Those who grew up in the ’70s listening to Top 40 radio stations like 2SM, 3XY, 6PM and 2NX will remember the annual Rocktober promotion that began in 1974. Those stations were soon followed by 4IP and 2CC.
Rocktober was the brainchild of Jaan Torv (aka John Torv), former creative director of the Digamae programming consultancy that gave those stations their distinctive Top 40 sound. The Rocktober concept has since been copied by stations around the world.
During Rocktober, the stations featured live concerts, on-air music specials, and competitions and promotions.
Torv’s distinctive voice was heard on the original Rocktober promos heard coast to coast in the ’70s.
During Rocktober 1979, 2SM presented a megaconcert on the steps of the Sydney Opera House called The Concert of the Decade. It featured acts like Stevie Wright, Skyhooks, Richard Clapton, Hush, Dragon, Jim Keays, Jon English, Sherbet, Ol’ 55, Ted Mulry Gang, Colleen Hewett, Russell Morris, Billy Thorpe, Brian Cadd, Marcia Hines, Doug Parkinson and Blackfeather. YouTuber flatlobster assembled some clips into a playlist:
About the 2SM Concert of the Decade
The original official Rocktober stations:
2SM Sydney, 3XY Melbourne, 4IP Brisbane, 6PM Perth, 2CC Canberra and 2NX Newcastle. Others copied.
What are your memories of Rocktober? Tell us HERE.
Also on Bang a Gong: 3AK shunned wrinklies (then embraced them) and 3XY played Top 40 hits… over and over
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