Hans Knot's International Radio Report - March 2007 (1)
Welcome to this
edition of the report and thanks a lot for all your interesting emails
and comments. Most appreciated.
In this edition of the Knot International Radio Report first a long and interesting story from Geoffry Baldwin:
Since years I write irregularly for the British Magazine Radio Review. The editor is well known in British circles and he decided to write for the Knot International Radio Report too. Here’s what Geoffry Baldwin has to tell the reader: ‘Some time ago, I was supposed to write a chapter for Hans Knot’s book “The Wet And Wild History of Radio Caroline 1964-2004” about how I became involved (at a supporter level) with offshore radio. However, due to my commitments producing Radio Review, I was unable to complete it in time! Instead, I promised Hans that I would, at some stage, make some articles available online to his readers. As 2007 marks 30 years of my providing various different services to anoraks and radio enthusiasts generally, it seemed like this year would be a good time to get the ball rolling and honour that pledge!
First my brief history - since 1977 I’ve gone from the starting point which was selling Caroline 319 car stickers, then I went onto form the Caroline Movement, which (amongst other things) got me involved in helping to organise offshore radio conventions, as well as offering first a part-time and then a full-time Free Radio/offshore radio sales merchandise operation. As the offshore radio scene ran out of steam in the early 1990’s, I moved into my current role of publishing and editing Radio Review, which I’ve been doing continuously now since 1994, only this time looking at all aspects of the radio scene and much more besides! Anyway, all in all, it seems like a good year to put samples of my material out to a wider audience.
As for what’s in Radio Review, it is written from a UK perspective but we cover all and sundry: UK radio, the Dutch radio scene, the Irish scene and offshore radio nostalgia and memories. We’ve also recently looked at what future the medium wave might have and the problems with DAB radio reception and choice (DAB is, currently, being promoted heavily to the public here in the UK). Beyond that, we analyse, debate and discuss all the in depth issues behind the immediate radio news and our “piratical” history. Anything can crop up in RR, even if it means making much broader political and economic analysis (sometimes from which conclusions about the situation with radio and broadcasting in general can be drawn). In the past, I’ve also done analogies about the situation in football from a supporter point of view (my other main interest), as compared to the situation with radio, from an enthusiast point of view. I’ve even looked at conspiracy theories on occasions!
As most of my readers are mature in years, I also ran a TV nostalgia feature running for three years until about a year ago (hence the name Radio Review & TV Flashback on our website) but, because of pressure on space, we are now concentrating more on the core interest of radio again. On the topic of being mature, we also highlight the shortage of programming (whether radio or TV) aimed at the over 50 age group (the baby boomer generation and those older), which, here in the UK, already number about 20 million people or 1 in 3 of the total population (and rising).
To see how I can improve my service (and gain more readers), I have also, in the past year, dug deep into the psyche of my own readers to find out what makes them tick and, perhaps, not that surprisingly, found that, at heart, they are mainly still offshore radio supporters with no real free offshore radio to support! Instead, they look to Big L, the current satellite version of Radio Caroline, the Dutch stations like Arrow Classic Rock and Radio 10 Gold and the (still) hoped for station from the Isle of Man as sort of legally licensed substitutes for the real thing! Some of them (myself included), will even stretch a point and listen to certain UK stations like Capital Gold or one or two of the newer DAB stations or even the BBC!
Anyway, to give you just a small flavour of what to expect in RR, the following is a slightly adapted version of the lead article from a recent issue and I hope to be able to offer you some more articles and views as 2007 progresses. By the way, should you be interested by what you have read here, we are, currently, offering all new readers (living in the UK) a special offer, meaning you can, effectively, obtain 6 issues by sending just £5 (with no obligation to subscribe further thereafter at the full price, although we hope you will!) and the appropriate number of SAE’s. If you live outside the UK, the charge is a little higher to allow for additional postage costs. So, if you live in a European country, please send a remittance of £7.50 (or the equivalent in Euros or your local currency) plus self-addressed envelopes. All cheques should be made payable to: “G.J.BALDWIN”. If you live anywhere outside Europe, please send a remittance of £10 (and envelopes) made out in the same way. ALL COMMUNICATIONS SHOULD BE SENT TO: RADIO REVIEW, P.O. BOX 46, ROMFORD, RM7 8AY, ENGLAND or email Geoffrey.John@btinternet.com
Alternatively, there is a secure online payment facility for any reader that wishes to take out the special offer trial subscription that way. At present this is set up for £7.50 payments only. If in doubt email me. Visit our website at www.radioreview.org.uk and go to the page NEW READERS for further details.
For the purpose of this special offer, a new reader is deemed to include any previously lapsed RR subscriber that has not been a regular reader for the last three years (i.e. since 2003). We also welcome old friends and associates who used to be members of the Caroline Movement back in the 1980’s.
Thanks for reading this and happy listening.
EDITOR OF RADIO REVIEW AND
FOUNDER OF THE CAROLINE MOVEMENT
WE WERE CHEATED!
As we have reported in the latest issue of Radio Review (no.170 published last month), the new boss of Ofcom, Ed Richards, has admitted that the 2003 Communications Act “ governing the regulation of television, telecoms and radio is already out-of-date”. He says: “in radio, the legislation is not in step with the speed and pace of change in the sector.”
I suspect what may have prompted this is the shock waves that must have reverberated round Riverside House (the Ofcom headquarters) when the UKRD (a group that owns several local radio licences) handed the local radio licence for Stroud back to the regulator. This had never happened before. As we reported in issue 167, the licence holder had concerns about signal strength, too much regulation, lack of flexibility in how the product is delivered to air and lack of flexibility in format regulation. In other words, too much bureaucratic interference in how the radio station was set up and run! UKRD were also, apparently, upset that Ofcom refused them permission to merge the Stroud licence with the neighbouring licence it holds for Cheltenham. At the time, the chief executive of UKRD, William Rogers claimed that “there are scores of radio stations losing money that will never work.”
The way I look at all this takes me back over the last 40 years of radio regulation. When the pirates broke the BBC monopoly in the 1960’s, they weren’t legalised and licensed, they were banned altogether by the then Labour government which enacted the Marine etc. Broadcasting offences Act 1967 to, effectively, restore the BBC’s monopoly (albeit, listeners in the UK could, subsequently, also pick up broadcasts from pirate stations based off the Dutch coast in the early 1970’s). It was only when the Conservatives came to power that they passed the Sound Broadcasting Act 1972 which first enabled legal commercial radio to be introduced in the UK for the first time. However, at that time, the first ILR stations like Capital Radio were still severely hampered not just by specific programming requirements (enforced at that time by the Independent Broadcasting Authority) but also by needle time restrictions, which limited the number of hours that records could be played during the week. Free radio (so called) it definitely wasn’t!
Umpteen Acts of Parliament later, over a 30 year period and UK commercial radio stations are still hampered by some of the sort of petty restrictions (which wouldn’t be tolerable to the publisher of a newspaper or magazine) and radio licences have been handed out like confetti by people who have never run a radio station themselves to applicants who (in some cases) have never run a radio station before! A lot of these stations only exist, in the first place, because they are now formed into groups which may I guess make them slightly more viable as a commercial venture - i.e. through the economies of scale and the possibilities of advertisers reaching more people by having their adverts heard across a group of stations. A case in point, is here in Romford, where the local station, Time FM (originally called Active FM and later Soul Fm and then 107.5 Soul City) became part of one radio group and then was sold onto another. According to audience research, It only has an audience of about 16,000 listeners in a coverage area that officially is supposed to have an adult population of 295,000, although the two east London boroughs at which it is primarily aimed have an actual total population of more like 400,000. So, it’s only listened to by 4% of the local population at the most! I guess in urban areas like London there is considerably more competition for listeners (rather like small local football clubs struggle to attract supporters when top Premiership clubs like West Ham, Spurs and Arsenal are only based a few miles away) but, even so, I imagine that this sort of picture is repeated across the UK and that (as William Rogers indicated) these small fry stations aren’t really viable, especially if they are subjected to petty programme restrictions.
What I think has happened down the years is that each time they have drawn up a new set of rules for radio regulation (a bit less restrictive than the previous set of rules), the goalposts move and something happens that makes that new set of rules fall behind the reality of what’s going on in the marketplace, so they have to relax them yet again until, finally, we will end up with a situation where there probably are very few rules! In other words, it will be more like a free for all and the situation that we had briefly back in the 1960’s with offshore radio, when there was no Ofcom, no Radio Authority, no Independent Broadcasting Authority (it was, originally, just called the Independent Television Authority) and nothing the monopoly BBC broadcaster could do about it!
In other words, in the long run, most of the regulation has been a waste of time and the marketplace will decide which stations survive and which stations fail, not a government appointed quango. This is little consolation to aging anoraks who still seem to miss the vibrant radio stations of their youth, such as Radio Caroline, Radio London, Radio City, Laser 558 and so on - all of which were, in effect, hounded out of existence by the authorities and their laws, rules and regulations. This yearning for the radio past, is probably fuelled all the more by the fact that most of the radio stations licensed in the UK today (like many TV channels) are aimed at the under 45 age group that advertisers so love (the FM generation as I call them) who, with a few exceptions, seem to have no love of radio at all and don’t care about it, other than as something that they might stick on in the background. It’s just another part of the media that they take for granted. To make matters even worse, an increasing number of the under 25 age group don’t bother with radio at all and are more interested with gadgets like mobile phones and MP3 players and the internet which supply all of their music and information needs.
In the 1960’s there were all sorts of restrictive practices associated with the playing of records on the radio which the offshore stations were said to be in breach of and these were used as part of the argument for closing them down. By the 1980’s such objections had, to a large extent, been resolved to allow all day pop music radio to broadcast legally in the UK. So, when Laser 558 came onto the scene in 1984/85 and “stole” listeners (as the licensed operators would have us believe) from ILR stations and Radio 1, the only argument the authorities could come up with to oppose it, as a reason for intervening, was the potential interference that such a station’s signal could cause to other broadcast stations or even on frequencies used by aircraft and emergency services.
That whole argument always seemed a bit spurious to me. Licensed stations often cause interference to one another, especially if you live in an area situated between two transmitters using the same medium wave frequency. For example, this happened here in this part of Essex/east London, between 1998 and 2003, when I wanted to listen to Dutch station Arrow Classic Rock on 828 kHz (the frequency then in use) but could also hear the ILR station Classic Gold (previously, Chiltern Supergold) in the background - because they used the same frequency via a transmitter that was meant to cover the Luton area of Bedfordshire! Of course, for some UK listeners who wanted to tune to Classic Gold, at some distance from the Luton area, they might have seen it the other way round with the foreign station Arrow causing the interference!
However, going back to the 1980’s offshore radio days, once Laser had vacated the 558 frequency in November 1985, Radio Caroline soon occupied it but, four years later in October 1989, the UK authorities allocated the same frequency to multi-ethnic station Spectrum Radio in London, knowing full well this would cause both stations to interfere with one another in London and the south east. Not, you might think, exactly the action of a responsible government appointed body but, then again, this has to be seen against the bigger picture of the raid on the Ross Revenge conducted by the Dutch just two months earlier on the 19th August 1989 and the motive behind that!
Of course, all the reasons for that episode taking place have been gone over minutely since then and I’m not wishing to drag them up again here. However, talking generally about the outlawing of “the pirates”, I think many people came to realise that this was not, principally, about royalty payments for records played on the radio or, indeed, interference caused to other broadcasters (they may both have been side issues), it was more to do with the political control of the airwaves that the government wanted to re-establish and the “we know what is best for the people” attitude of the politicians and the government of the day.
Well, of course, here in the UK, we know, in the broadest sense, where this “we know best” attitude has got us, over the last 50 years or so. It’s resulted in what some call “The Nanny State” and what I have referred to, in the past, simply, as “Big Government”., with the result, basically, that people who work hard and pay full taxes are ending up working nearly half the year now just to keep the whole government machine going and, in many areas of Britain (outside of the south eastern region of England), the majority of people have now become completely dependent on the state, either in the form of actual welfare dependency or because, to an ever increasing extent, they work in the public sector and their jobs are being funded by the government. To pay for this, the government is desperately trying to raise more and more revenue from taxation on what remains of the wealth creating private sector of the economy.
In terms of the immediate economic situation, I don’t think either the politicians themselves or the majority of the population realise how near the edge of the precipice we are getting right now because of this approach to government. It will only take a relatively small increase in interest rates to push many people over that edge and into defaulting on their huge personal debts, triggering a house price implosion and all the damage to the economy and the knock on effect that this will bring. In other words, it’s that old “boom to bust” scenario that has been building up now for years. It’s just taking longer to come to a head this time than it may have done in decades past. It could take another 1 year to reach a conclusion, another 2 years or even another 5 years. It’s just a question of when it will happen, not if.
In exactly the same way, the boom period of expansion of independent radio under the Radio Authority during the 1990’s is beginning to look more and more like it is in retreat in the current decade. The smaller ILR stations don’t have an audience of any size and don’t make any money. Meanwhile, the larger UK radio groups are being squeezed by reduced advertising revenue and competition from new entertainment outlets like the internet. They are also finding that the burden of pouring millions of pounds into funding the development of DAB radio is unlikely to bring them a return on their huge investment any time soon. In fact, DAB has big problems of its own (something that we discussed in the previous issue of Radio Review). All this means that there are going to be mounting pressures all the time for the current radio regulator Ofcom, as it wrestles with its own red tape and regulations and the obligations that government legislation has placed on it. Obviously, from his comments, the new grossly overpaid Ofcom boss, Ed Richards has clearly already grasped this! I can, certainly, see there being pressure to slash the charges that operators on AM frequencies, currently, have to pay!
Last year, Ofcom issued a discussion document entitled, The Future of Radio and they are especially concerned about the future of AM radio. Responses to this document were meant to be handed in before Christmas. My response would be more in the form of a question: “DOES INDEPENDENT RADIO IN THE UK HAVE ANY FUTURE AS LONG AS A REGULATORY BODY LIKE OFCOM IS RUNNING IT?!”
Well thanks Geoffrey for this long and interesting subject which made this edition of the Knot International Radio Report a must for each reader. Anyone to comment can sent it to Hknot@home.nl
Now back to last issue when Mike Terry told you about his visit to Gambia, where the Cheetah 2, once house for Radio Syd and also a short time for Radio Caroline South, is shipwrecked decades ago. He took this next picture:
WRECK OF CHEETAH 2 OFF BANHURST PHOTO: Mike Terry
Commercial time for Foundation for Media Communication (SMC)
Dear radio friends: we offer you the opportunity to have your favourite station on a Canvas "painting". We print a photo on canvas and... it's rather cheap! We now have: REM island, Veronica, RNI, Caroline's Mi Amigo, Fredericia, Ross Revenge, and Radio London on canvas. The sizes are as follows: A 4 € 31,-- or 25 pounds, A3 € 45,-- or 30 pounds and A 2 € 75,-- or 60 pounds.
You may put the banknotes in an envelop and send it to:
SMC, PO BOX 53121
1007 RC AMSTERDAM
After receiving the money the painting will be sent within 3 days! This is also your address for cheap Dutch cd's from Golden Earring, Focus, Earth and Fire, Outsiders and so on. Prices? Just ask Rob Olthof at email@example.com
Again a cartoon in the report, this time REM Island from 1964 from my own archive.
Many more from this period from my archive have been put on internet:
One of the more rare tapes in my collection is a recording for a Wolfman Jack show, which is never aired on the station it was produced for. In 1981 there were plans for a restart of the station. The former radio ship Mi Amigo sunk in March 1980 and an official press report mentioned there was a new ship and Wolfman would become one of the deejays. He had already recorded some shows. Listening to the tape last weekend I suddenly heard himself mentioning a nickname: Wolfman Jack, the new queen of England.
After the release of the last issue and the sad news of the death from Jeanne as well as Tom de Munck we got some e mails: The first one came from Ian Anderson on the Shetland Islands: ‘Sad news. A lot of local people we know have died here recently as well. What was wrong with Jeanne? I know that she took early retirement, and gave up Monitor as well, because her health was not good, but that was years and years ago. I met Buster once, in June 1973, at Benfleet, along with his mother and his aunt. We sat at the bottom of the garden, with the radio on, while his mother and his aunt insisted in providing hospitality. I can still "hear" one or the other of them asking me "Would you like some ale?". I was given fresh lemonade instead on my refusal! If was like something out of the 1930s - very courteous and very pleasant.’
Andy Archer: Hi Hans, ‘I didn't know Tom de Munck, but I did meet Penelope Page on a few occasions in South Benfleet. I was sad to hear of her death. She was an invaluable support for Buster Pearson, particularly after his mother and aunt both died. Best wishes, Andy Archer’.
Rob Chapman: ‘I was very sorry to hear about Jeanne's death. When I was doing the initial research for my radio book in the late 1980's she (and Don) were a great help to me, giving me full unlimited access to the Monitor archives, including much useful literature and many, many hours of invaluable radio recordings of Caroline, RNI, etc. I always enjoyed my visits down to Benfleet and Jeanne was always a great host. It doesn't surprise me to see the salad bowl in the photo of you two! No one ever went hungry when they went to Avondale Road. My other memory of those times is the ever present sound of her uncaged canaries and budgies flying around the room as we sat and chatted. Free spirits. Just like Jeanne. My sincere condolences.
Another picture for the archives comes from Australia and good old Colin Nichol. He has worked for Radio Atlanta and Caroline in the sixties and sent in three pictures from buildings in London, from which the next one, I thought, should be seen by the reader: It’s the Radio Atlanta building in Dean Street Soho London.
Photo Colin Nichol
Next from Scotland Graeme: Oh, forgot to ask you, another collector I know is looking for recordings for two US deejays from the 1950's called Dewey Philips and Hunter Hancock. Any idea who might have some - or maybe you could also mention it in the next report.? Also I’m still looking for early BBC Radio 2 jingles. I would love to receive emails on both subjects. Cheers ! Graeme Stevenson firstname.lastname@example.org
Last time I mentioned the name of Stevie Gee and his work on Radio Caroline. Pirate Hall of Fame mentioned that he probably had worked on Caroline in 1967 during a period from around a month up till six weeks. I asked if anyone remembered him and got several e mails, with a few to mention: ‘ Yet another full and informative Radio Report. With regard to Stevie Gee, I cannot recall him specifically, but I recall his jingle. Caroline used to play the Monkees, 'Wake up Sleepie Jean', from ‘Daydream Believer’ with the words 'Wake up Stevie Gee, Oh what can it mean, to a daydream believer.....', or was it 'Cheer up Stevie Gee'? Keep up the good work.
Regards, Derek May’.
Alan Clarke, Carl Mitchell and Stevie Gee (Hans Knot archive)
Regular reader Stuart Aitken wrote: ‘ Stevie Gee was definitely on Radio Caroline in 1967/8. I remember him very well. Unfortunately I have no tapes. I would guess it was early 1968. Best wishes Stuart Aitken.’
To be exactly we go to London: ‘ Just a short note about Stevie Gee on Radio Caroline. He was on board the MV Mi Amigo from Tuesday 29th August 1967 until Tuesday 12th September 1967. For most of the time he was on the air from midnight until 6.00 am. Best wishes, Alan Hamblin.’ Thanks Alan, well done! Also we got an e mail from someone who worked together with him in Amsterdam:
‘Mike Guy wrote: ‘ Your February 2 Radio Report brought both happy memories and sadness for me. First, the reference to deejay Stevie Gee and The Sound Discotheque in Amsterdam. I was disc jockey there as a holiday relief. It must have been around 1970 as I remember playing ‘The Love You Save’ by The Jackson Five a lot which was big that year. Another of the jocks there at the time was Rory Storm of Rory Storm and The Hurricanes fame. Rory was to die in mysterious circumstances at his Liverpool home two years later. Then, the very sad news that Tom de Munck had died aged only 59. Although I never met him, we were in touch regularly by phone through much of the 80s and 90s and more recently by email. I see only on 16 December I sent him best wishes for Christmas via an email. He used to love sending amusing animations and similar humorous links he found on the internet. I'm including two photos I took of the Nannell in Southampton. Tom knew I lived near there and asked if I could take some pictures of the vessel for his magazine. It had become known the Nannell was planned to be a radio ship and she had made a stop-off in Southampton. I remember it was a bitterly cold winter day with a biting easterly wind when I walked through the dock gate and on to the quayside without meeting anyone. I walked alongside the ship but decided to keep a bit of a distance for photo taking in case I was challenged by someone. It was a real undercover operation but I got my pictures! Mike Guy.’
Next a new reader: ‘ Hello! Very many thanks for sending your report - must add, my emailer is part of my cable television, so, it has limitations - everything has to be in plain text – I’m told, but I can read some of your sending - often the first part only. No matter what, many thanks again and I will still look forward to your next mailing - kindest from Keith Martin in London.’
Well does that name remember me to Offshore Radio in the Sixties related to Radio Caroline?
Last issue brought the long story from ex Laser deejay DL Bogart and I wrote that I had nothing add to it. Well DLB came back to me: ‘Hello Hans, Slight typographical error on my e-mail address: It's: email@example.com (UNCLEDL) Great write up, DL Bogart.’
Yes, we have again the Emperor round the corner: ‘Hi Hans, Prolific purveyor of nautical music and info lost to the planet for years ! Johnny Walker did indeed air the Opposite Lock (a Norrie Paramour production) if I correctly recall. That resulted in me selling out the wee stock of Cd's I had on hand. I will reorder just for you! It is called "Rosko sings and Causes Pain" and it is a masterpiece of rejection and determination. I will agree I am a better DJ than singer. This CD has 20 years of attempts and no regrets!! For the masochists out there more info on how to torture your ear drums at www.emperorrosko.com, merchandising section! We are building a new site at www.roskoradio.net which is a work in progress, we are awaiting a copyright licence to start audio. EMP’.
Well Emperor you’re great and I had some listening as soon as the cd had arrived. Some pain, some smiling and yes for the anoraks a must to get!
Several people have written to me about the press reports in the newspapers that there are plans to bring the Ross Revenge from Southern England to Scotland. Well I had a very big smile when reading it. Maybe the next e mail tells the truth:
‘Hans, please see the attached newspaper article about berthing the Ross in Leith beside the Royal Yacht 'Britannia', a major tourist attraction for Scotland. There is mention of this on the Caroline Newsline. I don't think it will happen, but it gives both Radio Caroline and the new station 'Leith FM' some good publicity. Cheers,
Prime Time Radio was a super hit in ‘Knot Home’, till it closed down last year. Both Jana and I loved to relax on Saturday and Sunday morning for hours doing breakfast and reading newspapers as well as books. One of the main man there was Gavin McCoy, who is suddenly back writing to the report with the next press report:
‘After the recent departure of Programme Director Mark Walker from Smooth FM in London, owners GMG Radio have announced his replacement. From Tuesday, former Head of Presentation at Primetime Radio Gavin McCoy will join as Programme Controller. GMG Radio boss John Myers is having a change of on-air talent too. It has been reported that breakfast presenter David Prever and mid-morning host Kevin Greening are just two jocks who are not having their contracts renewed. New blood who can relate to the new target audience of over 50 year-olds will fill the schedule instead. As a former presenter on Primetime Radio, Gavin McCoy may even end up on-air himself. Speaking of his new role at Smooth Radio, Gavin says: “This is a fantastic opportunity to be joining GMG Radio. I can’t wait to launch the new format to a very under-served adult audience in the world’s most exciting city. We’re hoping that the combination of great music, intelligent speech, and lots of entertainment, Smooth Radio will break new ground in the capital.” John Simons, GMG Radio’s Group Programme Director said: “Gavin knows this market inside out and back to front so he is the perfect man to drive the station forward. He has the background of a presenter and the skills in management too, a great combination". You may remember Gavin's voice as Sid the Manager and Gervaise the Hairdresser and other memorable characters on Steve Wright’s Radio 1 show.
102.2 Smooth FM will switch to the Saga-Style programming on March 26th. At the same time, 100.4 Smooth FM in the northwest will also see an on-air re-brand to Smooth Radio, despite record audience figures. In Broadcast Magazine, John Myers talked about the new format for Smooth FM in London: "You have people whingeing saying we are going to take on Magic, but it's bollocks. We would lose if we tried to take on Magic. Our job is to position ourselves slightly older than that. "SAGA Radio presenters in the East Midlands, West Midlands and Glasgow are already introducing 'Smooth' into their vocabulary, identifying as "SAGA, Smooth Radio for [insert location here]"
Well Gavin and the rest of the gang good luck. Will you also be on internet. If yes, forward us the address.
Jan van Heeren sent us a cartoon with a Veronica ship from April 19th 1990, which was published in the Algemeen Dagblad. The program mentioned ‘Zeezicht’ was all about a very small Isle. Probably the last cartoon including Veronica.
Next an e mail from Germany and Ingo Paternoster who advised me to have a look on the next internet site: www.countryfolk.de/en/AndereSendungen/ACC.html
Jan Fré Vos listened to an old radio program on Caroline from 1979 and sent in two nicknames for the Dutch deejays which were Ad ‘koffie’ Roberts and Paul ‘Top 50’ de Wit. Thanks for that Jan Fré.
Marcel Poelman wrote: ‘ KBC is back on shortwave. In the eighties it was a regular shortwave station during weekends. Now they’ve hired airtime on a Lithuania transmitter on AM 1386 kHz as well as on 6255 kHz in the 48 metre band with 100 kW. Can be heard daily for one hour from 23.00 LT. Their e mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
From Belgium Ettienne Hermans, who asked if I remembered offshore radio stations who did transmit in another language than which is was officially aimed at. First in mind came the well loved programs from A J Beirens, Pierre Deseyn as well as brothers Peter and Werner Hartwig from Germany, AJ was a must to listen to for all the languages, including Esperanto, he brought in his shows. Pierre was also in French and the two from Northern Germany in German of course, when they were heard in the program ‘RNI goes DX’. And the second one in mind were the English language program Radio Mercur aired. Of course there are more and to you, the reader, to respond on the question from Ettienne, who mentioned one himself.
‘On Mi Amigo there was a promo spot for a new French language program. It was December 1976 and it was heavily promoted to go on air on January 15th 1977. However it would last two weeks more to get into the Saturday programming. However, it was only aired for two weeks in a row as complaints were coming in from the listeners. The most of the Flemish listeners didn’t like at all the French language and there’s always a ‘languages fight’ in Belgian. Partly the inhabitants are Flemish speaking and the other French speaking. Just a very small group in the Province of Limburg is German Speaking. To come back to the program I can recall that the first hour was a mix of French and English songs. It was followed by a three hour program with the Top 30 and Flashbacks, which were co presented by deejays Coco and Leon. Advertisement in the show was mainly for artists and LP’s, as well as for the heavily promoted Pop Magazine Joepie, which was owned by Mi Amigo director Sylvain Tack. But after two weeks it stopped.’
Thanks Ettienne and if anyone can remember more programs other than the aimed original language on an offshore radio station, please share you memory with us at: Hknot@home.nl
In this edition also a longer story from Australia, which was written decades ago but will now be published for the first time completely.
Copyright for this Cheeta II article Colin Nichol 1968 / 2007.
Well that rounds up this first edition for the month of March. Later this month I come back to you. Thanks to all contributors and your comments, news, memories and photos are always welcome at Hknot@home.nl
Offshore Deejays' Nicknames
Female Offshore Radio Deejays
Radio London Commercials
Offshore Radio Programme Names - Programmanamen Zeezenders 1958-1990
Read Hans Knot's former report