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Good Night!

Keith McGowan Retires 54 Years In Radio Overnighters Souvenir July 2011


Page 2 - Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Overnighters Souvenir Melbourne

Observer Good Night!

Keith McGowan Retires 54 Years In Radio Overnighters Souvenir July 2011

Edited and designed by Ash Long Office: 30 Glen Gully Rd, Eltham, Vic 3095 Postal: PO Box 1278, Research, Vic. 3095 Phone: +61 3 9439 9927 Fax: +61 3 9431 6247 Phone: 1-800 231 311 Fax: 1-800 231 312 Web: www.MelbourneObserver.com.au E-Mail:Editor@ MelbourneObserver.com.au The Melbourne Observer is Victoria’s independent weekly newspaper, published every Wednesday, and on sale across Victoria at newsagents. First Published September 14, 1969. To arrange a discounted annual mail subscription (special price: 48 editions for $99), phone 1-800 231 311. Or go to: www.mediaflash.candela.com.au

The Melbourne Observer is printed by Streamline Press, 155 Johnston St, Fitzroy, for the publisher, Ash Long, for Local Media Pty Ltd, ABN 67 096 680 063, of the registered office, 30 Glen Gully Road, Eltham, Distributed by All Day Distribution. Responsibility for election and referendum comment is accepted by the Editor, Ash Long. Copyright © 2011, Local Media Pty Ltd (ACN 096 680 063).

‘VERY MUCH HIMSELF’ ■ I first heard of Keith McGowan in the 1970s when he was hosting the breakfast program on 2KA Katoomba – now known as 96.1 The Edge. Keith’s style was a no smut, no hype approach, so it was McGowan as very much himself on the air. The program featured a segment with Keith’s son Nat, who was about five as I recall, and it was full of info, local news, quirky bits and real life. It was a fun show that appealed to the whole family. Shortly after Keith left 2KA he went to a brand new radio station called 3MP, which was based at Frankston on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula. It was at 3MP that McGowan started to make his mark as the station became an instant success with a mix of Hits and Memories and lots of local news from the Peninsula. Keith and 3MP were unashamedly local and it worked way beyond everyone’s expectations. 3MP’s success, which was based on the original mantra of 2WS in western Sydney, stunned the socalled media experts and if it had not been for the need to feed some of the internal egos who demanded an ‘all of Melbourne’ radio station 3MP might still be strong today. Nonetheless, 3MP abandoned what made it famous and the station floundered. As in life everyone needs some luck now and then and for McGowan that luck came in the form of 3AW. Keith was offered the midnight to dawn program on what was at the time a very unsuccessful 3AW. Now let’s be honest, the midnight to dawn program

● Graham Mott, General Manager, Fairfax Radio Network was the usual domain for the audience and advertisers people who were relatively loved it. new to the radio business – I know Keith is grateful it certainly wasn’t for stars for the opportunity that was like McGowan. given to him 20 years ago to But, Keith took it on and become a talk host on 3AW as they say the rest is history. and I know our listeners and 3AW with McGowan on advertisers very much appreboard set out on a journey ciate what he has done to which has become one of the enlighten and entertain them greatest success stories in the during that time. history of radio. Keith McGowan is a From humble, loss-mak- simple and private man ing beginnings 3AW began who’s had his fair share of to shine brightly with stars ups and downs in what can like Keith McGowan on-air be a tough business and he to give an opinion or two can feel proud of what he has about anything - news, poli- achieved. tics, sport, entertainment We wish Keith (and An…etc. gela) all the best for a happy This style of radio became life beyond the microphone the norm for McGowan and - we’ll miss him. his colleagues at 3AW and - Regards, Graham


Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - Page 3

Overnighters Souvenir

‘UP THERE McGOWAN’

■ I first heard Keith McGowan's voice in Perth way back in 1966. I was in a band called MPD LTD and we were often in WA. Keith was hard to miss with his unique voice and his confident opinions on all matters known to man. Even then he was a committed supporter of Australian music. I think he was on 6PR. Fast forward to 3AW over the last couple of decades and he is still a champion of Australian and international music. Many successful recording artists owe their popularity and initial exposure to his passion for new talent. This includes Up There Cazaly which was not even a record when Keith started playing it on 3MP back in 1979. Keith created the demand for the record and I don't believe it would have been released without his input. As a person, Keith is very interesting indeed. The often gruff exterior, which his army of dedicated listeners know so well, is, in my opinion, a veneer that sometimes disguises the true person beneath. That person is a gentle, compassionate and empathetic person who clearly loves his audience. Keith and I took long-retired recording legend Ron Tudor to lunch a year or so ago and Keith was enthralled by the stories and banter at the table. He was most humble and respectful. Not exactly the qualities he normally displays on overnight

● Mike Brady with Keith McGowan But, his fans know the real McGowan intuitively which is why he has rated so well for so long. They know his tongue is often firmly planted in his cheek. Late night radio will never be the same again with McGowan off the air. He is totally unique. Enjoy your travels Keith and keep sending the photos. May your passion never wane. - Mike Brady

RARE KNACK TO COMMUNICATE

■ As General Manager of 3AW since 2003, I have come to know Keith McGowan pretty well. He tells it straight whether discussing the mighty Saints, his next trip into the outback or his slightly unpredictable health. You never die wondering where Keith is concerned. He has fought his battle with cancer courageously and has been a real asset to 3AW with his consistently strong performances in the weekday mid-dawn program. The ongoing success of this program over many years can be solely traced to Keith’s myriad of talents. He has a distinctive voice that is easy to listen to, has enormous energy exemplified in his incredible passion for his program and his listeners and has that

rare knack of being able to effectively communicate to a wide array of people. As a radio professional, Keith has it all and his success is therefore no fluke – he will go down as one of Australia’s real radio legends. From all of us at 3AW, Keith, congratulations and thank-you on a stellar career ! - Regards, Shane Healy General Manager 3AW & Magic 1278

The Girls Say ... ● Shane Healy

■ Kay Sharples, Kate Murphy, Gigi Hellmuth, Jane Holmes, Jennifer Muirden and Kate McMurrich have their say on Pages 6 and 7.


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Overnighters Souvenir

Presenter with polish

BEST WISHES FROM SPONSORS

● Giovanni Mico of La Contadina with Angela and Keith McGowan. Angela’s 50th birthday, 2006 ● John Gilmour ■ When he's away from the microphone, Keith McGowan is noted for a humour which might be characterised as “broad”, with language to match. It's a shock to those who have just met him – and he enjoys shocking, particularly the haughty. And it's a constant surprise to old friends and acquaintances. What would happen if he forgot the microphone and slipped in some vulgar language or a broad joke while on the air? Well, he doesn't. Despite the ocker appearance and manner, regardless of how he feels, no matter what else is going on in his world, even if St Kilda has lost a game, he is the consummate professional; the product he offers is always a polished and appealing radio presentation which listeners love and most of his colleagues in the business envy. That professionalism also sells. Gilmour's Comfort Shoes has been advertising on The Overnighters program for 20 years; and Keith has helped us grow from one to six shops. He has helped us market new brands, provided marketing insights and advice. His audience and his exchanges with them has been like a great focus group for Gilmour's. Our business has advertised on radio with Graham Kennedy, Bert Newton, Philip Brady, the wonderful Martha Gardner and other great talent, but we have achieved some of the best results with Keith McGowan in time slots that the ratings agencies don't even record. The audience will miss Keith McGowan – and so will Gilmour's. John Gilmour Director Gilmour's Comfort Shoes

Aussie radio icon

● Bob Phillips with Keith McGowan ■ Keith McGowan is undoubtedly one of the most outrageous and loveable people that I have ever met, and I certainly haven’t led a protected life. On the loveable side, he has relentlessly tried to covet my dear wife, Judy Banks, both secretly and openly, since her debut in the hit musical Salad Days in the late 50s - despite restraining orders which they have both disobeyed. However, he is a consummate, highly skilled communicator and I can recall as a young child listening to him on my crystal set radio. Seriously, he is an Australian radio icon, and someone every would-be broadcaster who switches on a microphone should aspire to! - Bob Phillips 3RPP-FM Judy (Banks) Phillips says … Thank you Angela for allowing him to live out his fantasies! We wish you both well in the times ahead.


Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - Page 5

Overnighters Souvenir

CONGRATULATIONS ON 54 YEARS

■ I can remember Keith McGowan the first day he joined us in the 3UZ Record Library and despite many drugs I have not been able to forget it. However, this chubby little bloke (actually he was taller than me) despite demeanor, was a willing worker and was, apart from me, the best message boy 3UZ ever had. He had a spell at acting in a revue, Hippopotamuses I Have Known, and I think he was responsible for a few jail breaks when he recorded a program for the prisoners at Pentridge,. Later in desperation, in 1964, he asked me to be his Best Man in the place where he moved to, Stratford. (Don't ask me where it is.) To show what sort of friend I was, Maureen and I only spent 10 days of our honeymoon to drive back to attend his wedding. Years later Keith called in to our Doncaster home to record an interview with me which I still remember with fear. His questioning was frightening, so close to the bone, that I did my best to end the session. Having heard some of his other interviews, the last being with Geoff Corke, I realised that one of his radio gifts was interviewing. With the exception of the one with me! They were friendly chats, displaying his gift of not only making people feeling comfortable but he personally showed an interest in the person he was interviewing and listened to their answers. One of the reasons for Keith's longevity in radio was his love for the medium but never let it dominated him turning him into a blinkered person. He kept the blinkers for

Schoolboy ambitions

● Keith McGowan the love of horses, the love of travel, the love of photography, and most important of all, the love for his wife, Angela. I hope Keith doesn't re-

joined 3UZ in 1957 gret his leaving radio so early. There will be many people who will become lonely again but I'm sure they will wish him well. - Henry Gay

● Keith Livingston ■ Melbour ne radio man Keith Livingston says Keith McGowan’s radio ambitions go back to their days at Box Hill Tech. ‘Doc’ Livingston’s tribute appears on Page 19.

Oldest mates met at 3UZ

● Keith McGowan and Henry Gay, who met for the first time on May 27, 1957, at 3UZ where Henry was part of the program staff.


Page 6 - Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Overnighters Souvenir Kate Murphy ■ I have never met anyone quite like Keith McGowan. I first met Keith on my first overnight shift at 3AW in 1999. He thundered through the newsroom screaming about computer problems. I was terrified. Wasn't sure how I was going to cope with the roster of endless overnights ahead. I soon realised he was quite a nice guy under neath that huge, gruff, crude, rude, loud, too much information, overbearing exterior. Keith has a knack of being able to extract personal information from people and it wasn't long before he had me coming into his studio after the 2am bulletin every night trying to find me a `man' on air. He even bought a good looking muso into the building one night, much to my horror. You don't tend to dress up for overnight shifts. I didn't often admit it, but I loved listening to the Overnighters and Keith's comments and shuffling of papers in the background. The funniest parts were the remarks he often made off mic that you could just hear on air if you listened closely. I genuinely missed listening when I went back to normal shifts. I'm still trying to get over witnessing Keith frantically trying to get his T-shirt back on over his headphones and mic when I went into the neighboring studio one particularly hot night. And some of the stories he told me … well, I wish he hadn't. There really is noone quite like Keith!

Vast Victorian audience ■ Keith McGowan ... there’s really only one word to encompass the 54-year career of this extraordinary broadcaster and that is ‘unique’. Only someone like myself who has had the opportunity to have been present in the studio when Keith weaves his morning magic would know the true meaning of multi-tasking. How can one man concurrently be a panel genius, disc jockey, switchboard operator, music programmer and so much more. Keith is renowned for his incredible engaging interviews with people from all walks of life; an antique expert and advisor; a harness racing aficionado. Only Keith can program songs to engage listeners of all ages and devotees of all music genres. Not to mention Keith’s

● Kay Sharples skills in organising and presenting live concerts year after year, especially at Christmas, for his vast loyal Victorian audience, the pleasure this has brought to thousands can not be measured. The sentiments expressed above are merely the obvious to those shift workers, truck

drivers and sleepless who tune in morning after morning for company and to call in to vent or chat. It is behind the beard and rough exterior, however, where those who are close to Keith appreciate the real man. Many young radio and show business artists in the early years of their careers must be grateful for Keith's mentoring and advice. Keith has strong opinions and is not afraid to express them, his dedication to his profession will never be matched, and his passion for life should be respected. Keith, I wish you a well deserved happy retirement with your nearest and dearest. Thank you for your friendship, and Keith ... “there will never be another you!” - Kay Sharples

From Gigi ■ Dear Keith, Thank you for all the years of wonderful listening.Your amazing contributors have made for really interesting radio from the lovable ‘Outback Legend’ Nick Le Souef; the inimitable Brad Higgins with his UK observations; the informative Chris de Fraga with all his knowledge about cars; to the Antiques and Collectibles people – Rick Milne and Tony Shields (and many others over the years) who made me look at my ‘clutter’ with new awareness; and recently the bubbly Di Rolle with her Event/Theatre reports and Cheryl Threadgold with non-pro theatre reports. Your interesting and entertaining chats with Ash Long made this a ‘not to be missed’ segment! Thank you, Keith, for your own wonderful stories of outback places you have visited – along with fantastic chats with really interesting people you have met; and even just your walks around Melbourne and its suburbs – your observations and brilliant word pictures have brought these places to

● Gigi of Burwood life!You introduced me to many talented people and their music. The friendly chats you had with these, and many other guests, and your fabulous choice of music has made for excellent radio! Last, but not least thank you for the, at times, very funny chats we have had; for allowing me to talk about my parents and things which happened in my childhood; and the teasing – which I have really enjoyed – hehehehe! Dear Keith, I wish you and Angela much love, happiness and health in the retirement you so richly deserve . Enjoy! - Love, Gigi of Burwood


Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - Page 7

Overnighters Souvenir

THE GIRLS HAVE THEIR SAY

■ Memo to Keith McGowan, retired: “I once said to you Keefy in all sincerity that you are a deeply good man. “You responded as though I'd just shot you with "Don't bloody ever say that about me again." Too bad. You're retiring so I'm saying it again. You have been a good man to so many of us and one of the few constants in our lives over the changing decades. You are a unique force in radio. You have always been unafraid to be yourself onair. You've kept the theatre of the mind alive, rummaging around off-mic muttering while you're lining up a track of music. You play your McGowan's Marble Finders ID after a ratbag caller and then offer genuine kindness to a lonely soul. You tell appalling Jane of Northcote jokes during the Castlereagh Line intro each morning and you've been a dear friend to me and to my Mum and Dad.

Loyal friend

● Jane Holmes with Keith McGowan You've been a wonderful I wish you and your beaubundle of contradictions and tiful Angela the happiest of a truly great broadcaster. retirements. Thanks for being you, You deserve it. Keefy. - Jane Holmes

TAUGHT US ABOUT RADIO

■ Keith – a huge congratulations on an amazing and varied career as one of Australia’s most experienced and respected radio broadcasters. Your colleagues, listeners and each station you have worked at, have only benefited from your presence and ability to entertain, inform and inspire. As a colleague of yours at 3AW, you have taught me many things about radio broadcasting – but you have also become a very good friend and have shown an interest in my life and by researching my heritage for which I am very grateful. I wish you and Angela a lovely retirement together – many of trips around our beautiful country and lots more memories to have and share with your friends. - Kate McMurrich

● Jennifer Muirden ■ Is Keith McGowan ready? You bet your life he is! Congratulations on making the life changing decision to retire from what has been a remarkable radio broadcasting career. While undoubtedly a significant loss to your avid listeners, it marks a brand new chapter in your life. Take the opportunity to travel, spend quality time with family and friends, adopt a normal sleeping pattern – and maybe, if you can find it deep in your heart, rekindle your passion for the mighty Saints! I count myself fortunate to have you as such a loyal and dependable friend. - Jennifer (aka Jim Center’s niece) Muirden

From Phil ● Kate McMurrich

■ Philip Brady pays his tribute to Keith McGowan on Page 29.


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Overnighters Souvenir

● Johnny Chester writes: “I was going through some old photos and came across this handbill from the a dance that I performed at in Yallourn in early 1961 I guess. As you can see Keith was the co-compere along with Barry Ferber and it was at this dance that I met him for the first time. When he mentioned to me how no artists ever came to Sale, where he was on air at 3TR, he bemoaned the fact that he never got a chance to practise his interviewing technique. I would drive down to Sale from Preston, do the interview and drive back home again. I did this several times until Keith’s girlfriend’s family took pity on me and gave me a bed for the night.”


Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - Page 9

Overnighters Souvenir

● Johnny Chester’s Hotspur album is launched by Keith McGowan in 1980

MATES FOR 50+ YEARS

■ “G’day Keith, “The fact that you’re retiring brings to mind the many times we’ve spent together on your various radio programs and even once on television. “As someone who spent a little bit of time on Mid Dawn (2½ years is a little bit by comparison to you) I know I’m not alone when I say you brought overnight radio to a new level. “You’re also responsible in no small way to helping me as an interviewee and to this day I try to have a conversation with whomever is doing the interview

rather than just answering the questions. “The other area where you can take credit is the fact that you organised for me to take over your compering spot on Teen Time on Ten in 1963 which gave me my first chance to host a television program and it too was an invaluable experience. “So I probably have more reason than most performers to say thank you. “I’m sure your thousands of listeners would like the opportunity to do the same. - Warmest regards, Chess

● Keith and John in 2011


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Overnighters Souvenir

Many facets to Keith’s presentation ■ Keith McGowan is going to be missed by thousands and thousands of devoted fans when he retires and hangs up his microphone after 50 years. There are so many facets to Keith’s presentation that makes him so unique and the legend that he is. He can be cranky: he doesn’t suffer fools gladly. He spends hours when he should be catching up on sleep choosing the music that is a big part of his unique program. He loves football, horses, food and his effervescent wife, Angela. He has a sense of humour, and can be compassionate with his listeners when he feels they need it. Then again, he can just as quickly cut a call and play ‘the cuckoo’ grab when he doesn’t want to continue a

call. In fact, it was the ‘cuckoo’ grab that prompted me to make objections to Keith, but it did no good. He encoded but didn’t decode, so it stayed. I hasten to add that he was alone in the studio all night. His program was all his. Not a producer to be seen. Then love entered his life in the form of the charming and very vibrant Angela. Softness came into Keith’s voice and traveling around Australia with Angela was constantly on his mind. And now it is becoming a reality. Keith, enjoy your well earned retirement. I wish you and Angela a wonderful life ahead, and we’ll look forward to your e-mails. - Yvonne Lawrence

● Yvonne Lawrence

BELLOWING FROM THE NEXT STUDIO

BEC BROWN SAYS ■ What will I miss the most when Keith McGowan goes off air? It could be the genuine enthusiasm and passion that he has for developing the careers of young artists. Maybe it’ll be his professionalism and friendly rapport with both confident, international superstars or nervous, debut acts. It could be the ever-honest commentary and wise advice on songs, music history and life in general. Who am I kidding, we’ll just miss YOU Keith. Here’s to a very happy retirement - much love to you and Angela from your friends at Universal Music Australia. - Bec Brown Senior National Promotions and Publicity Manager (Classics, Jazz & Catalogue) Universal Music Australia

■ You can’t imagine starting a stint on the 3AW Breakfast program as an impressionable young woman, and wondering who on earth is bellowing along to Living Next Door To Alice from miles down the hall. As intimidating as the booming voice sounds, it doesn’t take long to figure Keith out – as much of an enigma as he may seem. He is all about radio, about sharing with his listeners, laughing with them (sometimes at them) and taking them through the wee hours with a combination of entertainment, empathy and enthusiasm. He’ll be sadly missed by listener and colleague alike, but it’s great to know he’ll embrace the next chapter of

● Kate Stevenson his life with the vigour and gusto he’s displayed all his working life. All the best, Keith – I’ll miss being praised when I’m “dressed like a girl for once”. Kate Stevenson Producer3AW Breakfast with Ross and John


Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - Page 11

Overnighters Souvenir

NATURALLY GIFTED BROADCASTER Santa calls in Is Keith McGowan ready? You bet your life he is!

● Brad Higgins “Those lyrics have greeted my weekly ‘spot’ on Keith's show for the past 20+ years. We've been mates since we both worked at 3DB in the 1980s; it seems like a lifetime ago. “I mentioned to Mac one day that I had been offered a job in London and would be heading off for 12 months or so. ‘Mate,” he said, ‘I'll give you a call every week and we'll chat on the wireless about what's going on in your new backyard”. Amazingly, we still do. “Keith is one of the most naturally gifted broadcasters that I've ever had the privilege of working with. Where other lesser broadcast mortals would play ‘the star’, Keith's attitude has always been that his contributors and the literally hundreds of thousands of Overnighters who call in to the show have something important, interesting and hopefully captivating to say and share; so why steal the limelight? “A recent example of his brilliance was the interview with Roland Rocchiccioli. I don't know of any other broadcaster who would have managed to extract from RR and then pull together the numerous threads of a most varied and fascinating life; sheer radio genius. “Keith can be infuriating, brutal, sincere and expressing genuine heartfelt warmth and concern all in the space of a minute. “He doesn't hide his politics or views on the world. I, amongst many, will miss Keith on the ‘wireless’. Happy retirement mate. - Brad Higgins, London

● Santa (Observer Editor Ash Long) and Keith McGowan ‘milk’ the laughs at the Overnighters Christmas party held at Grovedale in 2005. ■ The Overnighters radio program has reached thousands of people who have attended the Christmas parties staged at venues including Clayton, Springvale, Doncaster, Bentleigh, Reservoir, Grovedale and Hoppers Crossing. Functions for listeners have also included ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’ and get-togethers at the Melbourne Town Hall, and locations including Coburg, Northcote and Malvern.

Comforting voice in the early hours ■ “Congratulations on 21 great years of the Overnighters program and your spectacular ratings results for 3AW. “You can be truly proud of this achievement. I know your many fans will miss you - but you will not be forgotten. “You have helped listeners who have been lonely or unable to sleep through the night. “I know myself when I was in hos-

pital many years ago it was a comfort to hear your voice throughout the early hours of the morning. “I wish you and Angela a happy time in your retirement. “I know you will pop up again somewhere in the future behind a microphone somewhere doing something in radio “Once again best wishes. - Kevin Trask

● Kevin Trask


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Overnighters Souvenir

He’s unique

● Greg Evans ■ “I first met Keith McGowan in 1972. “I was a young radio announcer from Melbourne and Keith was the Program Director of 2KA Katoomba. “Our friendship was quickly consolidated. I learnt so much about broadcasting from watching Keith, and I learnt a whole stack more about life in general. “We laughed and joked our way through two terrific years on the rock and created some great radio with me introducing Keith’s son, Nathan, aged 4 as a regular on my Breakfast show. This made world news. “Keith has supported me in my career through radio and television ever since. “Keith is a unique character with a wicked sense of humour. “These days we laugh around the campfire and tell tall tales and true from the legendary past. “All the best Keith, in your retirement. - Greg Evans

DAN WEBB’S BEST WISHES ● Dan Webb ■ “Hey Keith!You've been part of the Melbourne broadcast scene for so long ...we are all going to miss you. “On 3AW you have become part of the broadcast scene ... like Brother Sunshine (Dick Cranbourne) and Daybreak Dan (John Stuart) “I sincerely hope we shall see you at future meetings of the Survivors Club ... but remember, there'll be a time limit on what you have to say. “Happy retirement Ol' Timer and good health. Warmest regards, Dan Webb

Greetings from 3AW listeners ■ Dear Keith, You provided my beautiful mum with a lot of companionship and happiness. We followed you to the Chrissy parties at Flemington racecourse, Clayton RSL, book-signings at Katies Mt Waverley, etc etc We wish you and Angela health and happiness always. Love is so hard to find and it is so wonderful that you have found each other and have decided to be together and enjoy life together after a few health issues. - Maggie Hawkes

Shared love of Aussie outback

● Keith McGowan with iconic Australian Ted Egan and long-time friend Nick Le Souef of Lightning Ridge Opals


Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - Page 13

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MESSAGES FROM 3AW WORKMATES

■ “If radio had a Legend's game Keith would be captain coach. “I first met him in the 80s when he was working at 3DB and I was editor of The Herald. “I'd wander into the bowels of the building to record a promo and sometimes in summer Keith would be there broadcasting in his jocks. “It was terrifying. I needed counselling. “Since I have worked with him my admiration has grown. He is an instinctive radio person. “He understands his audience, loves the medium, and can talk with passion about 200,000 topics - often in one program. “How he found the stamina and energy for so long is beyond me. “People who don't understand think he is a gruff and hard hearted character. “He isn't. He's a softie and a closet thinker. “I enjoy stirring him up most mornings at 5.31am as he finished his shift, and have been delighted about how many times he would bite at the provocation. I'd

● Neil Mitchell like to think we both enjoyed it. I will miss his advice, his abuse, his news tips and his annoying habit of turning the speakers up so loud that it fills the entire floor with The Seekers. “Like the rest of Australia, I wish him and Angela all the best. And I look forward to his emails from around the country.”

● Angela McGowan and Bayswater Cake Kitchen boss John Parsons present a St Kilda-themed birthday cake to Keith McGowan at 3AW in 2006.

■ The biggest-selling edition ever of the Melbourne Observer was in February 2006 for the wedding of Keith and Angela McGowan at EchucaMoama.

‘Here is the news’

● Overnight newsreader Gary McQuade with Keith McGowan in the old Southern Cross Broadcasting newsroom at South Melbourne about 2005.


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Overnighters Souvenir

Lonely nights with Keith

● Shane McInnes ■ What an extraordinary achievement it is to work 21 years in one job, let alone in the cut throat business of radio. Keith’s ability to get behind the microphone and provide entertainment and news from Midnight to 5.30am just goes to show the diverse talent of the man. I will never forget my stints at 3AW when I’ve had to cover sport overnights, with Keith down the hall in another studio. 43 Bank St could be a lonely, quiet place at night, but not with McGowan. He’d put on a record, yell down the hall…. “Shaaaaaaaannnneeee. You got food?” Our chats on air during the Ashes of 2009 were filled with laughs, and it wasn’t until then, when I was listening regularly, that I realised the impact Keith had on Melbourne overnight. Congratulations mate - Shane McInnes

UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE

■ “In an increasingly homogenised, conveyor belt of cookie cutter media types nowadays, Keith has been a constant across our airways, doing it his way, with his unique perspective of the world, for over 50 years, the last 20 or so on the mind altering, life changing middawn shift on 3AW. “I know you hate praise Keith, but cop this: You have been amongst the best, all comers, in every form of media that our wonderful city has, and while not glamorised by television, your mere presence and connection to so many lives is never to be underestimated by you. “Just doing my job”. “The parish pump”, I hear you say. No Mate, it’s more than that. Your ability to broadcast, rather than string tired aphorisms together, or just meaningless, mundane twaddle, stands you apart from the majority of the herd.

● Tony Leonard Well Keith, a cliché to fin“Well done old boy, well ish from me – You have stood done.” the test of time. 50 years in - Tony Leonard our zoo.

IT WON’T BE THE SAME ■ “Congratulations Keith on an incredible radio career. “To host the Overnighters program for 21 years in an amazing achievement and to do 10 of those years without any pants on is simply outstanding. “Such is the longevity of your time on the airwaves three generations of my family have had the pleasure of working with you. “Enjoy your trips around Australia… just watch out for the crocodiles in Darwin and I wouldn’t mind a call every now and then to find out how the Titybong Football Club are going. “The middle of the night in Melbourne really won’t be the same and will no doubt take some getting used to. “Are we ready? You can bet your life we aren’t! - MJ Michael James

● MJ (Michael James)


Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - Page 15

Overnighters Souvenir

‘Brash, opinionated’

● Donna Demaio with Simon Owens ■ “Opinionated and brash, Keith McGowan was one of the first people I met when I started working in the 3AW newsroom many years ago (19 to be precise). “I was pretty green and was very much finding my way around the world of radio. “Each day I would traipse into work, learning the ropes and before too long I was reading overnight news. “And there he was. The outspoken yet endearing Keith. A man who loves to chat on and off-air. “Over the years, Keith has enjoyed a healthy working relationship with the news staff. “He has earnt the respect of many and is admired for news sense as well as gift of the gab. “He has strong views but that’s what talk back radio is all about. He also loves talking about his family, his photography and traveling. “Keith has inspired many over the years and supported those who sought assistance or guidance. “His passion for radio has certainly rubbed off on many in the building. He will be missed by colleagues and of course, by his listeners. “Perhaps what won’t be missed is his habit of pumping up the volume of his program so loudly that potential ear bleeds for the newsroom overnighters were always a concern. “So lest we forget how brash, opinionated and a hint eccentric Keith can be, let’s hope the man rings the 3AW talk-back line occasionally to fill us in on his latest endeavours in retirement. “See ya Keith and have a good one. - Donna Demaio

‘NICKO WITH THE BIZZO’

■ “What a stellar career, what a great story Keith McGowan is. “Like a lot of great broadcasters he's had his fair share of ups and downs, but for past 20 years I believe Keith has been in a good place and I was fortunate enough to share five of those years with him at 3AW overnight, an experience that will long live in my memory.. “In fact our paths crossed on numerous occasions and each them a pleasant experience for me, certainly at 3MP 1377 when it was the number one radio station in Melbourne and again at 3DB. “BUT it was in 1958 when I joined the Greater 3UZ

that I first encountered Keith McGowan, “I was in the newsroom and he was the cheeky 14year-old office boy, who would race up the stairs at 45 Bourke Street and hit the News Editor on the head with a rolled up newspaper and bolt downstairs again. “It was then I realised Keith was different and going places. “One of the most talented communicators I have worked with and subsequently listened to, Keith McGowan I am proud to call a friend and I wish him and Angela a very happy retirement and congratulations on a job well done. - Ian Nicholls

● Ian Nicholls


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SIMON OWENS: THE NIGHT I MET KEITH McGOWAN

■ I must have been about 10 years old, listening to the radio whilst sitting on the floor of the rumpus room. I had just discovered the ‘scan’ button which magically took me from one station to the next. I don’t know what station it was or even what exact year it was, maybe 1982 or 1983, but I know it was a couple of weeks before Christmas because the DJ was talking about playing this “really moving piece”. I listened to it, and cried at the tragedy that unfolded in the story I was hearing. I had no idea who had recorded this piece but it was called A Little Boys Christmas Prayer. The next time Mum took me shopping I asked the lady at the counter in Brashs about this piece. It wasn’t a song, but there was music in it but it was this bloke telling a story. The lady at the counter shook her ‘Olivia Newton-John’ hairstyle from side to side and said she had no idea what I was talking about. Some five years later I was at the Lilydale Market thumbing through some seven-inch singles in the discount bin. I recognised a face on this green cover. It was Bert Newton – that funny guy who worked with Don Lane. It was a single called Bring Back The Spirit Of Christmas And luckily I had

● Keith McGowan with Simon Owens made contact with him. a crisp $1 note in my pocket. I did, about five months later, and It wasn’t until I got to the counter that I turned the cover over and saw that the Philip invited me to come in and watch flip side was A Little Boy’s Christmas him work with Bruce on the radio. So I arrived on a Tuesday Night. The Prayer by some guy named Keith producer Paige McGinley let me in and McGowan. When I got home Mum graciously I sat silently in awe watching these two allowed me play it on the Onkyo record legends work. It was a fabulous night. It could not possibly get any better player. It WAS that piece that I heard once, than watching Philip work with one of loved, and had never forgotten. I won- my radio idols (I was a big Blackers and dered who this Keith McGowan guy Unca fan).Yes nothing could top this. Then some time after 10pm the door was and whether he was still around was flung open, a big bearded gruff today. But it was 1987 and I was about 16 bloke marched in and said “Hello, Who and had discovered girls so I never got are you?” I whimpered “My name is Simon, around to finding out. It didn’t matter, I’ve just come in to watch Bruce and Phil”. I had the record for my collection. Then this loud beard said three words I memorised it and performed it some five years later at the Mooroolbark that stunned me in a way I have never Community Centre’s Carols By felt since. “I’m Keith McGowan”. Twelve years of memories and emoCandlelight. (I probably owe someone tion hit me like a tonne of bricks. Here some royalties). In the back of my mind I always I was face to face with a man who had thought I’d like to meet this McGowan made me cry just by telling a story all those years earlier. bloke. A piece that stayed with me in my Another six years later, I was 22, and my Uncle passed away, Philip Brady childhood and still does today, and I knew him and came to the funeral. His expect will stay with me forever. That’s my story about how I met name was Geoff Corke. My Aunty, Sue (Geoff ’s second THE Keith McGowan. A great friend, mentor and influence, wife), told me that Philip was working and a highlight in my personal and proat 3AW with Bruce Mansfield. She knew I had always wanted to fessional life. It’s great to know you Grandpa. I work in radio and suggested I make wish you all the best in your retirement. contact with him. - Simon Owens I did, about five months later, and


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STARS SAY ‘GOOD LUCK, KEITH’ From André Rieu

● Isla Grant with Keith McGowan in the old South Melbourne studios of 3AW ■ “I would like to wish Keith a very happy retirement, I know the listeners are going to miss him big time as I'm sure all the artists that he has helped by playing their albums will (myself included). “I so loved the studio time we had together ,a few tears and a lot of laughs, “Take care my old friend and we'll see you soon, lots of love and hugs, - Isla Grant and Al XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Keith will be hard to replicate

■ “I think of Keith and I see a raucous, enthusiastic, all round broadcaster who really was born to do no other task. “Sometimes it worked and sometimes it was tough but McGowan plugged on allowing hard yakka and sincerity to win over his audience. “The 3AW years are a tribute to a dedicated operator who will be hard to replicate. - Des Ford

■ Hope you will enjoy your time off coming up now as much as I enjoy going on. “We are in Vienna now, the city of music. “Hope to see you soon in good health anywhere, anytime. “All the best, take care mate, - André

● André Rieu with Keith McGowan

NIGHTS NEVER THE SAME

Love of celtic music

● Keith McGowan with Finbar Furey

■ “The wee small hours of the morning may never be the same without you filling in sleepless nights for hundreds of thousands. “Along from owls. wolves, cats, bats, restless spirits and vampires you owned the night and we will miss you. “I’m sure there are plenty of happy days ahead. - John-Michael Howson OAM

● John-Michael Howson


Page 18 - Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Overnighters Souvenir ‘Such a big part in my life’

ENTERTAINER’S APPRECIATION

● Andrew Wailes, Music Director, Royal Melbourne Philharmonic ■ "As a late night worker myself, and someone who appreciates a decent conversation in the wee small hours when everyone else is asleep, I will certainly miss Keith McGowan’s rustic tones on 3AW! “I have been a regular listener for many years, and over the last 10 or so, I have enjoyed the occasional on (and off!) air chat with Keith, as part of his Overnighters program. “I have thoroughly enjoyed those conversations, and have always felt that Keith McGowan is one of the best interviewers on radio I have ever chatted to ... he has such a relaxed manner, a great sense of humour and is never afraid to share his passions or his frustrations with his listeners. He is real. “You always know where you stand with Keith, and he always manages to get a message across without any pretence or carry on. “Whether it’s been about Irish music, songs of praise, the Last Night of the Proms, grand opera, Handel’s Messiah, the music of Mozart, the talent of Chopin or the music of unknown Australian composers, Keith has always impressed with his willingness to have a chat whether or not its something he would normally listen to, and generously promote the arts here in Melbourne, and abroad. “He has probably done more to promote local musical talent than just about anyone I know. “He gives people like me a chance to talk about the things they love, and I have always found him to be genuine, informed and enthusiastic in his questioning ... and bloody funny when he’s just listening to some of his regulars and patiently dealing with ‘alien abductions’, ‘paranoid delusions’ and outback adventurers! “You’ll be missed mate. Happy travelling! - Andrew Wailes Music Director, Royal Melbourne Philharmonic

■ “I am very honoured to be able to add my congratulations and best wishes to Keith McGowan. “As a 13-year-old, I called Keith on his Overnighters program to sing a song called Dear Old Donnegal. “Little did I know at the time that this call would be the beginning of a long and wonderful association which has not only been the the launching pad to my performing career, but has also provided me with a long and enduring friendship which I treasure. “Keith is one of the only remaining ‘full blooded’ radio people left in the injury. That is, he is not a journalist or a stand-up comedian (both of whom dominate our airwaves these days), but a man who started his career as an Office Boy in a radio station and made his way up the ladder to on air positions and, in some cases, management. “He knows the radio game inside out and his retirement will create a large hole in the industry. His compassion towards those in need, his down-to-earth persona and his encouragement of Australian talent is going to be greatly missed. “I wish Keith and Angela every happiness in this new stage of life. “Thank you Keith for playing such a big part in my life and that of my family. Congratulations! - Brendan Scott

● Keith McGowan farewells Brendan Scott at Tullamarine Airport in August 2005, as the Overnighters entertainer makes his way to America


Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - Page 19

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FROM ONE SURVIVOR TO ANOTHER

■ Keith Livingston writes: “It is with great pleasure that I acknowledge Keith's incredible contribution to Australian radio. “He has told the gatherings of radio 'Survivors Club' on several occasions that he and I are past students of the Box Hill Technical School and he was 'inspired' by my move into radio industry when I became an announcer at 3SH Swan Hill. “Keith maintains he visited the 3SH studios in 1959 when I was on air and that his thinking at the time was, "…well, if he can do it, so can I," and he did! “He pursued a career as an announcer and that career has lasted an amazing 54 years. That is remarkable when one considers the fickle nature of radio management resulting in career uncertainty. “Since 1990 Keith has dominated Melbourne's air-

● Ron Tudor, legendary record producer, paid tribute to Keith McGowan, at the recent meeting of the showbiz group, The Survivors.

waves in the dreaded midnight 'til dawn gig and made it 'his own'. “He has developed an amazing following over the years, encouraged the development of a dedicated group known as the Overnighters and for them he organised Christmas concerts with all the trimmings and brought along excellent performers who entertained his many followers who attended those functions. “Outspoken, seldom (if ever) taking a backward step, no-one is left wondering about the position he adopts on talk back subjects. “He can be exceptionally compassionate but does not suffer fools lightly! They are sent packing with sharp tongue and rapier-like cynical retorts. “Keith - I wish you well and hope you fulfill your dreams in your post-radio days with Angela, the love of your life.”

LINKS TO THE 1950s

■ How long have I known you, Keith McGowan? I was aware of you when I was at 3UL Warragul back in the fifties. You were at 3TR for a while. What I do remember was that you replaced me at 7HO Hobart when I left there to go to 3UZ in 1963. So we DO got back quite some way! Then there was 3DB in the 80s. I would suggest that we would both choose to forget THAT! We had little contact since then until becoming members of that worthwhile fraternity, ‘The Survivors’. And HOW you have mellowed since the old days! (I am sure Angela has played a huge part in that). I dips me lid to you. Congratulations on a stellar career, especially the 21 years overnight at 3AW. I'll bet you'll agree with me that they have flown! I just know that you are going to thoroughly enjoy a well-earned retirement with your lovely lady! - John Vertigan

● John Vertigan

● Keith McGowan with Bobby Johnson ■ An important contributor to the Overnighters radio program is Bobby Johnson, of the Fabulous Blue Jays. ‘BJ’ is a treasury of rock n roll music knowledge, and has appeared on the radio show to tell of the history of important artists and recordings. Keith and Bobby met with the Blue Jays were touring Gippsland, and Keith was a teenage DJ at 3TR Sale.


Page 20 - Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011

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Direct, tireless presenter

Champion of Aussie artists ■ Keith was a champion of Australian records and artists. I could rely on sales jumping whenever he talked about my records. He was always frank and kind with his callers. We will miss him and wish him well. I won't be surprised to hear the bugger calling in to sort out somebody down the line. Thanks Keith, a great radio man. - Bill Armstrong

● Bill Armstrong

RATINGS UNTOUCHABLE

● Jim Sherlock ■ Keith McGowan, you are a rare breed, a hugely and uniquely entertaining individual, a direct and tireless presenter who has held court as the fearless King of late night radio on the midnight to dawn shift for so long it started before my hair went gray. Sad to see you are leaving Keith, I will miss your voice in the early morning hours as I work away on my computer, but greener pastures are no doubt calling. So unending congratulations to you Keith on such an extraordinary career and an exemplary and unequaled contribution to radio. You will be missed by many, and I wish you all the very best of health, wealth, happiness and success for the future with the most sincerest of wishes. Gone but never forgotten! - Jim Sherlock

■ The word around Perth was that a storm was brewing in the radio industry. What form would it take? The top 40 music format was about to be introduced and a whirlwind from the Eastern States was about to sweep through the city to implement it... I was listening to 6PR on the morning that Peter Dean introduced the new voice from the East to the people of Perth. Keith McGowan had arrived. Who was this bloke who had a sort of American twang that Perth listeners had not encountered before? We had been used to slightly toffy voices playing the top 8 at 6 o'clock on Sunday nights on 6PR but things were about to change. Keith McGowan took Perth by storm. In the radio ratings, he was untouchable. He did the afternoon drive show and it would be he who made the headlines. The whole city talked about him and while 6PR had many great broadcasters (Gary Meadows being one of them) Keith was the catalyst that kept 6PR at the top of the ratings for years. I doubt there would have been one survey during Keith's time in Perth that he was not number one. A lot of water had gone under the bridge since then

● Alan and while I have those memories of those days in Perth, there's no question that Keith will be remembered for his extraordinary contribution to Melbourne radio. His time at the sadly now defunct 3MP where he ruled the airwaves in the morning program and even more importantly for the establish-

Pearsall ment of his Overnighters program firstly at the also sadly now defunct 3AK and later at 3AW where he has dominated overnight radio for more than 21 years. Few broadcasters have contributed so much to Australian radio. Good luck Keith. Enjoy your retirement. - Alan Pearsall


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CHEERS FROM ALL AT THE MELBOURNE OBSERVER Shared interest in trots ● Cheryl Threadgold ■ “Keith, thanks for giving Victorian Non-Professional Theatre a voice in your Overnighters program for 20 years. “For almost six of these years I have enjoyed the fun and privilege of presenting the segment and it has been terrific working with you, your expertise and humour. “Wishing you and Angela wonderful times together during your retirement. - Regards Cheryl Threadgold

■ “Keith – Congratulations on what has been a “wonderful ride” in radio. “From the rural and city areas of Victoria, NSW, Tasmania and WA, to overseas through the world wide web, your voice has been heard almost everywhere, with thousands of loyal listeners tuning in. “Enjoy your retire● Len Baker ment and hopefully you and Angie will no doubt be ‘trotting’ all over the place making most of life. “Shame that I never got to join you in the studio though. - Kindest regards, Len Baker

■ What a trooper - 21 years on mid-dawn! Melbourne at midnight just won’t be the same without you. And sometimes we forget that Keith was also a top rating DAY time personality too for many years. May your retirement years with Angela be as sweet as a Saints second premiership (as we fans ‘keep dreaming’) and as exciting as the first day you turned on a microphone for your first radio shift at 3TR in the late 50s. Enjoy the sleep ins. Greg Newman Editor, Jocks' Journal

LINKS TO OUTBACK, COOBER PEDY ■ “I met Keith McGowan when I was living in Yarraville - I left there in 2000 and moved to Newstead. “By chance I first saw Keith in action at a footy night at the Somerville Hotel down on the Mornington Peninsula - enough said! “During the hectic Hanson years of 1996 - 1997, I started doing a few interviews on 3AW and ended up sounding off on Keith's show from time to time and from there on we used to meet at antique and memorabilia shows in Melbourne and Castlemaine. “Keith used to drop in at Yarraville and also visited me at Newstead. “Keith and I have outrageous senses of humour which sometimes can be a handicap in this strange world we live in. “In 1959 I mined opal at the Eight Mile Field at Coober Pedy and in 2009 revisited the area for old times sake.

“Keith and I have outrageous sense of humours which sometimes can be a handicap in this strange world we live in”

● John Pasquarelli

As luck would have it, Keith and I had contacts at Coober Pedy including Nick Le Souef and Keith and I enjoyed Nick's hospitality at Coober Pedy which included the use of his bungalow. “ Keith and his wife have earned their retirement and I am sure that the outback will see more of them. “Keith's many listeners will no doubt have to endure withdrawal symptoms but that's life. “Good luck Keith and Angela and don't let the bastards grind you down! - John Pasquarelli


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‘IT WAS LIKE 15 ROUNDS WITH MUHAMMAD ALI’ ‘National treasure’

● Di Rolle ■ “Keith McGowan is a stalwart when it comes to radio. How many of us have fallen asleep listening to Keith and his Overnighters program? “ There is something comforting about Keith’s voice. I was privileged to be part of his program for over a year. “We always enjoyed a laugh together no matter what the subject. A huge supporter of mine, I thank him for his friendship and his wonderful repartee we had on air. “I wish him well on his future. A great lover of this wonderful land of ours. A true Aussie spirit. “Keith, you are a national treasure. - Di Rolle

● Alan Armsden ■ “Keith McGowan gave Old Master (as he is now). me my first taste of radio “’Just pretend you’re talkexposure back in the late ing to a friend. Forget about 70’s when I was writing a the audience, forget about television column for the the mike,’ was Keith’s sage first iteration of the Sunday advice. Observer, in the hazy, crazy “This stood me in good days of the mercurial Max stead for a variety of other Newton. work I did on radio in ensu“The first live broadcast I ing years, having been addid (on 3DB from memory) vised very early on that “you was a morning phoner and I have a good head for radio.” agonised over it all night. even ended up hosting “I had appeared in quite a an “Iinterview/talkback show few amateur theatrical pro- years later for Radio Televiductions and never had any sion Hong Kong and was trouble with stage fright but London correspondent for this was a different gig. “There were no script or another station. “I always remembered stage positions and cues to learn, the mike went on and Keith’s advice.So, thanks for the lessons Keith, and thanks you were there. “McGowan bounced off for a lifetime of entertainme like a rubber ball, stole ment on the airwaves. “Of course, anyone who the segment with his quick wit and cutting repartee and thinks the lack of a mike or a when it was all over I felt like radio audience will take the I had done 15 rounds with edge off Keith’s propensity to provide a point of view on Muhammad Ali. “It was a baptism of fire anything and everything has but as the months rolled by I another think coming. - Alan Armsden learned a great deal from the


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BUCK NAKED IN STUDIO ■ We worked together for 18 months or so at 3DB in the '80s and those days have enabled me to dine out on Keith McGowan stories ever since. Such as the time a breathless messenger appeared at my office door spluttering "You've got to get to the studio…Keith wants you NOW!" I had been making a few calls trying to confirm guests for the next day's Keith McGowan Show, but alarmed by the urgency of the message, I immediately hung up the phone, pushed my chair back from the desk and raced along the L-shaped corridor. As I rounded the corner to the broadcast studio, I was puzzled to see a crowd made up of almost every single person who worked at the station. Two and three deep around the two walls of glass windows, office staff, techies, on-air talent, reporters, music programmers, ad sales people and management all craned forward eagerly peering inside. People were whispering that "she had taken her clothes off," but that didn't seem plausible ... until I pushed against the heavy soundproof door and made my way into the studio. There sat Keith McGowan just aside of the mike, glowing, bright eyed and so darn happy he was almost paralysed. In front of him, leaning casually up against the studio wall was the 11.15 am guest, American hard porn star, Marilyn Chambers, who for some reason, was standing there buck naked with the tiny summer dress she had arrived in, crumpled at her feet. My entrance made little

● Rhonda Palmer impact and I stood there like to answer. "JIILLLL!!" he screamed a fifth wheel for a moment or two until finally, Keith with such volume that she turned away from Chambers had no choice but to respond. "Okay Keith. What?" for a nanosecond to hiss at "Jill, what's foreplay?" he me, "Get a photographer demanded. down here. Quick!" She stopped for a moment, He then turned back adoringly to meet his guest's looked at me tiredly and shook her head in exasperagaze. And that, Your Honour, is tion before trying to end the why Keith has a large picture topic before it began, "Oh of himself with a naked porn- jeez, Keith, I don't know!" At which point McGowan star on his knee! One time, Keith and his gave a triumphant cry for his then-wife Jill asked me over audience. "See?" "Told ya!" for a barbecue. I was in the Keith may have some kitchen helping Jill while most of the action was out by kind of name-blindness. This the barbie where Keith was is probably the reason why simultaneously grilling the he greets women as ‘Flaps’ sausages and entertaining and men as ‘Knackers’? Perother guests with a stream of haps you could poll the readers (or Radio Rangers) for anecdotes and jokes. Suddenly, Keith started their opinion. - Rhonda Palmer calling to his wife. "Jill!" She was quite busy pre- ■ This is from former 3DB paring the rest of the meal so accountant Lynne Butler she pretended she didn't hear. who was one of Keith’s "JILL!" he shouted good friends at the station: louder. “Hi Knackers - days with Again she ignored his call, you at 3DB were very revealwhich seemed to make him ing. more determined to get her Cheers, Buttles.”

Radio magic

● Don Crawford ■ I met Keith on my first day in radio back in 1980. My job was to take the cartridges from his studio to the next. Despite this I continued in the industry. I didn't see Keith again until 1988 when he took my job in Geelong. Keith saw me in the corridor and when he realised it was me he had replaced was so sincerely apologetic. So as a form of revenge I removed his lovely wife Angela's bra magically on stage at his Christmas parties last year. All the best Keith, there is life after radio! … is there? - Don Crawford

21 years ■ Keith McGowan started at 3AW on June 25, 1990. He started his career at 3UZ on May 27, 1957.


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LISTENERS SAY FAREWELL TO OVERNIGHTERS HOST

● Keith McGowan: company in the early hours ■ “I'm saddened that you are retiring, but of course happy for you and the great times ahead, and commend you for having the intestinal fortitude to go out on top. “I am 30 years old, and discovered your program while completing my PhD, doing experiments that would go into the early hours of the morning. “Sitting alone in a laboratory, your show, your hosting, and your guests and callers very fun listening and helped me to not feel isolatory. “A few years on, I have realised and accepted that I am a night/early early morning person, and on many nights end up catching a good first portion of your show. “Good on you for giving so much to the community through your show, and community engagements and work. “Its impact will no doubt intensify over the next little while leading up to you last show, and I hope you enjoy and fully embrace the love people are and will continue to show you. “I think most people of my generation really do not understand how important ‘the wireless’ has been and continues to be to many of earlier generations than mine. “I consider myself lucky to have stumbled upon it, so early in my life, perhaps one day the time will be right for me to an active participant in the industry, and not just a keen listener. “Best regards, and most sincere thanks to you Keith.” - Cheers, Goce Bogeski

■ “The unique, irreplaceable Keith Mcgowan came into my life accidentally some six years ago. “A friend recommended I listen to Bruce and Phil, as a longtime insomniac. “This was not the program I finally came to love. On first hearing Keith, I wondered what I had struck, somebody very, very, different. Being curious of his style, I became hooked!! Never as a caller, but as a devoted listener. “This man has changed my life in many ways, and I will miss him terribly as a mate, as I am sure many, many others will also. “His wit, compassion and knowledge of music can never be equalled. “Thank you Angela for sharing him with us. I wish you both health and much happiness in your retirement. - Barb of Torquay

● Dana Taylor ■ “Keith, I will miss you soooooooo much!” - Dana Taylor

Loved ■ Mar y Marasco writes: “Will miss Keith. I really only listened when I couldn't sleep, but loved his interviews with people like Helmut Lotti, Mary Duff etc and the beautiful music he played. “Bought many CDs he recommended and played. Happy retirement Keith. Enjoy.”

Great memories ■ Noel Kilner writes: “Living up the bush now, and we don't get Keith's live feeds here, only Neil and Derryn. “I fondly remember Keith's morning shows on 3MP when I was living at Rosebud. Still got his theme music in my head: "Today's Monday, is Keith McGowan ready? You bet your life he is!" Great bloke, great sense of humour - and a hit maker. Remember The Day We Went To Bangor, by Fiddler's Dram. Now that's showing my age. Good luck and great health to you and those you love Keith in your retirement. Well earned, and you are well respected.

● Mary Marasco

Good luck ■ “Sure going to miss him but in the same time it will be another chapter in his life and a most happy one. “Good luck to you both.” - Kathleen McCrum


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‘HARMONICA MAVIS’ WRITES

■ “Dear Keith, Words are just not enough to show my appreciation and thanks for all you have done for me both on and off the program over the years. I will miss you very much, and will treasure the memories of wonderful Christmas parties and outings, the fun and laughter on stage, and Lips That Touch Liquor. I wish you and Angela a very long, healthy and happy retirement together. Good luck and best wishes always. Thanks for being there. Bye Keith. - ‘Harm Mave’

Legend

Will be missed ■ “You will be missed, as will your radio serials and your general good humour. “Hope Nick and Brad are a part of the new lineup. “Good luck to you and your wife for the future. - Pat Simpson, Burwood

Many years ■ “Keith, I have been listening to you overnight for many, many years. “I know you still have a

● Keith McGowan with ‘Harmonica Mavis’ Ellis Photo: Gigi Hellmuth month before your retriement, but I wish you and your family a very re- ■ Keith, your voice and laxed retirement. thoughts have proven impor“Thank you for being that tant to a great many people comforting voice. “Congratulations on your over so many years. You will be missed, and career. - Brendan Krake certainly never forgotten. - Aaron Rourke by e-mail

Important

Even his mum-in-law is a fan

● Sheila Heath

■ “3AW will not be the same without Keith McGowan. His wonderful voice, great music and interviews are really firstclass. “Chats with Ash, Nick and Brad are so funny and interesting. “Twenty-one years on overnight radio must be a record - well done Keith! “I will miss all your faithful listeners who have phoned you all through the 21 years. “They are like a family. So many will miss you, so much thanks Keith for making sleepless nights bearable. “Happy retirement Keith. - Sheila Heath

■ Robert Weir sent this e-mail to the 3AW website: “Well done Keith, you’re a legend in radio. “I grew up in Perth and was a fan of yours on 6PR (the Good Guys) and remember when you sat for a record time doing your show in the city of Perth non stop for many long hours. “When I heard you on radion when I started living in Melbourne you brought back many fine memories when you lived in Perth. “Many thanks to you Keith and may your retirement from radio ba as fulfilling as your radio days. Cheers to a true legend.”

E-mails

■ I am really going to miss you and your show I listen to you all night. You deserve retirement for working all those years. - Danielle Haslam ■ My father always tuned in to hear you, up till his death, then I followed your career. I loved your music, especially Buddy Holly songs, and respected your views on many subjects. Now I understand why my father enjoyed hearing your views. I will be sad to see an end to my radio friend, you have been my best company at mornings, its a bit like saying fare well to Mr Chips. - Frank McLean


Page 26 - Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Overnighters Souvenir Can’t sleep ■ When I can't sleep Keith McGowan has entertained me with good music no nonsense, empathy and common sense. Thank you. Good luck. Our loss, no one like you. - Carmen Andrews Mill Park

Winners ■ Hi Keith. Sad to see you leaving, all the very best to you and Ang. Will miss your sense of humour, and your special regular guests. Hope all your horses find another leg and win lots of races for you both. - Denis Linehan

Happy time ■ Dear Keith. I wish you all the best for a happy and long retirement. After 50 odd years in the radio game. I used to call you before I left for New Zealand to work and would listen to you via the internet when I was feeling home sick. I am now back home and discover you are retiring. I hope you enjoy your time with travel and good health. - Jay Hateley

Favourite ■ I have loved it when Keith talked to Angela on the wireless. 3AW has always been my favourite station. - Lorna McCarthy, Oak Towers Oakleigh

‘Been there, done that’ ■ Keith McGowan fits the phrase ‘been there done that perfectly. Some remember, but so many have no idea that Keith has broadcast most shifts on radio stations around the country, in the bigger towns and then, of course, in capital cities. He has been right at the top of the tree as a number one rating radio personality and in the early days learnt the hard way by having to establish his credibility, his communication skills and his radio etiquette. Radio has been a lucky medium to have such a character as Keith McGowan. He has put records on their way to be number one such as Mike Brady’s Up There Cazaly, featured artists very few people had heard of but have become world wide hits such as Andre Rieu, and still to this day is the 3AW personality who fills sometimes three or four Christmas parties with hundreds of listeners each time. 3AW has been fortunate in Keith providing amazing figures audience wise for the lead in to our Number One Breakfast program hosted by Ross Stevenson and John Burns. Keith’s loves are obviously his beautiful wife Angela, his children and his grandchildren who he is immensely proud of. Then there is Keith’s love of the sport of harness racing, and antiques, collectables and memorabilia is something he has learnt about from experts over the years. Keith is very rarely seen by the 3AW 693 and Magic 1278 staff who work daylight hours but he is quite often spoken about. Sometimes its in terms of “you wont believe what

● David Mann, 3AW McGowan did on air this morning”, or simply a call from one of his very loyal and long serving advertisers to his program who are thanking the station for the results that Keith has achieved for their product. Keith, you are a knockabout, likeable bloke, who is turning into a grey nomad and may you and Angela and your extended family enjoy your retirement. We all know you’ll be roaming around Australia because you love the outback so much and we all hope that your good health that you have fought so hard to get back, continues for a long, long time. Thanks for taking the calls

Promotions Manager from me when I have been at the Mt Macedon Memorial Cross Dawn Service on ANZAC Day or about to host the 3AW Qantas Royal Children’s Hospital flights on Good Friday or every now and then from a big fire incident in Melbourne with my MFB duties in the wee small hours. I know how big your audience is because I continually get feedback about those calls to the Overnighters. You are a master in the medium of radio and a scholar with word pictures. Happy Retirement - David G. Mann OAM Promotions and Marketing Manager 3AW 693, Magic 1278.


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FACEBOOK MESSAGES FROM FANS Honest

● Steven Patrick ■ “Keith has been a champ and I wish him and Angela every success and happiness in their new ventures. “I have listened to Keith on and off since I was very young when he was a star on 3MP in the '70s./ “Always loved his no nonsense approach. Welcome Andrew McLaren, have enjoyed your work when you have filled in. “Good luck Keith and Angela McGowan.”

■ Judy Small writes: “Keith is one of the nicest guys on radio who is honest but does not put up with idiots. “I have listened to him as far back as on 3MP. Keith will be sadly missed. He would do you a good turn before a bad one.”

54 years ■ Sue Heath writes: “I am don't always agree with Keith, or some of the others for that matter, but always enjoy listening. “The fact that he has done the same radio show for 21 years and been in the business for 54 or thereabouts is just such an achievement. “I'm sure he will love retirement.”

■ “I had the great pleasure of working with Keith at 2KA, 2UW and 3MP. He's a radio legend, larger than life, and will be missed by his listeners. 54 years in this business is a fabulous achievement ... only done by the greats. Keith is one of those greats. Happy retirement, mate. Enjoy!”

● Geoff Brown

Keith McGowan leaves the building

● Linda Duke ■ “Although I didn't always agree with Keith, he has done a terrific job at 3AW over the last 20+ years. “The time is now right for him to retire and enjoy his life with Angela. “The two of them will probably be off on a trip around Australia. Thanks Keith for helping me though all my sleepless nights and enjoy your retirement!”

● Keith McGowan on the last day at 3AW's Bank Street studios, South Melbourne, in 2010. Photo courtesy of 3AW


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CHANGING PEOPLE’S LIVES

■ When it comes to Keith McGowan, larger than life is such an apt description.. I can't tell you the number of times I have been sitting in an office at 3AW when at 5.31am I hear this thunderous voice booming down the corridor "McCallum!!!" Then Keith would burst into the office and berate me for something I'd said on air the day before. The tirade would always finish with a wink and he'd walk out the door with a cheeky smile, saying "Carry On!" Radio is all about passion and touching people. Those really good at it can change peoples' lives. That's what Keith has done year after year after year. His Overnighters program makes such a difference to so many people. My mother is one. She often has trouble sleeping, so she goes to bed with Keith (on her radio!) every night. She says there are times when he infuriates her. There are times when he makes her laugh ... times when he makes her cry. She can't work out whether she loves him or hates him, but he's the company a 78-year-old widow just needs sometimes in the early hours of the morning. For that, Keith, and all the fun debates, disagreements, appalling jokes and inspiration I thank you and wish you and Angela a long, relaxing, healthy and thoroughly enjoyable retirement. - Nick McCallum

DJ at dance ■ G'day Keith. Just a few memories. I heard you talking about your days at 3SH. I was born at Nyah West in 1945 and listened to 3SH a lot during the 50s. I reckon you would have been one of the announcers. I joined the Navy when I was 17 and my first trip away was on HMAS Moresby, surveying south of Tassie. I met my wife in the Z Club (or was it Club 20) about 1964. I think you were the DJ at that dance at the time. It's a shame you're hanging up the boots but retirement is fantastic. Good luck. - Kevin Ousley

● Nick McCallum

RADIO’S JOCK McHALE

■ Keith McGowan is the Jock McHale of 3AW (without the hat). When McHale coached Collingwood during his long reign his players referred to him as ‘Mr McHale’. We know Keith as Keith. When a football great retires they can honour his great deeds in various ways, renaming the best and fairest award in his honour, casting a bronze statue with the footballer wearing large bronze shorts or naming a gate at the ground ● Mark Genge after him. I propose that we erect a cast iron “Good Afternoon, Denis Walter with gate, ‘The Keith McGowan Gate’ at the you, I’ve won the toss so in the first hour entrance to the studio pantry and name I’ll be broadcasting from the Keith one end of the 3AW studio the McGowan end at 3AW”. ‘McGowan End’. On ya Keith This would not only honour Keith - Mark Genge but also help when we have a kick-toAfternoon & Drive kick in the studio. 3AW 693


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PHILIP BRADY’S TRIBUTE

● Gill Andrew, Philip Brady, Angela ■ Bet you don’t remember Keith McGowan’s Nightline? He actually took rook as caretaker in March 1991 after the dismissal of Alex Kenworthy, before Bruce and Phil were appointed a few nights later. That’s the first time I met Keith. We don’t have a lot in common though we both barrack for the Saints. At work he can be very intense and preoccupied preparing for his show, but away from the station he is loads of fun and is always first to arrive at the Brady Bunch lunches at the Harp Of Erin or La Contadina which will continue in his retirement.

and Keith McGowan at La Contadina He was recently the star attraction when I drove the train from Moorooduc to Mornington. He was recently the star attraction when I drove the train from Moorooduc to Mornington. Keith has organised some terrific outback adventures for me on Peter Rowe’s mail run from Coober Pedy to Oodnadatta. I’ve had the best of times in company with his wife, Angela, and I wish them a happy retirement and much joy in the twilight years! His 21 years with the Overnighters is the stuff legends are made of, and Keith McGowan is a giant in the radio industry. - Philip Brady

Thanks for encouragement ■ Hello Keith. You’ve been a great encouragement and support not just to Ally Dawson and myself but also to a whole range of local musicians over the years. I greatly appreciated the interest you took in our music and your willingness to go out of your way to support us. I’ll never forget seeing you talking with people

like you’d known them all your life only to find out later that it was the first time you’d met them. This engagement with and interest in people is just one of the things that sets you apart as a remarkable person (another might be working night shift for 21 years). You’ve worked long and hard, and you’ve fought a good fight …

now go on long drives and watch your beloved horses. You will be sorely missed but your legacy will last for decades. You are a legend and I will never forget the impact you have had on my life. Congratulations. Matthew Field

Rivals tune in

● Peter Stubbs ■ Keith, how am I going to get to work without you? Your wit, great music, even the constant caning of my beloved Swans are what I’ll miss most. Keith, you are a true broadcaster in every sense of the word. I have been a fan since MP days but you’ve kept me company for the last 21 years, as I’m still a relative newcomer in what is a strange way to make a quid! Good luck to you and Ange. Maybe I’ll see you on the road someday. All the best and thanks. - Peter (Grubby) Stubbs, Gold 104.3

Sleepless

■ I just wanted to take the opportunity to wish you all the very best for your future. I have been a listener of yours for many years, in fact you got me through many sleepless nights with my babies who are now all teenagers! - Mary Lou Picone


Page 30 - Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Overnighters Souvenir Rabbiting on ■ Keith McGowan has had a long and highlyregarded career in broadcasting because I didn’t shoot him in 1969. In radio parlance, I knew Keith when he was PD at TR. I was doing Breakfast at 3TR Sale when Keith joined the station from Perth as Program Director. He moved me to mornings and introduced a playlist based on the current Top 40. We used the list that 3DB published in the Melbourne Sun each week. Rotations were based on what position the song was in the charts and Keith had a code for what time of day, etc. the song could be played. This code was actually scrawled on the record label by Keith in texta. Sprinkle in some hand-picked oldies and you had a Music Policy. However most of my memories are linked to our off-air activities. Keith’s fascination with horses had already begun and he had a country property at Stratford. One day, reliving our country boyhoods, we decided to go shoot some rabbits. Of course I knew not to climb through a fence with a loaded, cocked shotgun in my hand so as Keith was climbing through I pulled back the hammer to uncock the gun but it went off. Fortunately it was pointed at the ground but Keith jumped several feet in the air. We never went shooting again but Keith and I have been rabbiting on in our own way ever since. - Regards, Joe Miller Producer/Presenter Territory FM

Thoughts of ‘absent friends’

● With Dick Wicks

● Trish of Essendon

● Jim of Richmond

LOVED HIS LISTENERS

■ For as long as I can remember Keith McGowan has been there for his listeners. At night thousands would flick on their radio as they flicked out their light – all snuggled up they would go to sleep with Keith. Over the years Keith has grown to love his loyal listeners – they were second to only one, the beautiful Angela. Now as he leaves the 3AW studio for the final time Keith will get to spend more great moments with his wonderful wife. Countless trips through the Red Centre and other remote places of the country are sure to be on the agenda and it won’t be long until Keith, Angela and I will be sipping a lovely red as we toast a stunning Ceduna sunset. Most know the charismatic “on air” Keith – but it is the Keith when a microphone isn’t stuck in front of him that stands him out from the rest. Recently I was admitted to hospital and Keith would message me to make sure I was well and looking after myself. He would tell me he was there – should I need some-

● Greg Irvine thing delivered or need any assistance. And there are those times when we would exchange ‘news’ on our respective horses – he with his box-headed trotters and me with my much faster and

clearly more elegant gallopers! Melbourne and the radio waves will be poorer by your departure – no one will ever be able to fill your shoes – your Gilmour kumfs! Enjoy retirement Keith and thanks for being the shining light of Melbourne’s night. Oh and Keith, enjoy a good night’s sleep and don’t forget to help out Angela each Monday – after all it will always be “washing day.” - Greg Irvine Media Manager, Magic Millions

All that jazz ■ I have had a long career as a jazz musician. Possibly the most difficult challenge has been for me to get exposure for my recordings by way of air play on radio. Keith McGowan, who anchored the Overnighters, was always as helpful and obliging as he could be.He knew of my contribution as a ‘jazz afficionado’ and had played tracks from my my most recent album. Keith did not have any particular penchant for jazz. This made his open hearted assistance much more appreciated. At one time Keith had a great segment at about 1.30am when he would play an old Australian vinyl recording that he had picked up at an opportunity shop. Invariably I knew the musicians and singers on the recording so I would ring in and embelish the cover notes and he would have more information. I often told him whether or not the musicians concerned were either ‘current’ or ‘expired’. Where I had personal connections with the musicians on the recording, I would tell him my stories. He always found our rich jazz history interesting a feeling he passed on to his listeners. As a life time jazz musician, I will be eternally grateful to Keith for his many kindnesses and wish him all the best in his retirement. - Alex Hutchinson.


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SR GABRIEL, THE OVERNIGHT NUN

■ Twenty-plus years ago, when insomnia had me in its clutches, I tuned in to 3AK quite by accident. There was the voice! It belonged to Keith McGowan whose unique style had created the ‘Overnight program’ which became soon after an important feature of 3AW. Keith's efforts enabled a social network to function. He saw a need and responded in a most professional way, by connecting individuals with others and groups with groups. There were annual picnics, monthly functions at various hotels, Christmas parties and even a CD cut with the Howie Brothers and the Overnighters. What preparation would be necessary for each program! Keith opened horizons to those who shared his ‘graveyard shift’. He never encouraged gloom or doom, or endless debate on social or political issues. He preferred the lighthearted, cheerful approach to the program. He raised spirits, uplifted those who were lonely, ill or depressed. He was aware of the pain of the human condition. Keith's interviews with listeners were captivating. Over the years, there were calls from Japan, Norway, England and Ireland as well as from various parts of Australia. There has been promotion of celebrities like Andre Rieu, Daniel O'Donnell, Isla Grant, Noel V Ginnity and our own talented Brendan Scott. Sometimes Keith reminds me of a raw egg. He can present as brittle, abrupt, intolerant and unforgiving - but within that shell, is found a

To waken in the middle of the night to the Intermezzo from Cavalliera Rusticana, to Gilbert and Sullivan's musical comedies, or Andre Rieu's performances is balm for the soul! I'll miss that choice of music so much. What I appreciate most from Keith's time on radio has been his respect for what I represent as a Catholic nun, a Sister of Mercy. He has never involved me in discussions about the dilemmas that have risen from time to time. “Is Keith McGowan ready? You bet your life he is". Ready for a well earned rest. To be on the night shift for so long must take its toll. But he has loved his work and so have we. With Angela by his side, he will have time to smell the roses. I pray daily for Keith - have done so for years May he continue to be blessed, to know health and peace as he journeys on with Angela. - Sr Gabriel

● Sister Gabriel, ‘the overnight nun’ capacity for goodness and great compassion. He always showed loyal support for those in genuine need. I suspect that through this intervention, Keith has prevented suicides from happening. He listened well and gave people contact numbers where they could find further assistance. Keith's intensive knowledge and appreciation of music have been heartwarming. ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day, Christmas, Easter, St Patrick's Day at times made unforgettable by his choice of music and outstanding renditions of poetry, ● Keith McGowan was at the 3AW studios in Nosometimes assisted so beauvember 2008 to congratulate Ernie Sigley on his tifully by ‘Harmonica Maretirement. vis’

Professional respect


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Truly remarkable achievement Listener says thanks ■ Keith, Sorry to hear you're going. I enjoyed your show over the years, particularly upon waking too early with severe sleep apnoea (or unpaid bills). I particularly appreciate the very personal stamp you put upon the midnight hours. You were never afraid to voice an opinion, even if politically incorrect. Best wishes. Sincerely, Kevin Rugg of Beaumaris ● Peter Van

First day greeting

● Seb Costello ■ Keith told me to get stuffed once. It was my first day at 3AW. It meant a lot. Keith has made it much easier to wake up over the past three years. He’s a radio legend. No doubt I’ll look back at my career and be proud of having worked with him. All the best Keith. Enjoy your retirement. May your family benefit most from having more of you. - Seb Costello Program Reporter Neil Mitchell Program

■ I first met Keith at 3MP in the late 70s and a happy go lucky member of the on air team basking in the glory of a very successful radio station. Our paths crossed again in the 80’s this time at 3DB down in the dungeon of Flinders Lane! I then saw Keith again when I joined Magic 1278 at Bank St, South Melbourne. I would always get that friendly be it a ‘gruff greeting’ “G’day Knackers!” Keith, I salute you and two decades of entertaining Melburnians ‘overnight’. A truly remarkable achievement! I wish you and the lovely Angela a very happy future with no more crazy hours! Regards, Peter Van

YOU’RE A LEGEND

■ McGowan, I'm so glad you've at last decided to get a life! When we worked together at 3DB back in the 80s you'd already earned your spurs having topped the ratings at more radio stations than most of us put together. I was the new kid on the team and, thankfully, you liked me. I quickly realised you didn't have a lot of time for anyone you considered a dickhead. I reckon that hasn't changed. Nor has your love of a bawdy gag. The bawdier the better. It may have been our mutual ability to tell a naughty joke at the drop of a hat that cemented our friendship. Thanks for making me feel like a star and thanks for remaining a mate. Your audiences know you're a pro because they listen to you; my sister thinks you're a god because André Rieu is your BBFand I think you're a legend because you just are.

● Mickie Before you head for the desert clutching the gorgeous Ange and your digital camera, give some of those things you haven't had time for a try. Extreme sports, a bit of planking and cross-dressing, just for fun. You might discover something you really enjoy. And when you do head

de Stoop west, carry a microphone with you and when someone asks, "What's that?", throw down your swag and spell a while. Happiness is my wish for you Keith. We're all very glad you decided to change carriages that fateful day when the name Granville became a household word. - Mickie de Stoop


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‘I went west, he went east’

● Keith McGowan with Ted Ryan ■ I have known Keith for many years, having met him at Lee Murray's School of Broadcasting many moons ago. From day one, Keith and I hit it off. The big difference: he was naturally gifted with a great voice, I am still working on mine. As they say in the Gunslinger's Ballad Ringo, “I went west, he went east”. Keith pursuing a sensational and long time behind the microphone, and what a career. I moved into TV, Keith always remarked that I had a good head for radio, and how true is that. Over the years Keith was to the forefront especially in his latter years, around 21 in all, with 3AW, where he shone, the best in the "Graveyard" shift. Keith has proved himself as one of the most worthy on air announcer ever to grace the ‘Marconi’. I liken Keith to the King of them all, John Laws, with his sarcasm and wit, and he always threw them from the shoulder. Keith and I, along with all our old mates from radio and TV, always enjoy our lunches with the rest of the golden oldies at our Survivors lunches. Good Luck Keith to you and your family. A happy retirement, but I am sure we will catch up at the Survivors. He will be sadly missed on the airwaves when he finishes at the end of this week. But a word of warning, if you happen to be on the highway, steer clear of the big 4WD,with Keith behind the wheel. God Bless Mate. - Kind Regards, Ted Ryan

OUR KEITH

■ Melbourne airwaves just won't be the same without Our Keith. When I tune in during the wee small hours, I love Keith's obvious empathy for people and the way he really does keep us company through the darkness. A friend to all, who is always there in those hours that can be pretty lonely if you are the only one awake in the house! And from my standpoint as a journo and publicist, Keith's willingness to have a chat with people I am pro● Julie Houghton moting, has been a beacon of light in what can be a tough slog. And as Keith is a fellow Gilbert and Sullivan fan, it was so lovely of him to give up his time to come and see me in my recent role in Savoy Opera's HMS Pinafore, and say how much he enjoyed it. Keith McGowan - a man with a heart as big as Melbourne! Enjoy your retirement - it's Angela's turn to have your full attention now! - Julie Houghton

ALL THE BEST

■ Being a workaholic, I am sometimes very late to leave 3AW. One night, Keith was rummaging through other people’s stuff on their desks – without knowing I was about a metre away – and was then startled when I popped my head above a partition and said: “G’day Keith!” This incident had a lasting impact on Keith, who from that night on has yelled out ‘BEN!’ very loudly every time he enters 3AW’s level of the Media House ● Ben Wise building. On the few occasions I have answered, he always laughs. I do not know what he gets up to when I do not answer. On a serious note though, Keith will be remembered as an Australian media legend – deservedly so – and I wish him all the best in retirement. - Ben Wise, Online manager, 3AW.com.au


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Golden days

● Larry James ■ Well done Keith! I first met Keith and his wife Angela at the Ranges Hotel in Gembrook after a trip on Melbourne's Puffing Billy some years ago. Keith is a down-toearth person who is passionate about radio and our great country Australia. I listened with interest to some of his life story and the many travels that he has done. It was a great night and one that l will remember. Sometime later, Keith came into the studios of Golden Days Radio to record an interview about himself and play some of his favourite music. That was a great day. Keith has had a radio career spanning 54 years with the last 21 as host of the Overnighters program on 3AW. This is a tremendous achievement and all your friends at Golden Days Radio wish you and Angela a long and very happy retirement. Thanks for being a big part of Melbourne. - Larry James, President, Golden Days Radio

WILL MISS MIDNIGHT

■ The fun part of working with Keith McGowan is that you are never quite sure where the discussion will go - despite a suggested script. Keith always had his own take on things and before you know it, a discussion on small cars or car sales spiralled into what a nuisance diesel fuel is and how he would never own a diesel car or ute. That broke down when I got a call from the outback “they are everywhere out here, these four door utes. “Everyone has one. Do I need a diesel with it?'' ran the chat. Next thing, the four wheel drive, four door ute - the famous ‘blue truck’ had been bought, driven back to the outback and then to the inner city where it joined thousands of diesel four-wheel drive utility vehicles. But he plans to use it properly - in the bush. Rarely has such a keen outback person been based so inner-city as Keith. But it has been great fun over the past decade and I will miss the midnight chat. - Chris de Fraga

Cannot believe ■ I just can not believe retirement has come around so quick. You have been such an inspiration to me over so many years and so many stations. Melbourne radio won’t be the same without you. All the very best to you Ward Everaardt. - Ken Francis

● Chris de Fraga

It was THAT voice ■ I listened to Keith on 3MP many years ago, so I really got to know that voice. One day I was in an antique shop in Glenhuntly when a guy walk in and was chatting to the owner ... I knew the voice ... I did not know the face at all. I followed him around the shop for a while, no idea who he was. Then the penny dropped, it was a voice I had been listening to for years ... ● Judy Small it was Keith. I am going to miss him so very much ... I love his stories, his chats , his compassion towards the sick, sad and lonely.... I will miss him more than words could ever say. Just goes to show you that nothing is forever. - Judy Small


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Privilege to work with you ■ I recall back in the heyday of radio Keith. 3MP, one of their jingles went: It's been a privilege listening to 3MP - that summer feeling, you - and an even bigger one havWe'll paint sunshine on your ceiling. ing finally worked with you. Keith was there during those Does Keith McGowan deserve days, and by my reckoning, he the best of retirement? hasn't had that paintbrush out of his You bet your life he does! hands since. Have fun mate. What a master of the airwaves. - Kevin John, Thank you for decades of unique Magic 1278 Breakfast

OUTBACK LEGENDS

■ As I lay recumbent in a snake pit at Rosebud, 30 years ago, surrounded by 24 slithering bed mates, I had a call from a secretary at 3MP: “Mr McGowan would like to talk to you!” Admittedly I had already encountered his dulcets and I concluded that he was man of some eccentricity, so concluded that,in this case, as in many, ‘birds of a feather’ And so it was! Years later, when a reptilian career faded, I became an opal miner. I moved to Alice Springs and Coober Pedy, and we regularly conversed and often crossed paths. One such call in Alice Springs went: “I’ve spent every holiday in Ireland for years; this time, it’s a choice between Canada and you!” I won! So, off to the Red Centre he trotted in his low-slung Falcon. He’d never driven a 4WD or been on a bush track and had no interest in ‘the outback’. But, alas, instantly!He became a regular visitor to my shed in Alice Springs, so we often hopped into my 4WD and bumped our way to Hermansberg, or Namatjira’s Cottage, or Palm Valley, or Gosse’s Bluff, or Trephina Gorge or Glen Helen.

● Nick Le Souef with Angela McGowan And he fell in love with and it was “Jabiru, here we the art of the desert! come!” When I relocated to So, now the chattering is Coober Pedy he and Ange about to expire! would pop up at the drop of So, where to from now? a hat, virtually becoming loOf course he’s since accals at the Greek Club or the quired a 4WD, and of course Pizza Bar with the miners. he’s headed off into the sunThen, at my insistence, set, off to the Red Centre! they discovered the Top End - Nick Le Souef

● Kevin John

He’s been everywhere

● Denis Walter ■ Keith …. I first met Keith at 2UW when he interviewed me about an album I’d recorded. We met again when I joined 3GL Geelong where Keith did breakfast, often with his shirt open. Then we met again at 3AW/Magic and he should be very proud of a wonderful contribution to the audience and the industry. Maybe being partially dressed is Keith’s secret to longevity in radio. Perhaps I should start doing afternoons with my shirt off ... perhaps not! - Denis Walter Afternoon Presenter, 3AW


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The Music Man

● Bill Duff ■ With Keith McGowan finishing on 3AW, Melbour ne is losing one of its last ‘music men’ on radio. You could tell by Keith's enthusiasm that he really enjoyed every song he played. Keith will be a great loss to the music industry and I'll miss our cups of coffee and our vigorous discussions on the merit of various CD releases. Thanks mate for all of the help you gave me, - Bill Duff

Golden days

■ Keith, what an amazing record – 21 years on night-shift. Thank you for your great support over the years.There are many many people who are going to miss your company in the early hours of the morning. I hope you get as much enjoyment out of what you do next as you obviously did out of your mid-night to dawn shift. - Julie Cavanagh Cavanagh PR

‘Some of the finest programs on Melbourne radio’

THANKS FROM ALL OF US HERE AT 3AW

■ It hardly seems possible, Keith McGowan no longer on ‘the wireless’. Keith, who has hosted the popular Overnighters program on 3AW for a staggering 21 years, will leave the building for the last time on July 22. He carries with him the thanks and best wishes of all of us at 3AW for some of the finest, most entertaining and quirky programs on Melbourne radio. It's been 54 years since a wide-eyed and fresh-faced Keith walked through the doors of 3UZ to begin work as an office boy on May 27, 1957. Little did he imagine that he would become a broadcasting nomad, working at 3TR, GLV-10 (Teen Time On Ten), 7BU, 7HO, 6PR, 3TR (again), 2NM, 2KA, 2HD, 2UW, 3MP, 3DB and 3AK. But Keith came home when he joined 3AW, hosting the overnight program from midnight until 5.30am Monday to Friday, celebrating his 50th anniversary of broadcasting on May 27, 2007. Most of us know that Keith remarried in February 2006 to Angela. From a previous marriage he has a son Nathan and a daughter Tania and he's the granddad of Matthew, Benjamin, Laura, and Jessica. And few of us could fail to have noticed that Keith supports the Saints - even if a little less passionately this season - breeds and races harness horses and spends every spare moment explor-

● Clark Forbes, Program Director, 3AW ing the far flung corners of All of which goes to show the Outback. we will be lucky to see the But how many of us knew likes of Keith again. that in 1979 he had a top 10 He is truly a Melbourne hit in Australia with a narra- radio legend, larger than life, tive piece called A Little and a personality who will be Boy's Christmas Prayer sorely missed by all of us at which has since been 3AW and especially his lerereleased on compilation gion of listeners. CDs, or that he has published - Clark Forbes, six books? Program Manager, 3AW


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No-one says ‘knackers’ quite like Keith ■ Keith McGowan is a legend. A true radio legend. Nobody does a radio program like him and nobody wears his pants like him. And absolutely nobody should be allowed to ... not even him ... on both counts. There should be a law against it. They are always at half mast.His pants that is, not his radio program. Keith is unique has been for over 50 years. I will miss the jingle he plays after the news: “today’s Monday, today is washing day is

Keith Mcgowan ready blah blah blah” . I will miss him in the building . Nobody says “ knackers” quite like Keith. I expect to continue to get emails from him. All of the them interesting ... most of them red hot. Enjoy Angela ... enjoy your family ... enjoy sleeping regular hours and enjoy your retirement Keith McGowan .. you deserve it - Tony Tardio

KEITH McGOWAN’S INCREDIBLE CAREER

● Denis O’Kane

Looking out for me in the mornings

■ My first meeting with Keith McGowan was at a restaurant in Fitzroy St, St Kilda, where I offered and he accepted, the midnight to dawn job at 3AW. I want to pay tribute to this amazing man, a wonderfully talented broadcaster who stayed in the same time-slot on 3AW for more than 20 years, building a strong and loyal audience, which flowed through to Melbourne’s top breakfast duo of Ross and John. During his time at 3AW Keith was a broadcaster who appealed to a wide audience through his music, the ability to connect with the early morning audience and the talent that comes from handling various radio formats in his long and distinguished career Hiring Keith McGowan that day in the St Kilda restaurant was one of my better decisions - when I ran 3AW all those years ago. You didn’t let me down – but more importantly you didn’t let the radio station or our loyal listeners and clients down. Best wishes mate –we love you. - Denis O’Kane

■ Keith McGowan is a big softy, always looking out for me and keeping me company during the lonely overnight shifts. His 3.30am stories are a laugh … and his mango chutneys are delicious. Wish I could have heard more of his brilliant career in radio, but looking forward to hearing about his and Angela’s adventures through the outback in retirement. Congratulations Keith. - Sarah Ashmore

● Tony Tardio

21-year record

● John Blackman ■ Wow, 21 years on mid-dawn – that’s some record Keefy, which I doubt will ever be broken. The wee small hours just won’t be the same without your dulcet tones (and let’s not forget all that Irish music). Hopefully we’ll bump into each other again in The Village one day, share a coffee and have intercourse about how good radio used to be. To you and Angela, may I wish you both many happy years together in blissful retirement. Regards, John Blackman


Page 38 - Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Overnighters Souvenir

Keith: a genuine and caring person ■ I first met Keith McGowan when I began working as a general reporter at 3AW in 2005 - my first ever gig in radio. I remember how he made me feel so welcome and nothing has changed over the past five years. He'd always make the overnight solo newsreading shift go fast, by coming around to visit me during his ad breaks to crack a joke, tell me about his latest adventures or offer me advice about my love life. When I took up the role of police reporter, not a single morning

went by when he didn't stopped by my desk after his shift to say hello. I'm going to miss listening to Keith's amusing conversations with Chris from Broadmeadows as I drive to work, hearing about his outback adventures with Angela and most of all, just his presence in the 3AW offices. Keith is one of a kind - he is a very genuine and caring person, and I wish him and Angela the very best. Stay in touch! - Yvette Gray

● Yvette Gray

WALKING ENCYCLOPEDIA

● Fan card for Keith McGowan from his days at 2UW Sydney

● This caricature graced Keith McGowan stationery for several years. It is a slimmer version of the radio performer.

■ I first met Keith McGowan in the early 1950s when Bob King Crawford and I ran Planet Records from the Eastern Market Buildings in Exhibition St, Melbourne. Keith was a tall, and, believe-it-or-not, skinny lad, who regularly collected records from us for his employers at Radio 3UZ. Over the years, or should I say decades, that followed, Keith showed a great interest in labels I have been connected with. Planet; Galaxy; Crest; and more recently Resonance and Stanza. Keith deserves recognition for the way he has always endeavoured to promote Australian talent. He is virtually a walkingtalking encyclopedia of the industry. I reckon Keith recalls greater details of my career in the recording industry than I do! In providing an invaluable overnight broadcasting service for so many years, Keith has displayed great dedication, ability, and reliability. His refreshingly down-toearth, friendly and informative style will be sadly

● Marcus Herman missed from the airwaves. - Marcus Herman Very best wishes to you Executive Producer Keith, and to Angela, for Stanza AV / Resonance your happy retirement. Recording Co


Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - Page 39

Overnighters Souvenir

LIVING HAPPILY EVER AFTER

● Keith and Angela announce their engagement in May 2005

● Angela and Keith tale to the dance floor at Reservoir RSL

● Keith and Angela married at Echuca-Moama in February 2006

● Keith and Angela share a laugh at Overnighters Christmas party at the Grovedale Hotel in December 2005


Page 40 - Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Overnighters Souvenir

ANTIQUES AND COLLECTABLES

● Antiques specialist ■ A popular feature of the Overnighters radio program over the 21 years hosted by Keith McGowan, has been the Antiques and Collectables Show. For two hours every Friday morning, callers have described their collectables to panel members, with the view of obtaining a retail price estimate. The program started in 1990 when collector Rick Milne joined Keith McGowan in the 3AW studios in Latrobe Street, Melbourne.

● Tony Shields

Wendy Dunne, 2005. The pair watched hopefully as they invited callers to phone the 3AW ‘Openline’ on 329 7522.

● A&C Show panellist Ian Armstrong Calls were light to start, but after several weeks the idea caught on, and a 21-year tradition was underway. People flocked to the regular People’s Paraphernalia auctions in Hawthorn, as well as the ephemera an collectables fairs. Guest collectors were invited to the radio program, representing a range of in● Marvin Hurnall terests including antiques, art, TV-radio ephemera, Coca-Cola collectables, railway material, pottery, religious items ... even bakery collectables. A large range of panellists joined the show, and paraded through the Latrobe St, South Melbourne and Docklands studios. The final episode went to air last Friday morning.

● Coca-Cola collector Allan Pennant

● Rick Milne


Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - Page 41

Overnighters Souvenir

OVERNIGHTERS BOOKS SUCCESS

■ One of the ingredients of the success of the Overnighters radio program hosted by Keith McGowan was the series of books assembled by his close friend, Andrew Rule. Listeners were invited to contribute their stories and photographs. It resulted in a series of books still sought by listeners. Andrew, one of Victoria’s leading journalists, and coauthor of the Underbelly books, worked at 3AW. Andrew Rule comments: “Five years is a long time in radio. To be continuously employed for more than 50 years is an extraordinary feat in a volatile and fickle indus-

try. “It tells you about the determination and professionalism of a man who lived to sit in front of a microphone, who religiously prepared material and never shortchanged his listeners. “Who worked everywhere and on every shift from little country stations to top-rating shows in three states and, for more than 20 years, as a midnight to dawn phenomenon on Melbourne’s 3AW. “From racing to rock and roll, from breakfast to breaking news, from spinning vinyl to the digital age, McGowan has done the lot. Stan Rofe would be proud of him,” Andrew said.

● Keith McGowan and Andrew Rule launch one of the Overnighters books, in 2005

Lunch group has met for years

● The original ‘Brady Bunch’ lunch group in 2005 at the Harp of Erin Hotel, East Kew. From left: John Gilmour, Angela Heath, Dick Wicks, Nick Le Souef, Philip Brady, Ash Long and Keith McGowan.

Testament ■ I’ve only met Keith once, many years ago, at 3MP. Over recent years when driving to Gold 104.3, I’d hear Keith on 3AW playing some very odd songs near the end of his show. I’d often wonder if he’d won a bet for playing them! However ... I usually found myself singing them in my head throughout the day. There’s a testament to good programming! I did mid-dawns for six years and struggled. 20 years is a monumental effort Keith. Well done, and good luck. - Craig Huggins Announcer/Studio Manager


Page 42 - Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Overnighters Souvenir

News from the Upper Gannawarra F.L.

■ Dear Mr McGowan, All your friends at Titybong join with me, and my sister Minnie, to wish you and Mrs McGowan the happiest of retirements. We thank you for your publicity for the Upper Gannawarra Football League over the years. You have done much to promote tourism to our areas including Wangie, Kalpienung, Cokum, Towaninny South, Ninyeunook, Cannie and Dumosa. The Dumosa orphans, under the care of Fr Michael O’Toole and Sister Sheila thank you for your

● Tom Morris, Editor of the Upper Gannawarra Chronicle

support. Our leading orphan, Charles Oliver, 14, regards you as a role model, and has chosen to pursue a career in radio. He has already started growing a beard, and is excelling in bad manners, burping and farting. I am pleased to advise that at an extraordinary meeting of the UGFL, to be held at the Grand Central Hotel, our President Curly Mott is to bestow upon you the honour of Life Member. Hearty congratulations! - Tom Morris, Editor, Upper Gannawarra Chronicle

KEITH’S STABLE OF CHAMPIONS

■ Any Overnighter talkback caller worth their salt, who wanted to grab extra airtime, only to had to mention the St Kilda Football Club or Keith McGowan’s harness racers. Planned programming went out the window as Keith would tell the progress of horses such as Nora Barnacle, Simon Tappertit or Leopold Bloom. Keith would tell of their progress at training, lament horses using the “cheat’s lane”, and offer support (or otherwise) of the Racing

● Simon Tappertit at Tabcorp Park, Melton

● A ‘Leopold Bloom’ Christmas Card produced by Andy and Kate Gath

Minister of the day. He has been proud to watch his son Nathan McGowan rise through the ranks of Harness Racing Victoria, and tell of the trotting interests of his family, including his daughter Tanya. And we dare not mention his beloved Saints!

● Neil Roberts, Keith McGowan, Alan Morrow


Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - Page 43

Overnighters Souvenir

3AW LISTENERS PAY TRIBUTE ● Heather Leverington ■ “Hello Keith. Like many others I am a long time listener but would never have the courage to telephone you. “I remember my mother

Called every morning

● Joanne of Blackburn ■ One of the most regular contributors to the Overnighters radio program has been ‘Joanne of Blackburn’ who has phoned in daily to conduct the almanac session with Keith McGowan.

always having a radio beside her bed and heaven help any of us who changed the station. “She used to tell us about the ‘twins’ as if they were part of her life. “She also never had the courage to telephone you. “I now find myself with a radio beside the bed and enjoy waking up and listening to you through the night.

“I remember the old record player, which was like a small piano, with the 78 records stored at the side. “You have played every record my Mum used to play e.g. the Inkspots, except one. “It was called The Wedding Of The Painted Doll. I wonder if you remember it? “Best wishes for your future retirement together.

Understood every word To The Editor Dear Ash, Your segments with Keith had me in stitches the way you bounce off each other! When you asked if we wanted to say thanks to Keith I knew that I had to give him my heartfelt thanks for his Overnighters radio program for such a long period of time too. I have met him on several occasions which made the program so much more interesting when you can put a face to the voice. Although I was not a regular caller-in, I was able to listen and understand every word Keith uttered as his voice and words were always so clear. Most of the other announcers speak very quickly and they gabble, so anyone like myself (at 88 years of age) who is hearing-impaired, cannot understand them. I would say the great majority of listeners to the Overnighters program are senior are like me and hearing impaired, so it was a delight to have a program that I could hear and take part in. For that I do thank Keith most sincerely. I will miss him very much and I do hope we will get someone in his place who will not gabble at ten to the dozen! However, I know that after all these years he has earned his rest and I do wish him and Angela many happy days. In fact I think my daughter and I are going to try and join them in the outback adventure next April. - Vera Walker, Boronia

“I will certainly miss you. - Yours faithfully, Heather Leverington ■ “I found Keith McGowan to be rude and arrogant to many of his listeners. “His radio manner at times left a lot to be desired. I won't miss him one single bit. - Jason ■ “At least you did not suck up to those Lefties. “Good luck in the future.All my best to you and Angela - Ian ■ “Well done Keith, enjoy your retirement! - Alexas ■ “Keith, great memories of the the 3MP and 3DB days. “Thanks for the Kingston Trio records you gave me 20 or so years ago, still have em! No, you can't have them back! “Good luck mate. You are up there with the best of them. - Brendan McGrath ■ Hi Keith. Having just recovered from the trauma of working alongside you at 3DB when you were topless on hot days, I can genuinely say I have admired your work over all the years and honoured that you have been a friend. - Keith Hillier

● Keith Hillier


Page 44 - Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Overnighters Souvenir

Followed Keith across Australia ■ “I first listened to Keith when he was at 6PR in Perth in the 1960s. (He also cut a mean figure on a local TV pop show, I remember him being a sharp dresser) “Little did I realise at the time I would be working in the 6PR sales department 10 years later, alas no Keith, he had moved back East. “However, I ‘found’ him again in Sydney on 2UW, just as good as ever. “Then during one night of broken sleep about seven-eight years ago I turned on my little radio, stuck the earphones in and heard a voice that was vaguely familiar. “A few nights (mornings) later I

called this guy named Keith and asked if he was the one and the same, our rock 'n roll discussions started from there! “Through listening to Keith over the years, he has broadened my knowledge of outback Australia which has led to my wife and I driving across the Nullabor, visiting SA, Lake Eyre, Flinders Ranges, a few other places as well as travelling on the Indian Pacific. “Although we have a trip to USA booked for October, Aus. is our main focus and it's our intention to see a fair bit of our great country over the next few years. - Bob Bartlett

● Keith, God bless and thanks for everything over the years. You've put me through the hoops a few times with your rock 'n roll ‘quizzes’ but I wouldn't miss it for the world. It has just been great and I am genuinely going to miss you. Happy and safe travelling to you and Angela, welcome to the world of being retired, sleeping at night instead of working and being able to do things when you want to do them. Rock on, ‘Bob of Camberwell’.

● Bob of Camberwell

THE PUBLIC HAVE THEIR SAY

■ “Well done Keith I hope you have a great and happy retirment “Well deserved..I will miss you especialy with all the music that you play. “I have been following you since 1963. Good luck - Charles Desira

and his many faithful regular followers. “All the best Mr Radio Man in your retirement and thanks for all the hours of entertainment you gave us all. “You and Angela can now start to enjoy life now. - John Robertson

All the best

Fans in Slovakia

■ “Keith, I have listened to your radio show for years. It has been a great time. I will miss you on air . “Keith, enjoy your retirement. Wish you all the best - Derwent Fraser

■ “We're gonna miss you Keith. You keep us all entertained in our office here through the afternoon ... in Slovakia, central Europe. “All the very best and thank you for your work! - Mark & Martika

Hours of fun

■ “I used to live in Melbourne and remember waking in middle of the night and reach out and turn my radio on to listen to Keith

Unique blend ■ “Thanks Keith for your unique blend of music and chat. “You have introduced me

to many different artists along with comfortable shoes, the never ending Castlereagh Line and really yummy vanilla slices. “But the main thing I have met through you is the wonderful people and their stories. “I hope you are going to write all this down in a book and make this ephemeral medium of radio into a permanent record of a wonderful career. - Meryll from Rainy Day Books

No fibbing ■ “Would love to say he will be missed, by us, but that would be fibbing. “So sick of the music, same ads and the Overnight number which we can never get through on, every two

minutes of the night But we still wish you good luck ande great health in the future. - David

Rude, insulting ■ “Did management ever listen to Keith's show? “He is rude, insulting and has no patience with callers. “He fills his show up with music, serials and repeats of other peoples interviews. “If he has time he "releases the lines" and may start talking to the callers. “What will Ash and the Observer do without him? “Don't get me started on that rag called the Observer! “Can't wait for Andrew to take over. - Angela Public comments from www.3aw.com.au


Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - Page 45

Overnighters Souvenir

FAMILIAR VOICES

■ Marg Vogt of Keysborough writes: “I can’t let this opportunity go by without applauding Keith McGowan and his great work through the Overnighters program throughout the past 21 years. “Keith has been such a level-headed, considerate man, to so many people over this time and I have personally been very impressed with his work and his personality. “He is very clear thinking and expresses himself so well. I have his enjoyed his talks with you of many things and on many occasions. “I also have a great deal in common with his taste in music and through his program he has helped so many people with their talents, for example, Brendan Scott. “His chats per telephone to Brad Higgins have always been very interesting too. I do wonder how I’ll get through the waking hours of each morning without his program.

● Carola of Bulleen

● Marg of Keysborough “I always appreciate the manner he used with Mavis Ellis (‘Harm Mave’) and the way he used to try and throw her off-balance at the Christ-

mas entertainemnt by fiddling with her bra-strap! “He has built up, over the years, almost a family network of folk who have listened to hear each other call in. “His Christmas record was so well done, and Keith certainly knows how to use his voice to great effect. “He will be missed on air, and I would like this opportunity to go by, without recording his value and express my appreciation to Keith. “Angela is a gem and he is a very fortunate man. - Marg of Keysborough

Avis of Edithvale

Hard to sleep, so tuned in to Keith ■ “I have been a faithful listener to Keith McGowan since 1990. “After my husband died in 1990, I found it hard to sleep so turned to 3AW and Keith McGowan. “I have been overjoyed at the happiness Angela has given Keith. “I will miss the show and the amazing people you have have shared with. I will miss Brad’s reports. “I wish you and Angela well. God’s blessings in your retirement. Good luck Keith and Angela. - Barbara of Balwyn

● ‘Avis of Edithvale’ was a regular Overnighters caller for some years, talking about her days as a taxi driver in the war years, reading from The Friendship Book, and finishing her calls with ‘the joke’. Her funeral was held last week.


Page 46 - Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Overnighters Souvenir

Steps into big shoes

● Andrew McLaren ■ Hi Keith Boy, am I stepping into some mighty big shoes (only Gilmours would stock them) and I fully appreciate the wonderful legacy you leave behind. May you and Angela travel many happy trails together from now on. - Warm regards, Andrew McLaren

ONE OF MELBOURNE’S BIGGEST RADIO STARS

■ Well farewell to you legend and saviour of the radio station. In the history of Melbourne radio you have been one of its biggest stars. I am not entirely sure that you are ready for retirement. You say you are but I don't know. You have so many opinions on so many things and such a desire to communicate that I don't know that an audience of just Angela is going to be enough for you. The new social media might be the go for you. You'll be Twittering before you know it. The Saints wont win a flag this year but I hope they win one for you soon. You have a great love of the game and no doubt a desire to put something back

Master of your craft

● Mark Petkovic with Andrew McLaren ■ Keith, I salute you, for not many can boast doing a show continuously for 20-plus years along with a radio career of 54 years. As a kid l’d always listen to your 3MP morning show for the horoscopes and never thought that one day I’d be working in the same organisation with you all those years later. You were a master of your craft and l certainly will miss your dulcet tones on air. All the best for that retirement mate and enjoy . - Cheers, Mark Petkovic

● Ross Stevenson into the community that has ("I've had everything embraced you so readily Keith") and without you I over your vast career. most certainly would never May I suggest then that have had the opportunity of you take up a position as the owning a horse that won President of the Titybong eight races in a row Football Club or perhaps the ( f a c e b o o k c o m / s i m o n Chairmanship of the Upper tappertit) Gannawarra Match ReGo ye well friend and colview Committee? league. Without you I would not I wish you contentment have an opportunity to listen and a great deal of sleep. to a bunch of inspired radio Ross Stevenson

Spending more time together ■ Well done, a great half- century career and we look forward to spending a great deal more time together in the future - Bruce and Marg Gow, Moama

● Bruce Gow


Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - Page 47

Overnighters Souvenir

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Page 48 - Melbourne Observer Magazine - Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Keith McGowan, thanks for the memories

Together, we have enjoyed some sensational radio, shared great times, and sold many newspapers. Most of all, Keith, we thank you for your friendship.

Melbourne

Observer

Victoria’s Independent Weekly Newspaper

Melbourne Observer. 110720K. July 20, 2011. Part K.  

Melbourne Observer. 110720K. July 20, 2011. Part K. Overnighters Souvenir. Keith McGowan Retires. Pages 1-48.