Hans Knot's International Radio Report - January 2005 (2)
Welcome the second edition of the report for 2005 and thanks once again for all your e-mails, news, memories and support. Again I
have to make a choice as so many things came in this time.
First an e-mail came in from Ruud van Velzen who was involved in Holland FM as well as on Radio Monique. He is a professional photographer and his work can now be seen on www.harmtenbrink.nl. Go and have a look in his and soon your memories.
January 2nd was the day we could score the very first nick name for 2005. It was in an old program from aboard the Ross Revenge in which the special Johnny Lewis GHB was introduced. He talked about his colleagues and when talking about Nick Richards he was mentioning him The famous nick nick, nock nock Nick Richards. And what to think about Jack Spector, once syndicated deejay with programs on Caroline? Next to the one we scored already he called himself Jack leader Jake Spector. Two others were heard on other stations: Veronica and Lex Ome Lex Harding and on Laser Hot Hits DL Bogart called himself often The Bachelor Bogart . During the past few weeks I was also listening to some old tapes and heard a nick name we also didn t mention before: Paul The Great Palmy Farmy Kramer op Radio City.
Strange enough just after writing the above I checked my e-mails and the first to be opened came from the same good old Hello Lads Johnny Lewis: Hi Hans. Happy New Year to you. Let me just say you have done so much for Caroline and Offshore Radio, well done! Really had a great time at the last Radio Day and will be with you again, if you want me to at the next. Happy New year again, and thanks for all you and Rob Olthof have done for the station (Caroline) over the years. By the way I noticed in your monthly report that you're talking about Rob Randell, I talk with Rob on a weekly basis. He sorts prizes for my show on KM-fm out, I'll pass on you e-mail address and get him to let you know what he's doing. We often talk about his days on Radio 390. He has some great stories to tell. Best wishes Hans for 2005. Johnny Lewis .
Thanks for you very kind words. Of course there are many volunteers who have done a lot though the years for Radio Caroline, getting the Ross Revenge in good condition as well as doing other work for the organisation and lucky enough still a lot of volunteers are doing good work. And next to that I don t want to comment myself anymore but every reader is free to have their say as the newsletter is from everyone! Also very good to hear you re in a weekly contact with Rob Randell. Hope he can put some of his memories on paper for publication in my report. See you later this year, when I m over in Kent.
On the subject Magazines the next e-mail, which also came in from Chesterfield in Derbyshire:
Hi Hans, Thanks again for an interesting newsletter. Having been an offshore fan since the tender age of 8 (that gives my age away) I finally at the end of 2003 offered my direct help to the organisation that is Caroline given the need to do more on the internet. Over a year later I still help where I can producing merchandise, web pages www.horizonmagazine.co.uk and since the sad passing of Jenny Knight, copy to help out Horizon Magazine. I have also helped out with efforts to obtain advertising and in particular with Mike Weston and John Knight`s recent RSL. Last August I followed up a request by Mike Weston and John Knight to post directions to the RSL on the Ross at Tilbury. In the month that followed I ran a photo competition that had some 200 responses, a guest book that had hundreds of entries, daily logs from DJ's on board and a log of Alan Beech's web cams. The interactivity has continued ever since and what was a sales page has grown into a full web site encouraging interactivity from fans again and help the magazine and sales to support the radio ship grow. As Horizon reaches its 100th Issue in March it would be nice to acknowledge the history that is Caroline (as in your book) but also the fact that the present day running of the ship and station is a big team effort from a long list of volunteers rarely mentioned. Let's see 2005 bring more constructive efforts to maintain free radio and a bit of lightening up of spirits about the collective idea that is Caroline in the light of all the misery in our world just now that makes squabbling about music radio seem very trite. Happy New Year to all, Bill Barnes firstname.lastname@example.org
I had a long email from Larry Ware, who s living in Peoria Illinois, USA. He found my e mail address versus the on line Journal for Media and Music Culture, Soundscapes and reflected on the story which I wrote about deejay Harry Harrison. Currently Larry is researching the work of Harry and doing an in depth interview with him as well as trying to get old recordings from Harry Harrison. Here just a piece out of the email: I would be glad to send you a copy of my interview of Mr. Harrison with you as well, if you are interested when it is completely edited. Incidentally, that was a wonderful in depth article you wrote about Harry Harrison and I printed off a copy to sent it to him last week. Mr. Harrison was equally delighted in your article about him. I spoke with Mr. Harrison last night on the phone and told him I had written to you and that you might have a recording of him from his WCFL days and he would be very interested in obtaining a copy of this. Mr. Harrison was also delighted with your Soundscapes article. Harry is currently back to work part-time at WCBS-FM on Saturday's from 6 AM to 10 AM with a Beatles for Breakfast program. He returned on 10-9-04. (I have a copy of his first day back.) Also thanks for the report. I scanned it briefly and am now printing it out to take a closer look at it. It looks fascinating. I was not aware of passing of Chuck Leonard from WABC fame in 2004. I used to listen to him live from Peoria, IL., back when I was in high school (1973 - 1974) as the WABC 50,000 watt signal would come in crystal clear on some nights. Before I collected air-checks I DX'ed with a sensitive 1959 Sherwood tuner. I've just recently acquired a very nice studio 1978 air-check of Chuck Leonard from Bob Gilmore who has almost as large of air-check collection as Tom Konard. Here is a link to Bob's website. He has his air-checks organized geographically so it is easy to find what you are looking for from his site. He also has many foreign broadcasts:
Bob Gilmore has visited Harry Harrison twice at WCBS and Harry took him for a tour of the station back in 2001. I have collected many nice air-checks of Harry Harrison from Bob. Bob and I talk occasionally by phone and he has his own audio studio in his home. He works for the ABC Radio network in New York. One interesting story that Harry Harrison told me about his start in broadcasting was that when he put out applications in Chicago, IL in the early 50's he almost did not get the letter that was sent to him from WCFL. He was living with his sister at the time. His parents were in California. His sister found the letter and read that Harry was supposed to show up for an audition. She was not going to give it to Harry. She was concerned for his future and his career choice. She called Harry's Mother in California and asked whether she should give the letter to Harry, knowing that he would be disappointed if he did not get it. Harry's Mother told his sister that if that was what Harry wanted to do (to work in radio) that he has to "go for it no matter what, that life is not easy" and she was to give Harry that letter! Of course, Harry's sister did give him the letter and Harry got the job! This was in the early spring of 1953 and was Harry's first paid position in radio working as a summer replacement. Thanks again for the newsy newsletter!
Thanks Larry and Harry and to you the readers if you have any old Harry Harrison recordings from the time before he went to New York, please let me know and maybe we can arrange that Harry can get a copy and who knows something will be there in return. My email address is open for answers: Hknot@home.nl
And of course you can find the online journal for media and music culture at: www.soundscapes.info
PHIL MITCHELL ON MV MI AMIGO
Sad message is coming in on January 3rd from Colin Lamb about one of the former VOP deejays Phil Mitchell. Hi Hans, Thanks, as always for the monthly report, which I really enjoy reading. However, I'm sorry to give you the news that former Caroline and Voice of Peace DJ, Phil Mitchell, suffered a stroke on Friday and is now recovering in the stroke unit of Colchester Hospital. His powers of recognition and thought are still there. He does understand what you say to him but he is currently unable to speak, although he can now nod his head yes or no . He can also quite happily operate the TV remote with his left hand. Sadly, he cannot yet use his right arm/hand. I know Phil has recently been putting himself back into circulation and communicating more with people within radio circles, such as yourself and had been providing programmes, initially for Radio Seagull and currently for Offshore Music Radio. I told him I would let you know and hopefully you can then inform people of his situation through your reports. Obviously, I'll continue to keep you informed on his progress.
For anyone who wants to visit him either sent him a best wishes card Phil Mitchell is in Room 4, The Stroke Unit, Gainsborough Wing, Colchester General Hospital, Essex in England. If anyone wishes to pass on any messages to Phil, they can send them to Colin at email@example.com and he gladly pass them onto him.
PEACE SHIP IN HARBOUR OF ASHDOD
Talking about the Voice of Peace another e-mail came in the same day from former VOP deejay Phil Brice: Hans, Read with great interest Stevie Gordon and Don Steven's comments on the Voice Of Peace and their comments about your previously published deck shot. I have many fond memories of the time spent on board in late '75 and early '76. Did various air shifts with fellow Aussie Ken Dickin, the immortal Black Printz, Robin Banks and Phil Sayer. Bill Danse, the ship's Dutch chief engineer, helped by Jules Retrot, again from Australia. Don the captain. I lived in fear of Charly, the ship's French chef who was almost permanently on board, due to a lack of passport after deserting the French Foreign Legion. He was mostly feared for his inedible drenched-in-oil cooking. I also voiced the station ID that still ran many years after I left, also brought to the ship voice indents produced as a favor with Bill Mitchell, the deep velvet voiceover on UK radio in the late seventies. Have very little in the way of mementoes of the time, just an air-check tape. Would be interested in any info or shots you may be able to forward to me or any contacts. Can you let me have Stevie Gordon's email address?
Hi, Phil and good to hear from you and your memories. Many former people who have worked on the VOP, are reading the report and so I will mention your e-mail address so they have the possibility to reflect. Steve is working and living in Scandinavia and I've met him some three years ago. Always nice seeing back people. Will forward your later some photos of the old days. For all other former VOP people, here's Phil's e mail address:
I want to go back to Colin Lamb who also had some questions on the history of RNI:
Here's are a couple of questions for you, which if you are unable to answer, perhaps you could include them in your next report. Do you know what happened to Mark Slate (Dee Harrison on Caroline) after he left RNI in February 1973 (he only joined in December 1972 of course). Also, cross referencing a list of jocks that worked on the English service of RNI, against those that I have found in my research, leaves me with two jocks that I cannot find anything about. They are Bill Crisp and Ray Cooper. Have you heard of them Hans? If yes, did they indeed work on RNI and if yes, do you know when and anything about them before or after RNI? Many thanks, in advance. Best regards. Colin Lamb.
Of course I ve heard of all three of them but I can t give you the right answers. Those questions, which are coming in everyday, were the reason I started the International Knot Radio Report many years ago. Just that every reader can help others. So who knows the answer on the questions of Colin. Surely one of the many former RNI deejays and technicians who are reading the report have a answer on one of those questions. As always you can respond to: Hknot@home.nl
A very happy e mail came in from Robb Eden including information of a break through within the BBC ideas of what to play or not to play: Happy, Happy New Year Hans. Many thanks, as usual, for your newsletter. Still many memories of October. The best gathering of offshore radio people for a long, long time. Looking forward to the next one. Some good news about my campaign to get more unsigned music on UK radio. For the past 18 months I have been trying to persuade the BBC to take a more innovative approach to music programming. There has been much resistance to my idea of not putting so much emphasis on chart based music during daytime programmes but they have gone with the idea of letting the audience decide what they would like to hear. The result was today's 10 hour takeover which resulted in the highest number of calls, texts and e-mails that Radio One has received for over 10 years! The audience chose the music, a complete mix including rock, disco, classical, jazz and folk. It was a huge success. I have been told that BBC executives will be meeting later this week to discuss the overwhelming response. I have also been told that more unsigned music will be featured on all BBC music networks. Good news for all good music and good radio lovers. Robb Eden.
Robb's internet site can be found at: www.jacobsladder.org.uk
Here one from a group of people who are planning to restart a Radio Caroline. Here's their e-mail: Hello Hans, all is not lost with regards Radio Caroline, our website will explain some of our plans for 2005: http://www.radiocaroline.lv. We urge former presenters and technical/support teams to contact us if they wish to help make this project a success. The countdown has begun - hopefully toward the launch of an expanded Radio Caroline International. With best wishes from Latvia for 2005, The Radio Caroline International Team
Concerning Caroline International.lv Peter Moore states: Of course this is nothing to do with us and like Radio Caroline. fr it is probably no more than a web address. If I took an educated guess I would name Chris England and Andrew Yeates as creating yet another spoof to excite the anorak fraternity. Andrew etc have tinkered with SW from Latvia for a few hours here and there with Caroline and Laser tributes. I do not expect to hear any signal.
Radio Caroline tells me that their new channel on Astra 2C at 19.2 continues but that there may be interruptions during January as fresh equipment is installed. The channel is given to Caroline by the German firm Technisat. This company wants a variety of specialist stations on their channels, stations in fact that cannot be received on conventional AM and FM. Technisat hope to sell set top boxes to new listeners at a rate of 10 to 20.000 boxes a month. Caroline will be programmed in to the new boxes sold. Existing listeners may have to pay a yearly fee but this will only be around 20 Euros. The signal is presently free to air.
In 2005 Caroline say that they want to look at cable transmission. They have tried in the past to deal with the main UK cable companies NTL and Telewest but without success. They have also offered Ross Revenge on loan to the BBC in case the BBC wants to again recreate a pirate radio sound as they did in 2004 with Pirate BBC Essex.
The fund to purchase a Sky channel number had reached the figure of £8750 at Jan 12th. 7.4 million UK homes have Sky (incidentally, 29.2 million homes get Astra 2C) but Sky viewers/listeners probably do not know right now, that Caroline can be heard from their televisions. The full sum needed for a year is about £20.000. Although John Knight is stepping back from his Caroline work after the death of his wife he is doing one more big mail out appealing for donations. However since so many people are concentrated on the Tsunami disaster he is holding back the mail out for a while. Caroline Sales have made a donation to the disaster fund.
We are sorry to announce that Caroline presenter Mark Stafford's mother passed away just before Christmas and her funeral took place just before the New Year. Caroline programme schedules have additionally been upset by illness affecting Dave Foster and Rob Leighton. However Roger Day has now returned. Roger was hired for some while by Saga radio to replace a breakfast DJ who was fired for criticizing Saga in the press. Caroline news, with thanks to Peter Moore.
Bart van Peer comes from Belgium and is also an avid radio enthusiast and has followed all our mentioning of nick names of former offshore radio deejays. Now the complete list can be found on internet he thought to sent two more nicknames. On Radio Mi Amigo was Will van der Steen who was also called Ome Joep met de Soep (Uncle Joep with the soup) and Gerard van der Zee on Radio Atlantis was also called Gerard van't Kanaal (Canal)
In last issue we talked about the Dutchmen who worked for Radio City with the name of Martin Green. He s living nowadays in Rotterdam and enjoys the memories from the past too. Strange enough around six in the evening of January 6th two emails came in both about Martin Green. First one was from my best friend Paul de Haan who sent me an mp3 with an exclusive recording of Martin who wishes his mother happy birthday and to show how small our radio word is here the contents of the second e mail: Hi Hans, Great to read about Martin Green, I was 2nd Projectionist at the Oxford Cinema, next door to the Radio City Shop in Whitstable for three years and Martin used to come in whenever in port and have a cuppa tea and a chat - a great pal nearly 40 years ago, we both got married and lost touch - please could I have his e-mail address to contact him. Warmest Regards and A Happy New Year
PS I am still in the Cinema trade. Bill Pryor.
Of course I've sent both e-mails to Martin. And so our radio hobby is still exciting in 2005.
Mail from Holland means this time news from former Dutch Caroline man Sietse Brouwer about his nowadays activities: The very successful Radio Seagull/Radio Waddenzee tests on 1602 AM have been terminated as the vessel we were using had to go on a trip and the expected time between their return and the completion of the transmitter site on land didn't justify a complete rebuild of the antenna etc. There is more news. Starting on Monday January 17th, every weekday between 2 am and 6 am [UK time], Radio Seagull will be broadcasting on the SKY satellite, once again using EPG number 913. This may seem a less current slot, but that depends on the way you look at it. It being after midnight means most television sets will be switched off and the digiboxes will be available for the music lovers in the house! Another positive development making the time of broadcast more or less irrelevant, is the new "SKY BOX PLUS". This modern version of the digibox carries a hard drive and is able to record programs so they can be listened to whenever it suits the owner. Many thanks go to Apple FM without whom this had not been possible.
Last issue of the Knot Radio Report ended with the news of the plan from radio stations in Holland to work for a day under one name. On January 6th 6 radio stations, including Veronica, Radio 3 (the public broadcaster), RTL and Radio 10 transmitted a whole day under the name Radio 555. This happened as they wanted to inform the listener as much as possible about the Campaign to raise as much as possible money for the people in Asia. During the evening also the public broadcasters worked together with the television teams of SBS6 and RTL4. So on three different channels the same television program went out. At the end of the day a total of 112 million Euros was raised. I m proud to be a cloggy Dutchmen.
Then try to remember in your mind how many movie clips from the sixties come back, which you ve seen on your television set? One comes into my mind when Spencer Davis was in the chart with Keep on running . A black and white movie in which they performed walking on escalators in a warehouse. Well a lot of very nice sixties movies, which have been shown in those days, can be found back on internet. Remember Nancy Sinatra and her legs in These Boots ? No? Well go and have a look: http://scopitones.com/scopitone_of_the_day_archive.html
And even talking about television in the sixties we go back to the REM island of the Noordwijk coast to find there was another female presenter which we did not mention before: Marijke Philips.
News from Bob in Whitstable: You might be interested to know that 20a Oxford Street has again been given a new lease of life, this time as a book shop. Since The Record Centre the Radio City office closed the shop stood empty for ages before being let on short leases, it's since been a fruit shop, carpet store and as a book shop looks quite nice. I popped in to see the owner who was fascinated about its past.
Which was once the odd Radio City office at Oxfordstreet Whitstable
Copyright Bob LeRoi
From Germany an e-mail came in on January 12th from Gerhard Fiolka: Just found a web-radio-station with audio stream playing 60s Psychedelic music. They also broadcast original 60s commercials. Great! www.techwebsound.com
And the next one came in from Malmö in Sweden reminding us Roy Sandgren and a site with memories to Radio Nord, which was on air from international waters in the early sixties of last century of the Scandinavian coast. www.radionord-story.com
Talking about Radio Nord, Sunday 22nd brought a very nice surprise on internet. Each Sunday on http://www.marinebroadcasters.tk a one hour special with music from the Radio Nord area including jingles and commercials from the station could be heard. This station is on the air every Sunday evening between 20 and 22 hrs. CET. Give it a listen.
The same day Andre did sent me an internet address from a guy in Finland who s heavily interested in DXing Pirate Radio and other pirates from centuries ago: http://kotisivu.dnainternet.net/harriku/piratenzender.net
Cornelia van den Berg, also known as Elja, sent in the new address for the Tony Allan memorial fund: www.adroberts.net/tony
Marconi on board the MV Elletra
Exciting is buying sometimes old books. I did get hold on a book which was published way back in 1938 and has as title Hello Hier Radio Holland. It's a book written for boys and tells us in a story all about communications before World War II. Of course bringing the story how it all begun with the experiments with Marconi as the leader, but also radio as communicating on ships, between police stations and police cars; bringing signals from Europe to Asia and so on. A lot of photographs are in the book and two of them show a transmitter and a little studio from which the people on the enormous passenger ship are entertained. A small form of Offshore radio?
Studio MV Baloeran Transmitter MV Baloeran
I shared my knowledge with Martin van der Ven and within half an hour he sent me some internet addresses where we can find more on the MV Baloeran
More of the historic photos I've sent to www.mediapages.nl where you can have a look at them.
Also I learned that former Caroline deejay from the eighties, Jeff Morris, nowadays is working for WKAZ 1073 FM, an oldies station in West Virginia. But he s also doing internet radio whereby some of his old friends from Caroline are working with him like Richard Jackson. Go and have a listen on
www.telstarsouth.net and also see more information on the station in Charleston where Jeff is mentioned the deejay from England .
One of the new readers from last weeks to the Knot International Radio Report comes from Dallas, the home of KLIF. It's Paul Mustill who has the next question: Where exactly was the studio from Radio London on board the MV Galaxy?
There's an interesting site about radio ships and equipment which you have to look and the man behind this site is Paul de Haan who gives the first answer: There were two studios onboard the Galaxy, one for news and production and the other for live broadcast. The were situated in the stern of the ship, at a lower level, no portholes. Have a look at the photo, where on the back of the ship the last man is waving the studios were situated, below deck of course. A small purpose built steel housing housed the transmitter. If you look carefully you can spot the open door to the transmitter room behind the aerial mast. For more photos have a look at http://www.marinebroadcasters.tk
Paul de Haan
Thanks Paul for your answer to Paul Mustill. I also found back some memories from former Radio London deejay Earl Richmond who does recall the studio: They had done quite well by putting the studio in the aft en of the ship, just above some of the tanks. So you could hear the water wallowing around inside and various things like that when it was jumping up and down in the swell, but it seemed to be in the right place. You had to go down gangways and steps to the back end of the ship to get into the studio. It was like a huge tank because it was all metal and nothing on the floor. There was this studio equipment set up on a wooden platform with racks of very modern tape players and cartridge machines. It was absolutely empty, in a huge, vast space, open echo all around you. When we started work in the studio in December 1964, the only way we could deaden the sound, was by the office sending us out a few dozen thick blankets in various colours, and we built ourselves a tent, almost, round the studio, which cured the echo. We had bits of wire strung up and the blankets hanging from those. That was our studio.
Duncan Johnson on air in Big L Studio
That s all for this time, hope you ve enjoyed reading again and clicking into the internet too with all those interesting links. As always keep on sending in your questions, memories, photos and anecdotes. You can sent them to Hknot@home.nl
Next month there will be only one report. See you then
Read Hans Knot's former report
Offshore Deejays' Nicknames
Offshore Deejays' Programmes
Female Offshore Radio Deejays