Absolute Radio says it won’t be playing any of Sir Cliff Richard’s 40-odd hits from the 1960s when it launches its new digital station celebrating the decade next week – because he’s ‘not cool enough’.
Absolute Radio 60s is one of two new stations being created by the team at One Golden Square this month, with Absolute Radio 70s due to launch on 29 November.
Sir Cliff had 7 UK number ones in the 1960s and 34 top tens. But Absolute says he definitely won’t feature on their new station which goes live a week today (Tuesday) at 10am.
Pete Mitchell, who returns to Golden Square after six years away, will front the weekday mid-morning slot. He said: “Yes, Cliff enjoyed chart success, but his songs don’t fit the ‘cool sound’ of The Swinging Sixties we’re trying to create on our new station. We believe timeless acts of the decade that remain relevant today, are The Beatles, The Stones, The Doors and The Who, not Sir Cliff.”
Mitchell told RadioToday.co.uk that the station isn’t intended to be a ‘gold’ format but play music that’s had an influence on today’s artists. Output will include current bands and performers reflecting on how the music of the 60s had an impact on their lives. He added that other big-selling names from the decade, such as Engelbert Humperdinck or Ken Dodd, are also not on the playlist.
Pete will team up with his former Virgin Radio breakfast co-host Geoff Lloyd to launch the station next week. Geoff – who does Hometime on the main Absolute Radio station – will front a Sunday morning ‘Beatles Brunch’ on Absolute Radio 60s. A public vote to decide the first song to air on the new station is taking place on its website.
The station says its core artists will include acts such as The Doors, Hendrix, The Who, The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Elvis and The Kinks. Five special documentaries will air after launch, focusing of Motown, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones and The Velvet Underground.
Absolute Radio 60s will be available on local DAB multiplexes across the UK which add up to 38% of the population.
The Compare My Radio ‘now playing’ tracker website shows that most of Sir Cliff’s radio play comes from medium wave ‘gold’ stations such as Bauer’s Northsound 2, Clyde 2, Forth 2 and Tay AM. His hits also get a handful of plays each month on the likes of The Breeze, Gold and BBC Radio 2.