Former Perth radio identity Murray Dickson is being remembered as a mentor, a mate – and a man with an unmistakable voice – following news of his recent passing.
Murray enjoyed an extensive radio and television career in WA and around Australia.
Although his radio career spanned several states, Perth was his city of choice.
Murray worked at 6KY in the Top 40 era and was News Director for 13 years at the original 96FM.
He was at 6IX during the Easy Rollin’ days, worked GWN TV News in Bunbury and was also part of the line up on 100.9fm Country.
Murray taught radio at what is now Central TAFE’s Mt Lawley campus, where former 6PR presenter Chris Ilsley was among his students.
Chris told our sister publication, Radio Today, “One thing nobody missed about Murray was his rich baritone, traditional radio voice. Anyone who listened to 96FM during the 1980s will hear Murray’s dulcet tones in the following opener … ‘Good morning, Murray Dickson with 96FM news and information …’”
“Murray also operated a tourist radio station named Radio Bali Hyatt using the old Schafer 903E automation system he bought ‘nice and cheap’ – his words – from 6KY. How he was able to do that whilst still 96FM News Director is anybody’s guess,” says Chris.
“Other stations Murray graced with his presence include 3KZ, 4BC and 5KA.”
Chris remembers “He worked for Adelaide Newsbeat and – in Murray’s words – raided crooked shonks, hounded pollies and had a steady diet of new massage parlours and photo studios.”
“To top it off, the program rated through the roof.”
Murray was also instrumental in the establishment of 6AR, an Aboriginal radio station in Perth.
Again, his job was to train and mentor the station’s talent.
“One thing I can’t tell you is Murray’s age,” says Chris.
“Whether he kept it secret in an industry which long ago established its ageist credentials, or never bothered telling anyone, I have no idea.”
“Consensus is Murray was ‘about 80,’ although that may be way off.”
Along with the late Alan Gibbs, Murray provided guidance to many radio and television hopefuls.
Murray himself once observed that he was fortunate enough to always work in jobs that he loved.
With a passion for journalism, tourism marketing and public relations, Murray played an integral part in what is remembered as one of the biggest prize giveaways on Australian radio, with 96 people winning trips to a five night ‘Bangkok Breakout’ party in Thailand.
Murray would later move to Chiang Mai in Thailand – a country he loved and covered extensively in tourist promotions.
There he settled down with wife Ampaipat and daughter Tan.
Now, Chris notes – the broadcasting industry has seen another great off to the giant studio in the sky.