Traditional music propagating on medium waves

I came across the music of Peddyr Cubberley in an interview on Manx Radio back in April 2017. I was in Dublin in the car listening to 1368KHz (Manx Radio) and Peddyr said that radio brought the music from Ireland to his ears in Isle of Man and it fostered in him a love of Celtic music which is native to Isle of Man and Ireland. (not a verbatim transcript from the broadcast but a general sense of what was said).

This idea intrigued me. And it really shouldn’t. Irish audiences listened to Radio Caroline North anchored off the Isle of Man. My good Friend Graham on the Wirral caught the wave of A Woman’s Heart listening to Moloney After Midnight on 1278KHz RTE Radio 2. So radio with medium has reach, daytime and a different nighttime reach, as my friend John Walsh puts it, medium wave has geography. It broadcasts from a point and radiates outward overseas (it likes salt water) crosses borders and reaches people outside of its target geography.

I asked Peddyr if he would answer some questions about how music travels on medium wave and being part of our shared heritage.

BG. When did you first hear radio from Ireland.?

PC. 1970s.

BG. What stations / shows / genres did you hear? any level of detail is useful including years / decades.

PC. RTE Radio 1 – Gay Byrne / Long Long Note / Mo Cheoil Thú (Ciarán MacMathúna), most things trad. 1970s to date.

RTE Radio 2 from it’s launch in ’78 was it? Dave Fanning, Larry Gogan etc. 1980s

Radio Nova – Declan Meehan, Colm Hayes, Bob Gallico & Sybil Fennell (News). Can’t remember who else. Nova had a big following in the IOM in those days, so much so that I remember that they even came here a couple of times with their roadshow! 1980s.

BG. In your opinion how useful is Medium Wave radio for the propagation of traditional music in our Islands?

PC. 50/50 I’d say. Much further reception than VHF, hence being able to listen to stations on AM/MW that couldn’t reach on VHF. Downside is, it’s prone to interference and fade at night, often being ‘bled over’ by European stations. Largely irrelevant today with the advent of online streaming globally/smartphone apps.

BG. With the closure of Irish Medium Wave radio in 2008, how has this impacted on the reception of traditional music in your life?

PC. A little negative, as some shows couldn’t reach some parts of the Island on VHF alone. No problem at home as can use online streaming/catch up/ podcasts etc. Just disadvantaged in the car really, but I can live with that!

BG. Does online broadcasting supplement broadcast transmissions of the past or is there a loss of continuity in the platform change?

PC. I think it does. It can richly enhance traditional broadcasting.

BG. Any additional comments on this subject beyond the questions above?

PC. A few years ago, the then Director General of RTÉ Cathal Goan, visited the Isle of Mann and held a meeting (as I understand it), to look into the possibility of having RTÉ TV/Radio relayed throughout the Island due to it’s small relatively population, and shared Gaelic linguistic and cultural heritage. I haven’t heard anything about this since. I guess the idea got dropped since 2008 when the ‘credit crunch’ happened.

My thanks to Peddyr for sharing his views on Medium Wave Radio.
here is some music from Peddyr Cubberley with some stunning drone photography of the Isle of Mann

Peddyr’s music is also on Facebook.