Fancy a bit of Devon Gold? Don’t worry you don’t have to go panning for it in them there hills just get on the internet. Devon Gold is a radio station, at the moment still in its infancy, and Easter weekend it’ll be dipping its toe in the water with a taster of the sort of shows we will be putting on should everything go to plan. I say ‘we’ because I have joined a group of experienced broadcasters and enthusiastic amateurs who have one thing in common. We love the county and the people of Devon. It’s the idea of John Govier previously a broadcaster of almost 30 years experience with local radio. John bought the domain name many years ago just in case an occasion arose when he might use it. Well that occasion arose during the early days of Covid when John, by then a landlord running The Brook at Plympton St Maurice, found he had a lot of time on his hands. Like many of us, he feels that local radio stations no longer allow broadcasters to stamp their own personalities on a program unless they are presenting a specialist show e.g. Country Music, Rock etc. One reason is ‘the playlist’. A number of records tested on a group of people they grandly call ‘a focus group.’ I always picture random people with nothing better to do on a wet Wednesday afternoon picked up off the streets taken to a darkened room somewhere played a selection of songs and asked to tick a box if they like them. Marginally more fun that a speed awareness course. Well of course being asked if you like a certain song is one thing. It might stir up memories of where you were, when you heard it and who you were with BUT after that novelty has worn off do you really want to hear HoneyBus and Cant let Maggie Go week after week on a regular rotation? It’d be enough to put you off brown bread and hot air ballooning forever! I want a radio station where I can use my experience and knowledge of the West Country and its people to play the music they want to hear. I don’t want to have to play Riton x Nightcrawlers ft. Mufasa just because its number 7 in the charts. Yes I want to play chart-toppers, if I can pronounce them, AND local homegrown music along with classical crossover artists who pack out venues all over the world. Same with show tunes. I want to be able to play them without trailing in the wake of the BBC who have suddenly discovered that they are fashionable!! And unlike them I certainly won’t be scaling back on music from the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Beach Boys, Rod, Elton and Motown. Are you crazy? The music that seems to be used in every other TV commercial? I want to be able to mention that I fancy a certain chocolate bar or have been ‘hoovering’ instead of vacuuming without having to use that ridiculous phrase,
“Other chocolate bars and vacuum cleaners are available” or reprimand a national treasure on-air for daring to utter the most mild of swear words. Oh and you won’t be hearing adverts every 10 minutes either because the aim is to get people to sponsor a show rather than the whole station. So join us on our journey to build up to something quite special this weekend when I’ll be taking you down my Motown Memory lane and sharing songs that trigger special Devon memories. Don’t worry no names…well not many!