Country Music on the Frequencies of Radio Herford.

Die Makers: Harald Brinkmann

Actually, I always knew that I would be on the radio one day. Even as a small child I was fascinated by the voices coming from the distance out of my parent's valve radio, even if that was only the »Hessischer Rundfunk« on FM (with the transmitting station just over 100 km and the studios barely 250 km away, the translator). Tape machines fascinated me at that time already, too.

With the music it is a different story: When I was young, I never had any contact with Country Music. No one around me listened to it and I did not notice it on the radio. But, having become a teenager, I was not impressed with what the others heard, either. That began to change when I discovered BFBS and especially BFBS-TV, that had just gone on air. Here I saw for the first time, that radio (and TV) can be presented differently from what was then usual in Germany. (Plus, someone who knows the originals is also completely unimpressed when German commercial stations copy them and then present themselves as daring innovators!)

Anyway, in the summer of 1980 I began looking for AFN and on 1143 kHz I found it. And I found my dream station! Finally there was guitar rock and not the repetitive pop/disco/dance music heard on the European stations. That the reception on AM was not quite easy to begin with and was interfered with in the evening and nights, but especially in winter, by Radio Moscow only added to the fascination. The most exciting thing was American Top 40 on Sunday afternoons. This programme would not just play the latest American hits, barely heard elsewhere, this programme aired here on the same weekend as on American stations! So this was a small journey into a fascinating country - and all that without leaving home. I only found out later that this show left traces even on American listeners. I still didn't know anything about Country Music at this point.

Finally There After Many Detours

That changed in 1984, when on the search for something new, I stumbled on the country counterpart of American Top 40, the American Country Countdown!

But still, the fascination for country music developed only slowly. Initially, I was interested in both country and pop and the mid 80s were not really a high point of creativity in Country Music. That began to change in 1986. Guitar rock had vanished from American popular music and the latter resembled ever more its European counterpart, but on the country shows now artists like Dwight Yoakam or Steve Earle could be heard. And this was just the beginning of the rejuvenation of the Country Music scene, which in the following years produced artists like Randy Travis, Mary Chapin Carpenter and eventually Garth Brooks. Although my interest in the country charts waned in the second half of the 90s, I still like to listen to American Country Countdown whenever I can.

The Search Continues

But even that did not satisfy me for long. On the search for something new I found Cowpunk, known today as Alternative Country Music, whatever that is. Eye opening in this search were music documentaries on British television shown here on BFBS-TV. In due course in this way I also found Bluegrass and Old-Time music. And being a fanatic about Australia, I am interested in anything from »down under«. Today I get a lot of information from specialist magazines and from the Internet.

For Country Folk I do the research, compile the play list and co-host. I am also the Webmaster.