Five radio stars we grew up listening to

2UE's Gary O'Callaghan.
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Radio still plays a major role in the media we consume today, but for many it was the primary form of news and information growing up.

Here’s five radio stars who dominated their airwaves during radio’s golden era. How many did you listen to?

Gary O’Callaghan

O’Callaghan was an unstoppable force at Radio 2UE, first broadcasting at the station in 1956 and finally hanging up the headphones in 2003.

He famously broke his stint at 2UE in the mid-1980s when he defected to 2KY, returning 18 months later to continue his dominance.

At one stage, he attracted a ratings share of 46 per cent – something that will never be achieved again.

His alter-ego, Sammy Sparrow, became a household name and a key element of his radio programs.

O’Callagan died aged 83 in 2017.

Doug Mulray

After serving at a number of regional stations, Mulray moved to Triple M in 1982 where he became a huge force in the breakfast slot.

He took the station from a 2.6 per cent share at breakfast to 18 per cent.

His breakfast program is considered among the best of all-time, and was one of the first times an FM broadcaster seriously challenged the news talk stations.

Mulray had a huge audience in western Sydney.

He died in March 2023.

Alan Jones

For decades, Alan Jones dominated the radio ratings in Sydney – becoming feared by politicians and business leaders alike.

He dominated the airwaves at 2UE, before switching to 2GB in 2003 and continuing his ratings success.

Often controversial, Jones faced many scandals during his career, which often resulted in advertisers jumping ship. His audience, however, never left him.

After battling health concerns, and a raft of legal issues, Jones finally called it a day in 2020, bringing the curtain down on his record-breaking breakfast show.

George Moore

George Moore initially made his name in regional New South Wales, before heading to Sydney where during the 1970s and 1980s he had stints at stations including 2SM, 2Day FM and Mix 106.5.

He became a radio mainstay at 2SM, where his show with Mike Gibson, Gibson and Moore, became must-listen radio.

In the early 2000s, after a stint as Breakfast host at 106.5, Moore switched to talk radio – where an incredibly successful new chapter of his career would begin in the early 200s.

Originally on air solo, Moore would soon be joined by author Paul B Kidd, and the George & Paul Show was born. It became an unexpected ratings winner at 2UE, and then switched to 2GB.

Moore quit 2GB in 2019 over a contract dispute.

Paul B Kidd and George Moore (right).

Frank Ley

Penrith has had its own place in the radio world over the years, with the most famous station being 2KA.

Frank Ley was among its principal broadcasters, calling Penrith Panthers games from the mid-1970s through to 1989.

He became the voice of the Panthers during their emerging years, and in the era before pay television, he was often the eyes and ears of fans who couldn’t make it to the game.

Frank Ley passed away in 1995.

Legendary local broadcaster Frank Ley.
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