Simon Williams (1953-2022)

Great, Laid-back soulful music, dispensed by the wonderful Simon Williams.

Q&A SNAPSHOT from our Wavelengths Newsletter:

Wavelengths: How did you get involved in radio?

Simon Williams: My first start was in Mildura in far north-west Victoria back in 1976. I hosted a two hour program on a Friday night. I stopped after a while and needed to come to Melbourne because of my career.

I joined 96.5 InnerFM in the year 2002. I used to come in and answer the phones for Ken Wolfe on a Wednesday night. Then the Station opened up space on a Saturday night and I was able to get a spot.

After “Nick’s Mix” I used to do a program that went through to around 1am and Dennis Gambrellis would follow on from me. Dennis was only young and he’d do a dance program between 1am and 5am on a Sunday morning. That was fun.

W: What’s your professional background?

S: I’m a teacher. I used to work in government high schools until 1991. I’m still a teacher but I now work at the Defence Force School of Languages at Laverton and have been there for 28 years. I’m still working and I still love it. I just love languages.

W: What program do you host?

S: It’s called “Warmer Weather” and I’m on air between 11am and 1pm on Saturdays.

W: What’s the music mix of “Warmer Weather”?

S: It starts off with jazz from around 1960 to 1965 and moves into the soul of that era. I then move through to the 1970s with more soul before hitting the ’80s with R&B. Then it’s on to the current hip-hop beats together with contemporary Australian soul.

“Warmer Weather” tries to move through the decades without paying too much attention of them being distinctively different decades if you know what I mean. There’s generally a link between the first and last tracks and, at the end, it generally comes back to jazz. Somehow all the tracks played are linked to jazz.

W: How long does it take to prepare your program?

S: About three to four hours! I think it’s incredibly satisfying when you realise an idea you have in your head as to how the whole thing is going to pan out. Even how one piece of music is going to sequence nicely into another piece of music gives me a buzz. You can still chop and change and have dramatic swings but somehow still maintain the continuity.

W: You also volunteer to other programs when you are available, don’t you?

S: I’m working full time and sometimes it’s difficult. However, Christmas and Easter are fine because I usually get to do some other programs. It’s selfish really because I enjoy doing it. I’ve got different musical interests so I can do other genres to satisfy my different musical tastes.

W: It has to be more than just the music to keep you engaged in our Station for almost two decades. What’s gives you that buzz?

S: I love our Station’s diversity. I like the different programming right across the week. That’s why it keeps everything fresh. When you work through our programs it’s all about embracing different musical styles. This is the reason why I love being involved.

W: Simon Williams: thanks for being involved with 96.5 InnerFM.

S: It is my pleasure and has been most enjoyable.

Below is Simon’s last program on air, Saturday June 18th, 2022 before passing away on July 4th, 2022