Our Deejays

mel1Melvyn Fickling

Melvyn became a Mod during the 1979 revival, undeterred by the fact that he was playing second guitar in a heavy rock band at the time. The tonic suit and the biker jacket hung side by side in his wardrobe, one for going out and dancing, one to wear at gigs. Life and responsibility got in the way as they always do, the tonic suit soon stopped fitting and the guitar was pushed under the bed. Then in 2009 a young friend persuaded Melvyn to dig out the guitar and accompany her for a few songs at a party. Over time this led to the formation of a Mod covers band called The Boogaloos. Re-bitten by the Modernist bug, Melvyn started to explore the music surrounding the subculture and the Modifications Mod Radio Show was born.

Modifications is a weekly Mod Radio show exploring original Mod, Freakbeat, Northern Soul, Modern Jazz, Acid Jazz, Funk, Reggae, Ska, ’79 Revival, and Soul, as well as seeking out new bands that have a modernist slant. You don’t need to be a Mod to listen, you just need to enjoy cool music with a retro-flavoured spin.

— o —

Kentucky-based Kurt David hosts the ever-popular Takin’ Ya Back programme on XeRW.

We broadcast his 60’s edition of the programme and it has been well received by our listeners. Kurt always manages to reveal interesting stories about the records he plays and finds the hidden gems which rarely get played on radio.

This is what Kurt says about how he got to love radio and music:

“My parents were not my favorite people growing up in the sixties and seventies – sound familiar. We moved too many times – new cities, new friends, new radio stations. The last part turned out to be the best part of my early years. (thanks mom and dad) This exposure to some of the best radio stations in America would later play an all important part in allowing me to share the music I heard growing up…with YOU.

The appreciation I have for what it takes…and what it took to create a song is what drove me to create my own programs.

Sharing the secrets behind the songs…and blending together the music is my passion. I enjoy telling a story through a song or group of songs…and with that comes memories we have shared and experienced. Thanks for allowing me to share these slices of my musical memories. A special thanks to the players, singers, songwriters and producers who share my passion.”

— o —

garyjacksonGary Jackson

Like many radio presenters, Gary started as a mobile DJ. From there he went on to hospital radio, and when the FM frequency beckoned he jumped at the chance to join Skyline Gold in Southampton.

It soon became apparent that other stations were sometimes short of presenters, and the norm in those days was to play automated music. He offered a show to Forest FM – Sounds Of The 70s – which he still presents there to date, and soon realised that here was a gap that needed filling elsewhere.

Other stations followed including the legendary 1260KYA in San Francisco. Soon stations all over the world started airing the shows.

His shows often feature guests, and his interviews have included chats with Mike Rutherford (Genesis), Paul Carrack (Mike and The Mechanics, Squeeze), Alan Clark (Dire Straits), Tom McGuiness of Manfred Mann, Deborah Bonham, Simon Townsend, Stu Cook (Creedence) Dave Clark (Dave Clark Five) and just about every other 60s band still working!

Very much a fan of personality radio, Gary always remembers that the listener comes first, tries to give his shows a live feel and keep listeners interested with features like the “A side B side”, “follow that” and the “back to front” song.

— o —

miketieMikey K

After the usual hospital and land-based pirate radio apprenticeship Mikey started his professional radio career on the floating radio station Voice Of Peace, which broadcast to the Middle East from a ship anchored in the Eastern Mediterranean. Mikey presented almost every single programme on the station during his two years there, but fondly remembers the daily ‘oldies’ programme, as it was the type of music he loved.

He later joined the famous Radio Caroline which broadcast to Europe from a very stormy anchorage in the North Sea. During his time on Radio Caroline he was interviewed and featured in French TV and BBC TV programmes as well as in various newspaper and magazine articles. Mikey also presented programmes in Dutch and English for the Dutch language station Radio 819 as well as reading their weather and news bulletins when required. He remembers opening Radio 819 up one morning when the scheduled Dutch DJ failed to appear due to a heavy drinking session the night before! Moving ashore he joined pioneer satellite radio station Euronet where he presented a number of programmes and contributed to the station’s output in various ways.

Mikey then moved into publishing and was the editor of British radio trade magazine Playback for three years before moving on to be publisher of Atari Computing magazine.

Mike has an eclectic taste in music, but if pushed he will say he loves Northern Soul above all other forms, but he can’t dance to save his life, so he prefers to pogo to the collection of punk rock records he has in his bedroom!

— o —