BRISTOL PIRATE RADIO RECORDINGS

This blog is intended for me to post my pirate radio recordings. Most of the recordings are from Bristol, most will be pirate but there will be some legal stations and stations from other cities or national stations.

IF YOU OR YOUR FRIENDS HAVE ANY TAPE RECORDINGS OF PIRATE RADIO FROM BRISTOL, PLEASE SUBMIT THEM TO THIS BLOG BY RECORDING THEM TO MP3 (CLICK HERE FOR A HELP GUIDE) AND UPLOADING THEM TO http://www.sharebee.com, or a similar site such as Megaupload, Mediafire, ZShare, but not Rapidshare as it's getting a bit hard to use. SEND THE URL IT GIVES YOU TO ME VIA A COMMENT ON MY LATEST POST or BY EMAIL AT bristolpirates at gmail.com (you'll have to correct that with the proper @ symbol, I started getting spam on the address). WE COULD ALSO ARRANGE A PICK-UP OF YOUR TAPES IF YOU LIVE IN BRISTOL AND CAN'T CONVERT TAPES TO MP3. THANKS IN ADVANCE, YOU WILL BE CREDITED.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Fem FM 101 - RSL March 1992

(LINK DEAD)


Fem FM was an all-female RSL station which was on air (properly) from 8th-15th March 1992. It started a week or two before with test transmissions. This recording is mostly of those tests, the music was pretty good (house, hip hop, soul, funk etc..), but there is also a 20 clip from one of the shows, by SPEC Radio's Lady G. The rest of that show included Sarah D and Crystal Tips.

A book called "Women and Media" provides a case study on Fem FM...

Fem FM was the first women's station to broadcast in the UK. It lasted 8 days in March 1992, but it's development work with over 200 women went on for a year and its impact lasted far longer, providing a role model for subsequent stations across the UK.

Fem FM was based in Bristol, a multicultural city in the south-west of England with a vibrant arts and cultural scene as well as an active community and voluntary sector. Women who had a background in community, youth and women's radio set up the station. They organised a steering group of about a dozen women, "head hunted" for their skills, experience and expertise in radio, music, technical matters, fundraising, training, community development, working with volunteers, publicity and marketing. This group set about recruiting and training volunteers to carry out both the background work to setting up a station from scratch (including choosing a name, devising a jingle package, fundraising and finding broadcasting and training premises) and devising and producing programming for the eight days on the air. The station was run completely on voluntary labor and the women raised over £20,000 from sources including the Gulbenkian Foundation. The station as a whole was sponsered by an airline, which was keen to promote the fact it had an all-female flight crew!

The aims of Fem FM were:

- to create a radio station with a distinct and different sound from a woman's point of view, representing the rich diversity of women's culture;

- to include coverage of events and celebrations for international Women's Day and Festival Fortnight in Bristol;

- to encourage women from different generations and backgrounds to debate issues of importance to them;

- to provide a service produced and presented by a mix of experienced and first-time broadcasters and to offer guest slots to prominent female broadcasters to promote the station;

- to provide a variety of training opportunities to first-time broadcasters to develop their radio and communication skills and to have access to airtime.

The broadcasts contained a mix of live and pre-recorded programs with a 60:40 music:speech content mix. Producers wanted the station to sound professional - it was important to them that as a representation of women's achievement in radio Fem FM did not sound amateurish or boring, a criticism often leveled at community stations. This had to be balanced with giving first-time broadcasters an opportunity to get real, live experience and to make a few mistakes in a supportive atmosphere. Women at Fem FM were keen to scotch the myth that they didn't want to apply for presentation work in radio.

The programme schedule included a variety of speech and special interest programs, including a program in three Asian languages, a daily youth programme presented by young women, and a daily Men's Hour, and broadcasts were very well received. On Fem FM there were no specialist programmes for lesbians, although gay women were presenters and producers of programmes across the schedule. The feedback from listeners was extremely positive, with women appreciating the way that the station addressed it's listeners, female and male:

"Thanks for getting it together redressing the balance on the airwaves... the presenters are human and relaxing not trying to be cool and slick. If this is a women's touch, I like it... To all the wonderful dedicated women at Fem FM, thanks for the brilliant, exciting, interesting, fresh, riveting, powerful, stimulating, happy, strong, electric eight days of women's radio. Bristol should be proud... Sounds fab, I haven't heard such good music for a long time.. It's destroyed my tolerance for Radio 4: men talking to men... Brilliant, it just makes me realise what's missing off the rest of the radio... It's so wonderful and so good that I just have to tell you I am looking forward to it ending so I can get out of the house!" (Listeners cited in Mitchell and Caverly)

7 comments:

Mr Doooix said...

Fem FM was great! I remember amazing shows from Queen Bee.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Fem-FM was a very good station, and one of the first VHF Restricted Service License stations in Bristol. I also remember the Chaplin Sisters on Savage Yet Tender Radio in around 1989-90: this was the first all-women show on any local alternative or pirate station.

Al said...

Thanks for the comments :)

Anonymous said...

interestingly enough I've just finished digitizing this stations archive tapes and have the entire weeks show as MP3s, these will shortly be available for access from Bristol Records Office

BristolPirates said...

Thanks for the information anon. I'll make a post about it soon. Can they be downloaded from their website?

Anonymous said...

i've jst handed them the hard drive, they'll need a few to weeks to process it and it should be availible to the public, best place to inquire is bristol records office, the recordinmg will also be handed to the people who originally organised the station as i think they will be using parts for events looking back at the station.


Anonymous said...

Hello BristolPirates

its now availible to view and reserch as well as some clips online, a long job to digitize but very rewarding!

http://www.bristol.gov.uk/page/leisure-and-culture/fem-fm-archive

Enjoy

regards

Tom The Digital Archiver