Long before the era of computers and CD's, there were Record decks or if you were poor like me, Record Players. They were those old things that you popped on a spindle, and when it dropped onto the platter and spun you could drop a slightly small darning needle on it and actually hear sound, Elvis Presley had just left Sun Records for the Princely sum of $35,000 and went over to a bigger and better record company. Eddie Cochran was moaning about his Summertime Blues and Cliff Richard was sprouting the copy-cat hairstyle of the King of Rock n Roll.
That was back in the day, I was 15 or so, (if my memory serves me correctly) and just leaving school and finding work. I began saving money for Hi-Fi separates. so I could blast out all my favourite tunes with a massive 3 Watts per channel Stereo system into Wharfdale Speakers. Ahhh Those were the days!
Years went by and I was introduced to the likes of Crosby Stills, Nash and Young. Eventually, marriage, and children happened after a few years, and the Hi-Fi took a back shelf for a while, the children much preferring Buggs Bunny and TweetyPie 'n' Sylvester to Tommy Steele belting out 'Little White Bull'.
As the kids grew older so did their needs and there evolved these magical things called computers, and along with them, CD's with which you installed programmes (allegedly), and also music was to be found on them.
And so it was, that I just had to have this very expensive piece of electronic wizardry that enabled me to listen to music (albeit poorer quality due to the fact that I couldn't afford another pair of 'quality' speakers just for a computer.) as well as help in the education of my children (cough).
Windows 95 was a Masterpiece in enabling me to simultaneously listen to music while writing my final thesis to become a State Registered Nurse. (I'm positive the Influence of Black Sabbath and Mott The Hoople must have had some effect on my euphoric exuberance in explaining the methodology of modern Diabetic care in the community).
By the year after I was qualified and working, I was adept at installing Windows 95 ( initially from floppy disc as well). and computers became part of my life. Then it happened, The Internet! Using a phone line to connect to the outside world via a computer. Dial UP!! the greatest thing since Sliced Bread! (except when your brother phoned to say he was stuck somewhere in the forbidden reaches of outer Wakefield and could I go help him get his car back home.) Oh Well, hang up the phone, reconnect and let it try again to get the latest 2 hours long update to my favourite operating system ever, while I go rescue him.
Music was still a big part of my life, Live bands were on at the Staff Social club every Friday night. Disco's and the like were everywhere.
Then along came Broadband Internet, and Live chatting in 'chatrooms' and you didn't get disconnected when your sister in law phoned to say your brother was broken down in that god-forbidden land of Leeds! So, just type in 'brb' and walk away from the PC.
Internet radio stations were popping up all over the Google pages. so I'd 'tune' in (for want of a better term) to them and listen to some of them. My then favourite chat site was exploring the possibilities of Internet Radio and this was an interesting and new use for my new and fantastic piece of electronic engineering. After all, I had this Massive 1Gb Hard drive to store all my music in, 8Mb of memory so it ran smoothly and I had a 56kb/s High Speed modem to connect to the internet with. WinAmp was free to use and adding an Encoder to the One player deck was a breeze!.
My first 'show' if you can call it that, was a disaster, much buffering and disconnections. I was disheartened somewhat, but was determined to accomplish the outcome.
I became dissatisfied with the Grey box of Magical powers.
Upgrades of the computer came slowly as the company had gone out of business and support was no longer available for it. Scavenging bits from discarded computers to upgrade and sometimes even buying new parts to get the latest specs in my machine were a prime objective.
Eventually I ended up with a system that would be more than adequate to venture into this realm of mysterious and fascinating world of Internet Broadcasting. and after upgrading my internet connection I started out with 600 tunes, all ripped into the correct format, ready for my first real live show.
I felt sick and was shaking like a leaf as I pressed Start on the encoder and connected. I played music for almost an hour before I could pluck up enough courage to actually key the mic and say something. Nervously I introduced the tracks as I played them. I was glad that the show ended and could relax after 2 gruelling hours of people listening to me blundering my way through all my favourite music and trying to say something that sounded remotely intelligent and coherent.
The final appraisal was that I 'wasn't too bad for a first attempt' and was invited back the following week.
I've gone from strength to strength in terms of confidence and my Computer/Internet connection, my library has expanded to include some 47,000 tracks now and is still growing.
Since joining WKDfm I've found the Producer, the Owner, other DJ's and friends soo supportive and friendly, I feel 'at home' and now I can relax and present live shows without the need for Maxalon and Valium.
To them and to the Listeners, without whom there would be no WKDfm Radio, I'd like to say a Big Thank You.
My playlist is up on the website for you to choose the music you wish me to play during my live shows, This is by no means exhaustive, so if there is something not listed, I may play it anyways.
Music has been and always will be part of my life and I have dedicated a large part of my life and work around becoming a DJ on the Internet. and playing music that I enjoy and hopefully you enjoy as well.
Life is too short, NOT to have some fun, so if you want to dance the night away and chill out to your favourite music, WKDfm is the place to be. Every night is different as well as the moods of the DJ's There's something for everyone!