Saturday, 11 June 2011

Radio Websites June 2011

First published in Radio User  

Chrissy Brand looks at a wide range of websites with a radio connection. This month she chooses a selection of online radio stations, some interesting radio blogs and picks out a set of must see videos from You Tube.

Rocking all over the world

I have been listening to a variety of online radio stations in the past month and thought I would share some of them with you. Community Radio in Milton Keynes might not sound like your cup of tea but CRMK is a professionally run station and covers music and chat from Christianity to progressive rock (the latter is called “Between Two Worlds” show on Monday evenings at 2000 BST), all spiced with real local news. You can listen online at  

The World Radio Network is always a reliable way to hear international stations. Especially useful for stations you cannot pick up on the radio in the UK, such as the English language service of Radio Tunis International. If you go to the stations section at  you can find a list and may be in for a pleasant surprise at just what is available to hear, live online or via the listen again facilities. YLE Finland, Radio Sweden, United Nations Radio and Radio Algeria are amongst the many radio stations there.

Over in Canada I have been enjoying some evenings of summer jazz courtesy of Canada Jazz FM . There are documentaries and archive concerts as well as the listener request shows that you would expect, from Leonard Bernstein to Artie Shaw. The archive is at This not for profit community station has an audience of half a million listeners a week, but why not boost that figure further and give them a try one evening?

WICN is a similar station in that it majors in jazz and folk, from its New England base The time difference in listening to North American stations online can be strange, as our European evenings coincide with their lunch times and so the music may reflect a different mood and time of day. However for me that just adds to the atmosphere of listening to a regional station across a distance of several thousand miles.

Back in the north to Alaska and KMXT is a public radio community station in Kodiak. Once you have heard the varied programmes which include a progressive music show on Tuesday evenings (2100-2300 Alaska Time) you can even buy a coffee mug promoting the self-deprecating station’s “35 years of mostly good radio.”  

KAMU FM is a station based in a Texas university and offers a good variety. I have heard some very good classical music and they air National Public Radio output in addition to the local programming. Archive programmes that you can hear live or at your leisure include Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin features an in-depth look at classical music and Garden Success with Doug Welsh. This is a phone-in gardening show with very different plants and problems than those discussed on BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners Question Time!

Paul River Gibbs has a long history as a musician, spanning punk to blues, jazz to progressive rock. He has played at festivals from Stonehenge and the Isle of Wight to Europe. He has now put together a multimedia network to promote new music and new radio presenters with River Gibbs FM. This London based station is only a click away at  and a myspace page at  

The Live 365 station I have been listening to a lot lately is Fusion 101, which plays a mixtire of jazz fusion and jazz rock, all the way from the town of Frederick in Maryland. It features such bands as Trace, Frank Zappa, Jean-Luc Ponty and Maneige. I have heard lots of music and artistes for the first time here and I recommend you giving it a listen for half an hour or so one evening.  

Another Live365 channel worth your time is the Raised on Canadian Radio channel. The easiest way to fins them is to go to their blog, which is updated often and links to the station.  The Live 365 station profiles Canadian artists that are featured each day in the blog, . You can follow the Canadian Song of the Day on Twitter  An interesting mix of modern and classics, from Blinker the Star to Martha and the Muffins. Once again, you may not have heard of many of these but that’s the beauty of radio on the internet- the chance to be adventurous and stumble across new sounds and stations that can soon become favourites.

“Echo Beach” was a hit UK single for Martha and the Muffins. It came out when I was working at the BBC Equipment Department, dealing with paperwork for redundant BBC studio equipment that made its way to radio stations in Africa. The Echo Beach song was great in its own right and deserves revisiting, as does their back catalogue (1977 to 2002). The lyrics that used to bounce around my head at my BBC job were apt to me at the time “From 9 to 5 each day I spend the day at work, my job is very boring I’m an office clerk.”

There is a nice blog from Samira Ahmed who is a journalist for ITN and Channel 4. Her blog includes postings and ponderings on her work and travels. It’s a rich resource with musings on films she has seen and places she has stayed. A review of her childhood and her mother’s happy days working at the centre of the universe for the BBC is at (or search the blog for the 2 February 2011 entry) is entitled “My secret playground in the Bush House Hindi section.”

“I must confess, there were long stretches, especially when I was only 5, when I was bored. But there were those fabulously exotic English meals to look forward to in the Bush House canteen when it was all over. Fish and chips and spongy things with custard. But over time it came to mean much more. I grew up completely at home with reel-to-reel tape machines; sitting with the Studio Managers, watching them rock the reels and edit with a flick of the china graph pencil and razor blade. Scripts were painstakingly typed and carbon copied. Words in beautifully written Hindi were amplified round the booth. I even got my first broadcast experience there being interviewed for a children’s programme about second generation Indian immigrants growing up in Britain. (And learned that it was never a good idea to drum one’s fingers on the table during a recording).”

Another related and useful website on Indian radio and media is

John Marsyla in Holland writes a blog on TV Dx and transatlantic mw DXing as well, and I often wander over to his website to read about his latest catches. At the time of writing he was listening to stations from the Dominican Republic: “This morning while listening to the overnight recordings of a part of the mediumwave band my first impression was that there were again very bad TA conditions. But I was surprised to hear two Dominican Republic radiostations in the X-band around 0400 UTC. On 1640 kHz Radio Juventud Don Bosco from Santo Domingo and on 1680 kHz Radio Senda from San Pedro de Macoris. Both of them are personal firsts.”

Stuart Pinfold is a freelance audio engineer at the BBC and his website is a good read to find out what a working day behind the scenes in televisions and radio can be like.

You Tube
You Tube- where do you start? So much to view and an awful lot of decisions to make unless you want to fritter away your evenings in a frustrating haze. Millions of videos to sift through so the best way is to set up your own account and subscribe to the channels that catch your eye. Then you can return to those subscriptions and have some method in your madness on future occasions. You don’t have to ever upload videos yourself to have an account. For the record my own is at  and my subscriptions that will be most of interest to readers include friends’ music videos, tram journeys in Europe and, of course, plenty of radio catches from DXers around the world.

Channels I recommend this month are  This features all kinds of radio goodies, 288 videos worth to be exact. From listening to SW Africa outdoors in Germany to Radio Nacional da Amazonia.

How about a glimpse of an actual machine that generated the content for the infernal numbers stations or spy stations? Watch in amazement at the six part video at  

Another entertaining channel is that of Radio Ham guy at y It’s very American with amateur radio call ups and conferences, equipment guides, tornado and storm watches.


Rob said...

Interesting blog, Chrissy. I an going to need more time to surf around here.

I used to dial around and listen for hours upon hours on my Sangean shortwave radio. I really enjoyed tuning in to the BBC when they broadcast to the Americas, but since they have stopped. But that was some time ago.

Chrissy Brand said...

Thanks Rob- great to have you on board.

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