As far as I can see we don’t have an Australian equivalent of Reel Top 40 Radio Repository, the site where you can listen to some 1500 audio clips of US deejay shows from the golden era of Top 40 radio. The British Pirate Radio Hall of Fame also has clips, from the stations that were Top 40 radio in the UK for a while in the 60s (and a surprising number of the disc jockeys were Aussies).
[Update: The Radio Antenna blog has a growing collection of Australian airchecks from several decades, See also their Facebook page.]
These clips are known as airchecks, meaning a recording of a live radio program. I first saw the word on CDs of big bands from the 40s, indicating that a track is from a broadcast rather than a studio session.
The Adelaide station 5KA had a site with a fine collection of airchecks, including many from the 60s and 70s, but it is no longer online. The good news is that the whole 5KA site, including the audio files, is archived at the National Library of Australia’s Pandora Archive. The files are in mp3 format. My favourites are the 1968 clips, which evoke the atmosphere of just about any commercial radio station of the era.
Also at Pandora is the archived Jingles Shrine website, where you can still hear old station jingles from all over Australia (RealAudio format UPDATE 2012: not all audio files work).
I recently mentioned Tony Sanderson’s pages of Australian and British audio files (mp3 and RealAudio) at Bluehaze Media. The real gems here are two complete programs, a 30-minute weekly Top 10 countdown from June 1962 by Ernie Sigley, and a 60-minute Top 20 of 1962 with Barry Ferber from January 1963. Both were broadcast on Melbourne station 3DB and its relay station in the Wimmera, 3LK.
(If those callsigns sound unfamiliar, 3DB became 3TT, then TT-FM, now known as Mix 101.1. 3LK was replaced by still-operating Horsham station 3WM).
The Top 10 is, as you would expect, a nice snapshot of what we were listening to in Vic at that time. At #1 is Toni Fisher’s West of the Wall, one of those Oz-only chart-toppers that Glenn A. Baker put on one of his Hard to Get Hits collections. After my recent post on the topic, I was delighted to find two Bizarro Shadows World Down Under tracks: The Joy Boys’ Southern ‘Rora and Rob E.G.’s 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Zero.
And, I could hardly believe it, for the second time yesterday I found myself listening to I’ve Been Everywhere, a song that seems to be haunting me at the moment.