April was a WONDERFUL month for offshore kneeunions! Mick Luvzit (of Caroline North, plus a few weeks on Caroline South, in 1966 and 1967) asked if Radio London could help him contact a number of old pals. So far, we have been able to put Mick in touch with Mike Ahern, Tony Prince and Graham Webb. Mick writes:
Once again thanks for all the great info. It was also great to get Graham Webb's e-mail address so I can send him a note to get his phone number. He gave it to me a while back and I put it in my shirt pocket and my wife washed my shirt and there you go.
I'm so sorry to hear Tony Windsor passed away in 1985. When I left Radio Caroline North in late 1967, Tony told me to come back and he would renegotiate a contract with Decca records once I had left my previous management. He wanted me to cut an album. I had a record out in late summer of 1966 on Decca records called Long Time Between Lovers b/w a song I wrote called Tho' I Still Love You. We played it on Radio Caroline (both ships) and some of the other jocks played it as well. I'm trying to get a copy of what 'Disc and Music Echo'(June, July or August??) said about it. Something like "...new Canadian singer Mick Luvzit... Long Time Between Lovers, sounds like the Righteous Brothers and Walker Brothers put together. Long time between records, Mick". If you can find a copy of that I would really appreciate it.
Also the BBC, as well as many other of the media, came out to Radio Caroline North on September 20, 1966 when I married 'Ugli Ray Terret's' sister, Janet Terrett. It was a sunny, but extremely foggy day and there were so many media people on board that my in-laws couldn't make it and they were very put off. The wedding was broadcast live on both Caroline North and South. Janet's brother Ray left Caroline to start a boutique called the Ugli Bug Boutique on the Isle of Man, which Janet ran while I was on the ship.
I would like to know who I could call to get a copy of the footage taken of the wedding. If you have any idea please let me know.
I still laugh at some of the things I used to say on the air like, "Mick Luvzit... your Prez... the Wild One" Or equally dumb: "This is your Mad Dad with the Groovy Turntables, drippin' wax all over your radio dial here on Radio Caroline North - home of the Boss Jocks!" Tee - hee! But they were fun days.
Thanks again and 'Keep on Rockin'! Your friend, Mick Luvzit...'the Micker'.
If anyone can assist Mick with news clippings
and/or footage of his famous Caroline North wedding, or cuttings about his single,
please let us know. Incidentally, Tony Prince says he was the man who suggested
that Tony and Janet should get married aboard the Caroline.
We were delighted to be able to tell Mick that Paul Graham already had Long Time Between Lovers on the Big L 2001 playlist!
Good Morning Mary and Happy Easter!
Several years ago I met up with Tony Blackburn in London for dinner. We had sent e-mails to one another. I am however having trouble in contacting him via the net. Do you have a current e-mail address?
I would appreciate if you could help.Thanks and kind regards, Norm St John
A message was despatched to Tony that very day and the two Big L boys have now been able to pick up their conversation where they left off.
Meanwhile, Jonathan had put a new link on his Hall of Fame to Robbie Dale's holiday park in Lanzarote, so I visited the site and sent Robbie a knee-mail. I told him that I keep the photo taken in the Mi Amigo galley beside me as I work, and that I had either met, mailed or spoken to every jock in the photo save for himself. Robbie replied, so now I have the full set! It turns out that Robbie had also lost contact with a lot of people, so he has now been put in touch with Keefers and Bud Ballou!
Phil Harris of Peninsula Radio wrote:
Clive Boutell made the suggestion that I contact you for assistance.
We are about to get a small hospital radio station off the ground here in deepest Cornwall (the bit of the UK closest to Cuba) and I would very much like to try and make contact with Greg Bance (Arnold Layne) of RNI days to ask him to do some dry voice IDs.
Can you help me track him down for me, please?
Luckily, we soon found Greg's number and were able to phone him to establish that he'd be pleased to help Phil.
Do I recall correctly that there was a DJ on Caroline South who joined shortly before it was towed away, who was called Henry Morgan? He was noticeably different from the other voices because he spoke in rather a 'proper' manner and didn't attempt the 'mid-Atlantic' accent. My cousin claimed to have been given a lift by him once, in about 1969, and I remember him saying he was a very small character, perched on several cushions whilst driving his Morris Minor. (I claim this to be one of the most insignificant and least interesting facts in pirate radio history.)
....but it's still fun to mention! Henry is certainly listed in Pop Went The Pirates as having broadcast on Caroline after the Marine etc. Offences Bill, but there is no other info about him. He is duly added to the list!
Re Tony L's enquiry about Henry Morgan
I believe he was actually Gerry Burke, news reader for Caroline before August 14th, who returned after the 14th but changed his name to Henry Morgan and presented programmes as well as news. He also was the voice of 'Bill the Boilerman', a character that appeared in Johnnie Walker's programmes.
Gerry is/was son-in-law of the actor Bernard Miles, and I believe an actor himself. As Tony states, he was more of a 'well spoken' announcer than a typical DJ. Curiously, Keith Skues lists both names as DJs on Caroline after August 14th in 'Pop Went The Pirates', but I reckon that they were the same person.
Paul de Haan and Jonathan at the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame have also confirmed that Henry Morgan was Gerry Burke's alter ego. Gerry's current whereabouts remain unknown.
During the early 70s my wife, or girlfriend as she was then, used to go to the Top Rank in Sunderland, where the resident DJ was a guy called Steve King. He left there to become an RNI DJ, but wasn't there very long because he was forever seasick. He was there for about 3 months I think, and then returned to the north-east where he worked on Metro Radio. Does anyone know of his current whereabouts?
Steve is duly added to the list, Bob.
Chris has finally established which of the presenters working at BFBS HQ in Chalfont St Giles is ex-Radio City jock, Phil Jay! Chris had known for some time that Phil worked there, but unfortunately, another member of the staff had caused him great confusion, by misidentifying the presenter as Phil Jay! Chris had already had several conversations with the real man before he discovered his true identity! Phil keeps very busy, not only working for BFBS, but running his own radio production company. We hope to bring more news of him soon.
I'm just dropping you a line to tell you I recently sent an e-mail to former Radio 270 DJ Dave Sinclair, who is now in Canada, and was very pleased to receive one back from him with an attached photograph. He is doing very well and says he remembers with great affection his days on the Oceaan 7 off Scarborough, but says he has never missed the weather!
I also just received an e-mail from another former 270 man, Bob Snyder, who is also in Canada running a humorous script writing company for radio stations. Again he had very fond memories of 270.
I asked both of them if they had any news of my all-time-favourite DJ Vince Rusty Allen, but unfortunately they had no idea where he was.
Now a new search! I am hoping that someone out there can supply me with the whereabouts of former Radio 270 man, Mike Barron, who also, I am led to believe, worked on Radio Essex and prior to 270 was on Radio England. Also does anyone remember another 270 man Robin Best, he left to work on Tyne Tees Television, but where is he now?
Keep on searching!
Best Wishes, Bob Glen.
Thanks for your news, Bob. It's lovely to hear that both Dave Sinclair and Bob Snyder have fond memories of their offshore days. If they'd like to share them with the Radio London family, we'd love to hear from both of them. Robin and Mike are now on our search list.
Radio London's Texan backer, Tom Danaher, asked for assistance in tracking down his old friend, Radio 390's Ted Allbeury. As Ted is, of course, a well-known author, publisher Michael Johnson of Scorpion Press, had kindly agreed to forward a letter to him. Unfortunately, this has failed to reach Ted, so the search is back on and we are now exploring other avenues.
In 1997, Chris and I met John 'Purpleknees' Edward at the Big L 30th Anniversary Reunion in 1997, but failed to obtain contact details from him. During the recent Maidstone RSL, Woolf Byrne turned up at the studios. As Woolf and John had been members of David Bowie's backing group, the Manish Boys, and both had become pirate DJs, I asked Woolf if he could put us in touch with John. Woolf had not been in touch with his old friend for some time, but tried the last phone number he had for him and it still worked! I immediately got in touch with John and asked him what he had been up to, did he have a website and how were his knees. He replied:
I have done little in the way of broadcasting. But hey! I passed the BBC audition. ...OK.... it was back in 1964, and I haven't heard from them since, and I wouldn't work for them if they wanted me, which they don't, so I couldn't care less... so XXXX the BBC!
Tongue removed from my cheek once more, you'll be pleased to hear.
I have domains registered and stuff, but have been so busy building the rooms for my digital recording studio, that it's been kinda low on the list of priorities. I hope to complete a long-running musical project one of these days, may even have a crack at the chart again, who knows?
And the purple patellae? John finally recalled why he had signed his name 'Purpleknees' at the bottom of the letters he sent me back in '66.
I once careered down Boxley Hill in Hempstead, Kent. I must have been about ten years old. It was a 1:11 gradient. When I got to the bottom, I went straight over the bend and into nettles. Youch! When I limped home, my Mum painted my knees with purple medication for some reason.
Those of us of a certain age can well recall the purple unction which used to be liberally applied by mums to alleviate everything from cuts and bruises to multiple-fractures. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it was called 'gentian violet'.
It's great to be back in touch with John, and there's a strong possibility the patellae may be making a personal purple appearance during Big L 2001!
Hello All-Seeing & All-Knowing (You decide which is which),
I had lunch today with Terry Sylvester from the Hollies and he was asking after Tony Prince. Apparently, they were good chums in the olden days. He asked me to ask if you knew where he could be reached. It seems he would like to renew the acquaintance.
Thinking kind thoughts of you, KEEFERS
Having recently discovered Tony for Mick
Luvzit, we were immediately able to end Terry's search. Terry was in
fact Knees Club member 101. He
joined while still playing for the Swinging Blue Jeans!
Terry replaced Graham Nash in the Hollies
Bob has been in touch to say:
Enjoyed looking at your Big L site. Brings back lots of memories as a fan and as an ex-Radio 270 jock.
Very nice to hear from you, Bob. We now have a hopeful lead on the whereabouts of 270's Mike Baron, and will keep you posted!
When making back-up copies of Norman
St John's pre-recorded shows for Big L 2001, I noticed that Norm mentioned
his old friend Mike Ahern, with whom he had lost
touch. Having recently found Mike for Steve Young,
I was able to ring him straight away to tell him that Norm wanted to hear from
"It's about 7.15pm in Brisbane," said Mike. "I'll give him a call right now!"
Shortly afterwards, I received the following thank you message from a somewhat surprised Norm!
Thanks so much for contacting Mike Ahern. I was just watching the television news about radio activity with mobile phones and mine rang! It was Mike A and it was really great to hear from him again. As you may know, Mike and I go back many years, firstly Radio Caroline, then I saw him and visited his home in Brisbane, then he was on Radio in Perth when I was on TV in Queensland and later, I had a restaurant near Newcastle in New South Wales and who boobed up on Newcastle Radio? Mike A! Of course we had dinners and then we lost contact until today, via the good graces of yourself.
Thanks again for all your thoughtfulness and the very hard work you do.
All part of the Radio London service, Norm!
I was surfing through the Internet as an old anorak would, when I found myself at the top of your missing persons list. I had put my own name into Yahoo about 4 months ago and only found one reference, so I was more than amused when I did the same today and found no less than 1040!
I have lived here in Cala D'or, Mallorca for the last 14 years and have spent a total of 20 years here in Spain. That explains why I never pop up on any radio station. Actually I met up with Crispian St John or Jay Jackson around 4 or 5 years ago when he was on holiday here, so he was one few who knew of my whereabouts.
Regards, Simon Barrett
Great to hear from you, Simon. It was Paul de Haan who first asked about Simon, who wrote a book about Radio Caroline. Paul's original interesting email is here.
After a number of false starts, Tom Danaher has found Ted Allbeury at last! Tom says:
Thank you so VERY much for putting me back in touch with Ted. He has been through some tough problems with his health in the last couple of years. I have talked to him several times since you so kindly put us in touch again. He's a wonderful, brilliant person.
John, (aka John Crosse) whose broadcasting career on Big L was short, but sweet, actually worked for Radlon Ltd for several years. Thanks to Bob Preedy, John has now been contacted. Bob sends the following news:
After leaving Radio London, John then crossed the road to work for the sales organisation RadioVision, selling airtime for Radios England/Britain. He then went to BFBS in Cyprus as a newsreader, presenter and producer. He later popped up as a newsreader on BBC Radio 4, followed by a short stint at Southern Television in Southampton as a continuity announcer.
John then joined Yorkshire Television as an announcer (working with Redvers Kyle, the first announcer on Rediffusion in 1955, and Graham Roberts who's an actor in The Archers). John spent seventeen happy years at YTV and retired a couple of years ago. He spends a lot of time in America, where he has family.
Incidentally YTV also employed Earl Richmond and Paul Kaye as announcers. Keith Martin from Caroline and Terry Davis from RNI have also been heard over the YTV airwaves.
It's good to know that John has followed a very successful career in radio and TV and is now enjoying his retirement. All the best, John, and thanks both to you and to Bob for making the contact.