Australian Commercial RADIO NOTABLEs

From the beginning, the Australian radio industry has always been full of big personalities with bigger ideas. Here are some of the notable names you may – or may not – have heard of.

CHARLES MACLURCAN – early experimenter
Charles Maclurcan’s electrical engineering firm of Maclurcan and Lane was issued an experimental licence in 1910. Maclurcan is believed to have broadcast two hours of gramophone music every Sunday from his experimental station, 2CM in 1921. As a tribute to Charles, the callsign 2CM is listed by the Federal Government as “Never to be reissued”.

CECIL ‘PA’ STEVENSON – the “Father of Commercial Radio”
Some of the earliest radio stations were named for the initials of people or companies. 2UE was originally 2EU, named for Electrical Utilities, a business run by Cecil ‘Pa’ Stevenson. The name was changed before 2UE’s first broadcast for the first time on January 26 1925. ‘Pa’ was widely known as one of the first pioneers of radio.

PAT BOONE AND PAT BARTON – first #1 hit and first Top 40
The first Top 40 chart was broadcast on Australian radio in 1958 – and the song in the number 1 spot? April Love by Pat Boone, a US singer. The man who established the first chart shared the same first name – Pat Barton, who in addition to being breakfast announcer on 2KO was the music advisor the stations owned by the Lamb family.

ORMSBY WILKINS – first out of the gate for talkback
Talkback radio used to be illegal – but as soon as those restrictions were lifted at midnight on 17 April 1967, 2UE’s Ormbsy Wilkins took the first phone calls from listeners.

JOHN BRENNAN – sports call pioneer
Known as the “kingmaker” for launching the careers of some of the biggest names in radio, John Brennan was also a pioneer in sports calling and began his career as a commentator in the 1940s.

ALAN JONES – a century of ratings wins 2GB breakfast host
Alan Jones celebrated 100 consecutive ratings wins in November 2014.