Max AM was born because Radio Forth had to either sell the AM frequency it owned, or create a separate station with different programmes to what was being broadcast on FM VHF. (As was the case with all commercial radio stations that did simulcasting). Radio Forth was no stranger to this, as it had already created a successful temporary “Festival City” radio station on VHF to provide much more coverage of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – something that had to be given special permission by the Home Office and IBA at that time.
It was February 5th 1990 and Max AM was on the air for the first time with many of the familiar voices that Radio Forth listeners knew and loved. The AM format consisted of classic hits, while Radio Forth FM featured more up to date chart hits aimed at the younger listener.
Max AM also provided a sustaining overnight service for the newly formed Radio Borders in Galashiels and between the hours of 7pm to 6am Monday to Friday, programming was heard across the Scottish Borders and North Northumberland on FM. They also carried the programming from 6pm Saturday until 7am Sunday morning and 7pm Sunday night until 6am on Monday morning. This arrangement stayed in place for just over a year, before Radio Borders extending its broadcasting hours on weeknights and weekends, however after Radio Borders “closed down” of an evening, the programming reverted to Max AM until the following morning.
Although listeners in the Borders tuned in on FM, they were only able to hear the Edinburgh programmes in mono for around the first 10 years, until a stereo line was put in place around 2000.
You can hear Alec Shuttleworth present the Melody Line on Wed 7th February 1990 by using the players below.
The Melody Line (Part 1)
The Melody Line (Part 2)