SolarRadio

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Classic and 21st Century Urban Soul Jazz and Funk

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Solar Radio came on the air literally days after the Horizon bust, with an almost identical DJ line-up, plus new names, such as Helen Mayhew, Louis St. Clair and Tomek. The music format was similar to Horizon, except that more emphasis was placed on specialist music shows. The station was an instant success, and indeed, with its huge non-stop campaigning to be awarded a legal franchise, it may well have paved the way for the eventual deregulation of the radio airwaves. JFM and Horizon had started the campaign; Solar continued it until Septembe... See more

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SOLAR RADIO P.O. BOX 49300 LONDON. SE 12 9XU
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[2023-05-14 18:10:07]
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2023-10-17 04:50:02
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Solar Radio came on the air literally days after the Horizon bust, with an almost identical DJ line-up, plus new names, such as Helen Mayhew, Louis St. Clair and Tomek. The music format was similar to Horizon, except that more emphasis was placed on specialist music shows.

The station was an instant success, and indeed, with its huge non-stop campaigning to be awarded a legal franchise, it may well have paved the way for the eventual deregulation of the radio airwaves. JFM and Horizon had started the campaign; Solar continued it until September 30th 1985, when the station voluntarily went off the air in order to be allowed to submit a licence application. The rest is history. Solar was unsuccessful, (but eventually stations such as Jazz, Choice, and Kiss FM were to win the day). Musically however, as the 80's went on, the soul scene was starting to become convoluted, and the original movement was breaking up in disarray.

Following Solar's departure from the airwaves in 1985, LWR with Zak at the helm, grew in popularity with its strong emphasis on the burgeoning house, hip-hop and street soul scene. DJ's included Tim Westwood, Jazzie M., Ron Tom and Jasper The Vinyl Junkie. Kiss FM was launched as a pirate in October 1985 by Gordon Mac,(a former JFM DJ) introducing Paul 'Trouble' Anderson, Trevor 'Mad Hatter' Nelson, Coldcut, Bobby and Steve (Zoo Experience), Jazzie B, Norman Jay and many others to the London airwaves. Kiss started the massive 'rare groove' phenomenon, and also explored the alternative side of the emerging club/dance culture. Latterly, stations such as Starpoint continued to push forward the boundaries, covering everything from soca and African music through to eclectic jazz and Latin music, with DJ's such as Willber Wilberforce, Chris Phillips and Paul Phillips.

At the end of 1986, when it was apparent that the government plans for radio deregulation were to be postponed, and that all the licence applications had been scrapped, Solar came on the air again, initially planning to broadcast 24 hours a day. By this time DJ's such as Ralph Tee, Alan Sage , JM, Steve Hobbs and Randall Lee Rose (aka Lee Randall) had been added to the roster. Unfortunately the venture was doomed, due to constant busts, and frequent thefts of transmitters, links etc; in addition Solar was at times deliberately jammed by rival pirates. The station struggled on valiantly for about 18 months (weekends only by now), before finally giving up the ghost tens of thousands of pounds poorer.

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