Australian Radio legend Stan Rofe dies | radioinfo

Australian Radio legend Stan Rofe dies

Saturday 24 May, 2003

Tributes have poured in to radioinfo for Stan Rofe, who died late last week.

Stan Rofe was one of Australia's radio legends, who had a part in many radio careers. He was recently featured in the ABC TV program Long Way to the Top. He passed away last Friday, aged 69, after a battle with cancer.

Here is one of the reminiscences radioinfo has received about this great Aussie radio man:

From Bill Page.

Stan[the man]Rofe was an absolute legend of a radio
He is best remembered for his music shows on 3KZ and
3UZ in Melbourne during the 50's and 60's.

I was lucky enough to work with Stan at my very first
job in radio at 3UZ and he had a profound influence on
my radio career.

This was the man who played Aretha Franklin,Wilson
Pickett,The Temptations,Four Tops,Arthur Conley,Joe
Tex etc etc long before it was fashionable to do so.

Prior to that of course, he had a major influence on
the careers of Merv Benton,Lynne Randell,Peter
Doyle,Normie Rowe and many,many other Australian acts
of the time.

Stan Rofe taught me more about music than any other
person I ever came in contact with in the radio
business,[apart perhaps from Barry Bissell],and I
remain deeply grateful to him for that.
Stan supported Australian music staunchly,and was
generous in giving advice and of his time.

He gave me an understanding about just how important
the music was in radio,something I always tried to
remember during my radio life.

Stan Rofe was a true legend and a great person.

This contribution is from Kevin Robb in Perth:

Re Stan Rofe.

Not many people know just how wide Stan's influence was.

During his days with 3KZ I was a young lad living in Adelaide.
At that stage Adelaide had a far more conservative approach to Rock and Roll than Melbourne, particularly during the early 60's.

Apart from a few top selling artists little of what was classed as "Black Music" had limited air time.
So a few mates and I improvised by setting up a rather crude aerial on our home's roofs so we could hear Stan The Man and other Melbourne DJ's on our "trannies" playing the sort of music we wanted to hear.

Many a night found us huddled around the radio listening to the faint scratchy transmissions from some 700 kilometers away.

It was listening to this deep voiced super DJ that inspired me into radio during the mid 60's. He was an original.

This time-line of Stan Rofe’s life comes from Radio Historian Wayne Mac in Canberra and was contributed on the day of his funeral:

Legend is a word frequently associated with Stan Rofe. In the many personal tributes I’ve read since his death, I also see the word: gentleman. I’ve never met Stan face to face but we shared a few phone conversations in recent years. Through these calls and some letters and cards I can understand why his friends call him a gentleman.

Since I began researching Australia’s radio history I’ve phoned lot’s of people out of the blue to poke around their past. This can be intrusive and unwelcome. However, it was Stan’s encouragement early on that gave me the kick-start I need to approach others for their radio stories.

As Stan has done for so many people – particularly those in the radio and music business –
he opened doors, recommended me to others and was happy to take my calls. “But don’t call on Wednesday, I’ll be at the races.”

I’m sure the people who were closer to Stan, such as Bill Page, will continue sending in their special tributes. But today, as he is laid to rest, let’s remember Stan The Man, a pioneer of rock radio whose influence and mentorship to many will not be forgotten.

The Stan Rofe radio time line:

Stan’s major influence was Norman Banks. He said in 1993 “I wanted to go to 3KZ because Norman worked there. Funny thing, by the time I’d got there, he’d moved to 3AW”

1952 - a few weeks at the Bill Roberts school of broadcasting then off to Tasmania.

1953 - 7AD Davenport. Trainee announcer

1953 - 3AK, midnight to dawn

1954 - 3XY, afternoons hosting the Peter’s Pals Show, then late nights. Bert Newton was his panel operator.

1955 - Returned to radio school under Lee Murray

1956 - 3KZ, general announcing spots ranging from the “Swap Shop” to sport descriptions. In 1957 management told him “We’re going to make you a DJ”. Stan said “I didn’t really know what to do. In those days radio for me was about all the big shows I’d grown up with and that’s what I was most comfortable with. Anyway, I went up to Sydney and had a word with John Laws who helped me greatly to understanding the new directions of radio and music”. Stan’s big show at 3KZ was “The Platter Parade” in drive time.

1965 - 3UZ, late nights and the 3UZ official Top 40 Countdown on weekends. “3KZ had a change of management and didn’t want to play rock and roll any longer. Of course, I’d developed quite a reputation for playing it. Also, I really did my own thing at KZ – we all did – and it was clear that was going to stop. 3UZ gave me the chance to once again do my own thing in their late night slot 10pm to 1am. I really wanted to expose much of the exciting new sounds that were around back then.”

1971 - 3XY, mornings for a few years and Music Director

1978 - 3DB, Music Director, Program Director, Operations Manager

1988 - 3KZ, Six O’Clock Rock

1990s - Various appearances on community radio

1994 - Special Achievement Award presented by ARIA

The ABC has some photos of thsoe rock and roll days. Click on the link below.

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