Stewart Fenwick
Stewart Fenwick

The Forth Valley's Favourite Country music is no more
COUNTRY GOLD - - SUNDAY 3.00 ~ 6.00pm

 

After 15 years, and 1028 programmes, Central FM has dropped the Country music  programme with immediate effect. The last programme was broadcast on October 16th, where somewhat ironically the last two records were "May I See You Again" and "Small Town Radio", a song which praises the neighbourly aspects of local radio. Unfortunatly,Central FM is no longer "local". The shows being dropped are being replaced by network programmes from the south of England.
I'd like to thank the many listeners, and supporters from outside the transmission area, who have been in touch to offer their sympathy. I'd also like to thank everyone who has tuned in over the last 15 years- it was your programme, and it's the listeners who will miss the programme most.  Unfortunately, I was not offered the opportunity to say goodbye on air personally.
I will, of course, continue writing in "Country Music & Dance In Scotland magazine, and I'll maintain the recently lodged weblog with Country music news, as it applies to the Central Scotland area.
Stewart Fenwick



Most played Country acts on Central FM 2005


15 Alan Jackson
12 George Strait  - Vince Gill
11 Gerry Ford
10 Brad Paisley - Charlie Landsborough - David Ball - Isla Grant
9 Becky Hobbs - George Jones - Kenny Chesney - Randy Travis
Tim McGraw - Willie Nelson
8 Brooks & Dunn - Crystal Gayle - Dolly Parton -Garth Brooks
Jessie Alexander - Johnny Reid - Lisa Brokop -Reba McEntire
Terri Clark
7 Johnny Cash - Keith Urban - Merle Haggard - Moe Bandy
Sharon Herron -Toby Keith
6 Arne Benoni - Bellamy Bros - Blake Shelton -Dominic Kirwan
Evangeline - George Canyon - George Hamilton IV -Gretchen Wilson
Hal Ketchum - Jamie O'Neal - Jimmy Scott - Joni Harms - Kathy Mattea
Kenny Rogers - Mark Chesnut -Shania Twain -Statlers


I've created my own blog - www.scotcountry.blogspot.com


Jon Randell, Stewart & Jessie Alexander

Stewart Fenwick’s 1000th programme
Stewart Fenwick, the longest serving presenter on Scotland's Forth Valley Radio Station, Central FM, presented his 1000th programme for the station on Sunday (April 3rd). Central FM serves 185,000 adults across Central Scotland, where Stewart has presented the station's Country music programmes since 1991.
A number of messages were broadcast during the 1000th programme from Nashville, including recorded tributes from Jeff Walker (Aristo Media / CMA Global Tasks Committee), and singers Kathy Mattea, George Hamilton IV and Becky Hobbs. From Canada, Aaron Lines, Debbie Bergeron and the girls from Shanklin Road sent in their recorded messages.
And from the UK Country scene, Charlie Landsborough, Isla Grant, Rachael Warwick, Gerry Ford, Brian Hughes, Jolene & Barry, and Rambling Fever , as well as the local Country & Western clubs, and Brigitte Strachan (editorCountry Music & Dance In Scotland magazine) all broadcast messages.
The 1000th programme was marked in print with a two page feature in Country Music & Dance In Scotland, as well as in The Wee County News. Thanks to everyone who sent in recorded and written messages. Stewart appreciates them all.

Stewart continues in his regular Sunday afternoon (3-6pm) slot, playing the best mix of Country music, old & new, from both sides of the Atlantic.
Forthcoming features include conversations with Jessie Alexander, Kathy Mattea, David Frizzell, Wood Newton, Highway 101, Leo Jackson, Jon Randell, David Ball & Arne Benoni.
As well as serving Scotland's Forth Valley on 103.1, Central FM now streams worldwide at www.centralfm.co.uk

What they said about Stewart’s 1000th broadcast…
“You know what they say, Only the best things last, and you’ve certainlylasted mate”- Charlie Landsborough

“Thanks for flying the Country flag”- Rachael Warwick

“Thanks for supporting British Country music throughout the years” – Jolene& Barry

“You’ve done a lot of excellent work advancing Country music over theyears” – Jeff Walker CMA Nashville

“Your support for homegrown talent is very much appreciated”- Brian Hughes

“Congratulations on your 1000th show. You don’t look a day older! You’re one of the few DJ’s who play local bands, and we thank you for playing our music” – Rambling Fever


CMDS article.
"Stewart Fenwick is the longest running presenter at Central FM, having joined the station back at the start of 1991, shortly after it came on air. His 1000 th programme airs April 3rd.
Stewart developed an interest in radio first of all, listening to shortwave radio stations from all over the world, whilst he was still at school. In 5th year, he, and a handful of classmates came up with the idea of a schools radio station. The school had a CCTV system, and this was used to present Radio Lornshill to the pupils every Wednesday lunchtime. Stewart recalls the most memorable broadcast during this time, featuring an interview with Sydney Devine, where he ended up interviewing us! Whether it was Sydney, or the fact that this influential era in Stewart's life saw Kenny Rogers, Tammy Wynette, Crystal Gayle and Pussycat all enjoying huge chart success, Stewart developed a keen interest in Country music, and joined the Treble C C&W Club.
He started his own handwritten Country newssheet, distributed around the club and to Country DJ's. But Stewart was still keen to get into radio, and joined Radio Airthrey at Stirling University, where he presented Campus Country for 8 years. He decided to end his student days in 1988, with a 24 hour broadcast, from 12 Noon Friday to 12 Noon Saturday.
Stewart was an active member of the Stirling Community Radio Association, the campaigning group, which eventually saw the Forth Valley getting it's own radio station in 1990. Although not chosen by the initial management team, Stewart kept sending in tapes. In the meantime, he was making guest appearances on Radio Scotland's Ruby Rendall programme. It was during the broadcast of one of these programmes, Central FM's Station manager was listening to the BBC station, heard the programme, and recalled that he had tapes from Stewart lying in his office. That chance listen led to Stewart being invited to do a weekly Country music feature of 15 minutes. The first slot featured Crystal Gayle, Johnny Cash, Jolene & Barry and George Strait. After only a few weeks, Stewart got his own half hour show, quickly extended to an hour. At one point Stewart was presenting 2 x 3 hour programmes each week, and on two occasions, had a daily programme between Christmas & New Year. Central FM began it's life in Stirling Enterprise Park, before moving to Falkirk High Street in 1997. The shop front location took the radio station to the people. Managed by Radio Forth in the early days, the station is now part of The Local Radio Company's (TLRC) Music Fun Life network.
Many people have passed through Central FM, some of them disappearing into the ionosphere, others moved to other radio stations, but Stewart has stayed loyal to his Forth Valley audience. These days, he presents Country Gold every Sunday afternoon 3-6pm, and is heard, not only on 103.1FM across the Forth Valley, and as far as Lanarkshire, Perthshire & East Lothian, but also worldwide via the station's website, www.centralfm.co.uk.
During the 1000 programmes over the last 14 years, Stewart has broadcast live from the Prairie Star Festivals , the Central Scotland Line Dance Festival, and the San Quentin's Charity Raising day for the Scottish Society for Autism, which the station regularly supports. He has also broadcast part of his programme from the Westsound studios, during a Butlin's weekend. He has met many artists on his visits to the Nashville, or when they tour here. Throughout the years, several popular artists have visited the Central FM studios, including Gail Davies, Charlie Landsborough, George Allison, Dominic Kirwan, Eamon McCann, Isla Grant & Sean O'Farrell.
Stewart has been a big supporter of Canadian Country music, having attended the CCMA Awards several times- even reporting live from a radio studio in Ottawa one year. There has been several exchange programming series with Australian presenters Graham Bell and Johnny Chester, and broadcast a Millennium link down under. As the programme on Hogmanay 1999 went out, it was already the new millennium in Australia, so Stewart linked up with Joe McManamon who was on his back porch at 2am and enjoying a 27 degree heat. Joe already had links with the Central FM area, having brought a number of Australian artists over to Stirling for a benefit concert following the Dunblane tragedy. He has always supported British Country music, and has featured over 370 different UK based acts since the programme began. He also supports local clubs, through the regular Country News gig guide and his regular personal visits to the local venues.Stewart has never asked for an appearance fee at a local club.
Reaching 1000 programmes is quite an achievement in the current commercial radio climate. Fewer than ever have specialised Country music programmes. Stewart believes that the secret to the programme's longevity is getting the balance right, appealing to the once a week Central FM listener, and those who listen to the station all the time. Whilst it's important to let listeners hear the new artists coming along, they really want to hear the names they know- the Don Williams, Jim Reeves, Charley Pryde, Tammy Wynette's, as well as the British & Irish artists- they're the acts that the listener saw last month, and can associate themselves with. Availability of a CD is also a consideration in compiling each week's playlist. . You have to give priority to an album that has been released in the UK,and available in HMV & Virgin. he insists, It's the only way that Country music can progress in Britain. We'll only ever get more Country CD's released when the major chains sell more in the first instance. At the same time Stewart is critical of the UK big labels. They just don't support Country music, he despairs. We don't get many new releases here, and that's why we end up playing the American singles, that listeners cant go out and buy in town. Then, three years down the road, when fans have forked out inflated import prices to get the music, it gets a British release, and doesn't sell, because everyone already has it. And how many British Country artists have had releases on major labels, he goes on. In Canada & Australia, the labels all have, at least, a token Country act on the label. We don't even do that. Stewart hopes to continue playing Country music for his radio audience for many years to come." ~CMDS magazine
About Stewart Fenwick...

Stewart has always been interested in radio- he has listened to shortwave stations across the world since an early age.

He began his broadcasting career on Radio Lornshill in 1976, whilst in his 4th year at Lornshill Academy in Alloa. Whilst with RLH Stewart had a pre-recorded programme broadcast by Radio Tristan, on the remote South Atlantic island of Tristan Da Cunha.

In 1980, he began the long running "Campus Country" programme on Radio Airthrey at Stirling University. The final "Campus Country" programme was on May 20th 1988 -a 24 hour non stop broadcast.

After a few "guest appearances" with Ken Macleod on Radio Tay and Ruby Rendall on BBC Radio Scotland, Stewart did his first programme on Central FM on 6th January 1991, which lasted all of 15 minutes.
This has gradually increased to the 6 hours a week in 2002.

During his time with Central FM , Stewart has broadcast "live" from several local Country music events, and from both the CMA Awards in Nashville and The Canadian Country Music Awards.

He has also done two "exchange features" with Australian Country DJ's.

Stewart is a member of the CMA,CCMA and BCMA.

Stewart has also been a regular contributor to Country Music & Dance In Scotland for many years.
   To contact Stewart email