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1919 __ 4XD — “Robin Adair” song
Comment : In 1919, the radio station now called Radio Dunedin (4XD) started broadcasting in Dunedin, New Zealand when founder "Toots" Mitchell was presented with a triode amplifying tube by his engineer friend Edward Meinung. The opening song was "Robin Adair," [an air which is based upon the very ancient melody of “Eileen Aroon”, a piece that dates back to very early times indeed, about 1450], sung by Mitchell's girlfriend at the microphone while Meining pedaled his bike the three kilometres from the sending station to his house where he had built a receiver (Philip Crookes interviewed Mitchell in 1965). They broadcast intermittently until 1921, then started regular scheduled programming two days a week. The first station in New Zealand was built by Professor Robert Jack at Otago University in Dunedin. The small transmitter was imported from England and activated November 17th 1921. The only known fact about the programme’s content is that it included the then popular song “Hello My Dearie”. Those broadcasts led to the start of the Otago Radio Association, which was founded and started regular broadcasting thru the already existing station in 1923. 4XD is still there, broadcasting on 1305 kHz under the slogan "We were here first.". (Aaron Anderson, Philip Crookes, Barry Mishkind)
Original excerpt : « What’s this dull town to me ? / Robin’s not near; / He, whom I wish to see, / Wish so to hear. / Where’s all the joy and mirth, / Made life a heaven on earth ? / O ! they’re all fled with thee, / Robin Adair. / What made th’ assembly shine ? / Robin Adair ! / What made the ball so fine ? / Robin was there ! / What, when the play was o’er, / What made my heart so sore ? / O ! it was parting with / Robin Adair. / But now thou’rt far from me, / Robin Adair ! / And now I never see / Robin Adair ! Yes he I love s well, / Still in my heart shall dwell ; / O ! I can ne’er forget / Robin Adair. » (S.J. Adair Fitz Gerald, “Stories of Famous Songs”, pp. 12-25)
Urls : http://www.oldradio.com/archives/international/nz.html (last visited )

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