Ian Starling

I was born and raised in Leeds. My love of music and radio came about at the same time. I formed a love for music during the 80's and at the same time (1981) a new exciting Commercial radio station launched in Leeds (and covering much of West Yorkshire at the time) - Radio Aire. I spent many hours listening to the radio and formed a longing to be on it too. I visited the station whilst writing an article for the school magazine. I would have been 12 years old and I wanted to be a radio DJ.

It wasn't until I was married and moved to Devon in 1994 that that ambition was fulfilled. A new commercial station, Lantern FM, has started in 1992. So it was still in its formative years. I joined as a volunteer - Christmas Eve 1994. I went on to stay there as a presenter and sales executive until 2008. They were fantastic years. However over those years I grew to love more & more different kinds of music - including Jazz . One reason was the radio scene in the UK was changing. The playlists were becoming narrower and narrower, profits were more important than offering listeners a choice. I then had a few years involved in other radio stations around the South West - Exeter FM (part of launch team)(now called Radio Exe) ; South Hams Radio; Palm FM (now the Breeze South Devon) & Pirate FM. I then was part of a team that launched The Voice in North Devon. This was due to Lantrern FM being morphed into a "localised" version of Heart

Another reason I came to enjoy Jazz is when I was taken to see Courtney Pine in Barnstaple a few years back. The performance was immense. The sound, the enthusiasm, sometimes just the rawness of the music - it grabbed me. The instruments were being used to the full. Therefore more jazz entered my CD collection. Initially - very melodic easy, smooth jazz - Acoustic Alchemy, Mindi Abair, Kenny G but soon more and more artists like Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, Courtney Pine, Andy Summers, Jazzsick - more a cross of jazz and rock, I suppose.

As mentioned above I saw the genres of music being played lessened. Commercial radio has contracted, but there is more out there than just 'pop' music. In this modern age it is also harder for advertisers to part with their advertising spend of what seems to be a narrow advertising market. It has been my goal to start this jazz service for sometime. I was able to purchase a really great easy to remember domain - thejazz.co.uk.  In July 2014 I started to work on getting a Jazz service launched online. I was in contact with Tony Stone, a Jazz promoter, known to many in the London area and he suggested doing something that isn't being done and separate the 20th Century and 21st Century Jazz. Therefore the BlueTrain and RedTrain names were created. 

In August 2014 - I started work on building databases and the streams. In January 2015 - 15/01/15 to be exact - launched with 3 streams. Since then the reaction has been phenomenal. The twitter following has increased dramatically, the facebook page is gaining interest and what is also happening is that we are being supplied with music from musicians and groups looking for airplay and that breakthrough.

Now I find 'pop' music at times too loud and now listen to the music that's been sent to me.  I can also announce that I am working with several people in launching the Jazz on various small scale DAB radio test transmission areas later in 2015. Jazz is very much alive and not just a "narrow" genre. I am glad to have a hand in bringing this great music to audiences online and hopefully soon on DAB radio across the UK"
I've had hiccups along the way. Time and money being the main. Radio is a free medium as are website for information. They come at a cost both in time and financially. Donations are important. If you can support please click through here


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