Happy 40th to Classic FM

All ears will be on ABC Classic FM this Sunday as it celebrates the phenomenal achievement of its 40th birthday. 

ABC Classic FM began life on January 24th, 1976. ABC FM, as it was then known, broadcast from Adelaide and was the ABC’s only FM station. Since then it has developed into a powerhouse of new musical ideas and a superb platform for the discovery of emerging composers and musicians.  

Initiatives such as Swoon, the Classic 100 and the launch of Classic 2 all speak to its responsiveness to its audience, savvy marketing and a willingness to take risks with new platforms.  

It has evolved with its audience and has successfully negotiated the tricky balance between celebrating music with popular appeal and more scholarly exploration of less mainstream works. Its support for young artists is indispensable, and its influence on Australian musical dialogue and development has been profound.  

On Sunday, it is keeping audiences well and truly at the centre by letting them take over the programming. Damien BeaumontMargaret ThrosbyJulian DayGuy Noble and Mairi Nicolson will play audience favourites from 9am-7pm, and a few former Classic FM presenters will join them through the day.  

In the meantime take a look at celebratory timeline, which has images and audio from the highlights of Classic FM’s first 40 years.