Hans Knot's International Radio Report - May 2004
Welcome to the May edition of the International Radio Report
First of all when I was doing the research for one of the chapters of the forthcoming book The wet and wild history of Radio Caroline which will be out late autumn 2004, I did found two nick names we didn t mention before. First it s Johnny The Herdsman Lewis on Radio Caroline. Who gave him this name and why? Answers can be given to Hknot@home.nl. Second one which came around was for Radio Monique deejay Erwin van der Bliek from Rotterdam. The English deejays on the Ross Revenge mentioned him Bleeky .
The day I started writing this issue of the report was April 17th the day the special programs of Pirate BBC Essex came to an end. Thanks guys for all those lovely hours I could listen to during the evening and thanks to Martin in Germany it's now possible to listen back to a lot of daytime programs which I missed and came in on an mp3-CD today. Wonderful done Martin.
Of course a lot of readers took the time to write in and this one reflects a lot of what we all thought after hearing the programs: Well what a brilliant week?, Would you believe the BBC offshore radio!, at first when I heard of the venture I honestly thought it was a late April 1st joke, but no!...all true. I listened from around 10am on Saturday 10th all the way through to the final day. I must admit I was not looking forward to this weekend, as at 01.03am Saturday morning it was a little like August 14th 1967 all over again. A friend of mine was supposed to be at work not far from the pier however no work got done. He got some terrific photos and I may put some on the web on the phoenix site so keep an eye on http://phoenixradio.tripod.com/home.htm and maybe put some of the shows on the site. My mate said there was quite a lot of watery eyes around the pier Saturday morning, well at least he still got his wages but had a brilliant day. By 11.20 AM Saturday my C90 tape just made it into the first few minutes of the documentary, so there are about 80 C90 full and at least two spare 80 gig hard drives full, next task is to put the contents onto cd. finally all I can say is well done BBC. Greetings Jan PS; I also managed to get two mentions by different deejays for you and my friend Jack and family and lots of us pirate supporters in the UK!
Thanks a lot and we did appreciate all the support from readers and also listeners who did give us a plug on the one week station.
Today also an email arrived from Stuart Aiken and he comments on last report issue on Radio 10 Gold: Hi Hans, In contrast to the comments about the apparent indifference to English listeners, I e-mailed Radio 10Gold about 2 years ago (when on 675m) just to say how much I liked their programming. Within 5 minutes the presenter read it out on air and seemed very chuffed to be reaching an international audience. They also had a very (UK) user friendly web site with streaming audio - and probably still do have. Regarding Arrow rock, this sounds quite automated to me, so that's probably why your correspondent didn't get a reply. Regards Stuart
Next it s time for Cyril Willis aka Jason West: Hi Hans, I was looking at some of the Laser websites this afternoon and saw your photos. I went to Lowestoft to see the Communicator on Easter Sunday, it's still in a bad state. I work as an entertainment agent www.jasonwest.com and I used to book out The Laser Roadshow back in the 80's mainly on the UK American bases. The guy that used to run it I think was Rob Day and onstage he wore a baseball helmet & pretended to be American, he was usually with Charlie Wolfe on the shows I booked. But when Laser went off the air no one wanted to know and there were no bookings all of a sudden. I still have some of the fluorescent posters and stickers in the office at the back of a filing cabinet somewhere. Will it ever come back? Back in the Sixties when I played Hammond in bands like The Contrasts who became The Earl Wiston Set. We did a lot of work for Keith Skues on The Caroline Big Night Out at Felixstowe and Ipswich with Keith, Tony Blackburn, DLT etc. Tony sang a number with us Keep On Dancing or Do You Wanna Dance, I think and Dave played drums another time. I remember also when Keith had an appendix operation. in Ipswich hospital and we all went to visit him, there was a picture of the band standing round his bed looking at the get well cards it was in all the local papers. Our manager was Stuart Jarrold who at the time worked for The Evening Star he's now does the sport on About Anglia.
In Cambridge in the late Sixties Deejaying I went to see Chris Carey aka Spangles Muldoon at the Ritz Cambridge and his amplifier blew up. Luckily I had my van outside and lent him one of my amps. We became good friends, he was a real ideas man. One madcap idea of his was to put aerials up trees around Cambridge and equip a van with a transmitter and play pre recorded programmes and if things got hot just unplug the aerial and drive off to a new location and plug into another tree aerial. I didn't go in with him on that one. After about a year he left Cambridge and joined RNI and then Luxembourg. Then onto Ireland and Nova? Listening to Pirate BBC Essex and going to see Laser again brought back a lot of memories.
Keep up the good work. Cyril Willis
Thanks for sharing your memories.
In the Province of North Holland Frank van Heerde is living and right in to everything what happened in the period up till 1967. He wrote to me: Thanks a lot for the interesting reports you do sent me in the past months. For me every time interesting things can be found in the report. The discussion on the closedown tune from Radio 390 On a clear day I do follow with huge interest. A have a version from George Shearing in my archive and this one comes very near to the one used on Radio 390 although I'm still not sure if this one has been used. There s also a version done by the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, which I still don't have. Talking about Radio 390 I'm still on search for the tune from the program Masters of the organ . It s called Now is the hour but we don t know who played it. So if anyone knows please let me know: Hknot@home.nl
Frank is presenting a very nice program on Enschede FM, the local radio station in Enschede. On May 15th they look back that Radio Atlantis came on the air 40 years ago. They will play the music from that area and one of the songs will be Gloria from Kenny Bardell. Not a big one but a rarity as it was released on the Sabre Label from Allan Crawford. In July or August, Frank told me, there will be another hour on Enschede FM called Caroline in the summer of 1964 . Thanks Frank for all the info and you can tune in on internet: www.enschedefm.nl
Next an e-mail coming in from Israel: I'm Tal from the Reggae Power 106 Fm Radio Eshel Israel (Reggae Power, Koach Reggae in Hebrew, is one of the two regular reggae radio shows in Israel). It is on the air since 1998, and since the end of 1999 also broadcasted live on internet. International as well as Israeli reggae tracks for the show are carefully selected and often there are special issue shows for holidays, remembrances, tributes, etc. I am emailing to see if you would like to mention the link: www.irielion.com/israel/reggae_power.htm
Well there you go Tal and I hope many of our readers will tune in for a couple of hours. Good luck.
Seems it s time this month for people active within radio to have a mention in the report. Of course I don t have any problem with that so we quickly go over to Scotland to find the next message from Tony: Just thought you might like to know what Radio Six is up to these days. But first a brief history for those who don't know me...Forty years ago (in June 1963) it started as a bedroom station on the seafront at Ardrossan on Scotland's Ayrshire coast. More kit and a lot of friends later, it was carried on wires to a nearby Old Folks Home (though what they made of some of the music we played I don't know!) ....and perhaps the odd watt or two on medium wave and FM at the time! After I'd given it all up to get a proper job as the first presenter on Radio Clyde when it launched in 1973, the station was re-assembled in my home and again my friends and I played about with it until in 1986 it was re-launched on cable as Europe's first commercial cable radio network, with carriage in stereo in cable systems in Glasgow and Aberdeen. A year later and twenty thousand quid down the drain, we gave that up and I went off to regulate cable programmes at the UK Cable Authority. But you can't keep a good station down, and after providing the Top 40 for a year to Ukrainian State Radio, the station was re-launched on the internet in 2001, as a not-for-profit channel playing only music by unsigned bands and unpublished composers. Now we not only boast listeners in 67 countries to our streams at http://www.radiosix.com but we're also broadcasting regularly on short-wave via the excellent IRRS transmitters in Milan. Listen out on the second week of every month as follows: Sat 0830 - 0930GMT on 13,840kHz; Sun 0700 - 0800GMT on 13,840kHz, and Thurs 1900 - 2000GMT on 5,775kHz. All transmissions 20kW. We're also (unusually) on the air this coming Saturday (April 24) 0830 - 0930GMT on 13,840kHz. We issue QSL cards and they're already pinned up in "shacks" in China, Australia, Nigeria, the USA and all over Europe. Our extensive playlist draws on music from all over the world, and makes a nice change from the narrow playlist of many of the commercial stations these days. Best regards Tony Currie .
Thanks a lot for this impressive piece Tony and good luck to you and the team too. I think a lot of readers will try to listen in too. By the way one correction: Radio Unique Amsterdam went on to the cable network Amsterdam, although illegally, early 80 s and has more right of the title The World s first station to do so!
New chapters to the series for the forthcoming book on 40 Years of Radio Caroline, with a lot of memories of the people who have worked there, are now to be read on our on line journal for media and music culture: www.soundscapes.info Click on Volume 7 and see what you can find.
All kind of mails are coming in each day from all over the world in all kind of languages. I m thankful I had the possibility to learn a lot of languages during school times. A German one? Who of you did learn the German language in the classical way?
Hallo, Herr Knot, Ich bekomme von Ihnen schon seit einigen Jahren Ihre Monatsberichte. Die lese ich mit großem Interesse und sammel sie auch. Vielen Dank dafür. Sehr interessant. Nun habe ich eine Bitte: Im 2. Monatsbericht April (diese Woche empfangen), haben Sie ein tolles jpg.-Bild: Radio Caroline North. Können Sie mir dieses Bild mailen? Ich hätte es gerne als Bildschirmschoner auf meinem Computer. Beste Grüße aus Deutschland von einem Freund der Piratensender (der auch schon einmal einen solchen Sendebetrieb hatte - ist lange lange her). Stefan Herringslack
What Stefan wanted to tell all the readers is that he's enjoying the report already since many years and even is collecting it. Well I don't and never thought about it to collect them, stupid Hans Knot. He also asked if I could possibly sent him a picture of the MV Fredericia as he wanted to use it as a wallpaper on the computer. In the meantime he still is searching for the missing letter in Fredericia on his screen.
April 21st is a memorable day in Dutch history as it was the very first day, in 1960, that the sound of a commercial radio station, Radio Veronica could be heard from international waters on 186 metres. Since a couple of years there was a re-incarnation of Veronica, called Radio 192. The station closes their AM transmitter last year but could still be heard on 90% of the cable networks in the Netherlands. Just this week they were renamed, just for a period of a week, into Radio Northsea International and had plans to several other special programs up till August 31st. But UPC, one of the big cable network organisation had ordered all the connected cable networks to put the signal from Radio 192 off the cable. And so Radio 192 lost on this Wednesday a lot of listeners. A pity, but as one mentioned in a news group: if you don t pay your electricity or gas bill you will be put of the network too!
Anyway thanks to Michael Bakker and all the other persons for the many hours of listening pleasure we had during the past years.
But there was other bad news in the Dutch radio scene as on the same day, April 21st, it became known that the regional commercial radio station for the North and East of the Netherlands, Rebecca Radio has dismissed most of their people. The station is owned by Publishing Companies NDC and Boom Press. A couple of months ago the companies announced to sell the station and since this announcements lesser airtime was sold. Twenty people are sent home and are without work now. Director Knol of Rebecca Radio thinks that the station can make a restart with a lot of non stop music.
Mike Ryan is reading the international report on internet and would love to see which internet sites are publishing them. Right now I know that there are about 7 who do and the three most important ones are:
Some stations go others are coming on the air; that s something happening through the years. April 21st was also a day the message came in from Mike Brand about the testransmissions from a new station transmitting in the middle east: www.allforpeace.org
This year it s also a happy 30th Birthday for OEM, the Offshore Echos Magazine from England with Chris Edwards as the main man up there. To celebrate this birthday the editorial staff of the Magazine has decided to do a special issue with a lot of photographs in colour, some of them never published before. Next to the latest news there s a story on Alan Crawford, Flashback at a trip to the Communicator and Ross Revenge by the OEM team in 1985, Part 2 of the Alan Keen interview, The Governmental files on Radio Caroline, an interview with Mi Amigo deejay Nobert and much more. Try to get your own copy of this special issue (April 2004) by sending an e mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
It was a beautiful weekend, starting on April 24th with wonderful weather in Holland. So a lot of enjoying from the fresh air and biking and sitting in the garden. So less radio listening for me. One who was working hard this weekend was Mary Payne as she did a large update for the Wonderful Radio London site, including many pages with photographs of the Caroline party organised in London a couple of weeks ago by Roger Day and photos of the Pirate BBC Essex happening. http://www.radiolondon.co.uk
I did mention earlier in this report about the problems Radio 192 has with some of the cable networks. Saturday 24th of April they had their final day of memories to RNI with in the studio a lot of people including Nico Steenbergen, one of the Driemaster live team as well as one of the newsreaders way back in the 70 s on the MEBO II. Also John de Mol sr. the director of the Dutch service was attending. A day later, late in the afternoon, I heard the sad news that Radio 192 will probably close down later the forthcoming week as there s no more money anymore for this wonderful station, which brought us back a lot of memories. Manager Michael Bakker informed the Foundation for Media Communication that before Thursday April 29th a new amount of money has to be found; if not the station will be closed down.
The regular e-mail came in from Andy Archer and he came back to two persons he talked about two months ago: Roger Day and I were exchanging e-mails the other day and writing about two of the most eccentric people that ever worked for Radio Caroline: Don and Nan Richardson. Does anyone know their whereabouts? Don was the Chief Engineer on the Mi Amigo in 1967/68 and his wife Nan ran the Office at Singel 160 in Amsterdam. I wrote about Don a few months ago, he was the guy who would switch on the transmitter in the middle of the night to speak to his wife Nan! I last saw Don on the Island of Guernsey in 1969, since then, nothing has been heard of them. Another name that has disappeared is Glenn Adams. Glenn was a New Zealander and presented a show called The Two Ton Yellow Mustard Seed . It was one of those programmes that sounded better if you were out of your head! He left the MV Mi Amigo in late 1967.
Thanks Andy. Indeed Glenn has flown to nowhere and also John from the Pirate Hall of Fame is still doing the big search for him. Here what could be find on Glenn on the internet site of The Pirate Hall of Fame:
Glenn Adams The offshore radio stations of the sixties were keen to promote their star disc-jockeys. They were booked to make personal appearances while ashore, interviews were arranged with the press and photographs were sent out to the listeners. But this all changed with the passing of the Marine Offences Act, the law introduced to outlaw the offshore stations. Suddenly the promotional activity had to stop. As a result, not much is known about some of the DJs who worked on Radio Caroline after 14th August 1967. Like Glen Adams. All that has been revealed is that he was a 25 year old New Zealander who had previously attended broadcasting school in San Francisco. He joined the Caroline South ship in October or November 1967 and presented the 6-9pm show. He had a feature in this programme called The Two Ton Yellow Mustard Seed on which he played some of the psychedelic tracks then being released in Britain and the USA. Glen saw in the New Year with Caroline but left early in 1968. The Pirate Radio Hall Of Fame has no details at all of his later career but Chris Cary (alias Spangles Muldoon) has mentioned on his web-site that Glen later became a ski-ing instructor. Can anyone provide further information?
So if anyone knows somewhere in the world where Glenn Adams is nowadays and what he s doing, please let us know.
Don and Nan Richardson are next. As a couple of month ago I visited some sites on internet to see if I could find something and the only thing I found this time was the chapter on the Soundscapes Journal for Media and Music Culture in which all kind of small topics are mentioned out of Caroline s 40 Years of History. So also for the search for Don and Nan: if you know something or if you do have some special memories, please let them come in at
An e-mail came in with a very old photograph from Jelle Boonstra, the all time jingle collector in the world. This time he is in balloons. In early 1984 test programmes were going out from the radio vessel MV Communicator on 730 kHz. Tests which weren't lasting too long as the used antenna was blown away. Why? The technicians on the ship used a balloon. The next photograph shows the use of a Zeppelin as early as 1928 for connecting with the transmitting equipment. It was for the radio station KDKA. Everyone interested in radio knows that KDKA was the very first radio station in the USA. Due to heavy RF the cable connected burned away several times and so three different Zeppelins had gone within an hour and the station owners decided to test some other arial systems to get a clear signal on the air.
Thanks a lot Jelle, really the oldest memory we brought in the International Radio Report during the past years.
April 26th also the news came in from Research Institute Intomart that a news record has been scored by Dutch radio listeners. Research done in the period February/March showed that Dutch people have a average listening time of 3 hours and 24 minutes a day. Never before this score was so high. During the hours between 7 in the morning and midnight 20% of all Dutch inhabitant are listening into the radio. During the same period in 2003 this score was at 18.5%.
April 27th I sent a exclusive one to Andy Archer. Exclusive as the photograph I sent him was totally new to me and just sent in a couple of days ago by his former ship mate Will van der Steen. Will worked for Caroline in 1972/1973 as Bill Stones and did also a lot of technical work. He s a very fine story teller and in the forthcoming book The wet and wild history of Radio Caroline Will and I will dive through some very fine and new memories in the live of the good old Mi Amigo. But going back to the photograph I sent to Andy, I asked him to give a little comment on the photo shown.
He answered with a very dry British kind of humour: Well I was about to play a track from "High Tide and Green Grass"!!! The question to me is, watching the photo, if it was first decided to play the track or to built the enormous joint by Dick Palmer.
April 28th, exact a month after the Radio Caroline 40th Birthday Bash took place in The Red Lion in Mayfair London, Chris Minter, aka Chris Cortez, sent in the list with the names of all people attending the bash. He hopes he hasn't forgotten a person and asked to publish as he couldn't find a complete list elsewhere:
Paul Alexander (Rusling), Tony Allan, Brian Anderson, Alton Andrews, John Aston, Nick Bailey, Greg Bance (Arnold Lane/Roger Scott), Terry Barnes, Mike Barrington, Norman Barrington, Colin Barry, Dave Caine, Tony Campbell, John Catlett, Peter Chicago (Murtha), Ray Clark, Tony Collis, Chris Cortez, Robbie Dale, Roger Day, Simon Dee, Mark Dezzani, Robb Eden, Tom Edwards, Steve England, Ken Evans, Martin Fisher, Dave Foster, Paul Graham, George Hare, Nigel Harris, Mark Hawes, Dennis Jason, James Kay, Martin Kayne, Stevie Lane (Kate), Bob Lawrence (Richard
Buzby Thompson), Mike Lindsey, Spangles Maldoon, Keith Martin, Bob Matthews, Mark Matthews, Paul McKenna, Peter Moore, Don Murrison, Ronan O Rahilly, Dick Palmer, Mike Pearson, Nigel Roberts, Freddie Ryder, George Saunders, Keith Skues, Mark Sloan, Ray Terret, Carl Thompson, Johnnie Walker, Bob Walton, Mike Watts, Dave West, Dave Williams and Gerry Wright.
Of course a lot of deejays in this list, but also for most of the readers some mysterious names in Chris Cortez his list. Terry Barnes for instant was a mechanical engineer on the MV Mi Amigo in the late seventies. Dave Caine did also maintenance and security on the old lady in the late seventies. Tony Campbell was one of the skippers on the Ross Revenge. Chris Cortez was supply agent in the seventies and eighties. Ken Evans was program manager for Radio Atlanta and later on Radio Caroline South. Martin Fisher worked as a transmitter engineer in the late seventies. George Hare worked on the Caroline House in London in the sixties. Mark Hawes was a mechanical engineer on the Ross Revenge, Stevie Lane worked as manageress on land for Caroline in the eighties. Don Murrison was the original shore agent in the first month in 1964. Mike Pearson was Ronan s personal assistant in the eighties and Freddie Ryder worked as a producer at Caroline House in the sixties. George Saunders as well as Carl Thompson worked both as TX engineer on Caroline South. Chris likes to add that he wants to give big compliments to Roger Day and Paul Graham for organising this reunion!!
Well that s it for this time and as always keep enjoying the world of radio including the memories you made during the past decades. Keep your news and memories coming to share with each others. Hknot@home.nl
Till next time, take good care of yourself and your beloved ones.
Read Hans Knot's former report