Reigniting the debate over the date of Australia’s biggest music countdown, newly discovered diary entries show that explorer Captain Cook was strongly in favour of Triple J’s Hottest 100 being played on 26 January.
In a diary entry dated January 26 1790, Captain Cook wrote about how much he loved listening to the countdown on Australia’s national holiday. “Nothing better than kicking back listening to the best songs of the year on 26th Jan. Don’t fuck with the date,” he wrote.
A year earlier, the youth station had experimented with moving the countdown to February 1, but was forced to move it back after an avid letter-writing campaign. Cook’s diaries mention the furore. “When we first sailed into Australian waters in 1788, we were listening to the Hottest 100. You can’t get much more Aussie than that. Let’s keep it 26 Jan”.
Australian Senator Cory Bernardi said the diary entries were proof Australians wanted the countdown on Australia Day. “The very first Australian wanted the Hottest 100 on January 26. That’s good enough for me”.