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Archived Obituaries – Page 1

Obituaries – in ascending date order

John Bennett
Sloopy John B, 1956 - 2014

Mary Payne pays tribute to someone who was an 'e-friend' for over twelve years:

Voice of Peace and Caroline Eighties DJ, John Bennett passed away on September 6th. John, who ran the Caroline North 'Triple F' Facebook Group had posted online the candid details of his diagnosis of a brain tumour in July of this year. His prognosis seemed very poor, but he fought back with humour and great courage, although I am sure he must have been in a great deal of pain.

John and I first exchanged emails in 2002. We corresponded fairly regularly over the years and although I never had the pleasure of meeting him, we enjoyed some interesting conversations. He wrote a feature for the website and sent photos of his model ship. John very generously sent me all sorts of information, recordings and press clippings relating to the offshore stations and especially to Radio London. He wrote:

"Yours is a truly fabulous resource, database, spiritual home and entertaining website that is the most highly regarded and much-loved one, ever!"

John's lifelong ambition was to correspond with his broadcasting hero, Caroline North's Jerry 'Soopa' Leighton. He had always wanted to tell Jerry what a huge difference his shows from the Fredericia had made to his life as a young listener. Jerry is a private person who is reluctant to become involved in offshore reunions and the like, a view which is to be respected. However, in April 2014, I am delighted to say that I found a way of being instrumental in Jerry receiving the letter that John had always wanted to send him. John allowed me the privilege of reading what he had written and I was extremely moved by it. It would have been enough for John just to have known that his words had been sent to Jerry, but he was over the moon with happiness to receive a reply from his hero. Jerry had also been moved by the words that John wrote. I had played a very small part, but John generously sent me a lovely bouquet in gratitude.

Of course, neither of us knew that poor John had so few months left to live. He had achieved something that he had always wanted to do and I know that this brought him tremendous happiness before he died.

Family friend Joey Ratheram posted a statement on Facebook on behalf of his mother, Sue:
"John died very peacefully in St David's hospice, Llandudno on Saturday 6th September. I was with him and his beloved 60s music was playing in the background. John was a very dear and close friend to both myself and my family. Although we were all aware of the serious nature of his condition, his passing occurred a lot sooner than expected. The care that was given to him during his last days was second to none and any suffering was alleviated."

(Thanks to Jon Myer. Photo courtesy of the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame.)

John was a keen collector of versions of the 'My Hometown' jingles that PAMs recorded for numerous radio stations, and he enjoyed imagining how the recording for Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu in New Zealand might have sounded. He also recorded a jingle especially for me!

John's model Fredericia; John's recollections of listening to his big blue trannie.


Tom Harding Danaher
May 2, 1924 - September 12, 2014

"The embodiment of America and a damn great flier" – Steven Spielberg
2-page obituary




RIP Radio Scotland's Bob Spencer
"Goodbye AM is sad to have received a report of the passing of Bob Spencer (real name Hogarth), the former Radio City and Radio Scotland broadcaster, at his home in Cornwall."

Goodbyeam tribute.

Jon Myer has posted a full obituary page with tributes from Bob's former 242 shipmates on the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame.


Michael Parkin
December 1931 – August 2014

Michael Parkin was recruited by Jocelyn Stevens to become a sales director of Radio Caroline. He started the offshoot company Caroline Films, producing advertising and documentary films for cinema and television.
Telegraph obituary



Robert Dwayne 'Bobby' Womack
March 1944 - June 2014

The renowned songwriter, musician and soul legend Bobby Womack had worked with and written songs for some of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. Sadly, he died in the month that commemorated 50 years since the release of the Rolling Stones' cover of 'It's All Over Now' which he co-wrote. He admitted that initially he was unhappy with the song being covered by the Stones, but changed his mind when it became a huge international hit and rewarded him with a life-long income.

Bobby's last live appearance was in May at the 2014 New Orleans Jazz Fest and he had been booked to headline the final night of the UK's internationally-renowned WOMAD festival in July. He was also reported to have been working on a new album.

Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood inducted Bobby Womack into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, describing him as "a great inspiration to my band and all of the musicians that I know". In his acceptance speech, Bobby remembered playing guitar for his late friend Sam Cooke. He cited Cooke's civil rights anthem 'A Change Is Gonna Come' and acknowledged that Sam would have been amazed to have known that America now had its first black president.

Ronnie Wood's induction speech; Rolling Stone obituary


Peter Mallan
May 1934 - June 2014

Radio Scotland's Peter Mallan has died shortly after his 80th birthday. The Glaswegian was a contemporary of Jimmy Shand and Kenneth McKellar and is renowned in Scotland as both a singer and broadcaster.
Peter arrived on 242 in 1967 with a request programme for hospital patients called Mallan's Medics. He told the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame, "It was during the time one of my own recordings was doing well in the Scottish charts. The song was 'These Are My Mountains' and was written for me by Scottish actor Jimmy Copeland, father of Braveheart actor James Cosmo. It got to #1 in the Scottish Top Twenty due to the plays it got from the pirate jocks. The BBC paid scant attention to it so I owed it all to Paul Young, Jack McLaughlin et al.... Much as I would have liked to have broadcast aboard (the Comet), (my programme) was recorded at the Radio Scotland studio in Glasgow's West End."
Peter joined the nation's first commercial station Radio Clyde in 1979 and was a presenter and producer there for many years.
Obituary: Herald Scotland; Pirate Radio Hall of Fame entry
Thanks to Jon Myer for the photo


Gerald 'Gerry' Goffin
February 1939 – June 2014

Renowned lyric writer Gerry Goffin has died in Los Angeles. He co-wrote innumerable songs, seven of which topped the US Hot Hundred. Fab Forty successes include a #2 for Manfred Mann with 'Oh No Not My Baby', #8 for the Hollies with 'Yes I Will' and a Monkees #1, 'Pleasant Valley Sunday'.

In 1990 Gerry and his former songwriting partner and first wife, Carole King were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He also had successful collaborations with a number of other songwriters.

Lennon and McCartney were great admirers of Goffin and King compositions and several of them formed part of their early repertoire. 'Chains' appeared on their first album, 'Please Please Me', while Dusty Springfield enjoyed hits with 'Some of Your Lovin'' and 'Goin' Back'.

The songs of Goffin and King (pictured left) and the story of their personal relationship is the subject of a Broadway hit which opened in January 2014, called 'Beautiful: The Carole King Musical'. Gerry Goffin attended the opening night.

Obituaries: Rolling Stone; New York Times

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives, via Getty Images


Casey Kasem
April 1932 – June 2014

Keith Millborrow writes:

I was sorry to learn of the passing of legendary American DJ Casey Kasem, aged 82. He was famous for 'Casey's Coast-to-Coast American Top Forty' which was syndicated across the USA and around the World.   I recall seeking out his programme on AFN Frankfurt (344 metres) after the Caroline ships were towed into Amsterdam. That must put the date around 1968/69. AFN transmitted the "Top 15 of the American Top 40" between 21:00 and 22:00 UK time. In 2013, the (now-defunct) Smooth 70s recycled Seventies versions of the full show.

A memorial service for Casey Kasem was held on June 23rd in Los Angeles.


Larry Steinman (Tremaine)
June 1943 - May 2014

We are sorry to report that Larry Tremaine has died suddenly, just short of his 71st birthday. Known on air as 'The Geator with the heater', Larry became involved in offshore radio in 1970, as Programme Director of RNI. He broadcast a daily show during election week, when the station briefly changed name to Radio Caroline International and was responsible for the spoof song, "Who do you think you're kidding Mr Wilson?".

Larry broadcast on several US radio stations and had a musical career singing with and managing hit band, the Sunrays. In the late Sixties, he hosted a nationally-syndicated TV show, Casino Royal Fun Circus, where he discovered and promoted artists. Larry was instrumental in the careers of the Beach Boys, Sonny & Cher, Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass, Bobby Fuller and others. He also hosted Disneyland's Saturday Night Dance Party.

In June 2011, Larry participated in 'A Tribute to the UK Offshore Pirates' at the International Radio Festival in Zurich, where he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Obituary, LARadio.com; Larry interviewed in Zurich


LaVerne Bailey
April 1925 – May 2014

With great sadness, we announce the passing of LaVerne Bailey, one of the few remaining USS Density WW11 shipmates who had held regular reunions since 1964.

Known as Verne, he and his wife Marie were stalwarts of the shipmates' reunions. In recent years, much of the event organisation had been taken over by their daughter Tanya Baugus. Chris and I met the family for the first time when we attended the reunion held in 2001 in Dallas, Texas. We were there with Ben Toney and Tom Danaher, to talk to the shipmates about the second life of their beloved minesweeper, 'The Mighty Little D', as they had only recently learnt that she had changed identity to mv Galaxy in 1964 and become the home of Radio London.

The day after our arrival was September 11th. The terrorist attacks on the USA left us feeling stranded and very far from home, but Verne, Marie and Tanya immediately welcomed us as family, even though we had only just met. We were proud to call Marie and Verne our surrogate Mum and Dad and honoured to be considered part of the USS Density family. We shall never forget their kindness.

Verne suffered from poor health for many years, but never allowed it to prevent him from attending the reunions that meant so much to him. For the most part the shipmates were reluctant to talk of their experiences at Pearl Harbour, but they had formed a bond that lasted a lifetime. Verne was immensely interested to know all about Radio London and the m v Galaxy and eternally grateful to Ron Buninga for returning the ship's bell to its rightful home.

Verne, you were a brave and wonderful man. We wish you smooth sailing.
Mary and Chris Payne


Charles A Stock
August 1916 – April 2014

Charlie Stock, a crew member of the USS Density who served at Pearl Harbour during WWII, has died at the age of 97. He enjoyed the shipmates' reunions, usually with members of his family and Chris and I were honoured to have known him. Charlie was still running his grain and livestock farm in Virginia at the age of 90, and succumbed to poor health only in recent years.
Our sympathy goes to Charlie's daughters Mary and Jeanie, his son William and their respective partners and also to Charlie's five grandchildren and nine-great-grandchildren.

Mary Payne

*******

Charlie's daughter Mary writes:

"Dad was pretty healthy right up to the last couple of days. We couldn't have asked for more. It's sad to lose someone, but we knew it was coming. We had a lovely service for him where we got to see so many of his friends. In a small town, pretty much everyone knows everyone and the funeral services are attended by many.

I will pass along your kind words to Jeanie. We all have such fond memories of the Density reunion times. We enjoyed having you and Chris as part of the Density family. Thanks for your condolences.

Much love, Mary


The two recently-departed USS Density shipmates, Charlie Stock and Verne Bailey at the 2001 Dallas Reunion. Back row: Bill Brandstetter, Ben Toney, Tom Danaher, Russell Dupuis. Front: Charlie Stock, Chris Payne, Verne Bailey.

Tony Benn, depicted on the August 4th 1967 cover of Private Eye as 'The Most Dangerous Man in Britain'

Anthony Neil Wedgwood Benn
April 1925 - March 2014

Tony Benn, the Labour politician infamous to offshore radio fans for introducing the Marine Offences Act in 1967, has died aged 88.

Forty-six years later, in August 2013, Johnnie Walker confronted his nemesis at the New Town Theatre during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Walker told a 150-strong audience,"He turned me into a criminal. I've been looking forward to this."

The Independent reported that when Mr Benn appeared onstage, looking frail and unshaven, the two men shook hands. "It's quite a privilege to have you on my show," said Walker. Mr Benn was typically unapologetic. He even claimed that, had he not banned pirate radio, Radio 1 would never have been created, which "brings music to far more people".

Radio One launched six weeks after the enforced demise of the majority of the pirates, but Caroline - and Johnnie - fought on till March 1968.

In a 2009 interview, Dave Cash asked Tony Benn why he worked for the closure of the pirates. (Then Prime Minister) "Harold Wilson rang me and said what are you doing about the pirates, I'm listening to them?".

BBC: Tony Benn - a Life in Pictures

BBC Kent: Dave Cash interview (Thanks to Mike Terry)

Independent: Johnnie Walker feature

Private Eye: Covers

BBC Essex, 14/03: Dave Monk interviewed Johnnie Walker regarding his lifetime relationship with Benn and his appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013. (34:50 in) (Thanks to John Sales)


Sandra Slater (Samantha Juste)
May 1944 – February 2014

Samantha Juste, model, singer and DJ, will be remembered as the beautiful girl in the mini-dress who played the singles on Top of the Pops in the early editions, when none of the acts performed live. While she conceded that it was not a difficult job, Samantha did admit to once having played the Swinging Blue Jeans at the wrong speed.
In 1966, she promoted her own single 'No One Needs My Love Today' on the show. Although it was picked as a Big L Climber, it never made the Fab Forty and the TV exposure did not assist in taking it into the Nationals.
Samantha married the Monkees' Micky Dolenz in 1968 and he explained in his biography that the line from 'Alternate Title, "It's too easy humming songs to a girl in yellow dress" was written for his wife.
Telegraph Obituary
(Thanks to Mike Terry)


Phil Everly
January 19, 1939 – January 3, 2014

Phil's brother Don (right of photo) told The Associated Press:
"I was listening to one of my favourite songs that Phil wrote and had an extreme emotional moment just before I got the news of his passing." Don said he felt this had been a spiritual farewell message from Phil and that their fraternal bond, "Was and will always be deeper than any earthly differences we might have had."

The Everlys' 'Gone Gone Gone' was played on Radio London on the launch day, December 22nd 1964. 'That'll Be the Day' was only a one-week Fab Forty entry in April 65, but 'between May and July, 'The Price of Love' spent eight weeks on the chart, two of them at #2. The following month, the self-penned 'I'll Never Get Over You' was picked as Duncan Johnson's climber, but did not prove a strong follow-up to 'The Price of Love' and hovered around the lower end of the chart. The Everlys' final Fab Forty appearance was in May 67 with 'Bowling Green'.

In a 2004 essay for 'Rolling Stone', Paul Simon wrote, "The Everly Brothers' impact exceeds even their fame." The duo influenced many vocal harmony groups and was acknowledged by Paul McCartney in his lyrics to 'Let 'Em In'. Phil and Don were among the 'beautiful people' that Paul wanted to let in.

See also Russ & Gary's "The Best Years of Music"

The Everly Family Website reveals the astonishing statistics on the left about the duo's success

Colin Lees

We were sorry to learn that our site contributor Colin Lees had died on November 28th, 2013, at the age of 64. Colin's son Richard tells us that his father had suffered with poor health throughout the year. Colin was one of Big L's biggest fans and enjoyed writing about the RSL recreations in Essex.

Read Colin's contribution

 


Ken Evans
April 1927 - November 2013

With sadness, we announce that offshore pioneer Ken Evans, who programmed the music for Radio Atlanta has died in a retirement home in his native Sydney.

After the merger of Atlanta and Caroline, Ken was responsible for the music on Radio Caroline South and later produced EMI-sponsored programmes for Radio Luxembourg.

Left, Roger Day, Ken and Nick Bailey at Roger's 2004 Caroline reunion

The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame has a full obituary, with many tributes.


Elaine Bennett-Turner
November 2013

We are very sorry to hear from Alan 'Neddy' Turner that his wife Elaine passed away on November 25th. He wrote: "Elaine had suffered from Lupus for about 12 years and coped with the problems that came with this disease without complaint. Her approach to this problem and the way in which she showed her gratitude for the medical help and treatment, engendered a lot of love and respect from the doctors and nursing staff who came into contact with her.
 
The first letter that I ever wrote to Elaine, a wonderful friend and partner, ended with these words – 'Semper fidelis'. They are as true now as they were 50 odd years ago. We had been known each other for 57 years and had been married for 47, very happy, years."

It was a pleasure to meet Elaine on the LV18 during the Pirate BBC Essex broadcasts and we know how much she enjoyed attending all the pirate gatherings with Alan.

Right, Elaine and Alan aboard the LV18 during the Pirate BBC Essex broadcast 2009


Gert van der Winden
November 2013
"My parents had a big wireless receiver which I own and cherish nowadays. It is still working but not in use by me at the moment and tuned on the dial to... of course... 266."

We are very sad to learn that a major contributor to our Fab Forties, Gert van der Winden, died suddenly on November 7th, at the age of 62. Kees Brinkerink said: "Gert had several health issues lately and he eventually died of heart failure, only one day after having been rushed to hospital for acute epilepsy.

Gert was always very eagerly collecting information and music connected to Radio London. We met a few times, both at our homes and at record fairs. A good-humored fellow, he was always telling interesting background stories and keen on learning more. He has been helpful to my project as well."

Alan Field says: "I have some pleasant memories of emailing with Gert when we were doing the very earliest Fab 40s from Machteld's notes. He was always so enthusiastic and helpful. My best wishes to his friends and family."

Read Gert's story of listening to the Fab Forties as a teenager.


Julia Leigh-Golding
November 2013

Julia Leigh-Golding known to her friends as Lady Julia of Sealand was the organiser of events for fans of Keith Skues in Harwich in 2012 and 13. Sadly, she passed away on October 25th from cancer.

She enjoyed tremendously the Pirate BBC Essex broadcasts said, "What fun we all had! Listening and watching on the webcam joined by my friends online round the world, chatting and joining in with text and emails. The best bunch of DJ's ever to hit the airwaves."
 
Julia's funeral has been organised for 2.40pm Friday 15th November at Southend crematorium and she had requested donations to the RNLI in lieu of flowers. Donations can be made to F. P. Guiver & Sons Ltd, 641 Southchurch Rd, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS1 2PN
(Thanks to John Sales)


Noel Harrison
January 1934 – October 2013

Noel Harrison, who came to the attention of Big L listeners in January 1966, when Dave Dennis pioneered his theatrical single, 'A Young Girl of Sixteen', has died in Devon. Noel was still performing regularly in the county, but after arriving home from a gig in the village of Black Dog, he suffered a fatal heart attack.

Noel was first seen on UK TV on the daily news programme 'Tonight' where he sang calypsos based on topical news stories alternating with West Indian Cy Grant. He lived in the States for some years and was seen regularly on TV there, appearing both on Johnny Carson's Tonight, the Andy Williams show and The David Frost Show.

Although it was #23 in the Fab Forty, 'A Young Girl of Sixteen' failed to chart in the UK Nationals but had already made #51 in the US Hot Hundred, where the title was shortened to 'A Young Girl'. In Canada, Noel released a French-language version which reached the Top Ten.

Noel's biggest hit was Windmills of Your Mind (the Oscar-winning theme from the film The Thomas Crown Affair) which found international success.
At the height of Sixties spy-mania, he co-starred with Stefanie Powers in 'Man from U.N.C.L.E.' spin-off, 'The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.'.

Noel's Fan site – from which much of this information was gleaned; Tribute on BBC Devon's Judi Spiers Show; BBC News obituary; BBC News 'Windmills of Your Mind'


Robert Guus Olthof
December 1945 – September 2013

Chris and Mary are sorry to report that their friend Rob, co-organiser of the Amsterdam Radio Days and founder of the Foundation for Media Communication has died in a hospice in Wilnis after a long illness. Rob had no immediate family and in his final days was cared for by Hans and Jana Knot and other close friends.

Rob to the left of the photo, with co-organisers Hans and Martin. Photo: Jana Knot

We first met Rob when he attended our 2002 Offshore Reunion in London and were to encounter him at several subsequent offshore gatherings, both in the UK and the Netherlands. Rob also kindly assisted us in obtaining a canvas print of the Mi Amigo for Bud Ballou's 60th birthday in 2007. Although we corresponded, we had not seen Rob since he attended Mary's 60th birthday party in 2009. Very sadly, Rob was diagnosed with inoperable cancer in 2012.

Hans, who was in daily contact with Rob for many years, wrote this touching tribute in his International Newsletter:
"Rob, I will never forget this enormous long and warm friendship which we have shared over more than 48 years. You will always be in my mind. Rest in Peace and thank you in name of all the radio friends inside and outside the Netherlands for you intense, ever compelling work you've done to get the memories from the radio in the past alive."

Hans has sent a copy of Rob's memorial card, which he has kindly translated.

I have shifted stones in a river on earth
Now I know that I will never be forgotten

With sorrow in our hearts, but also with grateful gratitude for everything we could experience together, we had to say farewell to our dear friend

Robert Guus Olthof

Rob

7th December 1945 - 23rd September 2013

Hans and Jana Knot
Jeroen, Irene and Pim

Peter and Monique Harmsen
Andra en Ella
Felix and Trudy Mensingh
Michiel

Our special thanks goes out for those who cared for him with love and affection within the team from the Johannes Hospice 'De Ronde Venen' in Wilnis.

(Click on the card to see a larger version)

After the service, Hans wrote:

"We gave Rob a warm farewell with a last visit by seventy friends from the radio world and seven members of his family. He had chosen his music himself and we added two tracks. Knowing Rob, he could shake those attenders a bit, so he had chosen The Who with 'My Generation' as one of the songs!
 
It will be a bit harder to go through life without him as a dear friend for almost half a century.
"


David Jacobs
May 1926 – September 2013

David Jacobs has died at the age of 87, only weeks after ill health forced him to leave his long-running Radio 2 programme The David Jacobs Collection. His final show was on August 4th. David's career in radio and TV spanned an extraordinary seventy years, which cannot be covered during a short obituary. In the early Fifties he joined Radio Luxembourg and in 1956 he was hosting a London-recorded show for the station called 'Lucky Couple'. Other 208 programmes he presented were the EMI-sponsored 'David Jacobs' Startime' and when cigarette advertising was the norm, 'Woodbine Quiz Time'. The photo on the left was taken on the stairs leading up to the 208 studios.

On the (then) Light Programme, when the charts were still called the 'Hit Parade', David presented 'Pick of the Pops' and he was at the helm of 'Juke Box Jury', when it launched on BBC TV in 1959. Both shows went out live and David told how he would go straight from the JBJ TV studio to host 'Pick of the Pops' on the radio. In a recorded edition of JBJ, he was one of few presenters who successfully calmed the audience of screaming fans when the Beatles formed the 'Jury' at the Northern Fan Club Convention at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool in 1963.

David was voted Britain's Top DJ by New Musical Express readers in 1960, 61, 2 and 3 and was BBC Radio Personality of the Year in 1975. He received a Sony Gold Award and was inducted into the Radio Academy Hall of Fame.

"David Jacobs was a part of all our growing up. The 'gentleman' style of broadcasting is now at an end. Immaculate in every sense." Peter Young.

Transcript of the Liverpool JBJ programme and questions David posed to the Fabs here.

Audio tribute by David Lloyd

Radio Academy Hall of Fame entry

BBC News


Sir David Frost
April 1939 – August 2013

Sir David Frost, who has died suddenly of suspected heart failure, was, like David Jacobs, another iconic broadcaster, who also played a major role in pioneering British comedy. He interviewed everyone from pop stars, sportsmen and actors to nobility and politicians. He talked many times to members of the Beatles and hosted 'David Frost Salutes the Beatles' in May 1975, featuring archive interviews and guests who had known and worked with them.

The Telegraph obituary says, "Though he had an insatiable appetite for celebrity, he was never arrogant or vain. Wholly devoid of rancour, he was never heard to voice a disparaging word about anyone, despite many attempts by interviewers to get him to do so. People in his estimation were usually 'wonderful', 'lovely' or 'super'".

Alan Hardy writes:
"In all the obits for David Frost that I've seen, I don't think enough has been made of his role in moulding modern humour. Plenty has been made of 'That Was The Week That Was' and his Nixon interview, but without David's support and business acumen, would the Pythons and other University comedians of that era have got the breaks and TV shows they did? Did any papers use the headline 'That was The Life That Was'?"

(Right) With guest Paul McCartney

Peter Young adds:
"A great, great loss. Check the Frost interview with Enoch Powell on YouTube. He demolishes Powell in the space of an hour and they are still arguing as the credits roll. Classic TV and classic Frost. I completely agree, his contribution to comedy has (so far) been underestimated. Without him, no Monty Python, Two Ronnies and Fawlty Towers."

Indeed, the sketch shows 'Frost on Sunday', 'The Frost Report' and 'At Last the 1948 Show' made by Frost's Paradine Productions company (Paradine being his second name) gave career boosts to many acclaimed comedians. Recently unearthed documents reveal that episodes in the first Python series had to be edited at the behest of the Postmaster General because David Frost's home address and phone number had been included in a sketch - presumably intended as a Pythonesque practical joke.

Telegraph obituary

Feature on Frost Beatle interviews


Darrell Philip Core – David Garrick
September 1945 – August 2013

Keith Gunson writes:
"Another offshore favourite has gone. The Liverpool Echo has the very sad news that David Garrick has passed away in Clatterbridge Hospital. David was a well-known singer from Liverpool in the Sixties. He had a superb voice and he would often sing at the Cavern between the bands. So good was his voice that he became known amongst Cavern regulars as "the opera singer". However, he decided to pursue a pop career and in September 1966 had a hit record with a music-hall type song called 'Dear Mrs Applebee'. The record even made number one in Germany - it was of course a massive hit on the offshore stations.

After briefly leaving the music business in 1970, he enjoyed a very successful career in Europe on the Sixties nostalgia circuit.

R.I.P. David Garrick."

David Garrick's greatest Big L success, the Jagger and Richard song 'Lady Jane', made #5 in the Fab Forty in June '66, although it suffered from competition with a cover by Tony Merrick. Follow-up 'Dear Mrs Applebee' was picked as Dave Dennis's climber and brought David more success. It made the top ten in the Fab Forty and fared well in the Caroline Countdown, the City Sixty and the UK Nationals.

The Cat Stevens-penned, 'I've Found a Love' was Lorne King's pick and climbed to #20 followed by 'A Certain Misunderstanding' which was selected by Tony Blackburn and peaked at #28.

David's last single to feature on Big L, 'Don't Go Out In The Rain', was a climber in the final Fab Forty.


Michael Weinstein – Mike Winters, comedian
November 1926 – August 2013

In August we also lost MikeWinters, who had a popular comedy double act with his brother Bernie. Their TV break came with the early pop programme '6.5 Special' where they appeared regularly for 12 months. The duo's strangely-titled single 'Smother Me With Moondust And Elusive Strawberries' found a place in the Big L Ballad Box of July 16th 1967. Bernie, who had a Ballad Box entry in March of 67 with a solo single, died in 1991.
Guardian obituary


Wilfred Proudfoot
December 19 1921 – July 19 2013

Wilf's colourful life outside of offshore radio is covered in other obituaries, but we shall focus on his involvement with Radio 270. Originally to be called Radio Yorkshire, the founders settled for christening the station with its 270 frequency after discovering their intended name had already been registered by another company. As soon as he heard about the new station, Wilf approached founder Don Robinson with the intention of launching an advertising campaign for his chain of supermarkets and was invited to become a shareholder in Ellambar Investments. He persuaded many other local business owners to join him as shareholders and was soon appointed joint MD and Secretary of the company.

When 270 ("It's a Rave on the Medium Wave") launched in June 1966, from the refurbished Dutch vessel Oceaan 7, it was Wilf's decision that the first record played was to be either 'Strangers in the Night' or Laurie's 'I Love Onions'! Frank Sinatra got the honour.

When threats of Government plans to quash the pirates arose, Wilf said, "I now believe more than ever that this medium must be free. Britain has a tradition of free speech and freedom of the press and radio is just another medium by which this can be continued. We may eventually end up with a radio station for each town."

Radio 270 lasted only 15 months and was silenced on August 14th 1967 by the Marine Offences Act, but Wilf pursued a political career. As this obituary notes:
"As a Tory MP he took up the issue of broadcasting, and eventually saw the BBC radio monopoly broken and a plethora of independent stations opened up. I met him a few times and found him almost a stereotype of the bluff, friendly, no-nonsense Yorkshireman. He played an honourable part in giving people the freedom to choose what to listen to."

Other obituaries: Daily Telegraph; Northern Echo; Huddersfield Daily Examiner

Photo: Huddersfield Daily Examiner.

Thanks to Bob Preedy and his book 'Radio 270 Life of the Oceaan waves'.


Richard 'Rick' Huxley
August 1940 – February 2013

Bassist Rick Huxley was a founder member of the Dave Clark Five joining in 1958. He stayed in the group until it disbanded in 1970 and then pursued a career in property and in the music business.

The Dave Clark Five spent many weeks on the Big L charts. From appearing in the first-available Fab Forty, 24th January 1965, with 'Everybody Knows', they enjoyed seven subsequent entries. Their biggest FF hit was 'Catch Us if You Can' – from the group's film of the same name – #2 in August 1965, which was retitled 'Having A Wild Weekend' for US viewers.

The band was inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10th 2008 by actor (and fan) Tom Hanks. Sadly, there are now only two remaining DC5 members, Dave Clark and Lenny Davidson. Founder Denis Payton died in December 2006 and Mike Smith, in February 2008, less than two weeks before the Hall of Fame ceremony.

On the BBC news website, Dave Clark said he was devastated by the news. He described Rick as a "dear friend, real gentleman and a very talented musician". He also said that Rick had "an amazing sense of humour. He always made me smile. He was the funny one in the group."

DC5 website


Reginald Maurice Ball (Reg Presley)
June 12 1941 – February 4th 2013

From Andover, Hampshire, Reg Ball's group formed as The Troglodytes in 1964. The Kinks' manager Larry Page signed them up, shortening the name to The Troggs. Vocalist Reg also took on a new identity. His choice of Presley, a decidedly more commercially-dynamic surname for a singer, also served to bring good publicity for the band.

Their first single, 'Lost Girl', which Reg had penned under his real name, had sunk without trace. However, from their second release onwards the Troggs were to spend many weeks on the Radio London playlist. Starting out as a Big L climber on April 24th, 1966, 'Wild Thing' stayed for six weeks in the Fab Forty, reaching #1 on May 15th and went on to become a huge national and international hit. The song performed even better in the USA, where it hit #1 in September of '66, than the UK.

Reg penned the follow-up 'With a Girl Like You', which was chosen as Mark Roman's climber at the beginning of July and was #1 by the end of the month in the Fab Forty, the Caroline Countdown of Sound, City Sixty and National charts. Both of these two Trogg mega-hits were recorded during 45 minutes of spare time at the end of a Larry Page studio session.

In the first week of August, while 'With a Girl Like You' was still Top Ten, the band's first LP, 'From Nowhere...The Troggs' was selected as Radio London Album of the Week. In September another Presley composition, 'I Can't Control Myself' began raking in the royalties. It was picked both as a Big L climber and a Caroline sure-shot. In October it hit #3 on London and Caroline, #2 on Radio England and the Nationals, #5 on 270 and Scotland and #1 on the City Sixty.

'Any Way That You Want Me' was Kenny Everett's climber for the last week of November and enjoyed six weeks of Fab Forty fame, including holding the #2 slot over Christmas and New Year. In the first week of February, 1967, new single 'Give it to Me' (Presley) arrived as a climber and 'Toglodynamite' was Album of the Week. The single was Top Ten bound, peaking at #3.

On May 7th, Radio London had received an advance copy of 'My Lady' (Presley), which was picked as Lorne King's climber. However, it was immediately withdrawn by Page One and replaced by 'Night Of The Long Grass' (Presley). This was issued with exactly the same catalogue number and became a climber for the following two weeks before entering the Big L chart and ascending to #5.

'Hi Hi Hazel' came out shortly before the demise of Radio London and once again was selected as Mark Roman's climber. The song (which had been taken into the Fab Forty a year earlier by Geno Washington) peaked at #15 and the Troggs took their final place in the Big L chart on July 30th 1967.

Reg Presley received his biggest influx of royalties from a revival of the Troggs' post-Big L 1967 release 'Love Is All Around'. The song had already taken the band into the National Top Five, but became a mega-hit for Wet Wet Wet in the Nineties after featuring in the major British film success, 'Four Weddings and A Funeral'.

Until the end of 2011, the Troggs still toured throughout Europe, fronted by Reg, with Chris Britton on lead guitar. Newer additions were bassist Pete Lucas, and Dave Maggs on drums. Having become something of a cult band, their appearances continued to attract thousands of fans, many born long after the Sixties. Sadly, in December 2011, Reg was taken ill during a German gig and was found to be suffering from lung cancer. He retired from the band and commenced chemotherapy, but sadly succumbed to ill-health in February 2013.

The Troggs official website includes a photograph of Reg's three 1994 Ivor Novello Music Awards, for Love Is All Around, as International Hit of The Year, Best Selling Song and Most Performed Work. The Knees Club is proud to have signed up Reg as Member 296 at High Wycombe Town Hall.

Official Troggs website; Reg Presley in pictures; BBC tributes page

Band member Chris Britton had known the singer since they joined the same Boy Scout troop as children.

Dave Barber has sent a link to an interview that he set up with Reg at Magic 102.7, recorded 25 Oct 2007.


Paul Tanner
Paul Tanner, the musician who gave 'Good Vibrations' its distinctive sound has died aged 95. "Although many assumed the eerie whistling tones on Good Vibrations were produced by a Theremin - the electronic musical instrument played by waving your hands around two antennae - Tanner was actually using an instrument of his own design called the electro-theremin."

Angela Bond
January 2013

Angela Bond passed away peacefully on Wednesday 9th January. She was one of the major figures in the launch of Radio One and was a producer for both Kenny Everett and Ed Stewart. Kenny used to air a jingle he'd made for Angela, based on the 1960 hit 'Angela Jones'.

Many thanks to Jon Myer , who wrote:
"Angela produced some of Kenny Everett's finest work. She was a lovely woman and, if she hadn't taught me how to schedule music using a computer, my radio career could have fizzled out 25 years ago - so I owe her a great deal."

Angela's funeral took place in Norfolk on January 18th.

Robin Valk has posted a lovely tribute on Radio to Go.

Telegraph obituary

Caroline Wilkins
June 1960 - December 2012

Our dear friend and fellow-Anorak Cari died suddenly in December. Her funeral service took place on Tuesday, February 5th in Brentwood.

A full photo-tribute is here.


Mickey Brown aka Mick Luvzit – 'the Micker'
February 1942 - December 2012

"God bless and remember... You're Special! So Keep On Rockin'!"

We are sorry to report that Caroline's Mick Luvzit died in Canada on December 8th, at the age of 70.

Graham Webb has produced a special edition of his 2-hour Golden Years of Radio show, featuring his personal tribute to Mick and contributions from Norm St John. The show is broadcast 1000-noon, which unfortunately is 0000-0200 GMT.

Please see our full tribute page

From Mick's Family:
Hello Mary,
On behalf of Jelisse and myself, I want to thank you for the very professional and well written Tribute to Mick on your website. We both very much appreciate the thoughts from all who knew Mick and followed his career. Mick had a great impact on all his friends, more than he realised. He has definitely left a legacy in his local town area of his concern about those struggling in their lives and his faith that has helped steer him to a safer shore.

Jelisse and I are still in our grief, and are communicating with those close to us who are helping and supporting what we need to do at this time.

Thank you again for the tribute to his life and contribution to radio.

Regards and best wishes for 2013, Janet Terrett (Brown aka Luvzit)


Dave Brubeck dies aged 91

Way back in May 2003, we featured a recording that took place in Leicester's De Montfort Hall. It was made by our friend Paul Andersson for Hemel Hospital Radio, and we thought it would be appropriate for you to hear a piece of it in celebration of Dave Brubeck's music.

As mentioned in our original item, there was a problem with water on the previous occasion the musicians were there. Dave talks about this, then the group plays an appropriate tune!



Recording © Paul Andersson

BBC News Report
BBC Obituary

Dave Brubeck with Bobby Militello
© Paul Andersson

Danny Vuylsteke November 2012

Hans knot writes:
I received sad news early in the morning of November 29th. In Antwerp, Danny Vuylsteke died after a long fight with cancer. Just 12 days ago he joined us at the Radioday and told me he hoped to live for some 4 other months. His long fight, however, lasted shorter than he expected. Danny was one of the main men behind the scenes of Radio Caroline in 1979/1980 as well as the ill-fated project of Radio Paradijs in 1981. Next to that he was active in radio in Belgium.

Major Paddy Roy Bates
HRH Prince Roy of Sealand 1921 – 2012

"I might die young or I might die old, but I will never die of boredom"

Roy Bates was involved in setting up Radio Essex on the abandoned WWII Knock John Maunsell defence fort and ran it for a year before being prosecuted and fined for his buccaneering activities. He moved to Roughs Tower, sited in international waters seven miles off the coast of Felixstowe, Suffolk and declared the fort the Principality of Sealand in 1967. This was a birthday gift for his wife Princess Joan, who survives him.

Prince Roy, who had been ill for some time, died at a nursing home in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. His funeral service will be at Southend-on-Sea Crematorium on Wednesday, October 17th.

Ray Clark has very kindly granted permission for us to include interviews broadcast on BBC Essex with Mark Wesley and Prince Michael Bates.

The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame tribute page has a number of memories from former Radio Essex presenters and includes audio of Prince Roy reading a Radio Essex commercial for Kent Elms Coachworks, which he recorded in his front room.

Chris Edwards of Offshore Echoes has posted an interview that he conducted with HRH in 1979.

Photo: Sealand website


Howard Andrew 'Andy' Williams
December 1927 - September 2012


Andy Williams has died in Branson, Missouri, the home of his Moon River Theatre for nearly twenty years.

Many of his best-known songs were from films. 'Almost There' (from 'I'd Rather be Rich'), the self-titled 'Days of Wine and Roses', 'Where Do I Begin' ('Love Story') and 'Speak Softly Love' ('The Godfather'). It was Johnny Mercer's Oscar-winning 'Moon River' ('Breakfast at Tiffany's') that became known as Andy's signature tune, although it was not a chart success, as he never released the song as a single. The popular entertainer was renowned for his TV variety shows and in particular, his Christmas Specials, which earned him the nickname 'Mr Christmas'.

Andy’s autobiography 'Moon River and Me', was published in 2009. He was a close friend of the assassinated Robert F Kennedy and sang at his funeral. He also defended John Lennon in his fight to stay in the United States.

'May Each Day', 'Almost There', 'Music to Watch Girls By' and 'More and More' were all on the Radio London playlist. 'Almost There' was the biggest pirate-era hit, a #2 on both Caroline and London and #4 on the City Sixty. 'Music to Watch Girls By' enjoyed plenty of Big L airplay, but never made the Fab Forty. However, a minor hit of the Sixties became a major hit in 1999, when the record was reissued after featuring in a TV commercial. Those who were part of the Radio London RSL of December 1997, when 'Music to Watch Girls By' proved immensely popular, had seen its hit potential two years earlier.

Andy Williams official website


Hal David 25th May 1921 - 1st September 2012
Lyricist Hal David met composer Burt Bacharach in 1957 at New York's Brill Building, the place where so many songwriting partnerships were born. Their first US hit 'The Story of My Life' was a UK #1 for Michael Holliday.

The numerous accolades bestowed on Hal David during his long career included an induction into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters' Hall of Fame. In 2011, a star was placed in his honour on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The Radio London Fab Forties featured countless Bacharach/David compositions, among them The Walker Brothers' Top Five hit, 'Make it Easy on Yourself', Top Three successes 'Trains and Boats and Planes', 'What's New Pussycat' and 'Message to Martha' (Adam Faith), plus its male counterpart 'Message to Michael' (Dionne Warwick).

Hal is quoted as saying that lyrically, he always sought the elusive quality of simplicity.

Of the partnership with Bacharach, Richard L Bruno wrote in the North Jersey website, "Burt has gone on to write with others, but he has never produced the soaring melodies and rhythmic complexity he achieved when he 'set' one of Hal’s lyrics to music."

Official Hal David site


Scott McKenzie January 10, 1939 – August 18, 2012

Always remembered for 'San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)', Scott McKenzie had remained in the music business and had toured throughout the Nineties with the Mamas and Papas. It was Scott's friend John Phillips, who had written and produced his Summer of Love anthem and international hit. In the early Sixties, John and Scott had been fellow members of folk group, the Journeymen.
Already a US smash, 'San Francisco' was chosen as Radio London Club Disc of the Week from June 18th 1967. It topped the Big L Fab Forty on July 16th, ousting 'All You Need is Love' and was also #1 on The Caroline Countdown of Sound and the UK Nationals. The follow-up, another John Phillips US Top Twenty success, 'Like an Oldtime Movie', barely touched the UK sales charts. Scott was condemned to be labelled a one-hit wonder on this side of the pond.

In 2010, Scott was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a disease affecting the nervous system. A poem Scott wrote days before his death, 'The Final Ride' is on his website.

Webmaster's Footnote:

Scott's website says:
"There is a theory that 'Like An Old Time Movie' was not a bigger hit, especially in Europe, because at that time Europeans did not really know what an old time movie was – they didn't have late movies on television."

A lot of songs came out of the States with lyrics that we failed to understand, but if the public liked the music, they would sell. A good example is the surfing sound. Many of us had no idea of the meaning of 'shooting the curl' or 'wipeout', but it hardly mattered. What we recognised was a great, sunny sound coming out of our trannies. You could sing along without having a clue what it meant! There certainly was a dearth of choice when it came to UK TV in 1967, but it seems unlikely that anyone would fail to understand the meaning of 'an oldtime movie'. We Brits had made a few of those ourselves! A more likely explanation for Scott McKenzie's unfortunate 'one-hit-wonder' label, is that we also had restricted radio choices.

The single was released in October '67, when the pirates, with the exception of the Major-Minor-heavy Caroline, had demised. The newly-launched Radio One was still playing records that had been on the final Radio London playlist - August 6th to 14th. The station had to share the airwaves with Radio Two and was still hampered by needletime restrictions. With the possible exception of Luxembourg, 'Like An Old Time Movie' (a lovely song, worthy of the Top Ten) was unlikely to have had sufficient airplay to become a hit.


At the Funk Brothers'
Festival Hall
concert 2004

Robert Kreinar (Bob Babbitt)
1937 – 2012

Like many acclaimed session musicians, the name of Bob Babbitt was not widely known. However, Bob, who has died in Nashville, featured on more than 200 top 40 hits from the early Sixties onwards and his playing earned 25 gold and platinum records. Earlier this year, he was awarded a star on Nashville's Music City Walk of Fame.

Bob is best remembered for his work as bass player with Motown house band the Funk Brothers. The 2002 documentary 'Standing in the Shadows of Motown' tells the story of the remarkable contribution these unsung heroes made to music. Following the film's success, the Funks went on the road and played in the UK for the first time in 2004.

Bob's Fab Forty hits were the Edwin Starr releases 'Agent Double O Soul', 'Headline News' and 'SOS' and the Platters' 'With This Ring'.

In 2008, Bob performed on our friend Carl Dixon's Bandtraxs session at Studio A, Dearborn Heights, Detroit and recorded four new songs.

Report of Festival Hall concert, 2004

Bob Babbitt personal website; Nashville Scene; Guardian



Jonathan Douglas Lord
1941 – 2012

An active session man in the Sixties, Jon Lord's keyboard playing probably featured on many more tracks on the Radio London playlist than we know about. We do, however, know that he was a member of the Artwoods, in the Fab Forty in May 1966. Jon's time in the spotlight was of course to come later, with Deep Purple. Fellow members and many other rockers have posted personal tributes.

Roger Glover said, "He was a giant in my life, a great friend, a fellow traveler, a teacher, not only of music, but of life. I am devastated at his passing." while Ian Gillan wrote, "We all looked up to him with tremendous admiration. If there was such a thing as a typical English gentleman in rock music, it was Jon Lord." Ritchie Blackmore wrote, “Without Jon there would be no Deep Purple. He lives on in our hearts and memories."

Personal tributes on the website classicrockrevisited; Telegraph; Blog: A Shroud of Thoughts


Archived Obituaries – to Page 2

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