Dead air - that moment when the music unexpectedly stops - is the greatest fear of the radio DJ
But now, the world’s first radio station playing only the music of deceased musicians has been launched.
The man behind the internet station, radio and TV presenter Steve Penk, came up with the idea earlier this year as he reflected on 2016’s unusually large number of departed acts, including David Bowie and Prince.
“I developed the radio station format as an uplifting positive tribute to all these wonderful artists who are sadly no longer with us,” Penk said.
The former host of ITV’s Naughtiest Blunders and TV Nightmares and the man responsible for a prank call to then-Prime Minister Tony Blair on Capital FM, is always prepared to expand a playlist which saw ska legend Prince Buster added just a few days ago.
“Many of the original rock ‘n’ roll giants are still with us: Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Fats Domino, but these artists will sadly die in the next few years and of course will be added to the Radio Dead playlist,” he said.
This newest addition shows that broadcasting is no longer the exclusive domain of large corporations able to transmit via the airwaves. Another national radio station, Union JACK, pledges to only play music by British artists, dating from the 1950s through to more recent acts such as Tom Odell, Jake Bugg, Biffy Clyro and Richard Ashcroft.
Broadcasting to Oxford, Reading and Hampshire, the automated, presenter-less station has its links voiced by former Blake’s 7 actor Paul Darrow, and can be heard online at UnionJack.co.uk, as nationally on DAB.