Jan/Feb/March 2009

Oct/Nov/Dec 2008 is here
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Radio Advertising Archive
'Archive on Four: Radio Sales', Radio 4 Brian Hayes looked back over eighty years of UK radio advertising. "Amid the changing fashions, he finds some of the most finely-crafted, punchy, emotional and entertaining radio, as well as some of the more amateurish."Paul Rowley, who made the recently-aired documentary 'The Other Radio Caroline', writes:

I've been interviewed for the programme, and many of the ads are from my archives. I choose my worst ever ad, one for London Transport to the tune of Rhinestone Cowboy for the One Day Bus Pass.

I suggested some of the guests. Terry Bate, the man behind Caroline Cash Casino. There's a wonderful story from Terry about an ad on Caroline for the Blue Dot Contraceptive Pill, a product which didn't exist.

Andy Wint who organised the Caroline North Convention, talks of his time as a travelling radio voice-over man and there's John Leech, who has been doing his own ads on Radio City for the last 25 years for the Widnes Car Centre.

I've given them audio of Caroline Cash Casino, the World Tomorrow, and the last ad on Caroline South before the Marine Offences Act, for Consulate Cigarettes.

You also hear the first ads on LBC and Capital (Findus Fish Fingers), Clyde, and Piccadilly (North West Gas), including the opening broadcast from ex-Caroline South DJ Roger Day, recorded on my Philips reel-to-reel tape recorder as a teenager. There are ads I recorded from Beacon and Hallam, plus the Ovalteenies and Horace Bachelor from Radio Luxembourg and some from John Cleese, Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones, and Peter Sellers.

I did give Radio 4 some Kenny stuff. "Let's have a little breakypoo" and "Commercial time", but they didn't use it.

DJs Tony Blackburn and Benny Brown participate and from the advertising industry, there are Tony Vickers, Tim Delaney, Jo McCrosty, Tony Hertz, Nick Angel and Andrew Ingram.

An excellent programme. What a shame, though, that one of the finest examples of the 'amateurish advert', Kenny's beloved 'Willard's potato crisps' had to be omitted, as it came from South Africa. The BBC News site also has a feature on the subject, containing a few clips.

Magic Oldies
Brian Cullen writes:

I'm a former Caroline North listener and have been involved in radio broadcasting for the last 35 years. I attended the London Radio Academy ‘do’ at the Sugar Reef in 2007 (saw you in the distance) and the Caroline North Convention in Sept 08 in the ‘Wonderful Isle of Man'.I just wanted to let you know that I host a weekend 50’s and 60’s show on Radio Maldwyn (the Magic 756). It seems that the true ‘oldies’ never see the light of day anymore. As well as playing chart music from those decades my programme is full of tracks relating to offshore radio -  ‘Paper Tiger’, 'Single Girl’, 'Then you can tell me Goodbye' etc. Plus the occasional theme tune thrown in and even jangling jingles (long before pirate J.W.!)

We are on-line at www.magic756.net and in mid-Wales on 756 AM.

Now everyone can join the Beatles
An electronic game called 'The Beatles: Rock Band' is set for worldwide release on September 9th (090909). It takes players through an "unprecedented experiential progression" of the musical career of the band. Giles Martin, co-producer of The Beatles innovative LOVE album project, is providing his expertise and serving as Music Producer.
To register for updates about the game, visit thebeatlesrockband.com where you'll see an empty Abbey Road studio. If you turn your volume up full, you can hear a bit of tuning up and chatting going on in the background.

Desperately Seeking Sharon
The Oldies Project team has an amazing knack of seeking out the most obscure Fab Forty tracks, but one is proving particularly elusive. They are looking for 'It's An Uphill Climb to the Bottom' by Sharon Tandy, which although appearing in the FF for July 17th was withdrawn without release – something that happened more than once on the offshore stations.

Sharon Tandy herself has been asked about the mystery track and she does not even recall recording it, let alone owning a copy! We have now learned that the track is even absent from the extensive BBC record library.

Does anyone out there have a copy? We'd love to know!
Carnaby Street
Chris Williams' Saturday 60s show on Manx Radio, 'Carnaby Street', remembered Caroline North, broadcasting live from the Pirates of the Irish Sea exhibition in Peel, with special guests, on Saturday 14th February. 'Carnaby Street' is available on Manx Radio Listen Again and there's a monthly prize draw to win a 'retro radio'. (Thanks to Mike Barraclough).

mv Galaxy enhances Chris's Big 6-0 celebration
Chris and Mary took a break from updating the site while celebrating Chris's 60th birthday with a wonderful trip to the Hawaiian islands.
Site visitors will love Chris's custom birthday cake, with its photo of the Galaxy. Well, what else would the MD of Radio London want to see on his special cake?
It was pretty hard to stick a knife into our favourite ship, but it did prove to be pretty tasty.Cake made and decorated by local specialist, Tracey's Cakes.

Photo courtesy of Michelle Dixon

Groningen Graffiti intact

Congratulations to Rob Olthof, Hans Knot and Martin van der Ven (right) on the launch of their new Radio Day website, which has galleries of photos from previous years and will keep visitors up to date with news of this year's event as arrangements fall into place.Hans writes:
"The organising team were together in Groningen recently, talking about the Radio Day and the programming. Of course we enjoyed a museum visit and also some anoraking. We visited a special place where I’ve been with you and Chris too, some years ago. It’s still there at the Gorechtkade in Groningen. You see we had some fun!"
It looks like it was a good weekend, and many thanks to Hans for letting us have the photo taken by his wife Jana.

It's amazing to know that one anonymous Radio London fan's 1966 graffiti is still on that wall after all these years!

Mike's new project
'Marshall' Mike Lennox writes:

I've recently been looking on the web at all the things related to the "good ole days" and thought that I would send you the website I've just finished building for my new project/passion Progreso Beach Club. I'm anxious to get the link out as far and wide as possible and would appreciate any help towards that end. I hope you'll find time to look through the pages and enjoy this introduction to Yucatan and of course our property. If all goes to plan we will be open in October.

I'm sorry I missed the Big L reunion. If there's to be another I shall be there for sure. I followed a lot of what was happening on line though.

A sad week on Radio London
Fond farewells...
...to our dear friend Pauline Halford, who passed away peacefully on January 19th. Pauline will be remembered by visitors to the 2001 Big L RSL, where she travelled specially to Clacton to chat to Keith Skues about her Frank Ifield biography, 'I Remember Me'. A great fan of Sixties music and an extremely talented writer, Pauline also penned 'Storm Warning –  The Origins of the Weather Forecast' and was a long-time contributor to Practical Caravan magazine. Always ready to offer helpful advice to her fellow writers, Pauline was a much-loved and irreplaceable friend. She leaves her husband Mike and daughter Heather.
(Left) Pauline with Frank Ifield in 2004

...to Ray Reynolds' father Len, who visited the Pirate BBC Essex Easter 2004 broadcast with his son and enjoyed a trip aboard the foot ferry to visit the LV18. Ray had cared for Len for some years and we know will deeply feel his loss.(Right) Ray and Len on the foot ferry ...to Stuart (Pev) Pevitt, lead singer with The Purple Gang. 'Granny Takes Trip', the sad song about the elderly wannabe Hollywood movie star who 'always turned up' for auditions but was 'always turned down', has proved popular during numerous offshore recreations, but never officially appeared on the Radio London playlist. However, a copy of 'Granny' was aboard the Galaxy when the station came off the air, as John Peel included it in his final Perfumed Garden and described it as "one of the all-time great records". The song title came from the trendy Chelsea boutique of the same name, but the word 'trip' was misunderstood by the Beeb Powers-That-Be (who obviously didn't listen to the lyrics) and 'Granny' was banned, leaving only Caroline and Luxembourg to air it. In his Guardian obituary, Alex Gunningham wrote: "Stuart fully embraced the rock-theatre style pioneered by Screaming Lord Sutch and incorporated many outlandish props. When performing the song Granny Takes a Trip, he would vanish from the stage during an extended instrumental introduction and reappear dressed as a crazed grandmother, in grey wig and floral dress."

Guardian obituary
; Purple Gang Website. (thanks to Jon Myer)

Dave Dee 1943 – 2009

Dave Harman, better known as singer Dave Dee, has died in a London hospital, aged 65. Although he had been suffering from cancer for the past three years, Dave had continued to front his (re-formed) band Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich until September 08. His final stage appearance was in Germany.

The band launched in the early Sixties in Wiltshire as Dave Dee and the Bostons, changing the name to incorporate the nicknames of Ian 'Tich' Amey, John 'Beaky' Dymond, Trevor 'Dozy' Ward-Davies and drummer 'Mick' Wilson. At one time DDDBM&T had a sixth member - a poltergeist nicknamed Cyril, who had latched on to them while they were touring.

DDDBM&T first made the Fab Forty in November 65 with 'You Make It Move' peaking at #9. They reached the Radio London Top Ten with each of their six subsequent releases. The saucy 'Bend It' took the #1 slot; follow-up 'Touch Me Touch Me' made #2, while 'Hideaway' was #3. 'Save Me' took the #1 slot in the first chart of 1967, with the band's Fab Forty swansong 'Okay' peaking at #4 that May - DDDBM&T's last release before Big L's demise.

Kenny Everett reputedly was a fan and played percussion blocks on 'Hideaway'.

Official band website: www.dddbmt.com

'Pirates of the Irish Sea' extended
Andy Wint, Creative Consultant of the Manx 'Pirates of the Irish Sea' exhibition says:

As Blein Vie Noa voish Ellan Vannin! or Happy New Year from the Isle of Man!

The 'Pirates Of The Irish Sea' exhibition at The House of Manannan in Peel has now been extended from the end of March to the end of this Summer. [The exact date has not been announced yet.]

I know many people from off-Island wanted to see it again and this should provide ample opportunity whilst the Steam Packet boats are running a summer timetable to UK, Eire and Ulster. It will also mean that the many thousands of TT 2009 visitors will get the opportunity to absorb the 'Caroline North' experience and spread the word across the globe.

The entertainment world in 2009 will be alight with the Richard Curtis film 'The Boat That Rocked' (released in the Spring) so our exhibition will also be very topical for the layperson.

Matthew Richardson at Manx National Heritage continues to keep the Caroline North flame alight and is delighted that MNH is the only heritage organisation in the world to have an museum-standard archive on offshore radio. He and I are very happy to receive information enquiries and memories to add to the record. Incidentally, a few people have asked if he's the same Matthew Richardson who writes so well on military history - yes he is. His next book (about WW1) is out next year. If you ever need to know anything about the Somme - Matthew's your man.

Talking of books, after its initial short run, 'Manx Giant - From The Wonderful Isle of Man' has been re-printed with added photos. It's available to order from bookshops or by card or via Amazon

Good year for the PRHoF
Jon Myer says:
"Almost 240,000 people visited Pirate Radio Hall of Fame during 2008. That is not quite as many as in 2007 when 283,461 visited, but last year's figures were undoubtedly boosted by Pirate BBC Essex and the publicity surrounding the 40th anniversary of the Marine Offences Act. It will be interesting to see what effect the release of the movie 'The Boat That Rocked' in May 2009 has on this year's statistics.

My grateful thanks, as always, to everyone who has contributed, helped or supported the site during the year. May I wish you a very happy new year and all the best for 2009"

Svenn's Northernstar updates
Svenn Martinsen in Norway has made numerous additions to his Northernstar website. Finally, after much research, he has been able to prove that the ship still in service as Earl Conrad Jnr is the Olga Patricia, which is exciting news for Radio England/Britain Radio fans.
Svenn also has a feature on The Northsea Engineers www.northernstar.no/chapter10.htm and technical information about Radio London contributed by engineer Dave Hawkins. www.northernstar.no/chapter11.htm

A press release dealing with the future of the international radio project of Northern Star International Broadcasters AS was added to the company's website on December 31st, 2008. www.northernstar.no Direct link www.northernstar.no/press.htm

Steve contributes to charity anthology
Phantom FM DJ Steve Conway is among the contributors in a just-published anthology 'Census, The First Seven Towers Anthology' (Seven Towers 2008).  Steve has contributed a story about his time on the Ross Revenge radio ship, working for Radio Caroline.

Steve's memoir about life with Radio Caroline – 'Shiprocked!' will be published by Liberties Press in March 2009.

'Census' is available in good bookshops, from www.seventowers.ie, on www.readireland.ie and at Seven Towers reading events, and for the trade from Columba Mercer Distributors (www.Columba.ie) It retails at €15 and €1 from every copy sold will be donated to the charity AWARE, which supports people suffering with depression.

Offshore Radio Themes Update
Chris Edwards of Offshore Echoes says:

We've updated the Offshore Radio Themes web pages, with more themes and info, plus more audio clips including the John Ross-Barnard theme, 'Surf dell'amore' – Tutti's trumpets and the Sunday Times Jazz Hour theme, 'Boogie Stop Shuffle' – Charlie Mingus.

New audio in Promotions includes :- 'Jambo Sana' – Mario Mathy; 'Please love me again' – VIP Connection; 'Peace will come' – Melanie, and more.

If you spot any missing themes or can add any missing details please let us know.

Musiconnections – new online network for bands, musicians and more
Paul Chapman writes:
"How great would it be if there was one place you could go that had listings of musicians, bands, gigs, teachers, venues, suppliers and so on, in short everything you need to help you make music? How much better would it be if there were also forums for you to chat to other musicians about playing music, banding and so on as well as blogs for you to tell your music stories, gig guides, articles and news.
That place now exists and can be found at www.musiconnections.co.uk.

The Legendary Tony Allan
This new DVD features friends and colleagues talking about Tony as a dear friend and about both good and bad times on RNI and Radio Caroline. There are also interviews with the late Chris Cary, Dick Palmer, Graham Gill, Johnny Jason and more.

The price in the Netherlands is 6€, outside the Netherlands 8€, which includes packing and postage. Payment can be made to the Tony Allan Memorial Fund Royal Bank of Scotland Account number 10099786 sort code 16-15-20. The IBAN code is GB93RBOS116152010099786. Order via e mail from: vcornelia@hotmail.com

All profits from the DVDs (excluding p & p) will be divided between Cancer Research, Marie Curie Hospices, the Ross Revenge Caroline ship and Project Redsand. These were all charities close to Tony’s heart.

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