Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Radio Websites August 2010

Radio Websites, August 2010 (first published in Radio User )

Chrissy Brand looks at websites with a radio connection, this month clicking her way from the Mediterranean to the Cape, via London and Chicago.

Malta Teasers
Malta is a popular holiday destination and it’s easy to cover the whole island in a week. The radio band is surprisingly crowded for such a small island, and with English spoken by so many Maltese, there is plenty to hear for the holidaying Brit to hear. There are many community stations and some with a religious format

The tiny neighbouring island of Gozo is not neglected, with many Maltese stations easily heard there too, as you can imagine. Gozo even warrants a half page of links to radio stations at the ever reliable Radio Station World website:  Radju Katidral, Radju Margerita and Radju Lehen il-Qala are amongst the stations you can tune to from that link.

There is a good page of radio links at the Malta online portal, which also offers all manner of holiday advice  and there are also radio links at:

Malta Radju is the country’s public broadcaster but there is not much at their website:

You can listen to the likes of Bay Radio, Fantasy Radio and Calypso TEN-18:  , not forgetting Malta University Broadcasting. Campus Radio is the university network at:  It has a good mix of locally produced programmes and rebroadcasts of some of the bigger boys of broadcasting, such as the BBC.

The website is proud of these connections: “Built on a tradition of quality broadcasting, the station has collaboration agreements with a number of entities, such as the BBC World Service and Classic FM in the UK, United Nations Radio, Deutsche Welle, Radio Netherlands and Putumayo World Music. Also, students, lecturers and staff at University are involved in the radio's operations and are contributing towards various productions and initiatives. Campus FM has been the recipient of a number of broadcasting awards since 1995.”

World Music: Cuba to Cape Town

Mention of Putamayo World Music brings me to the website:  You are only a click away from a brightly coloured bus driving on laden with musicians and a sample of the many diverse sounds offered by the record label can be heard. South African band the Soul Brothers were featured when I visited. The latest release is a South African compilation celebrating the “diversity of South Africa, from Afrojazz and township jive to mbaqanga and Afropop.” Founded in 1975 “the label has become known primarily for its upbeat and melodic compilations of great international music characterized by the company's motto: guaranteed to make you feel good!”

The company produce a wide range of very good World Music CDs, each one offering a tester of contemporary sounds from all over the globe and illustrated in a distinctive busy style by Nicola Heindl. I have been enjoying sultry summer nights in the city chilling to their Brazilian lounge CD. They are reasonably priced and available online as well as in the High Street. I first got into the series myself through my local record and CD library, which is always a low risk way of expanding your musical horizons.

If you prefer to hear your World Music from your sun lounger or balcony rather than at a summer music festival such as WOMAD (World of Music and Dance):  (with information throughout the year, not just at the time of the festival in late July in Wiltshire) you might also enjoy World Beat online radio:  It is part of the Live 365 franchise and offers links to a host of World Music stations that you can dip into. If you are already a fan, you will know what I mean. If you are not then give it a whirl and you will be enjoying a salsa in the summer sun before you can say Bossa Cuca Nova.

And other World Music stations at Live 365, the d-i-y radio station portal, include: Radio Abeokuta with Yoruba music from Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Cuba and Brazil:  . Music from around the world and all eras at World’s Best Musicians:  Radio Africa online does what it says on the tin, at:  

Barlow Wadley

Back in the dark days of apartheid one of the few good things to come out of South Africa was the Barlow Wadley XCR receiver, made between 1969 and 1981. which emanated from South Africa. There is a dedicated Italian website (in English) packed with details and photos at:  

Paul and Cheryl Wetterhahn are amongst the many fans of the radio who are mentioned on the above website. They also have their own radio museum site at:  with many radios from all over the world including two BarlowWadleys. On their site you will see radios from the early 1920's to now. Grundig, Sony, Eton, Degen, Panasonic, Zenith, shortwave multiband, catalin, wood, pocket transistors boomboxes, and microphones..

“We started collecting radios about 25 years ago. Found one in the garbage, couldn't believe a radio would be tossed out ! That radio is still one of our favorites! Most radios on this site are for sale. They come from all over the world to us here in Chicago, USA.”

The Silicon Chip website has a vintage radio sections including this on Barlow:  and it crops up at the radio museum website:  Not often for sale but there were three at a New Zealand radio website :  And they even crop in up in blog postings. Roy McBride who sails the globe and post many interesting blogs including a posting in March 2009:  

Wikipedia has a short but interesting article on one of the inventors, Trevor Wadley:  After World War II he “invented the Wadley Loop receiver, which allowed precision tuning over wide bands, a task that had previously required switching out multiple crystals. The Wadley Loop was first used in the Racal RA-17 a 1950s top of the range British military short wave receiver still considered one of the finest radio receivers ever made and later in the South African made commercially available "Barlow-Wadley XCR-30" radio. He also invented the tellurometer, which could measure up to a distance of 80 km; it was used in land surveying. Today, it is used in a wide range of equipment but modified with current technology.”


Video helped the radio star
There is a fascinating 25 minute video interview by Jonathan Marks (or Radio Netherlands fame) with veteran broadcaster Margaret Howard on her career with BBC World Service, Radio 4, Radio 2 and Classic FM.:  

Her “Letterbox” programme, complete with Bach theme tune, went into the Guinness Book of Records as the most listened to radio programme, it having 40 million listeners. Also at the website are other great video interviews by Jonathan Marks with radio personalities telling gripping tales past and present, such as radio’s digital future, a visit to Kings Langley and David Smith’s early shortwave memories. One of the many positive things about the internet is the ability for people to upload their own videos and audio as well as text and visual content. Interviews such as those at Jonathan’s website might only get a minute’s sound bite if aired at all by a regular radio station. With websites such as Vimeo and YouTube, people can upload interviews in full and the listener can decide to listen to them in their entirety or to fast forward.

Jonathan Marks has also put the Media Network Vintage Vault online which has complete shows from 1980-2000 for download. These include one on Wartime Deception, a documentary on World War II British black propaganda.

The Wireless Waffler has posted a selection of pictures of the latest building developments at Broadcasting House in London, including one of a information poster which gives a clear run down of building progress, on his blog. I cannot see this on the BBC Site. The building being largely complete, and the fitting out being in progress. Studios are being completed in the basement and should be in use in due course. I was amazed to find that the newsroom area at the front was now open to view. Some very good photos at:  click on one you wish to view in detail and it will appear enlarged. The first one will explain the building progress to date.

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