Happy Station Show
|Other names||La Estación de la Alegría|
|Running time||55 minutes (current)|
|Home station||PCJJ (1928-1947)
Radio Netherlands (1947-1995)
PCJ Radio (2009-present)
|Host(s)||Eddy Startz (1928-1969)
Tom Meijer (1970-1992)
Pete Myers (1992-1993)
Jonathan Groubert (1993-1995)
Keith Perron (2009-present)
|Air dates||November 19, 1928 to August 13, 1995
Revived series: March 12, 2009 to present
The Happy Station Show is the world's oldest international radio programme still being broadcast, having originated in 1928 on shortwave radio and the second oldest radio show still on the air behind only the Grand Ol' Opry which began three years earlier. Happy Station's run has been interrupted twice - from 1940 until 1946 due to World War II and again from 1995 when it was cancelled until its revival in 2009.
The program premiered on November 19, 1928 and was broadcast first by the private Philips Radio station PCJJ (later PCJ), and from 1947 by Radio Netherlands. Separate English and Spanish versions were broadcast, in addition to the multi-lingual version. It could be received all over the world. Popular music from Europe and various other countries was mixed with vintage recordings and multilingual chatter, switching back and forth between English, Spanish and Dutch by hosts each Sunday. It became popular since it gave listeners a chance to travel in their armchair during a period when international travel was difficult for most people. In particular, the Startz-era of the show featured special formats such as a voyage by sound where Startz narrated tours to distant locations assisted by sound effects. Later, the show pioneered call-in shows, in both the English and Spanish versions, during the latter part of the 1970s. The show followed a format of light entertainment, special guests, music, and information about Dutch life. Edward "Eddie" Startz presented the program from its inception until his retirement in December 1969. Tom Meijer took over the English and Spanish versions until his own retirement in 1993. He was followed by Pete Myers and Jonathan Groubert for the English version. Jaime Báguena was host of the Spanish version, La Estación de la Alegría, until the end of the 1990s when it was canceled by the management of Radio Netherlands.
On March 12, 2009, the program was resurrected as an independent broadcast produced by Taiwan-based PCJ Media via Radio Miami International (WRMI), which was also transmitted globally through podcasting and Internet streaming audio. The producer and presenter of this version is Canadian expatriate Keith Perron, who in the past has worked for Radio Canada International, Radio Havana Cuba, China Radio International, Radio Netherlands and other shortwave broadcasters. The new programme is not produced in the Netherlands and has no involvement from Radio Netherlands Worldwide save that Perron has been given permission by RNW to use the Happy Station name.
Tom Meijer, who hosted RNW's Happy Station in the 1970s and 1980s is involved as a consultant, and makes occasional on-air contributions. Meijer's successor at RNW, Jonathan Groubert, has also appeared as a guest on the show.
The new production is produced in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic Of China, and the over-air version was initially broadcast on shortwave from WRMI's transmitters in Hialeah, Florida, in the United States.
The show ceased broadcasting on WRMI in March 2010 but continues as a weekly podcast and internet radio show via the PCJ Media website and is also relayed over the air on FM, and medium wave partner stations in 37 countries around the world. Another version of the show, also presented by Perron, is produced exclusively for PCJ's own shortwave transmissions.
- Osterman, Fred (2010). "Happy Station Returns!". DXing.com Newsroom. Retrieved 20 April 2010.
- van de Groenendaal, Hans (January 7, 2009). "Is there a future for shortwave listening as a hobby?". EE Publishers. Retrieved 20 April 2010.
- Berg, Jerome S. (2008). Broadcasting on the Short Waves, 1945 to Today. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-3674-3.