OPINION: A tribute to Magic 693 by Marc McCreadie
My fondness for Melbourne radio station Magic 693 began not long after its debut on the airwaves in 1994.
As a Tassie kid obsessed with radio, in general, I would take great delight in recording tape after tape of Victorian radio stations while there for my yearly January school holiday visit with my auntie on the Mornington Peninsula.
On a visit in January 1995, I saw a TV ad featuring Johnny Young promoting a new radio station called Magic 693 playing unforgettable songs of the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. The 693 signal was very strong on the Peninsula (it broadcast from near Werribee), and so I recorded a 90 min tape of Magic 693 to listen to later and add to my aircheck collection.
To be honest, I didn’t know any of the music that, in the early days, was mostly instrumental, but I did love the jingles and the on-air presentation from the knowledgeable and friendly sounding announcers.
Over further yearly visits I would again listen to Magic 693 and record airchecks from time to time, and once the format evolved with some more contemporary music and the instrumentals became less frequent, I grew to love it more and more.
In 2000 I attended the Swinburne Uni commercial radio course, and one of our assignments was to listen to as much radio as we could. One day in class Jim Barbour the teacher did a test on this asking those who had listened to particular stations in the last week to raise their hands. When Magic was mentioned, I was the only student to put up their hand earning me the nickname ‘Magic’ from that point on.
In 2004 I moved back to Tassie in Launceston and again fell in love with Magic 693 as the signal was so strong that it made it across the Bass Strait reasonably well into Northern Tasmania even during the day resulting in me listening even more. I was even told that some Launceston taxi drivers had it on in their cabs because they enjoyed the songs you didn’t hear anywhere else.
Names such as Bill Howie, Mark Carter, Ward Everaardt, Peter O’Callaghan, Rick Ditchburn, Andrew McLaren, Anne Gilding, Jane Holmes, Peter Van and Kevin Johns kept me company over the years and further propelled my love of radio and music.
As of Monday the 27th February 2017 the Magic Music will be no more in Melbourne, replaced instead with a relay of lifestyle talk from Sydney. A sad end to a once great radio station. Thanks to all those who sailed in her and for some great listening over the years. R.I.P. Magic along with her unforgettable songs.