The Early Radio London Fab Forties
Sunday 6th June 1965

#6 on June 6th for Sandie. The pic sleeve is from the Long Live Love EP, and as Alan Field notes below, EPs (extended play singles, usually containing four tracks) were in their heyday.

Last
This
 
Week
Week
2
1
The Clapping Song Shirley Ellis
8
2
The Price Of Love Everly Brothers
11
3
Trains And Boats And Planes Burt Bacharach, his Orchestra & Chorus
4
4
(You've) Never Been In Love Like This Before Unit 4 + 2
7
5
Crying In The Chapel Elvis Presley
3
6
Long Live Love Sandie Shaw
1
7
Poor Man's Son Rockin' Berries
16
8
I'm Alive Hollies
15
9
Set Me Free Kinks
12
10
Anyway Anyhow Anywhere Who
14
11
Come Home Dave Clark Five
5
12
Trains And Boats And Planes Billy J Kramer & the Dakotas
25
13
From The Bottom Of My Heart (I Love You) Moody Blues
35
14
Colours Donovan
9
15
Marie Bachelors
6
16
This Little Bird Marianne Faithfull
23
17
Looking Thru The Eyes Of Love Gene Pitney
18
Stingray Shadows
13
19
Where Are You Now (My Love) Jackie Trent
24
20
Yeah, I'm Waiting Force Five
21
It's Just A Little Bit Too Late Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders
22
22
Incense Anglos
23
On My Word Cliff Richard
34
24
Engine Engine No. 9 Roger Miller
10
25
Iko Iko Dixie Cups
37
26
Strong Love Spencer Davis Group
27
27
It Ain't Me Babe Johnny Cash
28
Someone's Taken Maria Away Adam Faith & the Roulettes
29
Mrs Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter (EP) Herman's Hermits
20
30
Subterranean Homesick Blues Bob Dylan
31
Early Bird Tornados '65
28
32
Leave A Little Love Lulu
40
33
Walkin' Down The Line Baytown Singers
29
34
Not Until The Next Time Jim Reeves
35
I'll Stay By You Kenny Lynch
36
36
Before And After Chad & Jeremy
26
37
Come On Over To My Place Drifters
38
Be My Guest Niteshades
39
Back In My Arms Again Supremes
40
Help Me Rhonda Beach Boys

23
17
Looking Thru The Eyes Of Love Gene Pitney Stateside SS 420

According to Keith Skues's book Pop Went the Pirates, (click on the photo to obtain details) Gene Pitney visited the Galaxy on Tuesday June 8th 1965.

Keith quotes Gene as saying, "Whilst on the ship I climbed up into the crow's-nest to take photographs. I was shown around the Galaxy and was interviewed on air. In all, I took something like five rolls of film, including shots inside DJs' cabins.

It was one of the things I wanted to do whilst in Britain. They even got me sweeping the deck! It was a pretty rough day, weather-wise, but I couldn't turn down such an opportunity. I also travelled on the tender with a member of the British Royal Family, Prince Richard of Gloucester."

Keith also reports that a Harwich Customs Officer asked the prince, who was at the time eighth in line to the throne, if he was British!

The purpose of the visit by Prince Richard and his two architect student friends, Bernard and Brian, was to write an article for the Cambridge University newspaper, Granta.

On closer inspection, Keith actually refers to TWO offshore trips in his book! He speaks of Gene visiting Radio Caroline on Tuesday June 8th and Radio London on Friday June 11th, with references to Prince Richard appearing in both accounts. With the weather being so rough, it's hard to believe that any of the visitors would have been prepared to suffer that horrendous trip twice in the space of three days!

Either Gene boarded both the Mi Amigo and the Galaxy on the same day, or the Royal party visited Caroline while the tender took Gene and the photographer on to Big L. The latter seems more likely, as there appears to be no account of the prince and his friends visiting Radio London.

The picture of Gene in the Galaxy lifeboat (right) is one of five from a photo spread that appeared in schoolgirl magazine, Jackie.

In 2000, I (Mary) attended a great Gene Pitney concert in High Wycombe and afterwards exchanged some e-mails with Gene. I asked him if he recalled his trip to Radio London and if he still possessed the mass of photos he had allegedly taken.

Gene replied:

Sounds like Keith summed it up pretty well. The only let-down I have for you is that the photo story was just that – conjured up by the press for the shoot. The only shots were the ones you have seen which I like very much. It was a rolling day at sea, but I don't get seasick so I was actually OK. The trip to and from the ship was much more harrowing than being on board probably just due to size. I remember the gruff old chef who fitted the ship to a 'T'. He made stuff that wouldn't come up even if you were sick!!

Ironic that I just punted on the Granta about three weeks ago. I visited the Rupert Brooke library as a guest of Mike Read who created the library. It was a super day and one that made me think I would have loved to have had the opportunity to be a student at a university with the history of Cambridge. Oddly enough we were using Cambridge to fill in for Oxford! I was doing a video for the song I recorded called Myfanwy at Oxford. It is a Betjamin poem put to music by Mike Read, and is to be released on CD.

It seems the whole trip and the fabricated facts about taking five rolls of personal snaps, was a publicity shoot to coincide nicely with Gene's single, Looking Through the Eyes of Love, climbing steadily up the Fab Forty.

Brian Long has kindly supplied a contact sheet for some of the other photographs taken during Gene's offshore excursion. (Click on the photo sheet to view a larger version) Brian says that contemporary newspaper reports, unlike Keith Skues, gave the date of Gene's visit as 9 June 1965. Brian says:

The photos were taken by SKR Photos, 49 Walden Street, London E1. SKR were the initials of the proprietor. I forget who he was, but I believe he is dead and his son took over the business.

Duncan Johnson was one of the DJs travelling on the tender:

I recall the visit very well, although not the exact date it took place. It was a rather blowy day and Gene was not on top form, although he did regale us with stories of a recent trip to New Zealand where he had signed his autograph on various parts of female fans' anatomy!

What I remember most of the day, (and I've just read the version on your site) is that as well as the changeover DJ crew from Big L and Gene, there were three people who had been out to Caroline, altogether making eleven or twelve passengers. It was illegal for the tender to carry more than ten. As we neared Parkeston Quay, we saw a small crowd on the quayside and we were joking with Gene about his fans finding him no matter where he was.

Suddenly, we realised that amongst the crowd were several men in uniform and at least one police car. Tony Windsor, not a great sailor in rough seas suddenly came alive, taking control in his inimitable style, pointed at the students who had been visiting Caroline, and shouted, "Get below, immediately, and stay quiet! Immigration is going to do a search and we have too many on board." The students, whom none of us from Big L knew, scurried below.

When we docked and climbed up onto the pier, the various police and immigration officials never said a word. I was the last one up the stairs and replied as such. The policeman looked worried and said, "But where's Prince Richard? We were told he was on board". With that Tony Windsor led the rush to disappear and the tender Captain said, "Oh, he must be one of the ones down below," and went to fetch them. No comment of any kind was made about the number of passengers on board, nor was there any inspection of passports in the usual way.

The drinks flowed on the train back to London as we appreciated our lucky escape, although Gene was slightly concerned about being upstaged by a Royal that none of us knew. So we had another drink. There are not that many incidents that I remember so clearly but the TW "get below immediately", in his best bass voice is definitely one of them.

I don't know about the dates confusion. Perhaps, the tender Captain's log showed two trips to account for the extra passengers. It would certainly be interesting to hear Prince Richard's version of the day and whether it would be at variance with what he wrote for the student paper at the time. Life was a bit lively in those days!

As Duncan's account reveals, this was to have been a regular changeover tender, rather than a special trip to take visitors to the Galaxy. I'd be inclined to say the date of the visit must have been Tuesday June 8th, as Tuesday was the regular DJ changeover day. Oddly enough, the suggestions for the date so far have been the 8th, 9th, and 11th!

(Left, Bert Bossink very kindly scanned an item from the Dutch Music Paper Muziek-Expres containing exactly the same pictures of Gene Pitney visiting the Radio London ship. And probably the same fabricated story!)

The CD referred to by Gene, Words and Music, consisted of John Betjamin poems set to music by Mike Read and recorded by thirteen artists. In addition to Gene's contribution, the CD features tracks by other Fab Forty alumni such as Colin Blunstone, Donovan and Cliff Richard.

Gene Pitney was inducted to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame on March 18, 2002, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. He died suddenly in 2006, while on a tour of the UK, aged 65. I consider myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to meet Gene and to exchange a few e-mails with him. Official website: genepitney.com.

During the Radio London 40th Anniversary reunion, February 26th 2005, Cardboard Shoes related an amazing incident!

Earlier that week, he had attended a function for high-ranking RAF officials. Keith had organised the event himself and it was attended by HM the Queen. During the very formal evening, he had encountered a familiar face. It was Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who as 20-year-old Cambridge student, Prince Richard of Gloucester, had taken the trip out to Radio Caroline. It transpired that the Duke had very sharp memories of the occasion, but he admitted to Keith that the intended feature for Granta, ostensibly the reason behind the offshore adventure, had never been completed.

Climbers:  
Give Him My Love McKinleys
One More Time Them
To Know You Is To Love You Peter & Gordon
Tossing And Turning Ivy League
She's About A Mover Sir Douglas Quintet
Maggie's Farm Bob Dylan
Nothing Can Stop Me Gene Chandler
Come Dance With Me Pat Wayne
The One In The Middle (EP) Manfred Mann
Disc of the Week:  
In The Middle Of Nowhere Dusty Springfield

Give Him My Love McKinleys Columbia DB7230

The last of four UK singles for Jeanette and Sheila McKinley, Give Him My Love was written by fellow Scot and the then current fave rave, Donovan, who is also said to have played on the recording. North of the border, the sisters appeared in shows alongside the likes of the Fab Four.

Later in the decade, the duo moved to Germany and became successful as the McKinley Sisters. Sheila then scored success as a soloist and Jeanette (well before the days of Microsoft) had a band called Windows.

The McKinley name appears on many album credits, where the sisters' vocal talents have enhanced the work of the Stones, Hollies, Ringo Starr, Paice, Aston and Lord and many others.

Give Him My Love is on a 22-track RPM compilation, Dream Babes Vol.3 – Backcomb 'n' Beat (RPM233) alongside three other McKinley tracks. A full track listing, which also includes releases by Fab 40 acts, the Chantelles, Julie Driscoll, Samantha Juste and Mary 'Perpetual' Langley, is here.

One reviewer describes the CD as, "like hearing a radio broadcast from a long lost world". The RPM website states that, "Many of these tracks are highly collectable and 75% of the compilation has never been reissued. Plus bonus: Radio London ad spots by Perpetual Langley."

Unfortunately, in the clip the company has used as an example, Perpetual is giving her thanks to Dave Lee Travis and Radio Caroline, so exactly what 'Radio Radio London ad spots' appear on the CD, is unclear!

Sadly, Sheila died in December 2012.

Alan Field discovers the Fab Forty has hit the heyday of the EP:

It's rare to see them on the charts at all, but June 1965 saw no less than three EPs on the Fab 40.

First up, there's this week's #29. Mrs Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter had been a #1 single for Herman's Hermits in the States during May 1965. In the UK, the song was released the following month as the title track of an EP (Columbia SEG 8440). The other tracks were I Know Why, Show Me Girl and Your Hand In Mine.

A climber this week, poised to enter the Fab in 7 days, is Manfred Mann's The One In The Middle (HMV 7EG 8908). This EP sold enough copies to make the top 10 in some versions of the UK national singles chart (don't ask!). Alongside the title track were Watermelon Man, What Am I To Do and a much-acclaimed cover of Bob Dylan's With God On Our Side. These two are joined in the Fab 40 in a fortnight by the Rolling Stones' Got Live If You Want It! EP.

Tune in next week for another Big L Fab 40!

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