In the upstairs room of Wally Frangi’s drapery store on Boundary Street during the 80s, a young boy would spin music and read out the specials to the amusement of customers below.

During those school holidays, Anthony Frangi, alongside his friends, would play old records for 4WF, the radio station which Anthony named after his father. Flash-forward 30 odd years, and West End in many ways has changed. The cafes are trendier, the suburb is a haven for foodies and fashion lovers, and what was Wally Frangi’s Drapery has now made way for Vinnies.

One thing that has stayed the same is Anthony Frangi’s love for radio. Alongside fellow broadcasters Ian Skippen and Spencer Howson, Anthony has created Popup Radio, a daring enterprise designed to share content from inspiring conferences and events that need to be covered.

“I guess, without knowing, what I’ve created today was probably born back then, with an original pop-up radio station where I got to cut my teeth and understand radio a bit more and how it works,” said Anthony. “In Dad’s shop, we would get our old turntables from home, a couple of microphones and gather all our records, and during the school holidays we would run 4WF,” he said.

“Sometimes we would only have one listener. We always knew that we had two listeners, which was my Dad and the shop assistant, but Saturday mornings were particularly fun because we knew we had at least five listeners,” he recalls fondly.

The small crowds at the start of his broadcasting career did not deter Anthony, who then delved into community radio as a regular on West End’s 4EB (Ethnic Broadcasting), and with a youth group he helped start, would play the Top 40 countdown every Friday for many years. “That was kind of the next level in my introduction into radio and I realised at that point that this was the career path for me.”

Having forged a successful career in radio since, including managing a leading Brisbane radio station, Anthony founded Popup radio in November 2015 after finding inspiration at conventions at which he would emcee. “I used to go to a lot of conferences and would listen to these amazing people tell really interesting stories,” he said. People would always walk out, go back to work and say, ‘Oh you should have heard this person talk … ,’ and all they would hear was a conversation by a person who went there,” he said. “So I came up with this idea of pop-up radio station online.”

A unique combination of wireless and podcasting, Popup Radio’s heartfelt aim to create more buzz about worthy events has seen them grow even bigger and better. “If there’s ever a West End festival, we would love to be a part of that. Having grown up in West End, I would love to talk about the early days of West End, and to capture that in our podcasts.”

 

 

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