Soul Radio
Pioneers

Soul Pioneers London 1981 – 1985

Soul Radio Pioneers here in the UK in the 1980’s. Radio Invicta, JFM, Horizon Radio.

Radio Invicta Soul Over London Town

The Soul Radio Pioneers

Radio invicta Logo 1982

Radio Invicta was for many years the first of the Soul Radio Pioneers. The Station on 92.4vhf was the UK’s only soul music station in those early days. Our encounter with Invicta came in 1980 on a visit to Groove Records in Greek Street London W1. As you stood in the shop listening to Jean playing the latest imports, you see an A4 flyer in the right hand window that said,

Soul Over London Town 92.4 VHF 12 – 3pm Sundays.

Get home, look at the radio, no VHF as in those days it was all MW,  VHF was not in most people’s vocabulary, as many were still listening to that awful non-stereo medium wave. Need one of those VHF things, £397 and yep bring it on, Radio Invicta came in loud and clear the following Sunday. Nothing better on a Sunday afternoon than feet up and locking into the station, simply magical. Week after week nice, but, it was just hiss that greeted you some weeks on 92.4vhf

Probably Mr Gotts, or his mates, so Sunday afternoon down the spout as Radio Invicta off air.

Sadly by the summer of 1981, Radio Invicta’s broadcast hours were diminishing fast. Perhaps Eric the RID’s enforcer, was loving his job too much. Behind the scenes there were problems also, a little more money was needed for transmitters and people not jumping ship would have helped.

The team at Radio Invicta were brilliant, Tony Johns (R.I.E.P) and the rest of the crew made Sundays Magical for us.

JFM  >> I’m Telling You About London Town?

JFM Radio 1984 Logo

Jazz Funk Music or Jackie FM? The station was the brain child of Brian Anthony a former member of Radio Jackie. When it came on live for the first time, we missed it, but when we caught up with it, what an eye opener. The station was live from morning to night on Sundays, absolutely trail blazing.

Brian Anthony on a Sunday, don’t miss that show, as he knew what music was about. Smokey Robinson and Leo’s Sunship are just two special memories?

At times and its our opinion only, we felt some of the DJ’s where playing what they liked and forgot there were listeners out there who wanted to hear the tunes that were kicking and not so many of the obscure tracks with minimum appeal that some played.

JFM had very strange transmitters that got up and disappeared, this made other stations a bit nervous as loosing a station off air usually meant the Gotts man (RID) was out and about. That happened too many times and in April 1984 we finally got told what it was. Yep it was a Red Astra turning up and as the engineer who told us the story said, “I was ripped off and not paid for the transmitters so I took them back”.

Finally the end came in January of 1985. The Radio Interference Department raided the JFM studio. The location was grassed up on or about the 27th December 1984 to the Gas Board investigators who had been trying to track the studio due to JFM’s main transmitter on 102.8 Vhf causing interference to the GB receivers. High Court action was taking place, which saw large financial penalties levied against Brian and JFM at £2000 everyday the station continued to broadcast.

Over the New Year 1984/5, JFM & Solar Radio had been involved with a live link up on air, was Solar Radio setting JFM up for a fall as they knew about the Grass Up. Solar was asked on the 4th and 5th of January 1985 to do something, but never did. The JFM Studio was raided during the second week of January 1985. The same sort of thing thing happened to Horizon Radio on the 11th of October 1984, Grass Up.

JFM and Brian Anthony are still today remembered for a great soul jazz funk music station and a soul radio pioneer with some great DJ’s, let down by its old engineer who joined Solar Radio in October 1984!

Brian Anthony of JFM

Sadly Brian passed away aged 77 in a road traffic accident in his adopted home of Turkey. Many said he was a hard man to get on with, this was not true. Brian was a get up and do it and say it kind of guy. At a meeting to discuss the Gas Board interference problem face to face with Chris Stewart in a cafe at Crystal Palace in April 1984, the real Brian came across. Brian was a perfectionist and wanted JFM to be the best Jazz Soul station ever. Brian was a businessman, do it and stop dreaming about doing things. Brian took the risks, organized things and made it work. But there were some that behind Brian’s back who were creating Mayhem. That presenter as Brian told Chris at that meeting was removed from daytime radio on JFM and put on at Midnight to keep him away from $hit stirring other DJ’s. In those days you dare not sack a DJ as you were in fear of a studio grass up.

That presenter had jumped ship on Invicta when the station needed money for transmitters and backsides up tower blocks to keep the station running. Yes he had deep (family) pockets, but never put his hands into them or got his ass up a tower block. After being demoted by Brian, he then asked Andy Jackson to get him a position on another station and soon problems at that station appeared.

A torch which still burns bright in the hands of Solar Radio” An obnoxious comment from a radio station led by Tony Monson who on the 4th of January 1985 at the latest, 7 days before the raid on JFM, knew that the Gas Board had been given the location of the JFM studio and did nothing to warn the JFM DJ’s or Brian of what the Solar Radio engineers had done. Just listen to a conversations with one of those Solar management DJ’s and the Gas Board investigators on other pages of this website.

DJ Careless January 5th 1985

 

A torch which still burns bright in the hands of Solar Radio” Some people will write anything just to get a few likes on facebook, Brian would turn in his grave if he read that crap.

R.I.E.P. Brian Anthony.

Horizon Radio

Horizon Radio, the concept was to be a small soul music station, just covering Camberwell, Peckham and Brixton back in 1981. It grew to be the biggest and best soul music radio station in London and the Home Counties. It achieved what no other station ever did, because of the team behind it. The station also had its own transmitter builder (The Owner), so could never be held to ransom or have its transmitters stolen by the guy who built them. That ex JFM engineer was suspect by the way, when 1 of Horizons transmitter disappeared off Rye Hill Park and the antenna was left intact.

So lets leave it to >>>>> Solar Radio’s Current Managing Director, Clive Richardson from his book <<<< to tell you how it really was back then.

“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.

 

Horizon Radio The Soul Music pioneers

 

Other Stations that worked so hard in the campaign to get new radio Licenses
  • Dread Broadcasting Corporation (DBC) Northwest London, Reggae Station which put some real Caribbean sunshine into your life.
  • Radio Jackie Southwest London Pioneering local community radio station, long before the Soul Radio Pioneers.
  • Alice’s Restaurant North London, a ground breaking Rock station covering the full rock spectrum.
  • There where many more notable stations that played their part.

Soul Radio Pioneers Share With Friends

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