Bob Rogers: A radio life like no other


To live to the age of 97 is remarkable in itself. To spend almost 80 of those years working in radio – doing what you love – is a truly amazing feat.

Our industry has lost a true great in Bob Rogers, as friends, colleagues and listeners mourn the passing of Australia’s longest-serving DJ.

Last night, on hearing of Bob’s death, I wondered how on earth I might best convey the enormous impact this man has had on our industry. After all – as his close friend Derryn Hinch said – words like ‘legend’ and ‘icon’ are bandied around far too much these days.

But in Bob’s case, they really do apply.

And then Sydney radio host Trevor Sinclair shared with me a truly lovely story about Bob, giving me a precious glimpse into the kind of man he was.

“I met Bob before I got into radio,” Sinclair tells Radio Today. “He was at 2SM.”

“He heard one of my first VERY early audition tapes and said ‘I like you. You are real. Keep being yourself’ … I did.”

“When I worked with Bob 40 years later, he said the same words: ‘You’ve kept being yourself. You listened to me. I still like you!’

Passionate about radio as a child, Bob himself once told the story of how he landed a job as a panel operator at Melbourne’s 3XY when he was just fourteen.

So young was Bob, his mum came along with him for the interview.

He would go on to work at various stations across the country, from Hobart’s 7HO to Sydney’s 2UE.

Bob was a true pioneer of radio. He was the first to play popular music and was there for the birth of Australia’s first Top 40 music countdown on 2UE.

As a DJ at 2SM, Bob accompanied the Beatles on their 1964 tour through Europe, Asia and Australia.

He was even jokingly referred to as ‘the fifth Beatle.’

As well as radio, Bob hosted his own late night TV variety show on Channel Seven.

Bob was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2002. Eight years later, he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his contribution to broadcasting.

Even in his nineties, Bob was still doing a radio program on Sydney’s 2CH.

Veteran radio host Tim Webster (pictured above with Bob) says he will always fondly remember of how supportive Bob was when he took over from him.

In a Facebook post, Webster says “He was so gracious and encouraging. He was still coming in to record his Saturday night show. Armed with reams of research, he’d compile a wonderful few hours of hits and memories!”

Former 2SM Music Director Cheree Romaro says Bob was quite simply unique.

In a social media tribute, Romaro says “I had never known anyone who prepared the way he did. Heading into the studio with arms full of paper research.”

“He will always be fondly remembered as one of the very best.”

Derryn Hinch will deliver Bob’s eulogy in Sydney next week.

RIP Bob. Radio will never quite be the same without you in it.

Comment Form

Your email address will not be published.

Recent comments (1)
Post new comment
Joe Anderson
30 May 2024 - 8:09 pm

He was the best , when I was 17. Always had Bob on . In the 70s. a community radio opened in Bankstown. My late mother in law was doing a show there ,she loved Bob . Late 1978 I went to help her and my business was a sponsor . so later on I had a 60s 70s show and went on becoming the manager so thanks to Bob.


See all