Hans Knot's International Radio Report - July 2008
July 2008 is the month
we have to mark as the month that brings us the fact that Offshore Radio
on commercial base started 50 Years ago in Scandinavia.
Thanks again for all who responded and as always the most interesting ones are mentioned as well as the first to respond. It’s like a little game that there are always the same persons who respond in the first rankings. On top again after two months is, from California, the one and only Emperor Rosko who wrote: ‘Hi Hans, on top as always! If anyone is going to do a movie it should be you, you must be the ‘world authority’ on pirate radio. My book got to script stage but the backers went broke. There must be 10 books from ex jocks I know about, Keith, Paul, Tony, John etc. Stay well and keep up the good work. Rosko.’
Thank you Emperor. A pity those guys went broke but nowadays it’s possible to publish books on low scale and so low budget. Ordering for instant 200 copies and do a 100 reprint when the first edition is sold. In that way it’s for many people a responsible way to publish their own story. Just think about it.
Remember last month that Fons Winteraeken asked if someone knew more about a captain aboard the MV Mi Amigo in 1979? His name was mentioned during the Christmas program and even he was heard doing greetings to family and friends in the Tom Anderson program. Well I’ve got a response from Bob Lawrence, who was also living on the old lady in those days: ‘Hi Hans, Captain Harris! I remember him well. He was a Belgian fisherman who was put on board when Danny Vuylsteke took over running the Dutch/Flemish side of things. His job was basically a crewman/sailor. He certainly was a character and there are so many stories I could tell you about the man but I heard that he was one of the guys who died when the Belgian tender went down in 1980. I don't know for sure but if that is true it's best I keep the stories to myself. I'm trying to organise things so that I can be at Radio Day, if I can then "tot ziens". Regards, Bob www.boblawrence.co.uk
Hello, wrote Bart Serlie, ‘ Hopefully all is well with you. What you’ve written about your stay last month aboard the Jenni Baynton (Radio Waddenzee) I could conclude that you had a good stay. I think the very nice weather, that precious day, was also part of the very good stay aboard. A few days earlier it was force 6 and I think boarding on the light vessel was impossible at that stage that the tender, the MV Javazee, could come alongside the radio ship and bring passengers aboard. I recently visited with people from my work Scheveningen. A special ‘A Scheveningen on Tour’ shows the people all kind of ins and outs from this for offshore people special harbour. Within the tour there was also a visit to the museum of Scheveningen and also the lighttower, which has 162 steps. In the museum I found a model of the former fishing vessel Scheveningen 54, which was once used by Radio Delmare. Also there was a special book on the history of the harbour, of course with stories on the Offshore Days.’
SCHEVENINGEN 54 PHOTO: FREEWAVE ARCHIVE
Thanks a lot Bart and good to hear you enjoyed this trip through Scheveningen. Each time I’ve to go to the Hague for my work or other things I don’t forget to take the tram to Scheveningen and visit the odd places at the ‘Tweede Binnenhaven’, where so many memories are and of course still the Trip Tender and MV Fortuna are at the quay. The Foundation for Media Communication had contact with the publisher of the book but a pity is that the edition is completely sold out.
We have to go now to the maestro, also called Dan O’Day. He is sending out, like me, regular newsletters and knows also to get attention with other info mails: ‘Hi, Hans, in my latest Radio Programming Letter, I said something that generated a ton of responses. Most were approving. Some disagreed vehemently. So many people emailed to "put their two cents in" that I actually -- (gulp) -- launched my first-ever blog, to make it easier for subscribers to sound off. So if you want to check it out and maybe leave your own comment, just click on this link: http://www.danoday.com/blog
Thanks, Dan O'Day P.S. I really am nervous about this whole blog thing. But sink or swim, I promise not to use it to tell you what I ate for breakfast this morning or other minutiae of my daily life. It'll be devoted to "the business": http://www.danoday.com/blog
Let’s go to Eastern Europe and the man behind RTE, Eric Wiltsher. He heard last month that the international programs had to stop and only Slovakian language was one for the future. I asked my readers to protest and here’s Eric with the question to still take action: ’Dear Hans, thank you for including the RTI piece in your journal - much appreciated. We still need all the help we can get so anyone who feels our cause is good please ask them to e-mail the firstname.lastname@example.org with there views. Now I really know how Ronan felt when he said that is was less of a crime to go to Moscow than play a Beatles track. Regards, Eric.
From Eric Wiltshire, in Slovakia we go to Don in England, with very sad news from Israel.
‘Hi Hans, I have just heard today, from a good friend in the Israeli advertising industry of the death of Shosh Atari, the only Israeli broadcaster who offered competition to the Voice of Peace, her show was the only one that drew an audience that came close to 1540's. Her name came up in conversation, and my friend said Shosh had died of cancer; I was quite shocked, I had heard her on air in February this year while in Tel Aviv.
She broadcast up to the day of her death, on Radio Lev Hamedina, on April 1st 2008. After returning home from the studio she was later found dead in her North Tel Aviv apartment by family and friends. She was buried in the Yarkon Cemetary on the 3rd April 2008.
A number of Voice of Peace guys, especially Kas Collins, will be sad to hear of her passing, she had spent the last 9 years fighting a battle with kidney disease, and had undergone a number of operations to alleviate the condition.
Shosh Atari (Photo Archive Don Stevens)
I came across an air check of her last close down from April 1st on frgdr.com BLOG and she does sound very ill. She leaves behind her family and sister Gali, the Eurovision Song Contest winner, and a lot of friends from the Peace Ship who liked her spiky and chippy personality, and her great sense of humour.
So Hans, maybe a mention for a broadcaster, who, never a pirate had all the style and buckle to swash with the best of us, and, on air, was our only serious competition for two hours on Reshet Gimel. Without Shosh Atari, Reshet Gimel would have been an expensive failure for the IBA (Israel Broadcasting Authority) leaving the way clear for the offshore stations. Instead, Shosh Atari led the way for Israeli broadcasters to develop her style into an Israeli pop DJ style. She was also a good friend to a number of the guys, Kas knew her well, I worked with her and Gali in night clubs, and she was a good mate and the first Israeli DJ to self op her kit.
The report is looking good Hans, see you in November, Don Stevens.
Well Don, thanks a lot and I did forward the sad message to Kas and I know you’re in contact again. Take care and indeed see you in November.
Let’s go to another e mail from England: ‘Hi Hans - I hope that you are well.
I have a problem here for you and you readers. In the UK at the moment, there is a BBC TV drama programme running called "The Invisibles" - it is a comedy-drama based around three burglars who reform after a twenty year absence to rekindle some of their lost pride in being the best burglars in the UK.The question I have is nothing to do with the show, but the trailer that runs which advertises the programme itself. On the trailer - there is a piece of music which was used on Radio 390 back in 1966, as the theme tune for the "Sunday Times Hour of Jazz", (which was introduced by Jazz legend Alexis Korner). I have tried asking the BBC, but they say it was made at their marketing department, and they have no record of the music that was used. Perhaps someone has seen this and might know the name of the track used. Please - if anyone know what the music is - can you ask them to e-mail me on email@example.com
Many Thanks and all the Very Best Wishes from the UK
Well Chris hopefully there’s one in the readership who can help you and please if you get an answer let us know the title of the song and who played it.
If you have any memory to share or even other photo’s please don’t hesitate to exchange them with us. You can send them to HKnot@home.nl (memories) and Hans.Knot@gmail.com for photos.
‘ Hello Hans: I’ve not been in touch for a while. I hope you are well. Just to let you know I’m on Red Sands Radio next month and Swinging Radio England in August. Doug Wood. Swinging Radio England will be on www.nowthatsradio.co.uk there is a picture of the ship there right now. We did it last year for just the week, but we have all old jingles. It was wonderful and will be again this year. Doug.
Thank you Doug and great to see SRE in a new form can be heard again this summer. Good luck on Red Sands!
Next we go to John from Holland: ‘Dear Hans. Must there be a reason to have an internet site where most of the information is related to offshore radio? Yes, in my case there is the reason that I grew up in those splendid days and became devoted to the offshore radio stations. At my place the radio was on all day and every time on a frequency from one of the offshore stations; mostly Radio London and Caroline. I was a lot of time awake during the night and therefore I knew exactly at what time they closed down the transmitter and restarted them too. Listening for me went far, even so far that I could hear from the sound of the mediumwave and the interference on a signal which offshore station was on. Today’s youth doesn’t know how all those local radiostations got their birth. I think this is why we had all those pioneers from offshore days. Nowadays a listen a lot to Big L on 1395 AM, which for me is a very recognizable sound related to offshore radio. For those who want to know more just go to my pages at http://members.home.nl/pa0jhr Click on the flag which language you want to read and I wish all readers a lot of pleasure. John.’
Thanks John for your memory and good luck with your site. In last issue we had a review about the pirates’ dilemma, a book from Matt Mason. In the modern days all is possible as Matt Mason's book is now available for electronic download, price is up to you, enter any amount from $0.00 upwards, details: http://thepiratesdilemma.com/download-the-book
Next e mail came in from the Shetland Islands with quit interesting questions: ‘A friend and myself are trying to establish how many vessels of the offshore fleet visited Lerwick harbour, or any other Shetland harbour, in their early lives (before they were radio ships). It occurred to me that I had never seen a photo of the Norderney when it was a fishing trawler, first as the Paul J Muller HH 294 (1950-1956) and then as the Norderney (1956-1960). I have eight Dutch language books on Veronica and there is nothing in any of them. Also, I always considered the Norderney, as a radio ship, to be high out of the water, with the top part of its rudder showing, and not ballasted like a fishing boat. It certainly did/does not look like a typical side-winder fishing boat (that is one with nets put over the side for fishing).’ Ian Anderson, SIBC
Norderney in pre Veronica days Archive Freewave Media Magazine
Well Ian, surprise is here as I’ve a photo of the maiden trip as well as one from 1956. If they have visited the harbour Lerwick is not know to me. Also I send you a picture taken on the Norderney when they were rebuilding it into a discotheque. You can see the ballast consist partly of a lot of pebbles.
I did send the photos by mail and Ian replied
Pebbles ballast at the Norderney photo Marcel Poelman
After receiving the photographs Ian came back to me with: ‘Hans, I find the pictures very interesting. I had wondered why a vessel built in 1949/1950 was being scrapped as early as 1960. The pictures, one as the Paul J Muller (1950) and one as the Norderney (1956), provide the answer. The shape of the funnel and the black smoke from the funnel show that the Paul J Muller, later the Norderney, had coal, or bunker-oil, fired steam-propulsion. Although steam trawlers were being built well into the 1950s, by 1960 some fishing boat owners wanted only motor fishing vessels. Up until the 1950s steam propulsion was very efficient and reliable, compared to diesel motors, especially for long trips to the cod fishing off Iceland. The pictures also answer the question about the ballasting of the Norderney as a radio ship. As a fishing trawler the vessel is lower in the water, especially at the stern. With the enormous weight of the steam engine and other machinery removed, it must have been decide to re-ballast the vessel to give a greater freeboard for life as a radio ship. Ian Anderson, SIBC’
Then interesting news, which came in from Mike Barraclough: ‘The Times has put its entire archive online and access is free for an introductory period, though you do need to register. I put "Radio London" in the search engine for articles from 1964 to 1968 and got 43 results. Putting "Radio Caroline" in the search engine for articles for the same period gave me 166 results. Most interesting one I have seen so far is from August 16 1967 and shows the effect of the Marine Offences Act as is headlined: "Companies disown commercials by Radio Caroline" It includes a statement by Leslie Clark, of the Futurist Theatre in Scarborough about an advert for a concert by the Bachelors, placed by Phil Solomon's PPR Music. He says he is alarmed that the show was being advertised on Caroline North and would see his managing director immediately. "We shall all probably be in goal tomorrow" he said. Times Archive can be accessed at: http://archive.timesonline.co.uk
Thanks a lot Mike for brining in this news. Anyone who wants to write a memory, newsflash or send in a photo please use HKnot@home.nl and for attachments Hans.Knot@gmail.com
And now we go down yonder to Australia and Jack Curtiss has big news: ‘Well, folks I guess it's a good time for an update, being as the Fourth of July is near, regarding the Yank contingent of our Merry Band of Radio Outlaws. And it's not about me, still happily ensconced in Adelaide and just turned 65 (eek!) but someone else we've not heard of or from more than 41 years. Briefly, the word is Johnny Dark is alive! The irrepressible Dark Lord of the Night Ride (aka Harry Putnam) is alive and well (sort of a couple of strokes haven't helped probably) now 72 years old and living with his wife in Pasadena, Maryland, not that far from Towson, the Baltimore suburb where he worked years before coming to England.
Getting an invitation to another reunion (in the States) that I couldn't make got me thinking of those lads still missing from the radio pirate rolls and led me to make one stab at locating Harry. I tried a few times before but there are just too many guys with the same name but this time, on Bob LeRoi's nostalgia site, I spotted a middle initial I hadn't seen before and that did the trick. A half-hour later I was speaking with good old "Johnny Dark” himself. He was thrilled to hear from me and even more so to learn there were actually websites and fans avidly keeping up on what happened to us all after lo these many years. And of course he was quite saddened, when I related the unhappy end of young Boom-Boom's Virginia Odyssey.
I'll send him some photos and URL’s so he can check out the websites himself. Seems to me that somewhere on somebody's site is an Alan Black cartoon of Harry as Johnny Dark in Bermudas, a Hawaiian shirt, thongs and holding cocktail. I just went through my yellowed clippings and I don't have it. Anybody recall seeing this? But Johnny Dark is still cooking' and he's really pleased to hear from us and know that we care. Best regards, Jack Curtiss’.
And for those who don’t remember or know Johnny Dark, he was working on Swinging Radio England too. Jack sent the e mail to several persons with a lot of interest in the stations which were on the MV Laissez Fare/ MV Olga Patricia and a I decided to public a few of the reactions, which came in on the news from Jack. First the one from Jon Myer from the Pirate Hall of Fame: ‘It's good to hear from you - and very good news that you have traced Johnny Dark/Harry Putnam. Isn't the internet wonderful? I don't know if it is coincidence, or whether your phone call triggered a chain reaction within the Putnam family, but only this very morning I received an email from Harry's daughter, Michele Trankovich, offering to provide information about her father - and possibly a photo - for my web site. So thank you very much for setting the ball in motion. I am attaching the cartoon you mentioned, drawn by Alan Black, and published in the 21st February 1967 edition of Radio News. You must have a fantastic memory - it is almost exactly as you recall - just a tennis racquet instead of the cocktails. Congratulations on your 65th birthday and all the best, Jon’.
Then from Norway Svenn Martinsen: ‘Dear Jack! Congrats on your 65! Good also that you found another hero from my youth. Harry/Johnny's R&B Nite Ride promo from Britain Radio on 845 in Jan-Feb 1967 triggered me to listen so much, and take in the great music he played. Of course, I'd already then heard him on 1322 in the fall of 1966 with Oscar's Groovy Grotto ad to the Billy Preston tune. I think this was at the same time Jack McLaughlin came down from Radio Scotland to do an up-tempo 7-Midnite show on Radio 355. Don had been reinstated on January1st and the investors now wanted a more up- tempo format on Britain Radio. I have an edited mp3 recording on Bill "Boss"Berry doing that famous Legal ID on 1322 in late October 1966 (with co-channel Radio Moscow from Leipzig in background!) followed by Harry/Johnny and the Grotto ad. My regards to you all, especially to "Johnny Dark"! Svenn Martinsen.’
There’s just a little gap between happiness and sadness as I’ve to announce the death of Keith Ashton in Australia. Keith worked for Radio Hauraki, Radio Caroline, Capital Radio and the Voice of Peace but also a lot of radio stations in Australia. For more memories on his work and his friends go to: http://www.isonliveradio.com/iarba/lifemembers/keith_ashton.html
With thanks to Mary Payne who sent me the sad information.
RADIO DAY 2008
Hans Knot, Rob Olthof and Martin van der Ven have been busily planning this year's Radio Day which will be held on Saturday 8th November 2008 again in Amsterdam's Hotel Casa 400 near the Amstel railway station
(James Wattstraat 75) from 11:00 till 17:00 CET (which is Dutch local time).
This year's event will have "Radio Caroline in the late seventies (1977-80)" as a main topic. We are planning three panels to discuss that exciting era just before the MV Mi Amigo sank in March 1980. This will
include all English and Dutch colleagues who worked for the legendary offshore radio station thirty years ago. You see that this will again become a big class reunion...
We have also plans to invite a well known guest from Belgium. And you might look forward to an interesting dialogue between two old stagers who formed a major role in the European broadcasting history. Last but
not least Sietse Brouwer will present his station Radio Waddenzee which is broadcasting from the radioship Jenni Baynton.
More details to be announced soon. Many impressive pictures from the years gone by can be found at http://www.offshore-radio.de/radioday/
Then there was an e mail from New Zealand in which the sender wrote: ‘Hi Hans. Purely by coincidence I read the next article on internet: ‘ Jan Sundermann from Germany has a story and a question related to the MV Emma, once used by the ill fated project Radio Condor. ‘Hallo Hans, in July 1974 I was o¬n a sailing vacation in Enkhuizen. In a local discotheque o¬ne evening I thought to hear a familiar voice, when the deejay was o¬n. I later gave him some requests and talked with him, frankly asking if I might know his voice from the radio." Which station do you think?" he replied. "I think o¬n WMR" , and then he turned his Spotmaster cassettes around, and o¬n the backside was printed WMR. It was Theo Verstraaten (Boekel), the operator of WMR , that was raided a year earlier. Later in the week I could visit his home o¬ne evening, it was o¬n the way to Schagen in Nieuwe Niedorp. There was his studio, and the former transmitter location. Among the photos he showed, was also o¬ne picture of some WMR people o¬n board the former Condor ship, when lying in summer of 1973 in the harbour of IJmuiden. So station WMR was also o¬ne time interested in that boat for coming back with transmissions in the 49 m band. But as with many enthusiastic projects, they probably found soon, that it was not financially of a realistic chance. I saw Theo Boekel some weeks later in Scheveningen again, just before August 31st 1974. I was in the 1990s again in the area of Schagen, and a lady from the neighbourhood said, that she believed Theo had moved to New Zealand . Maybe he is nowadays a reader of this report? Jan.’
That was a question from a reader in Germany some months ago and yes the person who was asked responded himself with the next lines: ‘Well this is from Theo Boekel. Indeed I left Holland to go to New Zealand way back in 1976. Radio was a thing of the past for a long time for me. However, 20 years ago I couldn’t wait long, to make radio again. Echo Radio is the company I work for.’
Thanks Theo and this is what I found on the internet: ‘Echo Radio is a one-hour Dutch language programme with audiences across New Zealand, presented and produced by Theo Boekel with the assistance of Martin van Irk and Yoka McLeod. Theo approached Plains FM in 1988 with the idea of a programme for the Dutch community. Now, Echo Radio is heard on The Dutch Radio Network around New Zealand via other access radio stations like Plains FM. Echo Radio attracts people who have a connection to, or an interest in the Netherlands via the latest Dutch news, interviews and music.
For more information check out the website: www.echo.org.nz
Of course I sent the surprising e mail to Jan Sunderman in Germany and he came back with: ‘Hello Hans. That is quite a surprise. This planet is simply too small to escape, only our radio-waves can do that, best regards Jan’
Yes and those two are also in contact again due to the existence of the Hans Knot International Radio Report. Next a press report from Whitstable written by Bob Le-Roi:
‘Flying the Flag’ Broadcasting from the Thames Estuary Red Sands Radio might be all at sea but its HQ is in Whitstable and it’s serviced from the harbour there. In the mid 1960’s Radio Sutch, the first station to use a Fort later Radio City settled on Shivering Sands. Meanwhile Radio Invicta later KING then Radio 390 took over the Red Sands. They too were supplied from Whitstable Harbour; Fred Downs owner skipper of the ‘Harvesters’ looked after the needs on Shivering Sands whilst Vic Davies served Red Sands with his ‘Mallard’
Operating outside then British Territorial waters both stations kept a low profile, the Forts were unlit as shown on the Admiralty charts, and no flag ever flew from their radio towers. Now in 2008 broadcasting & operating within British law Red Sands Radio has commissioned its own flag to fly from the Fort top. Said media designer ‘Kathia’: “Initially the idea was to use the overall layout plan of the Forts, but artistically I created a design based on a red background that encompassed the Fort’s elevation in yellow surrounded by the distinctive well know life ring” Radio Red Sands launches on 4th July 2008. For more information contact Red Sands Radio, PO Box 299, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 2YA or telephone 07961 601 893 Bob Le-Roi - Programme Director’.
Well Bob a lot of success the forthcoming weeks and a lot of fun. Hope you’ll write a little report for next issue of the Hans Knot International Radio Report too!
Bob also updates his own pages: ‘Welcome to the July 2008 Update.
Another full month ‘Scrapbook’ concludes last summers adventures on Red Sands Radio in Part 8 with some superb aerial shots of the Towers & North Kent Coastline. Plus we bring you the start of the 2008 season in Red Sands Radio – Part 9. ‘One Subject One Link’ takes a look at the trend of listener channel hopping, normally when a song that doesn’t suit them is being played
On the ‘Personal Pages’ we unveil the work of local artist Peter Gander
Plus show some pictures of the Swale, Thames and Estuary in a recent X-Pilot charter. Finally the best way to visit Red Sands Radio this year is on our tender, which will come out from Whitstable weather and tides permitting. Enjoy Your Visits.’ www.bobleroi.co.uk
I found this photograph back in my archive, which was taken by Peter Messingfeld way back, I think in 1973, at the Pirate Radio News Headquarters, which were at the Goudlaan 613 in Groningen. You see nine t-shirts on one photograph. These are all shirts, which were worn a lot in those days. I know for sure one of two still exists in my archive. There must be a pink bag in one of the boxes, filled with all kind of radio t-shirts. I will have a look one day. So, what is left in your linen cupboard? Just let make someone a photograph of yourself in one of the radio t-shirts’ and send it to Hans.Knot@gmail.com
Mail from Gert in Belgium who wrote: ‘Last year I promised you to inform, when something would happen with the Norderney in Antwerp. Since last Friday (June 20th) seven people are rebuilding the ship. On the photograph attached you see that a wooden floor is made on the original deck. I tried to get information from the people but I was not too successful. I think they’re warned not to tell anything about the destination of the former Veronica ship. Also on the inside of the vessel they were rebuilding, but I wasn’t allowed to make pictures. For more photographs just go to my internet blog.
Thanks a lot to Gert and all the others who kept me informing about the activities in Antwerp harbour. Maybe I’ve next month more about the future destination of the ship.
Antwerp June 2008 Photo Gert
Let’s go to the update from the Pirate Hall of Fame for this month:
• We have added another page in the ever-growing Pirate Radio Hall of Fame ‘Seventies Supplement’, featuring broadcasters from that decade whose names begin with the letters G and H - complete with plenty of photos and recordings;
• from the sixties, we hear from Radio Caroline North's Wally Meehan;
• from Keith Martin's wonderful collection of offshore memorabilia, we take a look at Radio Caroline's 1964 programme format - back in the day when it was mainly playing middle-of-the-road music;
• there is more information about the conference celebrating Radio Caroline North taking place on the Isle of Man in September;
• and details of Red Sands Radio which returns to the air this month from Radio 390's old home. My grateful thanks, as ever, to all the contributors. All the best, Jon The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame
And of course don’t
forget to visit
The Art pages from the Times brought the news of the death of Jimmy McGriff, who we all remember from Caroline’s night theme ‘Around Midnight’ as follows: ‘Jimmy McGriff, who since the early 1960s was one of the most popular jazz and blues organists, died on Saturday in Voorhees, N.J. He was 72 and lived in Voorhees. Like other jazz organists of his time, Mr. McGriff spent much of his career working in the clubs of the East Coast organ circuit, including the Golden Slipper in Newark, a club he owned in the early ’70s. He played jazz as dance music, whether it was music by Count Basie, Charlie Parker, Ray Charles or James Brown. Over swing, shuffle and funk rhythms, he played in a focused blues language that built gospel-like intensity through his solos.
Mr. McGriff was born in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, which became a jazz organ Mecca in the 1950s and ’60s. His father played piano, and Mr. McGriff learned it from an early age; he went on to play saxophone and bass before settling on the Hammond organ, which became a common instrument in small-group jazz instrument only in the mid-’50s, largely because of the example of another Philadelphian, Jimmy Smith.
During the Korean War, Mr. McGriff served as a military policeman; returning home, he spent more than two years on the Philadelphia police force. Encouraged by his friend Richard (Groove) Holmes, another Philadelphia organist, he took up the organ, playing around Philadelphia, sometimes with the tenor saxophonist Charles Earland, who himself switched over to the organ soon thereafter and became another one of that instrument’s great players.
His first hit, in 1961, was a 45-r.p.m. single of Ray Charles’s “I’ve Got a Woman,” a local jukebox success that was featured on the radio. It led to a full album for the Sue label; it also quickly led to another hit single, “All About My Girl.” From the mid-’60s through the 1970s, his records were produced by Sonny Lester, on the Solid State, Blue Note and Groove Merchant labels; his own 1971 live album, “The Black Pearl,” as well as another with the blues singer Junior Parker, were recorded at his own club in Newark. He also played with Buddy Rich’s band for a stretch in the late ’60s and early ’70s. In 1986 he started working regularly with the saxophonist Hank Crawford, making records and touring; he continued to record as a leader for the Milestone label and made his last recording in 2006, a live album done at the Manhattan jazz club Smoke. He stopped playing in 2007. In addition to his wife, Margaret, Mr. McGriff is survived his mother, Beatrice, and brother, Henry, both of Philadelphia; his sisters, Jean Clark of Amherst, Va., and Beatrice Evans of Philadelphia; two children, Donald Kelly of Philadelphia and Holiday Hankerson of the Newark area; and five grandchildren. ‘There were several people responding on the death of Jimmy McGriff and here are a few: ‘I dare say that mention will be made in your next report of the death of the great blues organist Jimmy McGriff, whose recording of the Thelonious Monk composition 'Round Midnight' was used as close down music each evening on the early days of Radio Caroline. The first time I heard this track on Caroline I could not understand why they played what seemed to me this never ending and dreary piece of music. Strangely, I felt compulsion to stick it out to the end just to see what it was all about and guess what? I grew to love it and other music of Mr McGriff but trying to get a copy of the LP containing the track was damned near impossible. I worked near the infamous Soho district of London's west-end where there were several specialist and jazz record retailers shoe-horned in between the strip clubs and unscrupulous 'clip-joints' that populated the area but none had even heard of it. By chance when working on a hospital radio station around 1969 with a young man called Noel Edmonds (that's another story), one of our new DJs came into the studio with a copy and kindly loaned it to me. My triumph at last being able to hear the LP in hi-fi was short lived as the condition of the record was truly appalling being full of dust, finger marks, scratches and the remains of what might well have been served up at the local Chinese take-away some months previously. It was unplayable but with much cleaning and coaxing of my Garrard SP25 record deck pick up arm I managed to get a tape recording of the whole LP. The 'Round Midnight' track insisted on jumping at one point but a piece of cotton attached to the pick up and a minimum of opposite force applied by myself eventually guided it through with no more than a click or two. I still have the LP as the lender of it abruptly left our hospital radio station so I was unable to return it to him although I seem to recall him telling me he had himself borrowed it from someone. Maybe it was the Caroline original. Who knows? It remains as part of my small collection of 'pirate radio' discs that includes original 45 rpm discs of 'Caroline' by The Fortunes on Decca, 'Man of Action' (RNI) by Les Reed Orchestra on a Chapter One Records the CBS LP 'Tasty' by the Belgian organist Andre Brasseur which was very popular with the stations on your side of the North Sea, Hans. Here's hoping this little story is of interest to you and your readers. With best wishes
Thanks Stephen for this very nice memory you’ve to the ‘ Round Midnight’ from Jimmy McGriff. In the meantime a recording from Caroline North with the days ending, featuring the ‘Round Midnight’ tune and Bob Stewart finishing that days transmission, went around with several people. A recording on very high quality and one avid Radio London and Radio Caroline listener from the sixties, who made fame himself on the radio in later years responded to me with: ‘Thanks for ‘Round Midnight’ A magical piece of music which reminds me on the first years of Radio Caroline but also brings me back to the summer of 1967 when I made a travel by car from the Mid of England to Wales and then to London. Really it was an adventure. In Wales it was very rainy, with Caroline North on in the car and a sunny mid England. The place Rhyll in Wales was also visited by me, which is a typical bath resort for workers. In my memory it was quite an adventure to make this trip. For me it’s a nice musical memory and also a nice factual memory. ‘Round Midnight’ also brings me back to March 1968 when both Caroline vessels were towed into harbour and they was ‘free’ access to both ships for the public. ‘Tom Mulder, aka Klaas Vaak from Veronica.
Then an e mail from Robbie Dale who worked for Caroline, Veronica, TROS, NOVA, Sunshine and more and tells us that it’s almost 20 years and still suffering withdrawal symptoms. “Radio is a drug” the bug get the gang back together after 20 years. This time it’s also open to “radio folks” in general. I think Roger David and Dara should be congratulated. Thank you guys! Robbie Dale.’
Well what I read between the lines that this autumn there will be a reunion probably in Dublin. I have heard from Roger Lane, the entrance price will be €35 and will include food and souvenir T shirt. This is a link of interest. http://www.radiowavesforum.com/rw/showthread.php?t=15774
Maybe Robbie or someone else can provide us with more details. It could be of interest for some of our readers. All info can be send to HKnot@home.nl
This July the American Forces Network will celebrate its 65th anniversary. Anticipating this occasion, AFN-experts Ingo Paternoster sent me some photographs to remember. The photos, accompanying this article, were taken on March 27, 2003, during the opening of the exhibition ‘60 Jahre AFN in Frankfurt’ in the "Historisches Museum" in Frankfurt, Germany.
When did my involvement with radio start? Looking back at my youth and thinking of radio, the first thing to come into my mind, no doubt, are the many fine evenings I spent listening to the radio from under the blankets in my bedroom. At that time, children were not used to watching television up till the late hours. No, instead, we had to go to bed quite early. Television in Holland was just in its infancy and the programs were aired for only a few hours a week. That is to say, if your parents were lucky enough to own a television set. Our parents were early starters as they already bought one in 1958, an Erres from Germany. However, the programs had not much to offer to young adolescents and so we sought our refuge in listening to the radio.
I shared a big bedroom with my brothers and so in the late 1950s the three of us had the opportunity to listen to the radio in our own private quarters. Given our taste for music, our choices were rather limited. We either could tune into the fading signal of Radio Luxembourg on 208 meters on the AM band or to that other station that also was transmitting in English though with a distinct signature. Here the presenters spoke their phrases with a clear American accent and they brought us music we never had heard before, including country music and rock and roll. The station was transmitting on AM and made itself known as AFN Bremerhavn. Bremen was not too far away from our hometown Groningen and so the signal came in at a reasonable quality.
AFN, the "American Forces Network", was a military station and its programs were aimed at that part of the US forces in Germany, housed in Bremen. Once you started listening to AFN Bremerhaven, you were quick to find out that only part of the programming originated from the local station itself. The other part consisted of programs that were also aired on sister stations globally. It took some time before I learned how this construction worked. Next to AFN Bremerhaven, so I found out, there were many other AFN stations all over the world to provide the soldiers with news, information, sports, amusement, culture and music. The joint programs, being aired by all stations, in those days were put on record in the US and subsequently sent all over the world. Later the distribution was taken care of by tapes, cd's and, still later, through satellite feeds. Of course, during the last years also programming has been done with the use of the modern techniques, including the use of internet.
My brothers and I, sure, were not the only ones in our hometown that were attracted by the sound of AFN. During playtime, at school, we soon learnt that more boys and girls of our age group were tuning in and we all shared the same reason. We were hearing things, which we were not allowed to listen to on our Dutch public station, Hilversum 1 and 2. It was music we never heard before. And, we liked it from the very start. In short, AFN was introducing us to American radio music. As was to be expected, the station had the same appeal to young people in many other European countries. It would take more than ten years, though, up till 1971, before I would be in contact with someone from abroad who also regularly tuned into AFN. His name was Ingo Paternoster and he came from Germany. It became clear to me that AFN was his most favorite station. Next we started to exchange the material we had recorded throughout the years as well as to send each other spoken letters in which we talked about our shared love for radio.
In time I met Ingo Paternoster in the flesh when he made his first visit to Holland. He came over to see me, and of course, more importantly, to listen to AFN Shape (Soesterberg) as well for a visit of the studio's of Radio Veronica in Hilversum. Now, after 37 years, Paternoster and I are still in contact and we are still exchanging radio material of all kinds. After that first meeting I really started to learn more about AFN and AFRTS. The idea of founding the station came about a year before the invasion of the Allies in Europe and was the brainchild of General Dwight Eisenhower, also known as Ike, in later years President of the USA. Eisenhower had the idea that the American soldiers, far away from home, would feel better if they could be informed on a regular base by radio and other forms of communications. His first target was the American soldiers, who were already encamped in — overcrowded — military camps in the United Kingdom.
With the forthcoming invasion in mind, Eisenhower realized that the American soldiers had to be informed very properly to keep up the morale. There were some serious signs that things were not going well in this respect. In September 1942, a research project brought the information that more and more soldiers got disheartened by their long stay in the camps, far away from home, under harsh conditions. The camps were really overcrowded. And of course, there was a growing fear to be actively involved in the coming battles. To distract themselves from these daily concerns, the soldiers could tune in to the BBC programs. These, however, did not bring a feeling of close contact with home, as the BBC reserved only thirty minutes a week for American music and, yes, only five minutes a week for sports information. The American soldiers, moreover, didn't really like the stiff way of presenting of the British in those days. Information was sent to Washington's White House that due to these facts more and more soldiers started listening to the propaganda radio stations of the Nazi's.
This disturbing outcome was serious reason enough for Dwight Eisenhower to contact a few of his best persons within the Ministry of War: General Everett Hughes and Mr. Brewster Morgan, who got the job of changing things on short notice. They responded to this task by proposing the start of a newspaper, a magazine, and also a radio station. Eisenhower gave them a free hand to start up these information systems. A newspaper, called "Stars and Stripes", already had been published during World War 1 and now was reinstituted. By the way, it still exists. The radio station was newly founded. This meant the birth of AFN, the "American Forces Network" with several low powered transmitters, nearby or on the several military Camps in Great Britain. The first program was aired, sixty-five years ago, on July 4th, Independence Day, 1943.
In due time, all over the world similar stations followed the American forces during their activities. They bring them information about the local situation they're in, but also news and information from home. Next to stations with a more permanent status, a lot of mobile stations were — and still are — used all around the world. After World War II, to mention only one out of many, the Blue Danube Network was grounded. The main station was in Vienna (Austria) while two sister stations were erected in the cities of Linz and Salzburg. As said, this is just an example. During the Cold War, countries such as Spain and Italy, and of course Germany, also got their own AFN stations. There even was an offshore AFN station as the Americans used a radio ship, the MV Courier, to transmit programs off the coast of Rhodes in the Mediterranean. And, for us, be it AFN Vietnam, AFN Bosnia, AFN Shape, AFN Berlin, AFN Heidelberg, AFN Balkans or AFN Iraq, all these stations were interesting enough to listen to. Of course for Ingo Paternoster and I and all those other AFN lovers, we mostly listened to them by the recordings we did trade with each other.
Since our very first meeting in 1971, I stayed in contact with Ingo Paternoster and, next to our tapes, we shared our love for radio — AFN and Offshore Radio being our most important interests. Up till March 1993 I could tune in and listen to AFN Bremerhaven, after which the local station was closed down. From that moment on, I had to rely on tapes being sent by friends like Ingo Paternoster, to enjoy the AFN programs. Paternoster, meanwhile, had moved from Northern Germany to Bavaria, and there he could listen to stations like AFN Frankfurt and AFN Munich, which, of course, he taped for me. His top favorite deejays, so I could deduce from these recordings, were Rick Damerest and Bill Switcher.
Now in 2008 we don’t send each other tapes, as we’re in the digital modern world we can bring archive recordings by internet within minutes to each other by uploading and downloading them, but listening to these recordings is still as much exiting as under the blanket in the early sixties of last century.
And the photos taken by Ingo Paternoster and others are partly already on the internet and Martin van der Ven, the webmaster, will publish more in time to come.
Also Martin placed a lot of photographs concerning the hard work many people do at the restoration on the MV Ross Revenge in the harbour of Tillbury. Take a look at www.offshore-radio.de
More interesting things came in for instant to have a look for a CD called THE GREASEMAN’s Greatest hits –this CD can be loaded down completely…
As I wrote at the beginning of this report July 2008 is the moment to think back and remind that it’s 50 years ago that commercial radio from international waters began from a ship off the Scandinavian coast. Later this month we look back with a report written by Henrik Noergaard. Well thank you all for writing in and sharing your memories with us. Both e mail addresses are open again and for news, memories we have HKnot@home.nl
And for attachments Hans.Knot@gmail.com
Erik Lindhardt near transmitter Radio Mercur
Greetings Hans Knot
Offshore Deejays' Nicknames
Female Offshore Radio Deejays
Radio London Commercials
Offshore Radio Programme Names - Programmanamen Zeezenders 1958-1990
Read Hans Knot's former report