After spending Christmas and New Year in London at 23 years of age, I visited Heathrow airport in
1973, purely for something to do. Two hours after arriving at Heathrow, I was on a plane to Iceland.
I first visited a local family on Vestmannaeyjar Island off the South coast of Iceland (I had
earlier met them in Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia, where they were holidaying).
later I was hurriedly evacuated back to the mainland due to the Heimsey volcano eruption, which
destroyed half the town.
Back in the capital, Reykjavik, I visited their radio station, which appeared to be one of only
three in the country. This was a Government owned station (There were no private stations until 1986).
They had a relay station which also had some local programs in the North of the country at Akureyri,
near the Arctic Circle. The third radio station was at Keflavik, one hour West of Reykjavik,
which was the location of the Icelandic International airport. This airport was also an American
air base and the radio station was operated by the AFRTS.
I started hitchhiking around Iceland and eventually ended up at Akureyri, near the Arctic Circle.
I introduced myself as a radio announcer from Australia, while visiting their radio studios, and was
immediately offered a job. I did 1pm-5pm six days a week, presenting the “latest’ releases.
This wasn’t easy as the “latest” releases were hard to come by due to a lack of funds. Occasionally I would order some 45’s from London for my own use.
Much later, when their severe winter hit, I resigned, but the manager told me to go to Reykavik where I could have a similar shift. This I did, but flew back to London two weeks later when winter arrived in the South of Iceland. I left my 45’s with the station.
In 1973, ISBS broadcast from Akureyri using 737kc AM with 5kW power, the main station was at 209kc
Longwave from the capital Reykjavik using 100kW. There was also an FM service on 94.0 from the capital.
Low power relays on AM and FM were scattered throughout the country. AFRTS broadcast from Keflavik on
1400kc with a low power relay 24/7.
Akureyri is known as the 'Capital of North Iceland' and in spite of cold winters, has an ice-free
port and the main industry has been fishing for many years. Allied forces including the Royal Norwegian
Air Force based here in WWII provided air cover for the North Atlantic convoys and the supply
convoys to Murmansk in the Soviet Union.
The 'latest hits' from Bruce included:
01 Dawn featuring Tony Orlando 'Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree'
02 Peters & Lee 'Welcome Home'
03 The Sweet 'Blockbuster'
04 Simon Park Orchestra 'Eye Level'
05 Wizzard 'See My Baby Jive'
Source: Top 100 1973 - UK Music Charts
Bruce was the youngest DJ in Australian commercial radio on 2KA Katoomba and after many years on
air now conducts broadcasting heritage research, has published the well documented and illustrated
Australian Radio History [now 5th edition] and is a member of the Radio Heritage Foundation
Make small, regular donations to help with our on-going costs.
Annual budget covers office/storage costs, utility charges, office equipment costs, consumables, travel costs.
Fixed rate A$450 per week indefinitely.
We have no budget for promotions, advertising, gifts for supporters or buying professional services.
Search our Website
The easy way to find our stuff fast
"When a radio comedian's program is finally finished it slinks down Memory Lane into the limbo of yesteryear's happy hours. All that the comedian has to show for his years of work and aggravation is the echo of forgotten laughter."
Radio Heritage Foundation projects and activities connect radio,
popular culture, history and heritage.
The charitable trust has been giving a voice to those involved in
radio via our website since 2004 and will continue to do so.
We are inclusive of all visitors, regardless of race, color,
sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity
and/or expression, or disability and aim to connect people of all ages and
cultures who love radio
We welcome a sense of wonder from the joy of listening via radio,
and from memories retold for the enjoyment of all generations.
We prefer to use environmentally sustainable goods and services where
we can afford to, and we provide free community access worldwide to
our collections, published research, preservation and promotion
activities in a completely paper-free environment.