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Coordinates: Northsound Radio was the name for the original Northsound Radio station, broadcast from Aberdeen, Scotland to the north-east of Scotland. In 1995, the station split to become two commercial local radio stations.
Up until summer 1981, the only local radio available to the listeners in the North East of Scotland was from the BBC at Beechgrove, which broadcast specialist music programmes for just a couple of hours a week along with some regional news coverage. Groups of local businessmen applied for a radio franchise to broadcast to Aberdeen, Peterhead and the surrounding areas, that was advertised by the then-regulator, the Independent Broadcasting Authority.
North of Scotland Radio Ltd won the franchise, and after a change of name, Northsound Radio commenced broadcasting at 6am on the 27th of July 1981 from its original studios in an old schoolhouse on Kings Gate, near Anderson Drive in the city. Originally, the station was broadcast from 6am - 8pm each day.
In 1995, the station split its services to become Northsound 1 and Northsound 2. Northsound 1 broadcasts on 96.9FM and plays popular music from the 1980s to today whilst Northsound 2 broadcasts on 1035MW, and follows a 'classic gold' style, with music from the 1950s to today alongside some sports and specialist programming. Both stations now also broadcast on DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting – i.e. Digital Radio).
Since 1997, Northsound has held free music concerts in Aberdeen almost bi-annually. Northsound delivered its first major outdoor event when the Tall Ships arrived in Aberdeen, which called Free at the Quay. Following its success, Free 2000 was staged at the Queen’s Links at Aberdeen Beach followed by Free at the Dee at Duthie Park. Due to the massive numbers attending these events, Northsound decided to move the event to Hazlehead Park and the event was renamed to simply Free 2007.
More than 30,000 people attended Free 2007 which saw the likes of Beverley Knight, McFly, Shayne Ward, Booty Luv, MacDonald Brothers, Ali Love, Unklejam and more perform for free.
- Nicky Campbell - now a well-known BBC journalist and television presenter.
- Bobby Hain - launched the station and played the first record, We've Only Just Begun by The Carpenters. He is now the managing director of STV, incorporating STV Central (formerly Scottish Television) and STV North (formerly Grampian Television).
- Robin Galloway - later became a continuity announcer and newsreader for Grampian Television. He now currently presents the breakfast show on Northsound 2, along with the rest of the Bauer AM network.
- Alan Fisher - worked at the station as a reporter/newsreader and is now a senior correspondent with the global news channel, Al Jazeera English based in the United States.