a tower block and wanted to control the stations. These people as events have shown over the years could not organise a hiss up in a brewery. A right mess they have made of things ever since.
Lets hope some will now sit down and think, if not in 5 years Soul Music will be a thing of the past.
Marvin Gaye “Whats Going On”
If Tony Monson ever grows a pair and wants to discuss those years of Horizon Radio and Solar Radio, Chris Stewart would be available face to face in a live studio or via a telephone. Chris Stewart was never Munsonised as Tony well knows, but at least the truth would flow, that’s if Tony could ever get off the toilet as the first question would be Who Forged That Jicrar Document that robbed us of those radio licenses in 1986. Lets hope some presenters with moral’s will now put their brain in gear and stand up to the man who did so much damage in his quest take control and make a name for himself at everyone else’s cost.
Last words for now from Clive Richardson MD of Solar Radio today, The Truth & Nothing But The Truth!
“In 1984 Horizon Radio achieved what many thought to be impossible. They broadcast 24hrs a day seven days a week for 6 consecutive months without being taken off air by the DTI. Horizon Radio became the most serious station of the time to challenge the appeal of Capital Radio in London and beyond.
All of the live gigs promoted by Horizon Radio were filled to capacity and it seems whichever High Street you walked down, half the radios were tuned to Horizon. In short the station had a massive reputation”.
Words Found In The Book “Soul Citizen” – Tales and Travels from the Dawn of the Soul Era to the Internet Age” By the current managing director of Solar Radio, Clive Richardson.
To All of the Original Horizon Radio Soul family, It was a Pleasure to be with you during those Ground Breaking Days of the 80’s, Live Long On Your Memories. Thank You For Making It Happen, It Could Never have Been Done Without You.
Horizon Radio Last Frontier Walk In My Shoes Share With Friends
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