The early years 1987 to 1991
Back in 1986 Wayne Mills and Danny Louie had a crazy idea! Start up a Pirate Radio station which catered for the local community outside the traditional pirate soul radio heartlands of London, Birmingham, and Manchester. The challenge was to find a community that had a love for all things black music.
After a bit of thought and a fair few road trips, it was Luton that was decided on as the place to launch their radio station. The town already had a rich history of soul, reggae, and dance music. From the days of The California Ballroom in the 60’s and 70’s, and The Pink Elephant/Dumbos in the early 80’s, and an active DJ fraternity to draw on for presenters, it was the perfect choice.
A few short months later JIVE FM was launched broadcasting on the 104.4 FM frequency. As it was a pirate station and all the staff had day jobs, JIVE operated at weekends only, 5pm Friday to midnight Sunday.
Although many wanted the station to run 24/7, the limited hours the station broadcast became one of its greatest attractions as JIVE quickly became the soundtrack to the weekend. The buzz was unbelievable and to coin an often overly used phrase, “you really had to be there!”. Between the years of 1987 and 1991 JIVE grew from young upstart, to established broadcasting player in the Home Counties north of London.
After an unsuccessful bid to gain a legal license the station sadly closed its doors for good in 1991.
As well as building a successful radio station, Wayne and Danny built JIVE into a successful promotional machine, hosting some of the best Dj and live music nights throughout the the late 80’s and early 90’s.
Many of the presenters on the station went on to forge careers in radio, and JIVE also hosted such greats as Froggy, Graham Gold, Daddy Ernie, and Paul Trouble Anderson at their events, who went on to become legends on the dance music scene.
These nights also brought established acts like The BB&Q Band to the area but also gave up and coming acts their opportunity. It’s a fact that Omar’s first ever PA was on one of JIVE’s events back in 1989.
As well as club nights, JIVE was also one of the first to host regular soul boats, which are now regular events throughout the year.
Johnny The Fox
Warm & Easy
“Evil” Eddie Richards
Ket “The Gangsta” Shah
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