M • I • N • I
M • E • M • O • R • I • E • S
These pages are devoted to special memories of Big L in the Sixties.
If you have a particular memory of something that happened while listening to Radio London, won a station competition, or have unearthed some rare memorabilia, please click on the mail button to the right and let us know!
M • A • I • L
Received on or around August 14th, 2003

At 3pm today the Leicester Radio Anoraks will stop and think of RADIO LONDON. I am wearing my T-shirt and I have been bugging radio stations this morning. I am glad to report some have read out what I said.

Being new to the computer world and to the Internet, the first thing I wanted to look up was to see if there was anything on Radio London, the one and only greatest station to be on the airwaves. I was so thrilled to find you! I just had to write and say how magnificent your site is and how much I would like to get in touch with other fans and collectors of items from BIG L.

Being 17 when Radio London had to go, the day was the most tragic I ever had to go through. Every year since then on the 14th, I remembered it all and after getting more and more tapes from Big L broadcasts they were always played. When the final hour became available on CD, it was played every year from two to three and the sad memories always remembered so vividly. Now that since a year ago the complete final day has come out on CD's I will play it today at exactly the same time as I did last year. I am always looking for other tapes or CD's of any shows I might not have and maybe now I can get in touch with others that feel like I do and write and trade things.

Well I hope that you don't mind me writing to you and maybe I will get a reply which would be so very exciting. All those charts put on the site were so thrilling and I have printed them all out to bind together in a book.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, A BIG L Fan forever, Jules Young in Belgium.

WEBMASTERS' NOTE: Jules now has an entry in the Swop Shop

Oh WOW!!!!

I only just found the Big L site, and now I feel guilty I have never conducted a search for it before.

I am of course of "that certain age" when we used to listen to Big L all the time. Trannies at school at every break time (even in the class with earphones of course).

I have listened to the Last Hour at Live 365, and recently listened to a programme featuring the Juicy Fruits show!

Memories that come to mind are...

...playing the Number One record on the hour every hour. WILD THING was a storm at school!

...The Beatles being Number One for two weeks before it was even released, then slipping down the Fab 40 by the time the rest of the world caught up.

...Kenny and Cash.


...then the miserable summer holidays in '67 without Big L. I must admit I thought they closed down earlier than August, as it seemed an age before we got Radio 1 (September 30th of course).

Rest assured, I shall be paying regular visits in future and examining the website in detail. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

God Bless Johnnie Walker.

Paul Smith – also a webmaster, but Football-based.

WEBMASTERS' NOTE: So we weren't the only ones guilty of listening to Radio London in class!

It was today when the famous words were spoken "Big L time is three o'clock and Radio London is closing down." I miss those days.

Mike Corke, Cape Town, South Africa

I'm very impressed with the history site of Big L. I was 13 when the station closed down, yet to my mind nothing has ever come near it in terms of quality broadcast. Even early Radio One came nowhere near it! I've been wandering around the site today and have one heck of a suggestion to make which I think will appeal to everyone of all ages (and sizes) who loved the pirates.

I would like to start a one-off campaign to get one of the terrestrial TV stations BBC1, 2, ITV 1, C4 or C5 interested in making a series of documentary programmes on the UK offshore pirate radio years. I often feel that this neglected subject is worthy of a series of programmes that many of us old goats (speak for myself) would love to see.

The basic idea would be to show that what modern kids have today was not around when we were young. The documentary could progress through to the inception of Caroline and Atlanta and everything in between right up to the Parliamentary debates of the Marine Offences etc. etc. This would be a warts-and-all documentary showing the good, bad and ugly side of pirate radio and the music they played.

I suspect the first programme would show pirate radio from the 1920s up to 1963 all around the world (especially in Europe). It would have to include 208 for sure. The next few could be dedicated to the ships and forts and the offices and owners and the staff and crews. The last one could show from 1967 to 2003. Don't forget the jingles! (I have a 10CD of PAMS finest and an autographed book to boot!) I feel that the history of radio - especially pirate radio - is not known amongst the 13-year-olds today, what with Internet, mediocre drum and bass and cult music being the norm! Yuk! I also feel it's too important historically to remain just on the Internet. What do you think?

I need a project to work on and don't mind forwarding emails in support of this to whatever TV station you think most likely to produce a programme or six on pirate radio. If anyone emailed me I would respond. I've a keen mind for pirate radio and the old ships and forts and those who ran it. Any support that anyone in cyberspace would like to send to me I will keep and forward en-mass to a TV station. It really would be a corking great idea for a serious music subject.

My name is Alan Long and I was born in 1954 hence my email address. I am coming to my conclusion of this email and, in the (modified) words of Paul Kaye, 'Big L time is 10.53 and I am now closing down'. (I'm playing the Sonowaltz in my mind as I write!)

Contact Alan with your views, comments and suggestions: alanrlong1954@yahoo.co.uk

What's the connection between KLIF and Radio Nord?!
Well, it's August 14/15 again and I very well remember the great reunions that you arranged. Of course I remember what happened back in 1967.

It was great to read on your site about all that was happening on Big L and other stations. I read with interest about KLIF; "...and of course KLIF, being the template for Radio London, also had a big influence on Top 40 radio in the UK."

Not just Big L, Gordon McLendon was also one of the founders of the Swedish Radio Nord! Look at my site, http://home.swipnet.se/offshore/ then click on the first link 'Se 1959-12-03' and you will see Jack, Gordon and Robert in December 1959. All the text is from a Swedish magazine, hence it's in Swedish only, but it basically tells you that these three gentlemen will bring a new radio station to millions of Swedes. In the early phase the station was called "Radio Norr". It also states that McLendon had come to Europe to try to buy Danish Radio Mercur. This station was on FM only, but Gordon wanted something bigger. "Put it in the Baltic See, between Sweden and Finland. This will then cover large parts of these countries and all the industry in Stockholm". Radio Nord became the first station to fight Radio Sweden in a large scale. Radio Nord won the listeners, but lost the battle in the end.

Regards, Per Alarud, Stockholm - Sweden

The Radio London days will never fade away
Dear Mary and Chris,

I have some very good news for you. Last Sunday, we got a visit of two of the greatest Radio London fans in Holland, Gert van der Winden and Frank van Heerde. I know Frank for 30 years since 1973 and Gert also many years.

These guys were so surprised that I did have hundreds of 45 RPM records with Dutch Photo sleeves of records which have been on the charts on the Radio London Fab 40 like "May the bird of paradise fly up your nose"- Little Jimmy Dickens and many others, for which they didn't have with a picture sleeve. They did have the records, but not with the sleeves!

They asked me if it was possible that they could loan from my collection the records with the nice Dutch photo sleeves, and I said to them that it was all right but "If you make a scan for yourself will you send a copy of the sleeve to MARY AND CHRIS of the great RADIO LONDON SITE!!!". They agreed that they also planned to do this.

So keep your fingers crossed, the coming months you will receive 100 nice photo sleeves from Radio London Fab 40 hits from my collection scanned by Gert van der Winden. This is a lot of work and I didn't have the time for this job to scan all these great record sleeves.

So I am glad I could give you another contribution for your great Radio London site because you're doing a really great job!

By the way I saw early this year in a festival in Kaatsheuvel "Rock around de Werft" THE ERIC HAYDOCK HOLLIES GROUP who did some great versions on stage also of "I needed someone', "I can't let go","I'm alive" etc. in a very clear Sixties sound!

As you have seen in the U.K. Jim Reeves has entered the British Album top 40 charts and came to number 21 with his CD "The Definitive Collection" 39 years after his death. On this CD you will find so many of his great RADIO LONDON HITS like "Not until the next time", "Distant drums","Trying to forget" etc. Just like ELVIS PRESLEY with his great Radio London hits "Crying in the chapel", "Do the clam" etc. he is one of the immortals and their music will never fade away! The great Radio London hit sound with some great music of the Radio London days will never fade away and is still after 36 years going very strong.

The Jim Reeves fan club in Holland is holding a meeting on the 21st September 2003 in Best Holland with 300 visitors. Elvis Presley Fan club does the same and we had a Rolling Stones week this week in Holland because the Rolling Stones have done 6 concerts in Holland this week. A lot of the old records were played on Dutch Radio this week like "Get off of my cloud", "Take it or leave it", "Out of time" (from their great 'AFTERMATH LP). The first one was also a big hit in Holland in 1966 in the Dutch top 10 by The SEARCHERS! So you see all good sounds are coming our way on Dutch Radio with a link to Radio London where we hear them for the first time!

Go on with the good work!

Best wishes to you from Holland, Bert Bossink (Radio London fan since January 1965!!)

All contributions for our scrapbooks will be gratefully received