Radio 1 was launched in 1967 to meet the demand for music generated by the former pirate radio stations which had, earlier that year, been closed down due to the Marine Offenses Act coming into force.
Tony Blackburn launched the fab and groovy exciting new sound of Radio 1 at 7am on Saturday 30th September 1967. For a few years at the start they shared programmes with Radio 2 when the likes of Terry Wogan and David Hamilton could be heard on both stations.
The first music to be heard on the station was “Theme One”, specially composed for the launch by George Martin. It was followed by an extract from “Beefeaters” by Johnny Dankworth and the first complete record played on Radio 1 was “Flowers in the Rain” by The Move.
Originally broadcast on 247 meters Medium Wave (1214 kHz), the station remained on AM until the late 80s when the BBC started to rollout a new network of VHF FM transmitters to carry Radio 1’s programmes. After a shuffle of frequencies in 1978, Radio 1 moved to 275 and 285 meters (1053 and 1089 kHz) which improved coverage and reception. The original Radio 1 frequency of 1214kHz became Radio 3, until the station became an FM only channel in the 1990s. In 1993, Virgin 1215 was born and remains on that frequency to this day. 1053 and 1089 kHz is now the home of Talksport.
Radio 1 50th Compilation
As part of the 50th Birthday celebrations of Radio 1 in 2017, The Radio Ark produced a 25 minute montage of clips from the history of the station.
Radio 1 at 50
Listen to Nick Grimshaw and Tony Blackburn together on Radio 1 as they celebrate 50 years of broadcasting on Saturday 30th September 2017.
Below you can hear various jingle packages as used on Radio 1 over the years:
The AB of CD
From time to time Radio 1 would produce hour long documentaries. Below you can hear Simon Bates presenting a programme called “The AB of CD”. It talks about the brand new medium that is set to replace vinyl – the humble 5 inch CD.
Another Radio 1 feature was a programme all about Pirate Radio in the 1960s – it features music from the decade as well as radio jingles, programme clips and interviews. The programme was introduced by Johnnie Walker.