Capital Radio 604

In South Africa back in the seventies and eighties, radio was terrible (to put it mildly).  It was controlled by the government and no private stations were allowed.  This was so that the government could censor the news and music and all other content.  Even though the rest of the world was already watching television from the 1940’s, South Africa still had no television because, according to the government, it was “evil”.

So, it was radio until 1976, when finally, television arrived.  Still, in the seventies, television in South Africa was boring, so most people still listened to the radio, and growing teenagers in South Africa were forced to listen to the only music station, Radio 5 (now called 5 FM).  Censorship of music was in place.  No way could South Africans listen to Pink Floyd or even The Police.

Boring radio ended in 1979 though when Capital Radio 604 came along.  Plagued from the start by engineering problems and (as many claim) the South African government continually trying to shut them down or block their signal, etc., but WOW!  What a great station!  This station single handedly changed radio in South Africa forever by introducing South Africans to great music, slick DJ’s and a great attitude (not to mention Bill Mitchell)!  Plus, no news or music censorship!

Sadly, in 1996, Capital Radio 604 was forcefully shut down by the South African government in a move that most believe to be orchestrated by East Coast Radio and the IBA, to disallow 604 an FM license and then to close them because of “financial concerns” when everyone knew that without an FM license, advertises would pull out.

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