History

Solid Gold GEM AM was partly inspired by GEM-AM - a British ‘gold’ radio station which broadcast to Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland and East Staffordshire in the East Midlands.

It began in 1988, and grew into one of the most well-regarded ‘gold’ stations in Great Britain with phenomenal ratings by the early 1990s. The on-air team included DJs who are still with us today! ‘Golder and wiser’, these include Andy Marriott - ‘Marrow’, Jenni Costello, Graham Wright, Paul Burbank, Tim Rogers, and Len Groat who invented the GEM station name and was the Head of Programmes on the original station for 6 years.
Between them this DJ team had worked on many UK stations: Paul was well-known on Irish radio, and ‘Marrow’, Andy Marriott, was on BBC radio, Radio Trent and Leicester Sound, and also a ‘continuity announcer’ on Central Television for many years. Jenni was on BBC Radio 1 and London stations, and Graham had DJ’d on Radio Trent before joining GEM.

The original GEM disappeared in the 90s when it was absorbed into a national radio group but the station that had been the ‘radio home’ to so many DJs was not forgotten for long. They had stayed in touch, and in 2012, twenty-four years after it first launched, they created the internet service ‘Solid Gold GEM AM’. We feature the same music, jingles and familiar names from the original station, but now are available nationally!

Such was the interest in our station we were joined by DJs who had worked on other UK radio stations.
These included Andy Siddell who was on the satellite station Radio Nova that broadcast all over Europe, then he moved to Leeds to work on Radio Aire, then the ‘gold’ station Magic 828 where he was as also head of music.
Our breakfast DJ Stephen Wells is from Wales where he ‘helped out’ at Marcher Sound before joining us. Graham Lawler presents ‘Morning Edition’ before Stephen and is an educationalist and broadcaster who joined us to do some relaxing ‘music radio’. Allen Fleckney was on the legendary Pirate FM in Cornwall, an amazingly successful ILR station. Ron Brown was well-known to listeners on ‘Radio Sovereign’, (Britain's first oldies station) and another early ‘gold’ station, the much missed ‘County Sound Gold’.

John Palin worked in hospital radio, loves music, and is also an expert on radio jingles which you can hear in his show! Jeff Owen who had been on BBC Radio 2 and Radio Nottingham listened to the original GEM-AM as he loved the oldies and was delighted to join us in 2014.
Let’s not forget Brian Savin was on BRMB in Birmingham and has presented ‘Serenade’, older nostalgic tunes, a show we share with our sister station Serenade Radio. Vicki Archer who learned her radio trade on both commercial and BBC radio, Geoff Dorsett has interviewed many 100s of 60s and 70s stars and presents two specialist shows every week. And our newest recruits include Barry Jay who had never before worked in radio but was a disco DJ.

We also have experienced North American radio DJs on our team; Canadian Ted Bradford who has worked on stations in Ontario, New York and Florida, where he currently lives, and American Chuck Shorter who has worked on stations on the East coast of the USA.
That leaves our ‘oldest’ DJ – Len Groat, who was on University radio in Wales in the 1960s, and then helped launch the north-east station Metro Radio in 1974. He went on to Piccadilly in Manchester, and of course Radio Trent and the original GEM. After being a DJ for 15 years he spent much of the 80s and 90s at GEM behind his desk looking after the music, the legendary Jingles, and the DJs - and now looks after our current team.

We all focus on the same musical decades we did when we were first on the radio, 100s of years of music knowledge and passion to serve a mature audience not catered for by other British stations. Our listeners prefer their radio without the ‘yap’, endless travel news and sport of modern radio. Being commercial-free we play 16-20 songs every hour!

Like you we need our beauty sleep so we are here from early morning to midnight 7 days a week.

If you prefer your music from the days before ‘rap’ and electronic music, find some time to relax, get nostalgic every day as we play music from our library of 8000+ songs mainly from the ‘Golden Years’ from 1955 to 1985.

It really is “Radio Like It Used To Be!”