Friday, February 9, 2018

'Audio Nostalgia': Mad Mel and Ward 'Pally' Austin

The 'Audio Nostalgia' page is a collection of airchecks and jingles collected off the Net at, a technical website for radio enthusiasts. Most of the files seem to be compilations of jingles or station IDS rather than program airchecks.

They're not brilliantly labelled, so you have to listen to find out what's there, but I'm not complaining because here are clips of two Sydney radio legends, Mad Mel on 2SM and Ward 'Pally' Austin on 2UW.

Mad Mel was a Canadian, one of the 2SM Good Guys, who famously had fans knit a ridiculously long scarf which he presented to The Beatles during their 1964 tour of Australia.

I used to hear Mel in Victoria when 2SM would come in clearly after dusk, along with a bunch of other distant stations that would disappear with the dawn. He was a zany guy, a madcap in the old Mad magazine comic-book style. On the day that news of JFK's assassination reached Australia, though, Mel's night shift was given over to sedate orchestral music, with Mel coming on between tracks to give the station's callsign in a sober voice that was the opposite of his usual delivery.

Ward Austin was terrific, with a relaxed Australian style that (from my distant view in Victoria) suggested surfin' and stompin' at Maroubra. In one of these clips he's anticipating the imminent release of the Beatles film A Hard Day's Night (he was right, we would love it, as he predicts). The clip labelled here as Rod Christopher is actually Austin signing off from a show with his famous "a-rickapoodie and a-fandoogalie", and he mentions that Christopher's show is coming up.

The clips of Stan Rofe and Don Lunn on 3UZ have been posted elsewhere online but if you haven't heard them this is as good a place as any. Don Lunn's is actually a tribute mix that I first heard on YouTube, and although it's not a program excerpt it is a fine introduction to the Lunn style.
'Audio Nostalgia' at

AM stations 1950s-70s:
2SM 2UW Sydney
3UZ Melbourne

Some announcers you can hear at 'Audio Nostalgia':
Mad Mel on 2SM Sydney in 1969
Ward 'Pally' Austin on 2UW Sydney in 1964
Stan Rofe on 3UZ Melbourne in 1970

Other content
Ward Austin signing off before Rod Christopher's shift on 2UW
Station ID jingles
Don Lunn, 3UZ Melbourne tribute mix
News intro mix