DJ Frenchie was one of the original DJs on PCRL, presenting the third programme on its first day.
He enjoyed the experience on PCRL for a couple of years, but PCRL was a reggae and soul station and he wanted to be a part of a soul station. He therefore left to set up a station with some distinguished people in the Birmingham music community in 1987.
The new station was Second City Radio (SCR) and launched on the 1st May 1987 on 93 FM. Frenchie gathered some of the best local club DJs in Birmingham, who he was already in regular contact with due to the fact he worked at Summit Record in the centre of Birmingham. SCR was a lot mellower than PCRL playing not just soul, but also dance music, including house music which was new at the time.
The station was supposed to be on from 7 PM on Friday till 5 AM on Monday but after its first weekend on air, the stations was troubled with hassle from the authorities and technical problems. To get round these problems, on the 18th of July, SCR moved to 95 FM. However, they still seemed to suffer more problems than other stations with their signal varying from week to week, along with the amount of hours they were on.
The station continued into the early part of 1988, until Frencnhie got fed up with the raids plus other issues. However, a good friend of his, Mike Paul (DJ Hakeem), then talked him into setting up a weekend station with him called Fresh FM 1988 running Fri – Sun night.
Fresh FM was first heard on 95 FM on the 21st May 1988 and again played soul, dance and house music across the weekend. Most of the DJs on Fresh FM were previously on Second City Radio and they also had the same mailing address.
A wide variety of music was played, including obscure tracks and rare grooves. At one point, there was a show where new recording artists could get their records aired on Fresh FM.
DJ’s heard on Fresh FM included DJ Frenchie, Dr Horse, Kash Money and Trevor T and the station aired adverts for a number of businesses, notably Summit Records of central Birmingham.
Sadly, like SCR before them, Fresh seemed to get more hassle than other stations. It is thought this may have been due to the frequency of 95, which is quite close to a number of BBC local radio stations. Indeed, reception of Fresh FM to the North of Birmingham (eg Handsworth and Erdington) was often difficult, due to receiver interference from adjacent stations.
However, Fresh FM still managed to continue into the early 1990s.
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