Music was my first love and my mother tells me that even as a baby I loved listening to the radio. Rumour has it that “radio” was the first proper word I spoke.
My earliest memories, growing up in the Netherlands, include going to “Verhappen (Den Hap),” a local pub where my Dad’s football club members would gather after Saturday’s games. Here they would socialise the night away while various people would keep giving me coins to put in the jukebox. This essentially gave me my first experience being a Programme Director who selected the music for people to listen to.
I remember listening to the pirate stations in the Netherlands like Radio Noordzee, Radio Veronica and later Radio Miamigo. Those were the days my friend. Aged about seven I wrote a letter to a DJ at a nationwide radio station (Hilversum 3) and asked him to phone me up. Amazingly he (Tom Mulder) did exactly that. I requested a song (Mud – Dynamite) for my friend Rob. His mother didn’t believe him when he told her that the Radio Station had just played a song for him that Johan had requested – until it was later confirmed by my Mum.
A few years later my Cousin Oscar and I would open a “discotheque,” OS-JO, in my bedroom. Eventually I produced the OS-JO Hitkrant (Hit Magazine) on a weekly basis with photos of pop stars, many music charts including our own OS-JO Top 50, news, gossip and even song lyrics, all hand-written. I produced it and Oscar was my sole subscriber. Oscar has kept all of these.
In those days I had an encyclopedic knowledge of the charts. I could tell you where a song was on the top 40, where it had been the week before and even how many weeks it had charted.
My first job after school was working in a bank. Although it was a respectable position I gave it up for music and began to work in my dream field of Radio. I started off as a volunteer on Radio Te Arawa, a Maori Access radio station and broadcasting course. That, and years of previous practice in my bedroom, gave me the experience I needed to get a job at a newly launched FM station here in Rotorua, New Zealand, Lake City 96FM.
I did some announcing both on 96FM and its sister station Classic Gold but my main contribution would be as a Production Engineer putting together commercials and promos. However, it was always the selection of music that interested me most. Most of my colleagues would agree that I was “opinionated” about the choice of music that made its way onto the playlist. It would be fair to say that I generously offered our Programme Director plenty of free advice 😇. Some suggestions were ignored politely and others less so.
Most radio stations today seem to operate within a narrow genre. I prefer a broad selection of music, the best music from yesterday, today and forever. And yes, there is actually some good contemporary music around. It’s just that, for some reason, a lot of decent current music does not get enough exposure on radio today. Suffice to say, the carefully selected contemporary music you will find on RadiJohan does not necessarily reflect what’s big on the charts.
RadiJohan is my Radio Station. I ran the station within my home for my own personal pleasure and that of my friends for more than ten years. After repeated suggestion from my friends I agreed to share RadiJohan beyond my four walls from July 2019.
Welcome to my place. I trust you will enjoy my unique radio experience.