Hans Knot's International Radio Report - April 2004 (2)
At the time of writing it's April Fools Day and one joke I want to mention is the one done by the
Radio 192 team. They sent out by e-mail messages that the name of the station would be renamed into Radio Mi Amigo. Indeed in the afternoon good old Peter van Dam was on the air but this time not with the regular Radio 192 jingles but old Mi Amigo jingles. Fun for a short moment!
As seen last month I published one of the photos from the Caroline reunion in London. This with thanks to John Ashton. One of the Caroline people from the sixties and seventies and eighties (yes he did it during all the three decades) was Andy Archer. He responded on the photograph: Wonderful to see the photograph of the Radio Caroline reunion which sadly I was unable to attend. I knew Tom Edwards before he was orange!!!
A wonderful one-liner Andy!
But Andy had more to see: Not for publication!!!! Although you can mention where I am working if you wish. I was hoping to get a bit of free time after leaving North Norfolk Radio, but BBC Radio Norfolk have asked me to present some programmes for them and cover for presenters holidays etc. which is great news. They were always very good to me and now I feel a bit guilty about leaving in the first place!!! Good for you, you really deserve it!
Then next we go to Don Stevens, who worked on Radio Caroline as well on the Voice of Peace as we speak about Offshore Radio. Also he worked on numerous other stations including the high days of the Ireland Free Radio Scene: Hans, Love the newsletter, thanks very much for sending it. I have a photo of a female deejay from offshore radio, Tara Jeffries on the Voice of Peace in 1976 with some air staff. I'll dig it out and send it to you for your collection. Thanks once again for the report, I will keep in touch, Peace and Long Life. Be The Rain. Don Stevens.
So for the third time in a row we go back to Howard Stern. Not for everyone it s clear that Howard was kicked with his programs from six stations and can still be heard on a lot of other stations. Ren� Burcksen is living in Washington DC and read my comments in the last issue: Nice report as always Hans. I have one comment on al the news about Howard Stern being kicked of the air or that's at least the way your report read. This is not entirely true. It was just Clear Channel, who had a contract with Infinity to broadcast The Howard Stern show on six of its stations, who decided to cancel his program. Infinity Broadcasting on the other hand is still broadcasting his morning show on many of its stations all over the US. PS Today, April first was another nice day to listen to 192. Also, It would be nice to find out if Jessie Brandon is still doing any radio work here in Washington. After being able to listen to her for years on various radio station around Washington I lost track of her. Best Regards, Rene Burcksen.
Then on the evening the report was sent out an answer on a long time running question regarding one of the tunes of Radio 390. An answer given by someone who has worked for the station: Hans Radio 390 as "Eve the Woman's Magazine of the air" closed with Goodnight Sweetheart . On a Clear Day was surely one (or more) of the many versions that Frank Chacksfield provided on tape. Frank was a most appreciative MD and took the trouble to hand-write to several presenters, and if he received a reply, regularly thanked them for including his recordings in 390's programmes. The fact that the programmers/scheduler (David Uden I think) should have received the credit did not occur to him. Regards John Ross-Barnard JP Sometime Invicta, Sometime later K.I.N.G Radio Sometime later still Radio 390 And then Britain Radio/Radio England and then ..... well like the rest of us ... Auntie .
Thanks a lot for the answer John Ross, most appreciated. There's one person who was searching for the answer since the late seventies, good old Chris Cortez from Cambridge, and I had him already on the phone and in name of him I ve to say he s so thankful that you provided the answer on this long running question. Chris search for the record for many years including the BBC Gramophone Archive but never find it and now we now why it wasn t found.
I informed some of the people who are collecting tunes from offshore days about this answer and it was Harm Koenders who wrote back: Goodnight Sweetheart (original is from the Spaniels) will probably be on one of the first LP s from Frank. He has produced more than 150 LP s and recorded also a lot of material for the BBC in the sixties. A pity there is so less to sell nowadays on CD from this Frank Chacksfield Orchestra. Harm included the cover of one of the rare American LP s from Frank.
Another responding on the Chacksfield issue was Chris Edwards from Hanwell: Interesting mail from John Ross Barnard about On a clear day. I'm not sure that it really answers the question, just probably gives a few more clues. Would be nice to find whoever put the original tape together and could confirm the artist. Seems Chacksfield never commercially issued OACD and perhaps recorded it especially for 390. Sadly Chacksfield is no longer around to ask. Maybe one of 390's engineers would have the answer. I'll try and see if John Ross-Barnard can shed any more light on it.
Last month I wrote about the passing away from Carl Mitchell. And it brought some response. Here's what Chris Baird wrote to me:
I was so sad to learn of the death of Carl Mitchell who was a good friend to me 1971 . We both worked for IDA , The International Disc Jockey Agency based in Copenhagen that sent us all over Scandinavia. We spent many months having a weird time in Denmark and Norway. He was always very inventive calling himself once to great amusement Carlos Von Mitchellstein. He was especially popular at the underground scene at the Revolution Club in Copenhagen. I can still see him up is this parapet DJ box playing Locomotive Breath by Jethro Tull or the Moody Blues a Question Of Balance. One night he saved the club from burning down when he saw a fire start near the stage and shot down from his roost and shook up a bottle of Carlsberg and put the blaze out with a spray of beer. He recorded some show drop in's for me back then before I was in Radio. And I got great pleasure in playing his inserts during the RNI offshore RSL in 1999 off the Essex coast. I've got quite a few of his old show and will listen to them with great saddens that we never got to see each other again after he returned to the States to get a proper job. Dig out Slim Jenkins Place by Booker T and the MG's sometime his old signature tune. Greetings and Salutations as Carl use to say. Chris Baird. BBC Radio Derby.
And going back to Andy Archer who wrote: Hi Hans, here a few words about Carl for the next issue. I was so sad to learn of the death of Carl. Many of us had been trying to track him down since the days of Radio Northsea International; but with no luck. I first met Carl on board the MV Mi Amigo in 1967 and found him to be a most generous, intelligent and friendly guy. He had the most interesting cabin on the ship which he called "The Bag 'o Nails" after a trendy London nightclub, it was at the bow of the ship and was the favourite meeting place for most of the deejays. I have very happy memories (just about!) of climbing down the steps and entering this very dark room, the air reeking of smouldering marijuana and sitting, crossed legged on the floor discussing the most bizarre topics and listening to the sort of music we weren t allowed to play on the air like Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa!
Carl's "Midnight Hour" programme was the most enjoyable show to present and to listen to as he wasn't required to play the fourteen or so "plug" records that the rest of us were obliged to play each hour! As a matter of fact, I was the last person to "sit in" for Carl in March 1968, the night the ship was towed away to Amsterdam, I'm embarrassed to admit it, but the last record I played, and only for a laugh was Cinderella Rockafella by Esther and Abi Ofarim!! God Bless you Carl and I hope I'm forgiven for that last record!!! I'm only sorry that he wasn't around when Caroline came back in 1972/3,/4. I'm sure he would have enjoyed that. It was amazing detective work by Roger Day, people have being trying for years to find him!
Love from Andy A.
Re-thinking on the first transmission Carl did on RNI way back in March 1970 I remembered that he did special greetings to people in Groningen, who he met in the months before he went to the MEBO II. One of them I met the same year for the first time and this friendship let up till a couple of years ago when we lost contact due to heavy workload. I was in contact since a long time with him and what a nice thing to hear that he, Ate Harsta, told me that one of the finest moments each months was to read my international report. And above that he told me that sometimes memories were published in which he, in reality, took part too! Good to have spoken to you again!
In the last issue I already mentioned that this time I will write about a strange e-mail exchange I had with a certain Terry, who s living on the Isle of Corfu. With permission of Terry will publish parts of the mails:
Hi Hans, I read your article in the Ukmedia website today and enjoyed it every much indeed. Great to hear that so many proper pirates are still alive and well. In fact a good friend of mine is Roger Day, we worked together at Invicta Radio in the 80's and still keep in close touch. With your knowledge of the industry in the Netherlands I was wondering if you might be able to point me in the right direction as I'm hoping to make a move there very soon from here in Corfu. My wife and I started a station here on the internet, Radio Corfu International, which has proved to be a fantastic learning exercise for us. The only problem is we have been doing the right thing in the wrong place. With limited funding and resources, we have been able to create a very advanced and foolproof system. In fact our entire set-up here would be the envy of many other broadcasters around the world. It looks and sounds fantastic, works like a dream and has cost very little to set-up and run. Please have a look and listen http://www.radiocorfu.com
We have also been able to move the technology on further and very simply, to now have the ability to broadcast live and recorded internet television programming. Tests are currently underway and only have a few adjustments to make for it to be up and running. As well as the upload side we have found how to set-up and run our own dedicated streaming server which has the capability to handle numerous station outputs at very minimal expense. In doing all this we had hoped that the local business community would see the opportunities and benefits it has provided and use the station as tool to promote the Corfu tourist industry. Unfortunately although we have expanded into the fast growing new delivery platforms with good ideas and results, general thinking here in Greece is still a long way behind. Frankly we have struggled to get the local community see and acknowledge what the rest of Europe is doing in media delivery. If there are any suggestions you could make as to whom I ought to speak to, innovative broadcasters and developers where the insight and experience we have gained can be put to good use, I'd be very
grateful. Kind regards, Terry Purvis
If one of the readers has a solution on the questions please sent them to Hknot@home.nl
An answer went back to Terry:
Good to hear you've worked together with Roger. I met him for the last time in 2002 but we've e mail contact too. I know it's very difficult in Holland to start up a 24 hrs a day station as the Dutch PRS is a very strong body. Someone who did only put on 1 hour a week (and had maybe 2 or 3 listeners) got a 5.000 Euro bill for trespassing the rules.
Terry responded: One thought that has come to mind since I mailed you. Have you or can you find a contact telephone number or e-mail address for (forgive my translation here) Freddy Bolland who ran Radio Monique? He and I were such great friends in the old days, he stayed with me many times when he came to the UK and especially when he put together the deal with Ronan -for Monique, in fact I knew all about what he wanted to do with Monique even before O'Rahilly did - oh such a great business man. I didn't say before but I got involved with Caroline in a non broadcasting capacity back in the late 70's and when it first came back in 1983. Fun times. Hans you have helped me here a lot. When I get to Amsterdam, lets have a beer or three!
Hope to hear from you soon .
I provided Terry with the address of Fred and added in the next mail: In the days you mentioned that you worked together with Fred I think you used a 'nickname' called Rusty? Is that true? If yes we met a few times. I brought some journalists with me from Dutch newspapers and weekly's to Queenborough and Nieuwpoort to get the articles on Monique in the papers.
And guess which answer came back from Terry? It is me, yes the very same - my old family nickname was 'Rusty'. What a small world. It was a long time ago, but I do remember. Queeenborough has not changed! The Ross was there for a long time too, only a few metres from where you waited for the tender. Very strange to think. And I do remember also Ton Lathouwers who was on the Mi Amigo when she sank spent two weeks with me before going to the ship - and nearly as long again after he was rescued before we could get him home. I spent a very happy time with him in Amsterdam the next year for a holiday and he came back to see m e several times after. Sadly again someone else I have lost touch with. Such a small world and so nice to get back into it again, happy days and fun, the world has changed and we have all been and done so many things. I for my part spent most of the 90's in Johannesburg - a great time but lost contact with everyone. Very interested to visit Groningen, be nice to soon I hope, Ships - I miss them.
The story continues with my answer: Well I do know you certainly now owe me some beers friend. On the third trip with the journalists we went out from Nieuwpoort and we not succeeded to get to the ship due to bad weather. Next week we went out with journalist from the Algemeen Dagblad and the Volkskrant as well with former Caroline deejay Peter de Vries and some other people from Sheerness to Queenborough. In the middle of the night getting up sleeping in a room above a pub. In the harbour first we met some policemen who got frustrated of us telling them we went for fishing. Then the both of you (Fred and you) telling us that a certain Steve would bring us to the ship but that we had to pay another 750 guilders elsewhere he wouldn t go out (guess what a kind of free publicity for the station we had to pay for). Indeed the world is small.
Terry again: Oh Grief Hans, Yes I remember now. Oh dear, more than few beers I think. As far as I can remember about what happened with Steve was he did put up the price, as he saw it as some kind of entrepreneurial venture to take some journalists out, and as you were a one off trip and wanted to get there he could demand whatever he wanted. Steve still has a boat in Queenborough, and fishes for cockles nowadays.
And it was followed by another from Terry: Since getting your mail about that unfortunate business with your trip to the ship - I have been trying to recall what went on with that very embarrassing affair. If my memory serves me well I think I have the background now. In a way it was one of those odd incidents that all make what Caroline was. I used to organise and run tenders for Caroline here and there in the late 70's and when the ship came back in 1983 I carried on where I left off. There several odd happenings during this period and this was one where we all got caught in the middle. Incidentally I detached myself from them after this for many months and let them try and do it on their own. Eventually I had to mend fences around the world of local boat owners and skippers they had upset and slowly rebuild my tiny network of tenders. It all ended in tears though around May 84 when I was asked to take out some desperately needed fuel from Ramsgate. The only boat I could get at the time they needed the run was completely unsuitable. During the loading I fell into the hold and broke 3 ribs. When I came back much later the boat was still there but the fuel around 3 tons had been removed, never to be seen again. Ronan blamed me. After that I stopped doing it - not worth the pain. When Fred and I asked Steve to take you out I seem to remember the Caroline office getting wind of it. They decided to pitch up get a free trip - claiming any boat going to the ship they had a right to be on. Steve wasn't having any of it, as far as he was concerned it was two bookings, as they had made an arrangement with him direct and not through me. The only way you could go that day was to pay the Caroline fee too. Shame, I'm sorry about it. Odd times.
Finishing this with my answer: It's all part of the history. No problem at all Terry. It was Leen Vingerling who took over the tendering in 1984 from Nieuwpoort and other harbours and he can also write a book filled with tendering and other stories. I do remember now the story of the 'lost' fuel and your breaking parts. It all comes back. On the other hand Ronan knew indeed I was going. Days on forehand he gave one of his rare short interviews to me. Also I didn't pay the 750 guilders myself as I did sent afterwards an invoice to the two newspapers and the weekly, they all paid a part of it.
Paul Billingham writing in on April 2nd: Hi Hans, I have just read your excellent emailed radio report, which I enjoy very much. I am standing in our local elections as a candidate for the late Lord Sutch's Monster Raving Looney Party. As you know David Sutch made a brief but significant input into early offshore radio from Shivering sands early in 1964. I am putting out feelers to see if any one out there would be interested in undertaking an RSL licence for the summer of 2005 from eastern England. We have national elections some time next summer, but cannot envisage any problems in operating a Radio Sutch RSL after these.(our little political world could be upset in the run up to national elections). There are plenty of people around who have memories of David Sutch and his little teenage radio station. Could you post a request on your email site for volunteers ? All the best Paul Billingham
So if anyone wants to share some political joy together with Paul and other members of the MRLP just write in to the e-mail address of your truly.
And now, dear readers, once again and this time for the last time, we go over to the subject the registration of the Ross Revenge and other mysterious things . Last time I ask also Paul Rusling to see if he has an answer on John England's long words. Here's what Paul Rusling has to say:
There are a lot of people called Paul in the April 1st International report, I wondered at first if it wasn't some kind of April Fools Joke. The main Paul missing however was Paul Hodge, who was involved in the re-registration of the Ross Revenge and of the Communicator. I strongly object however to the comments of John England, who seems to be trying to tie me in to some involvement in something I have no connection with. Maybe it's the way the story is told, about a legal problem of Paul John Lilburne-Byford in Essex and then mentioning my name and only using our common Christian name afterwards - Paul, making it appear that we are the same person. The part of the report is very confusing, so would you please set the record straight
Paul Rusling has no involvement with the DTI, Roughs Tower, VCR tape propaganda campaigns, legal battles with the East Anglian Daily Times or an industrial tribunal in Essex. I have also never been made bankrupt. If my employer was doing some of the Referendum work, I cannot speak for them and I always observe confidentiality agreements. Maybe your John England didn't like this project's intentions to steal his name? (I think it was to use the name Radio England). But why this John England wants to take a pop at me I don't know. Its very sad that while some people work hard to broaden free radio, publicise it and keep the dream alive, there are always a few very strange negative people biting away at ankles, wasting everyone's time.
Thanks Paul for your reply. The next is not against you Paul but to all the readers of the report: As stated by me this was the last issue with the subject registration Ross and other things . Of course this is an open forum but I won't keep it open to give anyone the possibility to fight against anyone else, no matter who the persons are. There are enough newsgroups around to get at each other in a more unfriendly way. So now back to radio matters as
Bob Noakes, known form RNI, Radio Caroline, Radio Seagull, The Voice of Peace as well as Radio Iris in Amsterdam, did phone me late at night on April 2nd. Bob and I know each other from the RNI days and kept in touch all those years. Tonight we talked, as usual, about memories. First he came back to have a chat on the Louise Kirk memories I brought back a couple of month ago. I then wrote that she was never on the MEBO II, the RNI ship and did record the programs on the Isle of Man. Bob told me that she never did a show but only recorded some phrases on Man: There were only two cartridges on the MEBO II. One had the intro and outro s of the shows. On the other were a few lines which we could insert while playing the records. Actually she never announced a song during the so called
shows. During our phone call some other memories came: When I did my study to become a real good technician I was learning a lot on the BBC from a certain guy called Saunders. He worked for Radio Caroline in the sixties. He told me and the other students once that at one stage he got a letter onboard the MV Mi Amigo, including a 45rpm. This letter was from a governmental body with the question to play it on a certain night at a certain time when the transmitter would be normally off the air. But also another request was made and that was to dump the record after playing into international waters. The spy, for which the song was played, did what to do and the record, which was played, normally wouldn t be on the play list.
Thanks Bob, it s always a pleasure talking to you.
On April 6th I was doing research for an article to be published in another magazine and my eyes felt on a photograph showing a lady at the bridge of a ship. On the backside could be read that it was Pirate Kelly who worked for Radio New York International in 1988. So she will be added to the list op female deejays.
Offshore Music Radio is bringing on a regular base also programmes presented by The Floating Dutchman Bart Serlie. He was part of the presentation team of a few RSL s which came from the LV 18 in the past years. He does Three Turn , a program where he plays three songs in a row. Another program is called The floating Dutchman goes offshore . In this he brings also items read from the international report from yours truly and pays attention to the Soundscapes site, the Journal for Media and Music Culture.
Good to hear that Eric Wiltshire and his team at LBC, Steve Allen and Mandy Segall did also a special programme on the station in London regarding Caroline's 40th! Also a special site was open and listeners could sent in their own memories. Well done the three of you.
An email from Northampton in which some more on the habit from Dutch radio stations against the English listeners: I wanted to comment on something in your last newsletter regarding the English listener who phoned Radio 10 Gold and got the response "Radio 10 Gold is for the Dutch, not the English!", whoever answered the phone needs to be sent on public relations course!. Yes, Radio 10 Gold is for the Dutch but being rude to listeners even when they are from another country is not good for the stations image either in Holland or abroad, do they really want to be known as the station that is rude to their listeners?. On a similar note, despite reception not being great here in central England the station I listen to most is Arrow Rock Radio. A few weeks ago I heard a track played that I really liked but was unable to identify so I emailed the station to ask what it was, despite two emails to two different email addresses I received no reply, is it too much to ask for somebody to quickly check the playlist and email me back? Obviously so. This has not stopped me listening to the station but I really think this attitude is a shame because Arrow Rock Radio is gaining a lot of listeners over here in the UK. Sorry to moan but just needed to get this off my chest! Clive.
During the Eastern period a lot of radio stations paid attention to 40 years of Radio Caroline. A big thank you to all who worked together to make the BBC Pirate Radio Essex to the big success. A pity the listener couldn't come aboard to have a look in the BBC Pirate kitchen. Nevertheless the old guys had a lot of fun. Dutch Radio 2 only had a few minutes on the subject. The reason why? They did sent me an e mail if I could tell something on this BBC project on AVRO Radio2. This had to be done around 4.45 in the afternoon. As I was away with people from the University Leuven at that time, it had to be pre-recorded. So the interview had to be done during the 3AM news, which was only 2 minutes long.
German Rolling Stone edition will highlight soon the history of the Offshore Radio Station in a special feature. I sent them a few photographs and one of them I have in my archive since decades and was never published before.
April 8th The Swiss Television Two brought a 12 minutes documentary called Pirates on the air. Martin van der Ven recorded the program and told me that there were 4 minutes on the offshore pirates in the programme. But he still was very happy as he could tell that the four minutes were never seen before by him, including Bollier, the MV Galaxy in Hamburg; Hannibal and both owners on their way to the MEBO II on international waters as well as Roger Day active in radio on the MEBO II..
On Good Friday in the evening on internet on the site of BBC Pirate Radio Essex during 90 minutes you could hear the things going on onboard the LV 18 as technician were testing equipment and playing around a lot with jingles and music. Nice one boys! I would like to thank all the readers including Graham, Geoff and even Shaun from the USA who kept me up to date with the things happening around the forthcoming transmissions of the BBC.
Going back to Dutch Radio 2 I can tell you that on Easter Monday the first special Top 2000 was brought. During this day only music made by women was played and famous Dutch people could tell why they liked or loved certain female singers. Radio Veronica brought the All Time Rock Top 100 with Gun s and Roses at the Number One Spot. And at Knot's Home we did pay attention to The Johannes Passion. Really a different taste of music, which wasn't known to you yet! I can tell you why I've also a big classical collection. In the days I was still in my shorts that's the late fifties the kids only got permission to listen in Pick of the Pops on Sunday afternoon if we did listen too earlier that afternoon to BRT program called Belcanto Concert. Yes thank you Rie and Jelle Knot, my beloved parents, to give us a bright look in the classical kitchen too!
During Eastern weekend I listened a lot to old recordings from the last 40 years. Indeed during the 199 period, the swingiest station in the nation Caroline had some very bad programs but also a lot of good ones. In one of them I heard another female deejay we did have on our list up till now: Jennie or Jenny Conway!
What I heard of Pirate Radio Essex were only programs during the late evening hours as I had other things to do during Eastern but what I did hear from several sources it was High Class Radio during the daytime with persons including Roger Day, Mike Ahern, Martin Kayne, Tom Lodge, Ian Damon, Ray Clarke, Paul Burnett and Tom Edwards. Thanks a lot to all those who were involved including the technical department from BBC Radio Essex.
And as promised last month:
Robert Preedy, Radio Caroline North rockin' and rollin'. The legendary radio station from beginning to end.
Wetherby, 2004 (ISBN 1-874366-04-07)
Just before Eastern 2004 a parcel came in with the postman and, when I had removed the wrappings, it proved to be another book from author Bob Preedy the same who, two years ago, brought us an excellent book on the history of Radio 270. This, again, is a book on the history of just one radio station: Radio Caroline North. In the introduction to the book, Preedy summarizes the fact that in 2004, no less than four decades after the launch of Radio Caroline, the interest in offshore radio remains just as strong as it was in the 1960's. The importance of these stations cannot be exaggerated as they forced the post-war radio industry to accept the realities of the post-war world. Even the ILR, that is the commercial radio stations in Great Britain, as Preedy rightfully argues, never had the same impact on the listening public. The book is well-documented. Preedy even researched the memoirs written by Harold Wilson and Tony Benn, though as he found out both wrote only a few lines on this convulsive episode in British history. Preedy's book carries the subtitle "The legendary radio station from beginning to end." The implied reference to the station's early history has to be taken quite literally. Preedy not only describes the full history of Radio Caroline North but also informs us about the situation before the offshore stations came on the air: how the radio industry started in Europe and how continental commercial radio stations like Radio Paris, Radio Normandy and Luxembourg exerted their influences on the British listeners. He even goes in more depth by telling about the plans in 1937 to start transmissions with a number of transmitters carrying the same commercial broadcast. These plans were made by Air Time Ltd. and secretly founded by Peter Eckersley on behalf of Oswald Mosley. Mosley was head of the British Union of Fascists and it was thought that the money for this project was originating from Mussolini in Italy. Really interesting reading stuff, I must say. At the end of the introduction, on page 12, Preedy tells us that from 1958, with the coming of Radio Mercur off the coast of Denmark, a new start for offshore radio in Europe was made. Too bad that Preedy, next to his very good part about the "Air time Ltd." doesn't say a thing about that other project that didn't fail and really came on the air from a ship in international waters at about the same time, in 1938: the transmissions on shortwave 7842 kHz from "Der Sender der Deutchen Freiheits Partei" The Voice of the German Freedom Party. There were British as well as Dutch people involved in this operation, which was on the air from a ship off the French coast. If Preedy adds some information about this project in a second edition of his book, his story really will be complete.
The first chapter of the book describes the planning period for Radio Atlanta as well as for Radio Caroline, each with their big entrepreneur Alan Crawford and Ronan O'Rahilly as leader. Again a good read, including the early story of the bid for the Radio Nord ship by Crawford, which fell apart when one of the main backers pulled out of the enterprise. Why? For the answer, you'll have to read the book yourself! What follows is a well-done description on the technical details of Radio Caroline North: the studios and other technical installations on the MV Fredericia, a former Danish ferryboat and a really wonderful ship. Martin Kayne is the one who is responsible for this description. In this section, he also recalls the drills the Dutch captain gave to crew and deejays on Mondays. Of course the merger between Caroline and "competitor" Radio Atlanta is not forgotten, including the trip with the Caroline North ship from the South to the North near the Isle of Man. Historical are the recordings in which people like Tom Lodge and captain Hengeveld not Hangerfeld as Preedy and others spell his name are telling the listeners about their trip to their new anchor position.
What makes the book also interesting is that Preedy furnishes several small pieces of information to his readers that mostly have been forgotten by other authors. What to say, for instance, about the fact that one of the captains had to leave for Ramsey after he had been bitten by a dog? It is a nice detail that reminds me of that particular captain who kept his own chickens on board of the MV Fredericia. Reading Preedy's year-by-year description of the history of Radio Caroline North brings back a lot of memories as I could receive the station quite well in those days. Of course Preedy doesn't forget to write about the big influence Philip Solomon had in the history of Radio Caroline North, after Alan Crawford had left the station early 1966. Solomon even was banning Ronan O'Rahilly out of the office for some time as O'Rahilly wanted to have too much influence on the musical format. Only the information on the amount of stakes in Planet Productions, the company behind Radio Caroline, Solomon had, proves to be defective. At least, in one of their rare interviews, dating back to 1966, Solomon and his brother did mention quite other figures.
The going and coming of new deejays and newsreaders figure predominantly in the book. Preedy offers his readers a wide view of the kitchen of Radio Caroline North, even giving space to Martin Kayne to tell that he really had depression when he heard that Ronan O'Rahilly thought he was too much a BBC announcer. The period after the MOB became act and Caroline North stayed on the air as Radio Caroline North International, is also given ample space. Here too Preedy lets some people who were working for the Caroline organisation during that period tell their own stories. Remarkable is the story of the Anglia TV crew wanting to do a television special after August 14th 1967. As they didn't want to offend the law, they hired a ship from Holland: the MV Jacomina from Flushing. And why is this so remarkable? Well, the same ship, owned by the Van Akker Company, was used as one of the tenders for Radio Atlantis in 1974 as well as bringing a new anchor chain to the Ross Revenge one of the other Caroline ships in the mid-1980's.
Preedy's book certainly deserves its place on the shelf of every fan of Radio Caroline and offshore radio in general. I will tell you how to order this book, but not before pointing out two small shortcomings. Page 45 offers a list of some classics which the author thinks were probably only played on Radio Caroline North. He only has to listen to some old recordings of other stations from the 1960's to find out that songs like "Red Rubber Ball" by the Cyrkle, "Time Seller" by the Spencer Davis Group, "Remember Me, I'm The One Who Loves You" by Dean Martin, "You Were On My Mind" by The We Five, and "Oh No Not My Baby" performed by Maxine Brown and Raymond Frogatt got a lot of airplay on other offshore radio stations too. The other thing: it's really a pity that Preedy does not mention any of the original photographers of the load of photos shown in the book. His argument is that the names of the authors are unknown for many photos. However, as we all know, those who are known by name, still have to be mentioned. Just a few e-mails to people in the radio world surely would have helped to enlarge the list of those who made these pictures
You can now order your own copy of the book Radio Caroline North Rockin and Rollin by sending 15 Euro s or 8 Pounds to R.E. Preedy, c/o Wetherby Cinema, Wetherby LS22 4RU, UK or ordering it with your local book shop under ISBN 1-874366-04-7
Finally two items for this report which came in on the 15th. Golden Oldies station Radio 192 will change her name from April 18th up till April 25th into RNI. This special week is the start of a special period the station will pay attention to offshore radio and will end on August 31st. Then it will be 30 years ago the Dutch anti offshore bill became law. In the forthcoming weeks a lot of old show from Radio Noordzee will be played as well as old RNI deejays will do a live show on the station. www.radio192.nl
Listening a lot to Skues and his friends on the LV 18 during this week I thought a lot of what will become on Ray Anderson and his London project and so I did e mail him again. Within an hour he wrote back: Thanks for the message. I've been to Harwich and yes, I have been listening a lot to the programmes. I am still working on our plans for 1008 kHz. It has been a long haul and the biggest obstacle has been the funding which is now being finalised. We still hope to be on in the near future. June, we hope.I will make sure you receive our press release when it is released.
With that in mind I wish you all the best and keep your news, memories and all the other things come in at Hknot@home.nl
Till next time all the best
Read Hans Knot's former report