Hall of Fame Spotlight No. 5- Radio free Speech
Spotlight 05 DOWNLOAD
This week we have another great example of North American Free Radio. Broadcasting out of the Rocky Mountain State of Montana, Bill O Rights began airing Radio Free Speech in 1993
The Inaugural broadcast of Radio Free Speech was in 1993 on 6240khz, and the voice of Radio Free Speech was Bill O. Rights, an extremely pro sounding announcer with what Author, Andy Yoder called, “The perfect voice”. The format of Radio Free Speech revolved entirely around the subject of Free Speech. The focus of the programming was on editorials and mailbag programs with Bill. Bill O. Rights would take on an almost professorial role, and lecture on the meaning of the 1st Amendment and why it was so important. But he didn’t just limit his focus on “free speech”, he’d lecture on all the Amendments in the Bill of Rights and why they were still important to people today. Often he would encourage listeners with “calls to action” to let elected officials know how unhappy they were with the job they were doing. During his “Mailbag” segments, Rights would read letters from listeners and give prizes and special QSLs’ for the best letters.
The signal from Radio Free Speech was peculiar. The stations transmitter had a beautiful AM audio, but it was usually only 10-watts. Bill used one of the original “Grenade” transmitters, made by Radio Animal, and counted Radio Animal as a trusted friend. Rights said he had a dipole, cut to frequency and was using Belden 9913 coax, also cut to frequency. Bill seldom used his linear, a Heathkit SB-221, but when he did, he covered the globe, but only did this on very rare occasions.
Bill was a prolific producer of shows, and did over 40 different programs of Radio Free Speech, many of which were relayed by other Pirate Operators for years after Bill hung up his microphone. Bill is still around, and can be found to post on the FRN-Vines, even did a new show in 2009, but for the most part is behind the scenes and is rumored to be helping Commander Bunny with the WBNY station and the Commander Bunny for President Campaign, where he is a trusted adviser.