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These are the stations from the 80's & 90's where some of the chocolate radio presenters came from. It was fun in them days and we did not have the technology that we've got today. click the picture for more....

Back in the 80's when vinyl was the key product for DJs and consumers, now its CD's and MP3's down load, the changing in technologies are driving change in the music industry

The Legend DJ Froggy, the full story on how he started off to what he done to the music industry and how he help shape it to what the soul scene is today. Click the picture

Welcome to Chocolate Radio, your Global Internet Radio streaming station across the world with the most innovated dance music with large number of music sweeps every day.

We have a number of high quality DJ presenters playing the best of the best in dance music selected by a team of music experts. So, take a listen by clicking one of the icons above to stream the live broadcast.

The Story of Soul Music Radio in the U.K

Back in the late 60's there was a thriving underground soul scene in the UK, but only one show a week on BBC Radio One representing it.

Around 1970 a group of enthusiastic soul fans set up a pirate station in London called Radio Invicta, broadcasting for just three hours on a Sunday. Despite the problems it faced across the decade, the station became more and more popular with its dedicated approach to the music. The weekly mailbag became huge. Tony Johns (pictured here from that period) was Invicta's founder, and it is largely down to him that the eventual soul radio explosion in the 80's occurred.

Radio Invicta eventually ceased broadcasting in 1984, but not before the next batch of stations came along....
 

Early 1980's        

 

In 1981 a station called JFM took to the pirate airwaves, initially broadcasting through the whole of Sundays, and sometimes into Monday mornings. Brian Anthony was the station's founder, and the DJ's included such legendary names as Jeff Young, Pete Tong, Barrie Stone, Dave Collins, Marc Damon, Steve Jackson, Lynn Parsons, Terry Davis, Clive Richardson (aka Clive R.), Jim Colvin and Froggy. The station fast became a must for any serious soul, funk and jazz fan - and was probably best remembered for its thoroughly professional approach - many people thinking that it was a legal station! JFM concentrated largely on upfront new music, and many a huge crossover song started life on one or more of its shows. JFM eventually broadcast 24 hours a day towards the end of its life, but was finally forced off the air in 1985.

Horizon Radio also started life in 1981, broadcasting on Wednesday evenings and Sundays, with a small group of avid record collectors, headed by Chris Stewart, and including Andy Jackson (who had previously been on Radio Invicta) Richard Felstead, Jude James, Barry Tee, Bob Jones, Gary Lee, Nick Lawrence, CJ Carlos, Gary Spence and Diane Hinds. In 1984, Horizon achieved what many thought to be the impossible - broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week - for six consecutive months without a bust. During that period of time, the new roster of DJ's included Gary Kent, Graham Gold, "Wing Commander" Patrick Meads, Sammy Jacob (aka Sammy J.,), Tony Monson, Chris Best, Andy Bailey (ex Radio Invicta), Mark McCarthy,Paul Buick, Andy Taylor, Gilles Peterson and Jez Nelson. Horizon became the most serious station of the time to challenge Capital Radio's supremacy. All of the live gigs that it put on (and there were many) were rammed to capacity, and it seemed that whichever High Street you would walk down, half the radios would be tuned to Horizon. In short, the station had a massive reputation. It all finished suddenly in October 1984 after a massive studio bust, but not before many of the DJ's were household names.

 

1984 - 1988       


Solar Radio came on the air literally days after the Horizon bust, with an almost identical DJ line-up, plus new names, such as Helen Mayhew, Louis St. Clair and Tomek. The music format was similar to Horizon, except that more emphasis was placed on specialist music shows.

The station was an instant success, and indeed, with its huge non-stop campaigning to be awarded a legal franchise, it may well have paved the way for the eventual deregulation of the radio airwaves. JFM and Horizon had started the campaign; Solar continued it until September 30th 1985, when the station voluntarily went off the air in order to be allowed to submit a licence application. The rest is history. Solar was unsuccessful, (but eventually stations such as Jazz, Choice, and Kiss FM were to win the day). Musically however, as the 80's went on, the soul scene was starting to become convoluted, and the original movement was breaking up in disarray.

Following Solar's departure from the airwaves in 1985, LWR with Zak at the helm, grew in popularity with its strong emphasis on the burgeoning house, hip-hop and street soul scene. DJ's included Tim Westwood, Jazzie M., Ron Tom and Jasper The Vinyl Junkie. Kiss FM was launched as a pirate in October 1985 by Gordon Mac,(a former JFM DJ) introducing Paul 'Trouble' Anderson, Trevor 'Mad Hatter' Nelson, Coldcut, Bobby and Steve (Zoo Experience), Jazzie B, Norman Jay and many others to the London airwaves. Kiss started the massive 'rare groove' phenomenon, and also explored the alternative side of the emerging club/dance culture. Latterly, stations such as Starpoint continued to push forward the boundaries, covering everything from soca and African music through to eclectic jazz and Latin music, with DJ's such as Willber Wilberforce, Chris Phillips and Paul Phillips.

At the end of 1986, when it was apparent that the government plans for radio deregulation were to be postponed, and that all the licence applications had been scrapped, Solar came on the air again, initially planning to broadcast 24 hours a day. By this time DJ's such as Ralph Tee, Alan Sage , JM, Steve Hobbs and Randall Lee Rose (aka Lee Randall) had been added to the roster. Unfortunately the venture was doomed, due to constant busts, and frequent thefts of transmitters, links etc; in addition Solar was at times deliberately jammed by rival pirates. The station struggled on valiantly for about 18 months (weekends only by now), before finally giving up the ghost tens of thousands of pounds poorer.

1998 Onwards       

 

Then in 1998, things began to move: An opportunity arose for the group to lease airtime from the classic rock satellite station EKR. On October 1st 1998 we launched as Solar FM - broadcasting Soul, Funk and Jazz across Europe from 10PM to 6AM nightly on a sub-carrier of Challenge TV. The response was very encouraging, and had it been possible, we would have continued the service. Unfortunately EKR suffered financial difficulties, and in January 1999 were forced to discontinue broadcasting; since we were sharing the same studio facilities and sub-carrier, Solar likewise had to go off the air.

Determined to continue, and after a great deal of investigation, we eventually tied up a deal with MTV, and on June 1st 1999 began broadcasting Soul, Funk and Jazz music 24 hours a day on an audio sub-carrier of MTV, reverting to the original call-sign of Solar Radio.

Just before June 1st 1999 we received some very sad news; Tony Johns - the soul pirate radio founder, and leading light behind the original Radio Invicta in the 70ís - collapsed and died of a coronary. In recent years Tony had more or less retired from the music and radio scene, but we had tracked him down, and persuaded him to join us on Solar FM, while it was linked to EKR. The response to his shows had been really good - Tony was a man who truly loved the music and made a considerable contribution to the development of soul music radio, which we will never forget.

To tie in with our radio launch on Tuesday June Ist 1999 we organised a party at a venue in the West End of London, with six DJís, and an excellent P.A. from Light Of The World (who had just released their first album for years) At 10PM we linked into Solar Radioís opening broadcast from Mike Shaft. The evening was a real success - and a good portent for things to come. With the advent 24 hour broadcasting new DJ's came on-board including Mark Phillips, Paul Stemming, Mick Farrer and Steve Bennett (who together with Brian Hurst and Alex James were to form internet station Soul 24-7 in May 2000). Some original Solar jocks returned to the station at that time including Richard Felstead.

We also started a series of weekend guest shows with many well known Soul & Jazz DJ's including Jeff Young, Mark Webster and Ralph Tee taking part. We then expanded our service to reach a worldwide audience via internet streaming in August 1999.

In February 2000 Solar returned to the FM airwaves in London for a 25 day RSL (Restricted Service Licence) transmission, which included the "Soul of the Century Top 1000" chart which had been originally broadcast when we entered the new millennium. This turned out to be a great success, bringing on board many new listeners and also those with fond memories of the station in the eighties.

The analogue satellite service continued until August 2000. The next major milestone was reached in September with a switch to the Sky Digital platform and the addition of DJ's including Dez Parkes, Mike Stephens and Bigger amongst others.

From its origins in the heady days of soul pirate radio in London, to the new media opportunities of the Digital age, Solar Radio has remained committed to bringing quality Soul-related music to a wide audience, with every DJ having complete freedom of choice.