Heritage Day: A (very) quick run through of my legendary radio journey hook-ups

So, this is going to be fun. I wanted to share a quick timeline that makes me really feel Heritage Day here in SA. This post stems from where my radio heritage comes from (oh, an origin story, yes) – and who I met on the way, and this is essentially a “big, BIG” thank you to these people for how amazing it’s been so far.

From my earliest (cognisant) memories to the year 2017, here we go.  Thank you:

To Alex Jay who drove me to school every day, where something as simple as your “This Day in History” made me feel as though I was part of a broader knowledge having my own copy of a massive almanac from my Godmother called “On This Day”.  I would read it every day hoping I would be on point with what you were going to mention as big moments.  Perfect listener engagement.

Barney Simon, who put me in my room at nights with the door closed alongside a lot of teenage rebellion. He never came through the door, but your love for rock and a spirit of statement was always a haven for this bullied kid.

Still in school, around my senior years, and working behind a cash register in my parent’s supermarket, Cleone Cassidy and Tich Mataz on 5FM’s days and weekends…trailblazers with the way you communicated new and fresh personalities that were all the reconditioning I needed to pop with personality once I finished my Matric and went out into the world.  You guys, and of course Mark Gillman.  No one forget Mark. The other Mark is coming up, just a sec.

Flash forward to Varsity. Just-Ice in the mornings, Phat Joe in the afternoon, Glen Lewis on Drive and the powerhouse Penny Lebyane on evening talk. Metro FM.  You set the standard for why it was worth taking a chance a changing the frequency on my radio set.

Working at Tuks FM in its newest golden era – alongside so many, many, many legit talented people – Rian van Heerden, Station Manager has of course thanks for bringing me over to the dark side.  Well, that’s where you should start your first radio show – in the middle of the night in a studio that has got your cold lonely echoes of insecurity if you don’t fill it up with a throw down of personality and brilliance.

Mark Pilgrim, who I first followed to his parties at Seventies club in Midrand for “The 80’s Pilgramage”- and then later, as a resident jock, played before his sets, then later worked as colleagues in the same building at 947.

Ah, Primedia Broadcasting.  Passing John Robbie working on his show relentlessly in the early hours of the morning when I would finish my late-night graveyard training.  Simon Parkinson who took a super scared newbie commercial jock, and always had a kind word of encouragement to say before every show.  Jeremy Mansfield and Alex Jay for the many, many conversations both in and out the studio.  News Editors Benita Levin and Katy Katapodis for the round the clock professionalism and ethic that inspired me for a lifetime.   Redi Direko and Leigh Bennie for being the talk counterparts we spent studio side by studio doing talk vs music radio.  And they are just down right amazing people.  The institutions of Jenny Crys-Williams and Barry Ronge, whom look around, know that they are living artifacts of radio history – have a conversation with you and you still are fanboying so much, you can’t help but fanboy even more when you step out and chat to Bob Mabena for another “professional” catch-up.   It’s professional in quotes because it’s hard to not say that inside me there was always a screaming girl throwing metaphorical bras at these greats.

Stacey Norman and Brad ‘O Regan – team members, radio minds, certified friends.

Growing up with constant conversations had with Neil Johnson.  A manager with a difference. Difference is, that he keeps making one in the industry.  And he does so with respect.

Tom London and Tony Blewitt – who sat shoulder to shoulder alongside mine as part of their team with a vision for greater things. Hendrik and Ethan Baird who let me part of such greater things of which visionaries like Tom and Tony, lay the trail tracks down for with their passion and belief.

The team of On Air with Ryan Seacrest and James Cridland who lent their international prowess to my growth and progress.

It’s been real.  A real journey of heritage of all you great people I carry with me into what lies ahead.

Thank you.  For all.

— Chris

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