R.I.P. Australian Radio Veteran Ken Sparkes 1940-2016 - Noise11.com
Ken Sparkes

R.I.P. Australian Radio Veteran Ken Sparkes 1940-2016

by Paul Cashmere on September 11, 2016

in News,Noise Pro

Ken Sparkes, one of the most popular voices on Australian radio and later television, has died at the age of 76.

Ken Sparkes was 16-years old when he began work as a junior radio announcer at 2MG Mudgee in 1956. By age 19, he was Sydney’s youngest DJ, working for 2GB.

Ken hosted Australia’s first chart show ‘The All Australian Hit parade from 2GB for the Macquarie Network. Before moving to Melbourne to take over the night show on 3UZ.

The career of Ken Sparkes went in an international direction when a US radio consultant Ted Randall heard him on 3UZ and offered him a daily spot on KGBS Los Angeles where he spent this time from 1969 to 1971 before returning to 3UZ.

Ken also worked on music television in the 70s,on Bandstand and Kommotion and as an occasional actor on Homicide and Division 4. He was also at one time an investigative journalist for A Current Affair and Sixty Minutes.

Another of Ken’s successes was the Sparmac Record label. Ken founded the label in 1969 with record store won John McDonald. Their first signing was Daddy Cool with the hit ‘Eagle Rock. Sparmac also launched the solo career of Rick Springfield (Speak To The Sky) and had hits with Healing Force (Golden Miles, 1971) and Gerry & The Joys Boys (Oingo Boingo Man, 1972).

Ken also attempted a pop career in his early days.

Most recently Ken had been hosting Jukebox Saturday Night for Foxtel’s Aurora Channel. He was hosting a river cruise in France last night when he had a heart attack and died (at around 4am Australian time).

Here is an interview Ken did on 3AW in 2012.


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