A well-known song by Eugenio Finardi celebrates the phenomenon of “Free but truly free Radio”.
In Florence many radios will come to life but some will remain engraved in everyone’s memory for having taught many how to really make radio !!! So I will start with the one that more than the others contains this essence: “Radio One”.
Radio One was born in 1975 from a happy intuition of Dennis Pieri, Riccardo Tacchini and Claudio Tilesi. It will broadcast throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s. Censored in number 46 of March 1976 of the magazine SUONO STEREO, it is presented as follows by Millecanali: “The model was taken up on equal terms by American radios: very little Italian music and records that came directly from America or England, jingles at full blast, beautiful voices, even if set; this was the Big One.
In those days the word investigation made almost no sense, but to give you an idea of how much people were talking about it, we can add that many radios in Turin, Milan and Rome owned cassettes on which Radio One programs were recorded. Many editors and artistic directors, in fact, asked the first friend who passed through Florence to tune into the broadcasting frequencies to record everything that was on the air. Dennis Pieri did the same when he went to London with a large portable recorder, taking Jingle and stacchetti from the very famous BBC One, as told in an interview by Enrico Tagliaferri who was also legal representative in 1990 and Vincenzo Pota historical voice of the radio called “Vincent DJ “.
The hallmark of Radio One was the great sound quality of the broadcasts, given by the fact that Dennis had bought one of the first “ORBAN”, a dynamic compressor that amplified the sounds transmitted; the sound came out reshaped sharper and more powerful. Another feature was the choice of songs and the maniacal care with which Dennis chose his “speakers”, who had to have beautiful and warm voices and above all a great professionalism. All this contributed to the construction of what would perhaps become the first true model of radio network, at least as far as the organizational structure was concerned.
In 1982 Denis declared to a specialized magazine of the period that “the model to follow was Radio Luxembourg, and this immediately allowed to give the broadcaster an international imprint. Our audience ranges from eighteen to forty, basically music lovers, and according to the latest statistics, we should reach more than 50,000 listeners ”. The music that is broadcast throughout most of the region is a cross between the more advanced forms of rock and the so-called easy listening. Italian songs do not exceed 10%. Particular attention is paid to the new trends, but the various DJs do not forget the revival. In short, in the Radio One programs you can find that common thread that binds the music of the past to that of the present and the future “.
The schedule of Radio One in the first half of the 80s offers many musical programs, a radio news program edited by Franco Paoli who is also the director in charge of the broadcaster, but it is the agreement for the retransmission of the BBC program exclusively for Tuscany , “Top of the Pops”, premieres from the world of English music presented by Brian Matthews, who gives further polish to the broadcaster. The contents arrived in the form of LP vinyl records, on one side there was the Brian Matthews program, while on the b side there were all the preview songs without vocals separated from each other. A radio with a unique and powerful sound that covers 90% of Tuscany, a very high quality and a truly international breath. The original jingles from the States, the preview discography of the Billboard USA circuit, the almost exclusion of Italian music from programming and the contract with BBC One contribute to this unmistakably American stature.
Radio One’s music collection is simply unattainable. The real added value of this radio are also the people who animate it; among them we could not fail to mention Eddy Trauba, Gianni Pierantozzi, Philip Pachmann. Stefano Damesceni, Alberto Lorenzini, the late Enzo Mazzei, Vincent Dj Enrico Tagliaferri, Pino Buonandi, Fabrizio Faber, and last but not least the late Rinaldo Pieroni, who passed away in 2007, who was also the founder of Radio Blu. The Free Radios are also a breeding ground of talents who will then land on television; among these Carlo Conti who in 1980 joined Radio Firenze 2000, where he made his debut as a speaker with the Summer 2000 program. Launch disc is the Buggles’ “Video Kill the radio star”. Carlo Conti will then open Radio Antenna X in Sandicci, and then move on to RDF Radio Diffusione Firenze where Walter Santillo (conductor and presenter with Raffaella Carrà), Claudio Vigiani, legendary Dee jay dell’Andromeda, but it is with the direction of Lady Radio that the artistic turning point will take place. There he will meet all the future travel companions in Rai, in order: Giorgio Panariello and Leonardo Pieraccioni, at Radio Fantasy he will find Marco Baldini, another authentic radio talent who together with Fiorello will make Italy go crazy with their gags; then Gianfranco Monti, Tommy Calvani, Alessandro Masti. All this to understand how much this wonderful instrument, “the radio”, has contributed to change our life; today he keeps us company, informs us, makes us discuss and reflect, makes us laugh and smile. A real resource lived and fed even today by many people who dedicate themselves with great sacrifice and professionalism to this work.