Steam Radio

Saturday 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Fun nostalgia 78s

Ralph Knight

Latest episode

19 September

About Steam Radio

Saturday 2.30 - 4 pm

In English.

Fun nostalgia 78 speed records.

Presented by Ralph Knight.

CRAM Article November 2007: Steam Radio Profile

Steam Radio started in the early years of 3CR, in 1977. When 'CR first started there were large gaps in transmission. 3CR would close down at 11 PM or Midnight and there would also be a long break during the day from about 10:AM to some time in the late afternoon. These gaps were soon filled by Station Programs

When I first came to 3CR I concentrated on technical matters, transmitter construction and studio building. After that I applied to do some of the station fill in programming.

My fill-in program was largely a send up of the top 40. Didn't work that well but some thought it was good, but that music could be heard anywhere. I heard some old 1920's records on the ABC, thought they were great and put them on in the fill in program. The response was very encouraging. The program, as yet unnamed, became known as the Comedy Hour because of the Comedy, Novelty and Humour.

One of the Station workers told me about a second hand shop closing. I was to give him $20 and he would get this "big Pile of Records that would be just great for the Comedy Show”. They duly arrived and the Comedy Show very quickly became Steam Radio as it is known today and very much a part of 3CR.

The first time I heard the expression "STEAM RADIO" was in the early 60's. As a teenager I met Hal Todd - he got me a job at 3XY. I was soon at work recording and producing various commercials. The talent was 
John Royal, a well known ABC TV News Reader. He was doing a Bushels Tea commercial. I wanted it to have a "different sound" so I went to 3XYs Museum and retrieved a very old "Reese" Microphone that legend had 
it was 3XY's first microphone.

The sight of John Royal reading into this Biscuit Tin contraption quickly earned me the nick name of Mr. Steam Radio. The name stuck in my mind and has now become part of 3CR.

Culturally Steam Radio reflects and explores the music and humour of a much earlier pre-electric pre Radio era where the political economy was largely driven by coal fired steam.

By Steam Radio presenter Ralph Knight.