Click here for Radio Voices
Radio broadcasts were started in Guyana (then British Guiana) in the 1920s by a number of enthusiasts. In 1926, just 4 years after the British Broadcasting Company (later the British Broadcasting Corporation) started regular broadcasting in Britain, there was a small wired service that relayed broadcasts, especially from the BBC’s Daventry transmitter, over the Georgetown telephone system. From 1927, however, experimental short wave broadcasts (on 47 meters and later on 43.86 meters) were introduced for two hours a week. This lasted until 1931 when economic considerations brought the effort to an end.
In 1935, broadcasts were resumed in order to receive commentaries on the current MCC cricket matches. They were so successful that two radio stations VP3BG and VP3MR were established and operated on a commercial basis until they merged in May 1938 to form the British Guiana United Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (operating station ZFY).
Station ZFY operated from the main post office in Georgetown until the post office was destroyed in the Great Fire of Georgetown in February 1945. The radio station was then moved to North Road and New Garden Street, near to the Bourda cricket ground. The building that housed the studio was a reconditioned dwelling house west of the present Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic church. The radio station was shut down early those days -
Interestingly, ZFY had a significant Trinidad audience. For many Trinidadians, it was the main or only source of religious broadcasts and of Indian musical entertainment. Even after September 1947, when Radio Trinidad was inaugurated, ZFY retained a sizeable Trinidadian listenership.
In July 1950, the controlling interest of ZFY was purchased by Overseas Rediffusion Ltd., and for the first time foreign capital was involved in local radio. Some improvements were made, and in 1951 the station became Radio Demerara.
There was a great leap forward in 1955, however, when Radio Demerara moved from North Road into professionally built studios on High Street, Georgetown. The ancient equipment was discarded and Radio Demerara used the best available at that time. A new transmitting and receiving station, built at Sparendaam, came into operation in 1957.
Under the terms of its license, Radio Demerara was required to broadcast BBC material for 21 hours a week, and Colonial Government programs for 10 1/2 hours a week.
In December 1958, a second radio station B.G.B.S. (the British Guiana Broadcasting Service) was opened at Broadcasting House on High Street. This station offered a choice of programs for listeners. A spirit of friendly rivalry was encouraged between staffs of the stations, but not in the sense of providing similar competing programs at the same time. B.G.B.S. placed emphasis on special events and sports coverage allowing the uninterrupted broadcast on Radio Demerara of its regular programs. When Guyana became independent in 1966, the “British” in B.G.B.S was dropped and the station became G.B.S.
The Guyana Government decided to enter into radio broadcasting in a big way. It provided accommodations on Hadfield St., Lodge for radio production facilities and secured assistance from BBC's Bush House in London. Soon, programs produced there were being broadcast alongside those from commercial radio, using the then existing infrastructure.
0n October 1, 1968, the Guyana Government took over the G.B.S facilities. The station soon began calling itself Action Radio, to indicate that it was doing great new things in radio.
Guyana Broadcasting Corporation
The Guyana Broadcasting Corporation was officially inaugurated on May 1, 1979, following the acquisition by the Guyana Government of the assets of Radio Demerara. With effect from January 1 of that year, the holding company of the Rediffusion organization, Broadcasting Relay (Overseas) Limited, operating through the Guyana Broadcasting Co. Ltd., sold Radio Demerara to the Government, which carried on the operation of the station without a break in service.
On July 1, 1980, the Guyana Broadcasting Corporation emerged with its new image of "One Station, two Channels.” Channel 1, the “general channel” operated on the frequencies formerly used by Radio Demerara -
Later, Channel 1 became Radio Roraima (RR) and Channel 2 was renamed Voice of Guyana (VOG). 98.1 Hot FM went on the air in October, 1998.
On 1st March 2004, the Guyana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and the Guyana Television Broadcasting Company Limited (GTV) merged to form a new company, National Communication Network Incorporated (NCN Inc.).
THE PEOPLE IN RADIO
The voices and the programs they were identified with,
FROM THE 1940s
Adamson, Johnny (Johnny Admson): Uncle Johnny's Children's Hour
D'Aguiar, Elinor (Elinor D'Aguiar) later Da Silva: Calling Mahaica
De Freitas, Gerard (Gerard De Freitas): (Manager/Announcer)
Leeming, Cliff (Cliff Leeming): Local Variety Shows
Maw, Robert (Robert Maw):
Pardo, Frank (Frank Pardo):
Speck, Danny (Danny Speck): Local Variety Shows
Adamson, Jewel (Jewel Adamson):
Adamson, Joan (Joan Adamson):
Chase, Sam and Mello, Jack (Sam Chase and Jack Mello)
Fernandes, Pat (Pat Fernandes):
Gilchrist, Phae (Phae Gilchrist):
Hemstock, Arthur (Arthur Hemstock): British classical / folk music programs, Journeys with Music, Sugar Time
Holder, Wilbert (Wilbert Holder):
Jardim, June (June Jardim):
Kowlessar, Ramona (Ramona Kowlessar):
Nicholas, Pat (Pat Nicholas):
Richardson, Parry (Parry Richardson):
Vieira, Claude (Claude Vieira): Battle of the Sexes
1953 AND AFTER
Adams, Robena (Robena Adams):
Allen, Matthew (Matthew Allen): (Oldies), Goodmorning Guyana, GBS Concert Hall, Pop Along, Sunday Showcase
Alleyne, Alwyn (Alwyn Alleyne): Action Line,
Alstrom, Mike (Mike Alstrom): Operators Night Ride, Your Radio Doctor
Anthony, Ulita (Ulita Anthony) : Sunshine Corner,
Archer, Michael (Michael Archer) : Sunday Showcase, The Man in the Street
Austin, Keith Michael (Keith Michael Austin) :
Azeez, Fazil (Fazil Azeez):
Bacchus, Clive (Clive Bacchus):
Bakr, Abu (Abu Bakr): Sunday Showcase
Baptiste, Sandra (Sandra Baptiste) : Man in the Street
Barnwell, Keith (Keith Barnwell) : (GBS Morning Program), Action Line, World of Music.
Benjamin, Rosemary (Rosemary Benjamin) :
Braithwaite, Lloyd (Lloyd Braithwaite): The Week at Guymine, Wake up Linden.
Brotherson, Festus (Festus Brotherson): Action Line, Music of Struggle, Night Ride
Brummell, Roy (Roy Brummell): Ganga Time, Heroes
Brutus, Colvin Colvin Brutus):
Budhram, Lloyd (Lloyd Budhram): Road Talk, The Man in the Street, Wake Up Guyana, Documentary, At the Four Corner, Hello Berbice, Hello Essequibo, Gems of India.
Bywater, Joan (Joan Bywater):
Cambridge, Vibert (Vibert Cambridge): Conversations, Sunday Showcase, Towards the Dawn, No Big Ting, Swari
Cameron, Pat (Pat Cameron): A Visit with Patricia, Woman’s World, Countryside Gaff, On Show Young Guyana, Colgate Cavity Fighters Club, Beauty that Endures, Hear What Ah Tell You, Salute to Senior Citizens, The Talking Book (for the Blind), Visits to Institutions at Christmas (Christmas at the Dharm Shala, ..at the Mahaica Hospital, ..at the Georgetown Hospital), A Theme for a Dream, A Song Like Poetry, Woman Home and Family, Music from McKenzie, A Tapestry of Song, Randy (Randolph Profitt) and the Boys, Yesterpops
Carew, Pancho (Pancho Carew) ( born Terrence Anthony) died Sept. 22, 1999: Best by Request, Pop Along, Dog And The Bone, Talk of The Town.
Carter, Sara Lou (Sara Lou Carter): Sara’s Salon
Casimir, Jack (Jack Casimir):
Chabrol, Denis (Denis Chabrol):
Chancellor, Bertie (Bertie Chancellor): Teensville, Teenagers' Choice, Best by Request, Soundsational, Blast from the Past, The Chancellor of Pops
Charles (later Bradshaw), Andrea (Andrea Charles-
Cholmondeley, Hugh (Hugh Cholmondeley): (became part of the administration at such an early stage, most remember him as General Manager ). Beat the Clock, Action Line (on BGBS), The Man in the Street (first producer / presenter), Action Line (first producer / presenter), Club 560 (original host), Panorama, Remote broadcasts of important occasions.
[Inducted into the Caribbean Broadcasting Hall of Fame. See Hugh’s citation].
Choy, Andrew (Andrew Choy):
Copeland, Oswald (Oswald Copeland): Today, Spotlight, documentaries
Corsbie, Ken (Ken Corsbie): Nightride
D’Abreu, James (James:D’Abreu): Sunday Showcase, Week at Guymine, Wake Up Linden
D’Andrade, Yonnette (Yonnette D’Andrade) : Yours for the Asking
Da Silva, Eslyn (Eslyn Da Silva):
Dalgetty, Tom (Tom Dalgetty): Music from Africa
David, Clem (Clem David): Newsbeat, Action Line
Deane, Christopher (Christopher Deane): Date with Deane, Sunday Best, Light and Easy
De Freitas, Ann (Ann De Freitas): Easing into Evening, Caribbean Interlude,
Deodat, Rovin (Rovin Deodat): Goodmorning Guyana, Words,
Dolphin, Celeste (Celeste Dolphin): Talking about Education
Elphage, Michelle (Michelle Elphage):
Farrier, Francis Quamina (Francis Quamina Farrier): Tides of Susanburg, Girl from Susanburg, Farrier's Theatre, Personality Profile, The Eighty Plus Club.
Ferdinand, Cornel (Cornel Ferdinand): The Cornel Ferdinand Show, Best by Request, Cook-
Fenty, Allan (Allan Fenty):
Fraser, Lilian (Lilian Fraser): Lunchtime with Lilian
Fredericks, Claudette (Claudette Fredericks) :
Fung, Ed (Ed Fung):
Gardiner, Pauline (Pauline Gardiner): Sunday Showcase, Documentary, Sunshine Corner
Gomes, Avery (Avery Gomes):
Gordon, Orin (Orin Gordon):
Gouveia, Ulric (Ulric Gouveia):
Graham, Alex (Alex Graham): Good Morning Guyana, Focus, Dialogue,
Green, Joan (Joan Green): Today
Habibulah, Zabar (Zabar Habibulah):
Hamid, Ayube (Ayube Hamid): Indian Memory Album, In Search of a Star (first MC)Subha Ka Tarana, Indian Melody Time, Local Indian Performers, Marmite Quarter Hour, Geet Nirala, Aap Ki Khushi
Hamilton, Hugh (Hugh Hamilton): Newsbeat, Action Line, Night Ride, Sunday Showcase
Harding, Chukuma (Chukuma Harding): Music from Africa
Haynes, Percy (Percy Haynes): GIS programs
Hemmerding, Hilton (Hilton Hemerding):
Hetsberger, Ulric(Ulric Hetsberger) : Action Line, The Man in the Street
Hinds, Basil (Basil Hinds):
Holder, Terry (Terry Holder):
Hopkinson, Mark (Mark Hopkinson): Today, Portrait of a Star
Insanally, Vic (Vic Insanally):
Jackson, Phyllis (Phyllis Jackson):
James, Carlton (Carlton James): Sunday Showcase,
Jones, Reynold (Reynold James): Night Ride
Karran, Bayney (Bayney Karran): Goodmorning Guyana,
Khan, Allan (Allan Khan): GMP, Best By Request, Musical Compass, World of Music, Night Ride, Concert Hall
Khan, Rafiq (Rafiq Khan): Selected and mentored most of the broadcasters who have since become well regarded; commentary at broadcasts of important occasions; Music from McKenzie (Sunday /Classical) and other classical music programs; reading of poetry and literature.
Khan, Shabeer (Shabeer Khan): Country and Western
Kumar, Pradeep (Pradeep Kumar): East Meets West in Music;
Lalljee, Robert( Robert Lalljee):
Langevine, Lloyd (Lloyd Langevine): Goodmorning Guyana, Radio Digest, Documentary
Lawrence, Margaret (Maggie) (Margaret Lawrence): Salute to Senior Citizens
Lee, Vivian (Vivian Lee):
[Inducted into the Caribbean Broadcasting Hall of Fame. See Olga’s citation].
Maison, Prince (Prince Maison): Action Line, Face the Nation, Documentary
Mansell, Bernice (Bernice Mansell): Radio's Needy Children's Fund
Martin, Nigel (Nigel Martin): Happy Birthday to You, Goodmorning Guyana, News Beat, Woman Home and Family (probably unique for a man)
Martindale, Allan: Best by Request, Cook-
Massiah, Angela: Topical, The Today Show
Matthews, Marc (Marc Matthews):
McAndrew, Wordsworth (Wordsworth McAndrew): Mac’s Magazine, What Else? Focus on Folk, Meche Meche
McRae, Anthony (Anthony McRae):
Mohamed, Sonny (Sonny Mohamed):
Monchoir, Cuthbert (Cuthbert Monchoir): Documentary, Newsmakers, Night Ride, Sunday Showcase, Outside, Cricket Commentary.
Moore, Roger (Roger Moore):
Naraine, Bibi (Bibi Naraine):
Ninvalle, Pete: The Man in the Street,
Parris, Evelyn: Broadcasts to Schools; Woman, Home and Family
Pearson, Trevor: Towards the Dawn (Guyana People's Militia)
Pieters, Derrick: Panorama, The Man in the Street, In Depth, Good Morning Guyana
Pieters, Margôt: News Beat
Phillips, Roland: Teensville, Yours for the Asking; Birthday Requests; Teenagers’ Choice; The RP Music Box, Dog and Bone (?), Night Ride
Ragnauth, Kumar: News from Berbice
Reis, Bobby: Goodmorning Guyana, Teensville,
Roberts (Rodriques), Beverly Ann: For Women Only, Best by Request, Rainbow’s End, Christmas with the GDF, Relax and Reminisce
Rohee, Fay: Yours for the Asking
Robinson, Ray: Club 760, Berbice Calling, Ray and Ron Show, Ray’s Scrapbook, In Search of A Star, Soundsational, Action Line, The Man in the Street, Teenager's Choice, 20 Questions, Goodmorning Guyana (occasionally), Shoppers' Choice
Robinson, Ron: Goodmorning Guyana, The Ray and Ron Show, Man in the Street
Rohee, Fay (Fay Rohee):
Sanders, Ron: GMP, Nite Ride, News Caster, Sunday Showcase, Roundabout, Concert Hall, Tributes, Documentaries, Face The Nation.
Savory, Ron: GBS Concert Hall
Seeraj, Sandra (Sandra Seeraj) Seeraj, Sandra Documentary, Outside, Woman Home and Family, Light and Easy, Easing into Evening, Sunday Showcase.
Sharples, Lynnette: Topical,
Singh, Balwan: Documentary, Road Talk, Community Closeup, Filmi Duniya, Sangeet Mala (How things are made?)
Singh, Eshri: Indian Songtime, Aap-
Singh, Sugrim: Bose's Indian Hour
Small, Joslyn: Session In Steel, Christmas In Steel, Pan and The People
Surrey, Terry: Night Ride
Surujbally, Steve (Steve Surujbally): Your Vet and Your Pet
Sydney, James: It’s A Fact, Children’s Choice, My Bones and My Flute (Radio Dramatization of the book), SuperSleuth, My Kind of Music
Taitt, Clairmont: Sunday Showcase, GBS Roundabout, Night Ride
Thomas, Bruiser: Action Line (Sports)
Thomas, Pauline (Auntie Coomsie):
Vieira, Bobby: Our Very Own, Best by Request
Willock, Michael (Michael Willock):
Winter, Phil and Cheryl:
Tides of Susanburg (Francis Farrier), Girl from Susanburg (Francis Farrier), Don’t Feel No Way (Leon Saul), My Bones and My Flute (Edgar Mittelholzer), Let the Lion Loose (William Harris), Sweet Carila (Victor Forsythe), Thousands Cheer (Lloyd Rohlehr)
Portia Faces Life, Second Spring, Aunt Mary (a good neighbor), Dr. Paul, The Adventures of Jimmy Allen, The Shadow, A Man Called Shepherd, The Firefighters
Comedy/Variety (from the UK)
The Goon Show, Yes Minister, The Clitheroe Kid,
Other Radio Shows (BBC)
My Word, My Music
Randolph Profitt on the piano, Bill Rogers – real name: Augustus Hinds (Shanto), Sam Chase and Jack Melo (Comedy), Ken Corsbie, Marc Matthews, Pauline Thomas (“Auntie Coomsie”) Keith Proctor on Piano; Hilton Hemmerding (Pianist / Singer); Roland Phillips (Singer/Guitarist); Noel Adams (pianist).
Edwin Ali, Michael Archer, Sandra Baptiste, Mark Bhagwandin, Frankie Bobb-
Sportscasters: Keith Michael Austin, Basil Bradshaw, Naim Chan, Brent Chapman, B. L. Crombie, Claude David, Ronald Fanfair, Peter Haynes, Joseph (Reds) Perriera, Visham Ramsaywack, Mark Seaforth (aka Mark Pearson), Bruiser Thomas
Cricket: Reggie Aaron, Peter Bayley, Stephen Camacho, Harry Cressal, Rocky Mann, Cuthbert Monchoir, Stanley Moore, Joseph (Reds) Perreira, Brian Sadler, Claude Vieira, Ron Willock, Fred Wills
Football (Soccer): Cassian Mittelholzer
Leroy Abrams, Patrick Assanah, Ron Case, Clifton Cumberbatch, D. A. (Dad) Daly, Wainwright David, Pat Erskine, Dennis Francois, Arthur Gagan, Ossie Goodman, Frank Hall, Dayland Harris, Major Kerr, Dennis Leandro, George Lee, Roy Marshall, Charles Pollydore, Michael Quelch, Kenneth Roberts, Michael Semple, Irving Simon, Handel Thom, Errol Welshman, Eardle Wilkinson.
Tony Adamson, Mike Alstrom, Raymond Azeez, Cordell Baird, Johnny Barrow, Frederick Benjamin, Lawrence (Lorenzo) Blackmore, Raymond Braam, Carl Browne, James Cameron, Ron Cameron, John Campbell, Haydn Casimir, Denis Chabrol, Hulbert Clarke, Peter Clarke, Wycliffe Douglas, Patrick Erskine, Hugh Faria, Joe Ferguson, Peter Fraser, Joe Gouveia, Desmond Greene, Mike Jones, Vibert Jones, Reynold Jones, Neville Kissoon, Tony Kissoon, Ingram Lewis, Marc Matthews, Eddie Minns, Diane Moore, Clive Neils, Nigel Northe, Brian Nurse, George Nurse, Lloyd Outar, Godfrey Rayside, Kenneth Roberts, Michael Semple, Leyland Shepherd, Joslyn Small, Vincent Small, Godfrey Stanton, Alison Stephens, Terry Surrey, Ivor Tinnis, Elvis VanSluytman.
We wish to acknowledge the contributions of the following persons who supplied data used in compiling the information for this page:
Evadne Duff (VanSluytman)
Jennifer Horatio (Valenzuela)
Dr. Ranjit Singh
Thanks also to those of the listed persons in radio who also helped.
Radio Lore in Guyana
September 9, 1974
Subha Kaa Taraana
What the Bible Says
The Way to Life
News in Brief
Deaths and Messages
Voice of Prophecy
Sunday Best (continued)
On Show Young Guyana
Calling the Interior and Countryside
The Catholic Broadcast
Deaths and Messages
Formula Eleven Hair Care
Showers of Blessings
Indian Melody Time
East Meets West in Music
Local Indian Performers
Hindu Religious Programme
Muslim Religious Programme
Aap Ki Khushi
Marmite Quarter Hour
Country and Western
Formula Eleven Hair Care
Bringing Christ to the Nations
The Church Calling
Music for Sunday
Music from Africa
A World of News
Deaths and Messages
University on the Air
New York, New York
Closing Prayer and Sign Off
Gerard De Freitas
VP3BG / ZFY
VP3BG / ZFY
Radio Demerara and BGBS
Radio Demerara and BGBS
Late 1960s and 1970s
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