Springbok Radio is coming back!

Loud whoops of delight echoed through the house this morning!

I’d just spotted the following headline in the Weekend Argus – “They prowl the empty streets at night – on the Net”. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, this is the famous tagline of “Squad Cars”, a series of police stories on South Africa’s most nostalgia-generating radio station, Springbok Radio (which I wrote wistfully about in April 2008).

Springbok Radio, if you are too young to remember or aren’t from South Africa at all, was a fully bilingual English-Afrikaans radio station that broadcast throughout the country from 01 May 1950 to 31 December 1985. (That final soundclip still gives me a lump in my throat.) The station was sponsored heavily by advertisers, which always annoyed me, but their advertising jingles were often hilarious and, some 50 years down the line, give interesting insights into our national psyche.

The station also operated during a time where special effects and sounds had to be generated by hand (not electronically or digitally) and where different characters in a story were often played by the same person, changing their accents back and forth to suit the different personalities. Now that took skill! (It reminds me a little bit of the 2006 movie of Prairie Home Companion.) Some of their shows were really quite over-the-top and not to be taken too seriously, and maybe that is part of why people loved the radio station so much.

The newspaper article announced that Springbok Radio would be back from 1 July 2008 – audio streaming over the internet!

To quote from their website:

“After many requests, the Springbok Radio Preservation Society of South Africa is proud to announce that from 1 July 2008, we launch the internet radio service of Springbokradio.com in conjunction with Hantam Radio [in Calvinia, Northern Cape]. The service will operate 6 hours a day, repeated 4 times per day to accommodate our international listeners. The service will offer many of the great Springbok Radio programmes of the past and also a few new programmes that have been specially made for this service. The service will broadcast as an internet stream in both English and Afrikaans.”

So now we can look forward to prgrammes like:

  • “Squad Cars” – police stories
  • “The Epic Casebook – Inspector Carr Investigates” – detective stories
  • “Lux Radio Theatre” – radio drama
  • “Taxi” about a New York taxi driver, the time ‘right now’, the characters ‘you name ’em, we got ’em’
  • “The Creaking Door” – spine-chilling thrillers
  • “The sounds of darkness” about Lee Masters, the blind detective who challenges the sounds of darkness (! don’t you just love that?!)

I am really excited to re-live a little bit of my past.

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