South Canterbury sounds for anniversary day

Hospital Radio announcer Ron Parmenter broadcasts live in the studio on Sunday

Hospital Radio announcer Ron Parmenter broadcasts live in the studio on Sunday

A South Canterbury beat is set to sound out across the airwaves.

Timaru's Hospital Radio will play only South Canterbury music throughout the 24 hours of South Canterbury Anniversary Day.

Radio announcer Neville Newburn said the tribute had been about three months in the planning, and was the first time the station had held a day dedicated solely to one theme.

"We will be playing South Canterbury music that was recorded by South Canterbury artists or tunes or songs that have a South Canterbury flavour," Newburn said.

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The station had tried to run an themed day on Anzac Day, "but due to an unfortunate hiccup with the programme we couldn't".

It would also be the first time the station had broadcast on a public holiday, he said.

"It will be a nice way to recognise South Canterbury Anniversary Day and it's something different."

Newburn hoped it would lead to more similar tribute days.

"I'd like to play music on special days, like Christmas Day, maybe Waitangi Day."

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The station will play a mix of music, from songs that were released in the 1940s, through to music by Kaylee Bell and Sheryl Higgs.

He said the search for South Canterbury music had been easy at the start.

"If you're asking on a scale of 1 to 100, it was easy to find 60.

"Sixty per cent was easy, the rest was more difficult. I had to go out and find some music by Kaylee Bell."

Other station announcers had contributed music from a range of artists, he said.

Also included in the lineup are McKenzie and his Dog by Brendan Dugan, Noel Burns, Trevor Dawe, Sha-Low and Jack Denley.  Between the songs will be commentary from famous South Canterbury moments, such as Dick Tayler winning gold in the 10,000 metres at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, and some excerpts from Phar Lap's winning runs.

"We punch above our weight in Timaru and not just in music," Newburn said.

Hospital Radio began almost 30 years ago, and is broadcast from the Gardens Block at Timaru Hospital.  The station, which has no advertising, is run by volunteers and funded through bequeaths and annual donations.

The station's frequency is 88.0FM in Timaru, 107.5FM north of Timaru and 107.1FM in Geraldine.



 - The Timaru Herald

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