JBSN was started up by a couple of mates and over the years, this little show has gone from strength to strength and has built up an incredibly loyal fan base.
With a love of music and simply wanting to give back to like-minded music lovers, Ken Sparkes, gave his time, money and efforts to ensuring that real rock n roll still got its’ rightful place on our TV screens. In September 2016 while on a cruise in France, sadly, the shows father passed away in between performances.
His nephew and son now continue on his shows’ legacy to keep real Rock N Roll Music alive and on the airways. Here’s some more about the late great host and one of the founders of JBSN.
Ken Sparkes’ career has run the full gambit of performing up front and behind the scenes of the electronic worldwide media. From the humble beginning of playing requests for fellow patients at Princess Juliana Hospital Turramurra NSW to being accepted as an announcer at 2MG Mudgee NSW by Ron Camplin, many moons ago, it has been an exciting journey through the labyrinth of radio, television, film and stage in Australia, Hawaii, USA mainland, UK, Europe, South East Asia and China.
In radio, Ken started out at 2MG Mudgee and moved on by invitation to 2GB Sydney. At 2GB he became Sydney’s youngest Disc Jockey. He worked with and against radio presenters of high stature and experience learning what it took to inspire the audience. Ken featured on many shows across the then mighty Macquarie Network from disc jockeys programmes “The All Australian Hit Parade”, to live shows that included some of Australia’s finest musicians and singers, “Music Man.” He also hosted a radio show that included his chosen sport, motor racing “The World of the Motor Car.”
The Greater 3UZ Melbourne took notice and offered him the position to take over the night time slot on the then dominant radio force in Melbourne. Here, with the backing of one of radios finest minds, Lewis Bennett, he was allowed to expand his talents and became the Cities Number 1 DJ. A visiting US Radio Consultant Ted Randell heard Ken on 3UZ and opened the door for him in Los Angeles.
Receiving an H1 Visa classification, “outstanding merit and ability” he again worked with a number of incredibly successful radio people and was presenting daily shows on KGBS AM/FM Los Angeles. During this period he branched out into becoming a Programme and Music Director with more success in these areas. On instance by Lewis Bennett he returned to 3UZ moving over the years to 5KA and 5AD Adelaide, 3AK Melbourne, 2UW, 2WS, 2SM and finally 2UE Sydney. During all this period of radio Ken had a Television career running in tandem.
He performed as an actor, singer and host on many pop and late night shows including, Bandstand, Hi Fi Club, Kommotion, Australian Pop Music Awards, Homicide, Bellbird and The Johnny O’ Keefe Show to name a few. Again he showed his other presenting talent as a sportcaster and became a commentator for the Seven Network, TEN Network and Nine Networks Wide World of Sport hosting the Formula One coverage.
At around this time Ken added another string to his bow, “voice overs” and was able to carve out a top reputation becoming one of the most heard voices on Australian electronic media. One unusual twist was that at one time he worked for Channel Ten Sydney and Channel 9 Melbourne, a feat repeated by no other station voice. Eventually settling with the Nine Network working with A Current Affair and Sixty Minutes.
Ken’s voice and image is synonymous with Radio, Television and Formula One and will continue to live on for many years to come.
Jukebox Saturday Night has been a labour of love for Ken….. our aim is to keep it going bigger and better than ever!