IT was 7am on September 30, 1967, and the son of a Bournemouth GP was poised to drop the needle onto a copy of Flowers in the Rain by The Move.

Radio 1 had arrived.

Its first DJ was 24-year-old Tony Blackburn – who, a few short years before, had been a wannabe pop star gigging in the music venues of Bournemouth.

The government had just outlawed the unregulated, ‘pirate’ radio stations broadcasting from ships off the UK coast. At the same time, the BBC had done away with its Light Programme, Home Service and Third Programme, replacing them with four new stations.

Radio 1 was instantly popular, going on to command more than 24 million weekly listeners at its peak.

Tony Blackburn became one of the station’s stars, known not only for his professionalism and sometimes painful jokes, but for his huge knowledge of soul music.

Blackburn was well known in the Bournemouth area, where his family had moved when he was a child. His father Kenneth was a GP and his mother Pauline a nurse.

Tony was educated at Castle Court School in Parkstone and later did business studies at Bournemouth Technical College. Before getting into pirate radio, he had been a pop singer in the Cliff Richard mould, whose group the Saviours once played the Pavilion Ballroom with Al Stewart on guitar.

Another early Radio 1 star was Ed Stewart, whose Junior Choice show was broadcast simultaneously on Radios One and Two in the 1970s, drawing up to 16million listeners.

Although he was born in Devon, ‘Stewpot’ became a familiar face in Dorset at the height of his fame after his family moved to Purbeck.

The staples of his children’s show were records from years before – such as Right Said Fred by Bernard Cribbins, My Brother by Terry Scott and Morningtown Ride by the Seekers.

When Stewart finally gave up the show, it was Tony Blackburn who took it over, accompanied by the recorded barks of his dog Arnold.

Stewart continued broadcasting on other networks. Moving to Westbourne and later New Milton, he appeared in panto locally and became a hard-working supporter of local charities. He died last year, aged 74.

Radio 1’s lineup in the 1970s included Andy Peebles, another former student of Bournemouth College of Technology, where he studied hotel management.

After DJing in Bournemouth, including at the Village in Glen Fern Road, he had begun his broadcasting career for the BBC in Manchester.

Peebles took over Radio One’s weekday afternoon slot from Tony Blackburn in 1979 and later moved to late mornings.

In 1980, he was granted a unique and lengthy interview in New York with John Lennon, whose album Double Fantasy had just come out. After getting off the return flight in London, the DJ learned that Lennon had been murdered.

"I'm just shattered by the whole experience. It's an utter tragedy, particularly as John Lennon died while we were flying across the Atlantic with his tapes," he told the Echo at the time.

"I will be left with a memory of a man with a sharp wit, who was also warm and kind."

For all the on-air fun, there was a dark side to Radio 1’s history, and two local personalities were part of it.

Among that first generation of Radio 1 DJs was Chris Denning, later a resident of Parkstone, who has been convicted repeatedly of child sex offences.

Jimmy Savile was connected with Bournemouth nightspots such as Le Cardinal and Maison Royale. Although knighted for his charity work, he was exposed after his death as one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders.

Savile and Denning exploited the huge popularity that came with a Radio One job.

That popularity was not only revealed in its huge listening figures, but by the crowds who turned out for the Radio One roadshow.

The roadshow began in Newquay 1973, fronted by Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman. For more than two decades, it travelled the UK each summer, with the DJs hosting onstage antics as well as playing records.

It came to Poole Park in the 1970s and was at Bournemouth and Swanage in the 1980s.

Crowds got ever bigger and by 1991, 20,000 people turned out to see Dannii Minogue at Bournemouth's Pier Approach. The roadshow drew Jon Bon Jovi in 1997 and the Corrs in 1998.

For its first 21 years, Radio One was only a fixture on medium wave, originally at 247MW and later 275 and 285. It took over Radio Two’s FM frequency for a few hours each week, but did not get stereo transmission in its own right until 1988 – and the Bournemouth area had to wait another four years.

DJ Gary Davies told the Echo in 1988: “If we could wave a magic wand, Bournemouth would have FM now, but it just isn’t possible.”

Throughout its 1970s heyday, Radio 1 had been a mass audience station, with no commercial competition in most parts of the country. It had aimed for an audience aged 13-40.

But in 1993, the BBC decided it was not sufficiently different from its growing commercial competitors, and its focus shifted to listeners 25 and under.

Fifteen presenters either left or were sacked – including Simon Bates, Dave Lee Travis and Gary Davies – and listening figures continued to fall.

Radio 1 did pick up listeners again in the 21st century, as its focus on specialist music and youth appeal found a healthy new following.

But its place as the nation’s favourite radio station was long ago ceded to Radio 2, whose schedules are dominated by former Radio 1 presenters.

A digital “pop-up” station called Radio One Vintage takes to the air this weekend, and Tony Blackburn will recreate that first show on Saturday at 7am. He'll also be heard simultaneously on FM – but, perhaps fittingly, on Radio Two.