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3AW Radio turns 80 years old

Posted by: 3AW Radio | 22 February, 2012 - 1:51 AM
3AW Radio turns 80 years old on Wednesday

3AW Radio is celebrating its 80th year today.

We began transmission on 22 February 1932 as Melbourne's fifth commercial radio station.

Melbourne's No.1 radio station is the only Melbourne AM radio station to keep its original call sign.

*Scroll down to hear our first-ever talkback caller*


- The AW in 3AW came from its original owners "Allans Music" and "J.C. Williamson".

- In early 1979 Derryn Hinch took over the 9-12 slot from Doug Mulray and Barry Mann.

- Darren James' father Peter James began hosting 3AW Breakfast in June 1964. 

- 3AW's longest serving continual employee is David Mann, who this year will celebrate 40 years at 3AW.

- John Blackman, Philip Brady and Andrew McLaren all did shifts on 3AW in the 1970s.

- Channel 7's Jennifer Keyte and Channel 9's Peter Hitchener have both hosted programs on 3AW.

- The voice of AFL, Craig Willis, used to be Derryn Hinch's program announcer.

- John Laws hosted a program on 3AW from the USA via the New Pacific Cable on Tuesday December 3, 1963.

- In 1965 3AW Saturday Night announcer John Bright had to announce that he was not allowed to play any music by the Beatles.

- Derryn Hinch (3AW), Bert Newton (3UZ), and Keith McGowan (3MP) during one period had a tight battle for ratings supremacy (Hinch won in the end).

(Compiled by Simon Owens)

BELOW:  Image of a 1960s ad and a 1990 TV commercial. 


PLAY: Barbara tells Ross and John she was our first talkback caller

Happy birthday, old friend

Derryn Hinch has seen plenty of ups and downs here HINCH BLOG: "One complaint about 3AW is that you walk into the foyer and it is filled with photos of men. Middle-aged, even old men. You know why? We may be old but we are also very good at what we do." Remember with Hinch here.


Blog comments Your Say

  • I remember the great "Camraderie'
    between Norman Banks and Orsmby Wilkins.
    They must have been the two most intelligent broadcasters ever on Australian Radio.
    I have lived in WA since 1971 but still listen occasionally on the Net.
    3AW has continually been an excellent radio station

    Terry Hurrey Thursday 24 October, 2013 - 12:58 AM
  • Happy Birthday Radio 3AW, l worked at this wonderful radio station from 1976 for many years, my boss was the great David McGee, l have fond memories of Norman Banks, Mary Hardy, Peter James, Martha Gardiner, Geoff Manion, Claudia Wright, David Hitchener, David Mann, Andrew McLaren, Bruce Mansfield, Darren James, Rex Hunt, Harry Beitzel, Philip Brady, Happy Hammond and Derryn Hinch etc. My Producer friends were Terry Hayes, Jane Holmes and Wayne Brown, my favourite receptionists were Rhonda, Julie and Janine Curly. My good friends who were panel operators were; Richard Millis, John Fasham, Gregory Storey, Ian Payne, Don Crawford, Greg Smith, Darryn James before he got famous, Peter "Lockie" Locklyn, l loved you guys and l will never forget you, l loved Clancy Duff the Copy Writer, Bob Quinn, Lyn Magnay and Sue Lamb now Sue Stevens who worked with me in the Traffic/Schedules Department, Frank Gifford, David and a lovely blonde lady in the Record Library, Kate the Sales Secretary, Peter Cooper and Muriel Cooper, David Ahern the Accountant and last but not least Max Hall the Technician. Thank you everyone, the memories will live on.

    Judith Marrow Dix Wednesday 29 August, 2012 - 12:52 AM
  • i remember john masters and the choice of the people 5 half hour sessions every week day for factories , offices ,hospitals etc that was REAL radio and then on Sunday afternoon the golden hour no one has ever topped those presentations

    ron haymes Monday 27 August, 2012 - 6:05 PM
  • I remember Norman Banks, John Masters [as a child, I loved his theme music, 'In a Party Mood', every afternoon until he died suddenly in 1953], Geoff Manion, David McGee, Andrea, Happy Hammond, Jack Davey, Terry Dear and Martha Gardner, and many others. It's always been a great station from the days of Nicky and Nancy Lee through to the present day.

    Denis Wednesday 22 February, 2012 - 6:16 PM
  • Happy Birthday 3AW. I feel apart of a listening family.

    Adam T Wednesday 22 February, 2012 - 1:45 PM
  • Happy, happy 80th birthday 3AW. At last, I have found out what the "AW" stands for.
    Thanks to all the station's announcers and people behind the microphone who give the listeners terrific entertainment

    heather Wednesday 22 February, 2012 - 11:39 AM

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