44 – a very good number.*
Now in its 44th year, Jazz On A Saturday continues its record-breaking status as Australia’s longest continuously broadcast radio jazz program. Same station, same time, same presenters, same program name (JazzTrack, where are you?).
At 4pm on the first Saturday of October 1976, just three months after the launch of Australia’s first regularly-licensed public broadcaster 3CR, the first edition of Jazz On A Saturday went to air. The first programs came from the 3CR’s original premises off High Street Armadale, with the transmitter in the next room, the antenna on the roof, Roger Beilby behind the mic and John Smyth at the controls. Then as now, it was presented on behalf of the Victorian Jazz Club, founded 1968 with the aim of promoting and providing opportunites for the live performance of jazz.
In the following decades, Roger and John have seen two new studios (Cromwell Street and the present Smith Street), two new transmitter sites (Collingwood and the present Hoppers Crossing), the advent of the CD, digital radio and the Internet ... and this Millennium, two additional presenters. Right now, Jazz On A Saturday is still doing what it started out to do – broadcasting great jazz with news about the VJC and the jazz scene in general.
Today the team comprises (left to right) John Smyth, Roger Beilby, John Trudinger and Geoff Tobin. Their individual jazz perspectives provide great diversity and depth to the weekly program. They look forward to your company at 4pm on Saturday afternoon on 855 AM, on Digital Radio as 3CR Digital, or at any time anywhere in the world via 3CR's Audio on Demand (replay link on this page).
And our grateful thanks to the Victorian Jazz Club and the many generous listeners to the program that have donated to help keep us (and 3CR) on air over that time.
(* The name of Jazz Club and record label founded by the late Horst Liepold, which he in turn named after the year in which he first heard Louis Armstrong. Also the year in which John was born … )
Stay up to date with our events on the Victorian Jazz Club website.