The History of 101.1FM Radio on the Island of Roatan
As a current 1/3 owner of 101.1FM now called Blue Wave Radio, I have been asked many times how I came to this point as I now have put these shares for sale on the Roatan MLS via Palagio Real Estate Roatan. Well here goes!
When I first arrived on Roatan some 7+ years ago, the only English speaking radio station was 101.1FM then simply called “The Wave”. There was only two live DJ shows—Roatan Bruce most weekday mornings and John & John on Saturday mornings. The rest was programmed music and quite frankly, not very listenable! After a bit of hunting, I found the sleepy office of the station in Jackson Plaza. On the couch was Gary & Will who looked at me like I was an alien invading their deep conversation. “You guys looking for DJs” I asked. “You a DJ?” asked Gary. “Well I did a regular show on a college radio station about a million years ago” I answered. “When can you start” Gary asked. “Any pay?” knowing the answer but thought I would ask. “No, but if you sell any advertising I’ll give you 20%”, he offered, as if it was like laying a red carpet in front of my feet. “How about after the John & John Show on Saturday afternoons” I suggested. “Done”. And that was the beginning of a long strange journey.
Driving back that afternoon to our then rented house in Flowers Bay, my wife Barbara and I brainstormed for a DJ name for me. Gotta have a DJ name-right? As we were driving the Seaside road outside of Coxen Hole, we saw the Billy Breeze Bar. Hmmm..Billy Breeze…that could work, right? Not having many friends at this point, we really did not have many people to bounce this off of. Later in the week, we ran into Jonathan, the realtor who had rented us the house in Flowers Bay and asked him what he thought. “Sounds pretty gay” was all he said. Now, I am a very open minded man and have had many friends that are gay, but it was not the persona I wanted to debut my radio show as a newbie on Roatan. In the end, it was Barbara who suggested I adopt a pirate name, preferably one who had been on the island in those days. A quick look in the “Who’s Who Pirate Guide Book” we brought to the island and it was decided. I would be Calico Jack.
I started doing my show every Saturday, trying to pick theme shows with related music and after the first few, the jitters disappeared and I started to have a lot of fun. Now to get some advertisers to at least pay for the gas back and forth. Well, there was a big problem. Everyone I approached said the same thing. Is that the radio station with Roatan Bruce? Upon positive confirmation I was literally kicked out the door. Seems he had quite the reputation as Roatan Mooch leaving a trail of empty promises in exchange for just about everything. A regular one way barter system snake oil salesman. Though I was gaining popularity with my show, it was not paying off to head to Jackson Plaza for 2 hours every Saturday so I gave my notice (like they really cared). Then I had the then brilliant idea to create my own internet radio station as it was the wave of the future. If it could work in the US, why not here? Of course it would have helped if people on the island had decent internet which though existed, was very expensive. Trying to stream a radio station on a limited budget through a TIGO internet dongle was not good. Still I plodded ahead with my dream.
After a bunch of research, I signed up with Live 365 and anxiously awaited my “free” equipment which included a mini mixing board and a microphone. When DIP shipping delivered it, I was like a kid in a candy store quickly hooking everything up to the computer and setting up my website page. Looking like a scene from when Alexander Graham Bell “called” Watson of his newly invented telephone in another room, I sent Barbara to the far end of the house with her laptop and started my initial broadcast. “I hear you” she screamed. I smiled. Roatanradio.com was born.
Stay “tuned in” to my blog for Chapter Two, “The Recruiting of the DJS”