First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRIPLE J! How exciting it must be to finally hit 40. You’re no longer in your ‘flirty thirties,’ so you’d better start getting your shit together and consider settling down. Just kidding, you’re perfect just the way you are, even if you are now officially middle-aged.
Today also happens to be my Dad’s birthday and when I told him that I was writing an article for Triple J’s 40th birthday he said “Who’s he?” followed by “Tell him how lucky he is to be sharing his birthday with a man as illustrious as me.” I don’t think he quite understands what exactly Triple J (or modesty) is. Luckily that isn’t the case with most Australians for whom Triple J is more than just a radio station, it’s a beloved and integral part of everyday life. And what better way to celebrate a birthday than to look back on some of our favourite moments within the last 40 years:
- Hottest 100
1989 was the start of arguably the most anticipated event on the Triple J calendar – The Hottest 100. Since then, the Australia Day event has united hipsters, mainstreamers and everything in between across the nation in their love (and sometimes hate) for what they, themselves, have chosen as their top songs of the previous year. This year’s countdown is set to be more exciting than ever, especially with some indie kids pledging to overthrow the Triple J head office if T-Sweezy makes the cut. (We think she shouldn’t win. Here’s why.)
One of the most important things in Triple J history has been their encouragement and endorsement of Australian music. 1995 saw the launch of the immense Triple J Unearthed competition, aimed at discovering new Australian talent. This has been a hugely successful campaign, resulting in artists like Grinspoon and Missy Higgins rising to fame. In 2011, Unearthed digital radio was launched, allowing Australians to listen to these incredible unsigned artists 24/7.
- Like A Version
Launched on ‘Mel in the Morning’ in 2004, Triple J’s Like A Version has become something of an international phenomenon, and something we look forward to all week. Not only is it a way for Australian bands to widen their audience by covering acts ranging from Daft Punk to Blink 182, but it’s a chance for international touring acts to let down their hair and have some fun. Some of the best covers of the year come from Like A Versions, and some artists go on to record and officially release their covers after the event.
- One Night Stand
2004 was probably one of Triple J’s biggest years, with the ‘One Night Stand’ festival launched in July. This incredible event encourages young Aussies (as well as a few token oldies) to travel to the most obscure towns across Australia for a free, and generally incredible, concert one night a year. Rural communities can get involved with music that wouldn’t usually come their way, and the whole event becomes one big party that we hear about for months after!
I could probably write a thesis on the history of Triple J, because this really has been an incredible 40 years, but I’ll leave it at that for now. Basically, Triple J you’re the best. We love you and we are so very grateful for all that you have done for Australian music. You have a special place in our hearts forever, here’s to another 40 years of mind-blowing music!