Dear Visitors,
The Stonewashed Collection has been taken over by Radio London Ltd. Many thanks to Mary & Chris Payne for giving shelter to the Radio Caroline Charts. It will be fine to see the Radio London and Radio Caroline Charts side by side.

Jempi Laevaert, 2007

 

Dear Visitors,
Not surprisingly, there are many gaps to fill and many anomalies to be found in these 1964 - 68 Caroline charts. Our aim is to make them as accurate as possible and eventually, to complete the full set up to the demise of the two Caroline stations in March 1968. This is a slow and painstaking process, because much of the time, we are working from hand-written notes, but we shall get there in the end.
We have established that for at least part of Caroline's history, separate charts were compiled for the North and South stations, so wherever possible, we intend to feature both.

We very much appreciate all the contributions we have received to assist us with the work. Thank you all!

Mary and Chris

 


 

The ongoing search for: The Radio Caroline Charts:1964 –1968
Recent Radio London additions and updates: 2014: – Charts being added for 1964/5. Most recent, Jan '65.

 
Radio Caroline North & South
March 27, 1964
Radio Caroline starts broadcasting on Easter Saturday, March 28th from the MV Fredericia, renamed MV Caroline, off the coast of Essex.
May 9, 1964
Radio Atlanta starts broadcasting from the MV Mi Amigo, also off the coast of Essex.
July 2, 1964
The two pirate radios merge and Radio Atlanta becomes Radio Caroline South while the original Radio Caroline heads for the Isle Of Man and becomes Radio Caroline North .
  In the beginning...
1964
Caroline
Top 50

The first chart was a Top 50, broadcast from the MV Caroline (formerly Fredericia) while she was still anchored off the Essex coast, before setting sailing to became Caroline North, on Saturday afternoon, July 4th, between 4.00 pm and 6.00 pm. On that date, the Top 50 was broadcast from both ships simultaneously, but with different hosts.

On Caroline North, sailing to the Isle of Man, the show was hosted by Tom Lodge. On Caroline South, it was hosted by Tony Withers, "your man with the music", who later became famous as Tony Windsor on Radio London.

The early charts were taken from 'Melody Maker', one of the most popular music newspapers of the Sixties era. The Melody Maker chart was slightly altered, probably to avoid copyright problems and it is quite difficult to establish exactly what was broadcast. It is not clear if this first chart after the merger was identical on both ships.

Jon Myer of the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame did establish in an email exchange with the late Tom Lodge, that for at least part of Caroline's history, separate charts were compiled for the North and South stations. Tom told Jon, "The two ships were always separate. I created the charts on whichever ship I was on, mostly from Melody Maker. We made some subtle changes, but not much, mostly from information we would receive from sales and also feedback from the audience. But that was extremely minimal. Melody Maker was our main source. What was happening, chart-wise, on the ship I was not on, I have no idea."

Jon says, "I am under the impression that when Phil Solomon took charge of Caroline (and Tom had left) a lot of the control was centralised and the charts were compiled in Caroline House. From then until August 1967 both Caroline ships used the same Countdown."

Hans Zegfeld, of Nijmegen, The Netherlands, who kindly contributed many of these 1964 charts, said: "As a fourteen-year-old, I started spending every Saturday afternoon writing down the chart from Radio Caroline every week until July 22nd 1967. I noted them on grey pieces of paper and I send you some scans of my earliest ones from July 1964. Don't pay attention to the English, as I had just started to learn the language at school. The spelling is sometimes phonetic and therefore quite hilarious! It was a problem for me not being able to throw away old things, but years can turn that into luck for lots of persons. For you, the possibility to full up some gaps in the statistics!"

One of Hans's handwritten charts is on the left, but we have turned the colour of the paper to white to make it easier to read. We think, for someone who was only just learning English, young Hans made a brilliant job of identifying these tracks.

Only the Top 30 positions have been noted for some of the earliest charts. As it is unclear whether or not a full Top 50 countdown was broadcast, charts containing a full 30 tracks have still been marked as incomplete.

Contibutor Frank van Heerde, from Purmerend in the Netherlands wrote in 2012: "Some 10 years ago I guess it was, Machteld Meijer* sent me some information about records that made the Caroline charts in the autumn of 1964. After that, it was a big study for me to put the listed records in the right order to fill the charts.

The results were various. In some cases, I succeeded in finding the complete Top 50, in others, I did not. Some of the titles I had been given were wrong. For example 'I Can't Answer'. The right title must be 'Questions I Can't Answer' by Heinz (Burt).

In 1964, Caroline (South) was my favourite station. In 1965 Big L took over and in 1966 for half a year, it was Swinging Radio England. After SRE closed down, I switched between London, Caroline and for some months Radio 227. After the MOA became law, I listened to Caroline International till the end."

We thank Frank for his valuable (and hard!) work. If anyone can fill in the gaps, or resolve situations where we have two singles sharing a place (usually noted at the bottom of the chart) please get in touch.

* Machteld was also a contributor to the early Radio London Fab Forties.

 

Featured Artists
From time-to-time we shall include features concerning the acts in the Caroline charts. The first of these concerns the Hummelflugs, the first band signed up to Allan Crawford's agency, who released singles penned by two of the DJs that appeared in the 1965 charts.


 

The charts of 1964
*partial chart

  The broadcast history of the Radio Caroline South charts.
1965
Caroline
Top 50

Sounds
of 65

In early 1965 the Top 50 was broadcast between 12.00 noon and 2.00 pm. As from Saturday 1st May 1965 the programme was extended by 15 minutes, on the air from 12.00 noon until 2.15 pm.

On Saturday 26th June 1965, The Caroline Top 50 was replaced by the "Sounds of 65" and broadcast between 12.00 noon and 3.00pm. The first Radio Caroline South edition was hosted by Tony Blackburn.

Take a look at the Broadcasting Schedule from Monday 16th August till Monday 30th August 1965 and find the "Sounds of 65" on Saturday.

The charts of 1965
*partial chart

  The broadcast history of the Radio Caroline South charts.
1966
Countdown 60

Caroline
Top 50

Caroline Countdown

Caroline Countdown
of Sound

On Saturday 1st January 1966, "Sounds of 65" was replaced by the "Countdown 60" , also broadcast between 12.00 noon and 3.00pm. "Countdown 60" was broadcast only three times. On Thursday 20th January 1966, around 2.00am, The MV Mi Amigo went aground at Walton on the Naze. Caroline South started irregular broadcasts on 1493 kHz from MV Cheetah II on Saturday 12th February 1966.

On Saturday 19th February, the show was called "Caroline Top 50" . The following week, Saturday 26th February 1966, the show was called "Caroline Countdown". Caroline South was then off the air from the MV Cheetah II until Sunday 6th March 1966.The charts resumed on Saturday 12th March 1966, now called the "Caroline Countdown of Sound". Caroline South was again off the air from Friday 25th March until Saturday 2nd April 1966.

Caroline South started repeating the chart on Sunday afternoons between 12.00 noon and 3.00 pm. This happened for the first time on Saturday 22nd October 1966. The chart (not a recording, but a "live" show) was repeated the following day at the same time.

The January, February and March, 1966 charts are still very partial.
If you have more info, please contact us


The charts of 1966
*partial chart

  The broadcast history of the Radio Caroline South charts.
1967

Caroline Countdown
of Sound

The charts of 1967
*partial chart

*7-May-67 *14-May-67 21-May-67

The last in the series of "Caroline Countdown of Sound" was broadcast on Sunday 21st May 1967 and was presented by Tom Edwards. Although the chart was no longer broadcast, the disc jockeys sometimes mentioned the position of a record in the charts. This makes it clear that the chart was still used, although the programme itself had been discontinued.

On 15th August 1967, The Marine Broadcasting Act came into action. Both Caroline South & North continued as Radio Caroline International.

The "Caroline Countdown of Sound" was revived for a couple of weeks in November 1967, broadcast from midnight on Saturday 4th November until 2.00am on Sunday 5th. The host was Carl Mitchell.

27-May-67
3-Jun-67 10-Jun-67 17-Jun-67 24-Jun-67
1-Jul-67 8-Jul-67 15-Jul-67 22-Jul-67 *29-Jul-67
*2-Sep-67 9-Sep-67 16-Sep-67 23-Sep-67 30-Sep-67
7-Oct-67 14-Oct-67 21-Oct-67 28-Oct-67
4-Nov-67 11-Nov-67 18-Nov-67 25-Nov-67
2-Dec-67 9-Dec-67 16-Dec-67 23-Dec-67 30-Dec-67
  The broadcast history of the Radio Caroline South charts.
1968

Although the chart was no longer broadcast,
the disc jockeys sometimes mentioned the position of a record in the charts.
This makes it clear that the chart was still used, althought the programme itself had been discontinued.

6-Jan-68 13-Jan-68 20-Jan-68 27-Jan-68
3-Feb-68 10-Feb-68 17-Feb-68 24-Feb-68
   
March 3, 1968 Both Radio Caroline International ships were forced to stop broadcasting and were towed away as collateral for major debts.
   
Jempi's
Acknowledgements
* I would like to thank Alan Hamblin who took a special interest in Radio Caroline from the first transmission from the MV Caroline on Easter Saturday 1964 (March 28th) up until the MV Caroline closedown in March 1968. Alan compiled the broadcast history of the Radio Caroline South charts during the Sixties from his own logs.
* Many thanks to Harald Urbig who spent hours, days/nights and weeks listening to old Radio Caroline tapes in order to check chart positions and fill in several blanks.
* I would like to thank Poul Folged, Machteld Meijer, Hans van Hulssen, Kompi, Jon Myer, Wout van Wijk, Ron van Woerkum, Holger Postelmann and Hans Zegveld for donating several charts.
* Thanks to Colin Nichol and Ken Evans, both now living in Australia, for sharing their memories and diving into the pirate-days files.
* Finally, I would like to thank Hans Knot who launched my appeal for the search for The Radio Caroline Charts.

Jempi Laevaert
   
Wanted

Although some Caroline Charts are on file awaiting our attention, we are still searching for some missing weeks.
If you have (even partial) information please contact
Mary at Radio London
Charts and updates will be added as and when we can do them.

These Charts are ©Jempi Laevaert and Radio London Ltd 2007/8/9/10/11/12/13



Dave McAleer has a fascinating website feature explaining how the main UK charts were compiled in the 1950s and 60s


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