These are some of the facebook messages I got following the announcement of the closure of the New SUNSET Radio.

Derek Webster Sorry to hear about that Mike but good luck with wherever you take this idea.
18 October at 10:08 via mobile · Like

Julie Andrews Aww good luck with whatever you do x
18 October at 10:10 via mobile · Like

Philip Levins to the future Mike…
18 October at 10:11 · Like

Chris Wright Good luck sir.
18 October at 10:11 via mobile · Like

Lisa B Line Best wishes Mike x
18 October at 10:12 · Like

Carmen Menzies Out with the old & in with the new, but memories will never fade. Good luck in bringing your already good sounds to an even higher level! ….xx
18 October at 10:15 via mobile · Like · 1

Linnette Taylor Best wishes Mike xx
18 October at 10:18 via mobile · Like

Roger Williams Very sad to hear that Mike as your station kept me company a lot of the time at work but I fully understand your decision. Come back soon mate, the airwaves needs your consistent standard of music because despite the massive amount of shows/stations these days, all probably with a very small listenership in truth, real quality is sadly lacking.
18 October at 10:25 · Like · 4

Charity Bygraves When one door closes God always opens hundred more …God bless you …
18 October at 10:42 via mobile · Like

Anita King What a shame! New businesses take a long time to become popular and need a good marketing plan, which can be costly………. Please don’t go!
18 October at 10:44 · Like · 1

Franklin Sinclair I agree with Roger. There are too many stations, too many shows, and the quality of presentation is very variable. Also the music is not mainstream. It’s also not easy to listen to in your car or whilst you are doing house hold chores, ie not on the radio
18 October at 10:47 · Like · 2

Chris Buckley Keep the dream alive Mike Shaft
18 October at 10:48 via mobile · Like · 2

Roger Williams For me personally Franklin, the thing about Mike’s station/shows and what made me listen was purely the consistency of the music played, I never heard anything that didn’t concur with my own taste – outside of listening to my own choices, which is what I do most of the time, there wasn’t/isn’t anything anywhere in my experience that came close to what Mike put out.
18 October at 10:57 · Like · 3

Joanna Aniakwah No!
18 October at 11:03 via mobile · Like

Phil Wood Mike, feel sure it’s only temp … don’t stop thinkin about …
18 October at 11:05 · Like · 2

Deborah Nash Sad news Mike!!!
18 October at 11:12 · Like · 1

Frank Elson The listenership would have had one more (me) if I had known about it.
18 October at 11:20 · Like · 1

Marie Meighan Shame..x
18 October at 11:25 · Like

Mike Shaft Hi there GUYS, thank you for all these wonderful messages. I think Roger and Franklin kind of hit it on the head. It’s my intention to write a long piece on this on mikeshaft.com as soon as time allows. Black music is once again being sidelined and once again I am forced to high-light a few home truths. I will not let this rest!
18 October at 11:35 · Like · 4

Mike Shaft BTW Charity Bygraves I have always believed that to be true.
18 October at 11:35 · Like · 1

David Djswing Cosgrove Damn Shame m8
18 October at 11:40 via mobile · Like

Geli Berg So sorry to hear that Mike x
18 October at 11:58 · Like

Dave Starr Sorry to hear this Mike know how it feels though. A few years back after two years I was sacked from Sacha’s in town from running a really succesful Monday night by the owners becausee my music was “too black”… Bigots!
18 October at 12:07 · Like · 1

David Djswing Cosgrove I remember dave I pecked ye head for the soul back then
18 October at 12:12 via mobile · Like

Chris Tofalos You’ve bounced back before, Mike, and will do it again…
18 October at 12:19 · Like

Lynne Davies so very sorry Mike, I very much enjoyed tuning in xx
18 October at 12:26 · Like

Charmaine Marcial Sad!! Is as best as I can describe my feeling! I’ve been tuned in at work as much as possible!! God never leaves a good man down!!! Hope to hear and see you at Sharks games!! That voice can NOT be silenced!! GIG!!
18 October at 12:29 via mobile · Like

Roger Williams I don’t believe it’s colour based, to be honest I believe one of the main problems is the VAST number of internet podcasts/shows, which quite frankly don’t offer anything different or better than the next one – the more worthwhile/serious quality shows far too easily get lost or overlooked in the mire of mediocrity that’s actually out there now.
18 October at 12:39 · Like · 3

Mike Shaft Charmaine Marcial many thanks. I’m resting on Him. Roger Williams Black music is not about colour, never has been and never will be. But look at Choice FM – gone, Smooth (sic) Radio now based in London and playing the same pop as everybody else. That is not what we were promised Back in the day! You are right with your other comments.
18 October at 12:46 · Like · 3

Martyn William Standage Sorry to hear that Mike, as you say maybe something bigger and better is around the corner.
18 October at 12:55 · Like

Annette Griffin-Power Very sad news I will miss it for sure, still got beeb on sat night tho haven ‘t we?
18 October at 13:02 via mobile · Like

Richard Lazarus Codrington maybe i can help shout me back. bless
18 October at 13:07 · Like

Mike Shaft Hi there Annette Griffin-Power Yes we have.
18 October at 13:54 · Like · 1

Diane Farrington Barker You know how i feel about this mike…
Im missing it already… No music playing im my house today… Roll on saturday night 10 til 11 still tcob …
18 October at 13:56 via mobile · Like

David Hall-Smith I think it could have been marketed better, tbh
18 October at 16:21 via mobile · Like · 1

David Hall-Smith It had excellent music, but needed more media support around it, website, phone app, Facebook page, etc, etc… Maybe even some Internet dis because the music you played was unique – and I think you shouldn’t give up on the concept.
18 October at 16:23 via mobile · Like · 1

David Hall-Smith Shame, as I did like the music, I found it soothing and unlike any other Internet station, perhaps 365.com wasn’t the answer, I don’t know. It had potential.
18 October at 16:24 via mobile · Like · 1

David Hall-Smith Mike, please keep it. Honest. You’re creating a gap in the market.
18 October at 16:24 via mobile · Like · 1

Diane Farrington Barker David Hall-Smith I agree with everything you have said… !!!!!
18 October at 16:41 via mobile · Like · 1

David Hall-Smith Cheers Diane. I mean, with all these comments from an audience…is evidence in itself to keep it rolling and just work on some promotional/marketing strategies – perhaps some live presenters maybe, upgraded jingles, maybe hourly news from Sky or FSN. It had potential and that’s what’s sad… From one of the greatest legends in radio!
18 October at 16:44 via mobile · Like · 1

Diane Farrington Barker David.. I totally agree… I spoke with Mike this morning…
I too have a background in marketing and merchandising… And agree with what u say..
Mike Shaft.. We can help you with sunset radio.. !!! :)))))
18 October at 16:47 via mobile · Like · 1

David Hall-Smith Yes, and I am a great presenter, and jingle producer, and am looking to get my teeth stuck into something decent and worthwhile. Unpaid. Pleeeeeeease, listen to our cries! There is an abyss in the market and me and Diane will help you fill it
18 October at 16:54 via mobile · Like · 1

David Hall-Smith Great new website, sunset mugs, new logo (similar to the original perhaps?) same great music, perhaps a little techno and old skool like 808 did on the station in the 90s. A Facebook audience, a website with pull out player, an iPad and iPod app, what do you think Diane!
18 October at 16:56 via mobile · Like · 1

David Hall-Smith KEEPIN THE DREAM ALIVE…SUNSET!!
18 October at 16:57 via mobile · Like · 2

Diane Farrington Barker David… Yes.. Yes and yes… !!!!
Sunset fed my music soul…
Keep that sunset dream alive… :))
18 October at 17:02 via mobile · Like · 1

Steve King Soulful Sounds Firstly sorry to hear that you decided to close the Sunset Radio stream Mike, it was a great station that I had as one of my faves on Tune In Radio. It will be sadly missed.

I won’t go down the internet radio stream because the bigger picture lies with the radio stations and the corporations that run them. All I will say is that the pirate stations took a great risk in broadcasting all those years ago, a risk to get the underground music onto a level playing field and try to get it out there to the masses. The bigger stations realised that the pirates where taking away a propertion of their listeners and decided to be more open on music policy.

we started to hear more soul, funk and other genres of black music getting more primetime airplay. My first experience of real music was listening to Mike on Taking Care of Business back in the early eighties, in fact Mike was the first person as I recall to play Michael Jackson’s Thriller album on air. He was giving people what they wanted to hear and thus the reason I will always hold a special place in my heart for his influence in my musical taste, however getting back to the point. The show was tucked away late Sundays and I had to listen under the bedsheets to get my weekly fix, they seemed to just give the music a graveyard shift, however Mike certainly showed them what he was made of and the rest as they say is history. When Mike departed to go to GMR and eventually start Sunset radio, the people where getting more and more frustated with the whole radio concept. Those that decided what was to be aired certainly wasn’t listening to their listeners, they had to be woken up by people starting their own stations, and in some cases winning them at their own game.

We no longer hear the pirates on air because the penalties for being caught are they could be imprisoned because they took a stand, stood up and said enough is enough. This is the reason for so many internet stations, technology has allowed for the small person to be heard and try to get over his point that great music is still available and is out there, the one underlooked problem as Roger quite rightly says is that its all become to fragmented, there isn’t a voice or a platform that people can listen to anymore. Everyone is doing their own thing.

Maybe we just have to accept that the Simons and The Louis folk in this world are the ones who dictate what we listen too. If it is any consellation Mike what you have achieved in your time as a broadcaster is a credit to you and can I finish by saying you are a credit to this music, thank you MIKE SHAFT.
18 October at 17:21 via mobile · Like · 6

David Hall-Smith The Internet stations, that are good, are doing hugely well. As with any project, you get out, what you put in. But I categorise them in two groups… Those that are run by professionals – and those by keen enthusiasts. There is a huge, huge difference. This is reflected in output quality and listenership. There are some online stations (online only) attracting millions of hits though Steven King a soulful sounds I understand your point. As with anything in life, attention to detail, love of the product and understanding the market, as well as having key media skills all come in to play. So I dismiss notions that dreams can be lost and never recovered. My show gets lots of listeners and is very high end quality, done on top quality studio equipment and so I am proud of what I do.

I disagree that everyone is doing their own thing. Shout cast and Tunein platforms are making online radio a massive success when done properly!
18 October at 17:29 via mobile · Like · 2

Junior Alder sorry to hear
18 October at 17:52 · Like

Stevie Street Mike Shaft have you ever thought of writing an autobiography or letting someone write a biography for you ? I’m sure it would make one hell of read , you must have so many story’s to tell . You were instrumental in the soul sound that shaped the 80’s in the North West & much of last two decades of modern soul through club & radio work has reaped your influence , i’d love to read your take on it all .
18 October at 21:48 · Like · 2

Steve King Soulful Sounds Amen Stevie
18 October at 22:02 via mobile · Like · 2

David Hall-Smith All I can say is that, a station that truly reflects the heart of Mike Shaft and the classic soul and new stuff that is coming in, has to surely live on in one form or another. I don’t know the background as I am more a mid 90s boy, but I listened to Sunset 102 and just caught the tail end of that vibe… I’ve not heard or found it since. the online version was a good listen and very soothing and mellow. I found it refreshing and cleansing.
18 October at 22:06 · Like · 3

David Hall-Smith I’m gonna pray that the Lord reopens the door to Sunset radio
18 October at 22:14 · Like · 2

Will Sawney I’m so sorry to hear about this, Mike. Many thanks for supporting my music at Sunset Radio. Best wishes!

Regards,
Will Sawney
18 October at 22:16 · Like · 1

David Hall-Smith Afternoon in the City Sunset 102 // Good Morning Manchester // On 1..1..102 FM THIS IS SUNSET RADIo THE KICKIN FM…THE KICKIN FM…THE KICKIN FM….// ON 102FM IN STEREO THIS IS SUNSET RADIO THE KICKIN’ FM // on 102 FM this is sunset radio the kickin’ fm // It’s a manchester mornin’ Sunset 102 // You’re listening to the kickin S The NEW Sunset radio // I thought the jingle said ‘the chicken fm’ for about 6 months when I first tuned in in 1992
18 October at 22:27 · Edited · Like · 1

Steve King Soulful Sounds I still have all the original carts in the loft of all the jingles from back in the day, just don’t pocess a 8 track, had Lisa singing Keeping the Dream Alive and everything. Superb station, even better memories
18 October at 22:24 via mobile · Like · 2

David Hall-Smith Phoenix jingles were’t they?
18 October at 22:24 · Like

Scottie McClue Keep The Faith Mike it’s All Coming GOOD
18 October at 22:27 · Like · 1

Steve King Soulful Sounds Yes, lol they certainly where, still have a recorded show on DAT…. Jeez remeber those?
18 October at 22:28 via mobile · Like · 1

David Hall-Smith You can still hear them on the 808 State shows … I used to love them, it’s the MAGIC of those shows, downloadable from 808 state dj’s (website) and Cousin Matty on City, that got me into dance music in my very early teens
18 October at 22:30 · Edited · Like

David Hall-Smith This has to be the saddest thread on facebook guys. I’ve never wanted to hit a dislikke button on a post more than I do on this one tbh
18 October at 22:33 · Like · 1

David Hall-Smith Mike has said on his post ” I am so sorry for all the regular listeners but maybe something bigger and better is on the way.” … I’m holding him to that
18 October at 22:40 · Like · 1

Ian Johnson Sorry to hear that Mike, good luck buddy!
18 October at 23:31 · Like · 1

Oldham Bar Hi mike i have a night club that need a good dj in chadderton Oldham near where the blue bell use 2 be.let me know if u r interested?
Yesterday at 03:21 via mobile · Like

Joan Taylor That’s a shame…..good luck what every you do next xxx
Yesterday at 14:01 · Like

Mary T Warner I’m so sorry Mike, but everything happens for a reason and although it’s already been said bigger and better things ARE on the way …. You can’t keep a good man down

 

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A couple of messages received previously

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Dear Mike,

Earlier in the week I found myself surfing the net to find a “Rafters/Rufus/Berlin” style night out. I didn’t find one, but serendipity led me to your website. I have to tell you that I have just spent a fabulous Sunday morning listening to last night’s show on Radio Manchester and I am now tuned into New Sunset Radio.

I’m not usually given to sending out random emails and I hope you don’t mind, but I had to let you know those mellow tunes have got me floating through this beautiful day.

Have a great day and thank you.

Best regards

TANIA

…………………………………………………………………………………….

Been trawling round lots of radio stations, shows, podcasts this morning trying to find
something to hold my ear whilst working – it’s a proper struggle to be honest
but this one courtesy of Mike Shaft comes about as close to what I
want to constantly sit and listen to – class choices through and through:

Roger WILLIAMS – The WIRRAL