John Laws broadcasts weekdays
to over 60 radio stations across Australia, or as John puts it, 'God's
Great Garden' and to listeners around the world via the internet.
He has also hosted four
national television programmes, recorded many top selling albums, penned
several successful books, written columns for the Sunday Telegraph and
hosted his own nightly talk show 'Laws' with Foxtel.
At a dinner to celebrate
John's 40th anniversary in radio, Australia's former Prime Minister Paul
Keating hailed John Laws as 'the broadcaster of the century'.
John Laws has been given
the nickname Golden Tonsils and the title, King of Radio because he is
the trusted voice of 'dial in democracy', an Australian legend and to
those in and outside the radio industry, John Laws is an icon.
John Laws worked as a Jackaroo
around country New South Wales, before hitchhiking to central Victoria.
He was 18 when he took on the position of general hand at the local radio
station of 3BO Bendigo in 1953.
Lawsie's first jobs were
to make the tea for the staff and pack away the sixteen-inch long play
records of radio serials, like 'Doctor Paul', 'Hagon's Circus' and 'When
A Girl Marries'. One of his first on-air shifts was broadcasting via wire
recorders from the Bendigo Mayoral Ball and the first commercial Lawsie
read on-air was for a haberdashery store called The Beehive.
Lawsie also worked at 4TO
Townsville, 2PK Parkes for one night before leaving because they didn't
allow him to smoke in the On-Air studio, and 2GZ Orange.
John Laws made his debut
in metropolitan radio at 2UE in 1956. The station was Number 1 with a
format of Top 40 and the star Disc Jockey line-up started with Gary O'Callaghan,
running through the day with John Laws, Howard Craven, Brian Henderson
and others.John Laws became a friend of Lee Gordon who moved to Australia
from the states and became the top promoter of overseas music artists
of the 50's and 60's. Lee delivered the latest singles to Lawsie before
anyone else. He flew the biggest acts to Australia from around the world
and brought them straight to John Laws.
John struck up friendships
with artists like Roger Miller, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Connie Francis,
Bill Haley, Neil Sedaka, Tom T. Hall, Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, Tom
Jones and Nat King Cole.
Local Australian artists
were just beginning their careers, and John Laws was the Disc Jockey giving
them the contact with the biggest listening audience. Again, John made
friends with many of our legendary artists, the King of Australian Rock
& Roll Johnny O'Keefe, Col Joye and the Joy Boys, Rob E G, Little
Patty and many others.
'Talk-Back' was also introduced
at 2UE and John Laws adapted his own unique style, which became a hit
with the audience.
In 1959 John joined 2SM
before moving to the Hunter Valley where he purchased a farm and for several
years broadcast a nationally syndicated programme from the nearby Newcastle
In 1962 he moved back to
Sydney with 2GB before re-joining 2UE two years later, and remained at
2UE for 5 years.
In 1969 John changed stations
to 2UW, where he stayed for a decade. 2UE lured him back in 1979 for another
5 years, before a return to 2GB, where Lawsie was earning a wage that
was greater than the Australian Prime Minister's.
John Laws returned to 2UE when the station had plummeted to 8th place in the Sydney ratings, but quickly returned to the top of the ratings, where 2UE has consistently remained since his return in 1988.