Bruce Ferrier’s 50 years in radio

Tomorrow marks 50 years in the radio industry for Bruce Ferrier.

Ferrier, who now runs Grace Gibson Productions, began his career in Charleville and his rich deep voice has since been heard on radio and tv stations across the country.

radioinfo asked him to recall his first days on the job in 1972.


It was 19th January 1972 when when a tall, lanky kid hopped off the train at Charleville, Western Queensland. I had a single suitcase, a radio and an umbrella tucked under my arm to start my career as a DJ on 4VL Charleville.

At the railway station to greet me was Assistant Manager and Breakfast Announcer Arthur Copeland whose impish humour found the umbrella quite hilarious. “You won’t be needing that out here’ he chuckled. How right he was!!

The Station Manager was Dick Eversen – er, Mr Eversen to everyone – who ruled the station with an iron fist. Dick actually turned out to be more of a ‘benevolent dictator’ to most of the staff. ‘Welcome to Steam Radio’ he said to me, as he explained that there were no DJs at 4VL, rather ‘announcers’. And I was employed as a ‘trainee announcer/junior copywriter’. I must admit I hadn’t even seen those words ‘junior copyrighter’ in the job description when the letter of employment had arrived in the post about a week beforehand. I had never used a typewriter in my life (and still remain very much a ‘two-fingered typist’ in this computer age!)

Tiny as Charleville was – only about 3,500 people in the town (plus hundreds of thousands of sheep and millions of flies!),  4VL somehow supported 8 staff: a General Manager, an Assistant Manager/Breakfast Announcer, another 3, er, jocks, two ‘office girls’ and a full time technician.

With no TV in the area, and the picture theatre open just two nights a week (plus a fortnightly mid- week ‘Westerns’ always starring John Wayne), I – like most other new ‘jocks’ – learnt to really love the radio serials that were played daily (with night-time re-runs) and a big weekly block called the ‘Sunday Night Theatre’, pretty well all emanating from Grace Gibson Productions.

Who’d have ever thought I’d end up running that company!

4VL was a great school of on-the-job learning, and I made countless mistakes and stuff-ups, but it made a ‘radio man’ out of me. We lived and breathed radio, and we loved it.

It’s quite amazing how many up-and-coming talent went through that one little station. I dare say we’ve got to thank that ‘benevolent dictator’ Dick Eversen for much of it!

Thanks to Allen Brandt who auditioned me for the job at 4IP in Brisbane, Dick Eversen for teaching me ‘steam radio’ and John Foley who took over from Dick and taught me sales, marketing and promotion.

The memories are as fresh today as when they started happening 50 years ago when I commenced that great big adventure in outback Queensland.


After working at 4VL Bruce moved to 4AK Toowoomba, AWA Sales in Sydney, 2GB Macquarie and was heard as the ‘voice’ of Channel 7. More of Bruce’s career journey in Part 2 tomorrow.

Bruce Ferrier today, with one of those Grace Gibson radio serials that he used to play. He now owns the company.


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