Ever since I delivered newspapers in 1965 I kept the habit of recording
Kenny & Cash whenever I could (or I ran out of precious tape, of course).
I have been on the air at RNI 1971- 74, and with Dutch National Radio since 1976. But never again I came across that one intriguing tune: The Lumberjack Man. What is it? Was that the real title? Who sang it? (Hal Wills?) Where can I find it? It's not even on allmusic.com....
Keep up the good work,
Hans (Hans Ten Hooge) Hogendoorn, Hilversum
Chris and I are unfamiliar with 'The Lumberjack Man', but I'm sure there's an Anorak out there who can supply the answer!
From Howard Peters
Hi! Found your site a few weeks back and thought it was really good. I have
just finished my own tribute to the great Kenny Everett so I have included a
link to Radio London. If you like what I have done, I would be grateful for
You'll find the new link on guess what the Links page! I visited Howard's site to leave a personal memory of Kenny Everett, to which Howard replied:
Thank Mary for the Kenny Memory, and thanks for the links. I have put a link to Radio London from the links page of radio4free.co.uk. I have also had a good moan about the current radio and music scene that will upset a few people no doubt, but I feel better for it!
All the best, Howard.
From Clive (Victor Hartman)
I've listened to Dave Windsor for some years now on BFBS down in Gibraltar where I usually live. I've never been able to contact him, his programmes are the greatest! "I'm your Dutch Uncle" he says on the air, plays Veronica theme tunes like 'The Horse' and 'Little Black Samba' and the RNI theme. In short he's a total anorak!
If he has an e-mail site perhaps you could give him mine? I worked for BFBS in Gib myself for 2 years, and have been on radio for some time.
Best regards, Clive
Some people even have to WORK with Dave! Chris will be passing Clive's message on to him. More news of Victor Hartman here.
John Sales was visitor number 6,000 to the Radio London website, for which we felt he deserved a medal! John replied:
Regarding the last e-mail that you sent me, I sincerely believe that you (and Chris, of course) should get the medal, not me, for running such an excellent website about our all-time favourite offshore radio station!!!
I have since been looking at the updates. It is quite fascinating to be able to look at the photographs of Rick Phillips. There is, obviously, no doubt at all that Rick Phillips = Chuck Blair, no doubt at all that he is the same person. The first photo with Carleton, taken at his graduation, looks very similar to other photos that exist of Chuck during his Radio London days. He clearly looks older when the restaurant one was taken but, there can be no doubt, it's still our Chuck!!! I only wish, as I'm sure you do yourselves, that Rick/Chuck had managed to put pen to paper during his lifetime and left some form of written record of his experiences on Big L.
Love and best wishes, John
Peter Young attempted to listen to 'WABC Rewound' (see Howie Castle's comments below) and was delighted to see our new Chuck Blair photos:
I have just seen the Chuck Blair photos. Fantastic! You really ought to get a job as a researcher for some grateful TV company or programme. You must be one of the best kept secrets in the business. I too listened to a bit of the WABC rewind show but I was constantly getting 'network congestion' and 'buffering', not really a very satisfactory way to listen. Sounds like Luxy on a bad day!
PY reiterated his comment to Jon Myer, his former producer at Capital Radio, who says:
PY is right. Either a researcher or a private investigator. Your sleuthing is amazing.
Best wishes, Jon
Thank you, guys. Insert private dick jokes here...!
Howie Castle writes about 'WABC Rewound':
I hope you've been able to listen to at least a large portion of the "WABC Rewound". They've just taken the break for the New York Yankees baseball game, which should last 3-4 hours, and they aired an 18-minute montage of the old WABC jingles going in...fantastic! I hope you had a cassette rolling.
The program started at 3am, my time, and having gotten up at that ungodly hour for the past two mornings, I decided to sleep in - so I've only listened to the last 2 hours or so. Unfortunately, I'm doing news this afternoon on 2 of our sister stations, KSDO and KPOP, so I'm going to miss more. But I'll tune back in as soon as I can. I'm going to send Johnny Donovan an e-mail telling him what a great job he did putting the special together.
Too bad Radio London never obtained an on-shore license years ago so that they could do the same type of retro-special as WABC.
Hope you're enjoying your holiday and that your phone bill isn't going to go through the roof. But it's worth it!
Later - Howie
We heard about an hour of the WABC special, but would like to have listened to much more. Curse these expensive UK phonecalls! Ah, if only Radio London had obtained that license...
CeeJay is keeping offshore radio alive and well in Sydney, Australia!
Chris 'n' Mary
Discovered your site via the AMT Australia "Looking for Contacts" page.
Nice to see that there are others who refuse to give up on that period from 1964-1967 when Big L ruled the waves. I for one continue the nostalgia on community radio in Sydney, Australia when, at 3pm each Friday afternoon, I take over the local station and thrust it back into the 1960's with "Pirate Radio with CeeJay". The station is looking at webcasting in the not too distant future, so maybe others will be able to hear me reminiscing about the Radio London days and playing the same music (I even got the format clock from Ray's RSL) at 6am London time at this time of year!
I bumped into Mark Roman at 5KA in Adelaide in the late 60s and a few weeks
ago paid a visit to the new 2SM studios where (as you have now discovered) Ian
McRae is on Drive. Given that Alan Freeman has only just retired from Pick of
the Pops (at 73 wasn't it) there will probably be a fair few more years that
the Big L class of 64-67 will be regaling us with their dulcet tones.
Good to find your site. Best wishes, CeeJay
Shaun Brennan has been exploring our 'cob-webby' extremities:
Just got through reading (right into the dusty corners!) your web site....superb stuff! The perfect antidote after airchecking 10 hours of the recent RNI RSL in one sitting :-)
Cheers. Congrats, again, on a great site: the two of you deserve the offshore equivalent of an Oscar (a Keefer?).
All the best, Shaun Brennan
You're in the Swop Shop as requested, Shaun. Thanks for the 'Keefer' nomination - Chris and I look forward to weeping buckets at the awards ceremony! (Sounds like one of John Peel's bands, 'The Weeping Buckets'... Chris)
We seem to have set Alan Field off reminiscing:
Hi Mary and Chris
Thanks very much for your prompt response to my e-mail. I've been having another good look around the site during the past couple of days and have very much enjoyed what I've seen. It was very nice of you to put my comments on to your Reactions page, and I was so pleased you were able to answer my queries about John Sedd and John York, those two little-remembered Big L djs.
Remember I said I still have my old handwritten copies of the Fab 40s from May '66 onwards? After I read your information about John York, I checked back and - much to my surprise - found that he had Climbers listed for the weeks of 30th April and 7th May 1967, which absolutely confirms what you said about the period he spent on the station. (In those days I just used to put the dj's initials against the record they'd chosen as a Climber, and now I remember coming across 'JY' when I was looking at the charts again a few years ago, and not having the slightest clue who he was, except the certain knowledge it was not Jimmy Young!!!).
I'm sorry I don't have any rare recordings of whole segments of Big L shows or airchecks, but I may have some odd 'snippets' left on the tape which I used to record the jingles. I don't suppose any one of them amounts to more than a single link between records, but do you think they are worth unearthing?
I particularly remember Saturday 1st April 1967 on Big L, when the djs played a marvellous April Fool gag on the listeners in a scam that ran virtually the whole morning. They pretended that the station's signal was being jammed by a nearby, more powerful signal coming from a new, legal, land-based, local station called Radio East Anglia which was supposedly starting up that day. First test transmissions, then 'proper' REA programmes - with truly dreadful presenters and even duller content - appeared increasingly to drown out a fading Big L signal, on which the dj's could just be heard in the background carrying on as normal and seemingly oblivious to the listeners' reception problems! I was completely taken in by the prank, and really quite heartbroken at losing Big L. I later read that others who heard the broadcast actually jammed the phone lines of the Big L office, the BBC, and whoever the broadcasting regulator was at the time, with their complaints. The truth was revealed - to everyone's relief - in Big L's afternoon news reports.
Best Wishes, Alan Field
Susanne tells us about a visit to London by John Travolta on May 25th. John, a Scientologist, was signing copies
of the book 'Battlefield Earth,' written by the late Scientologist founder, L Ron Hubbard. John stars in a new Warner Brothers movie based on the book.
I really like your site. Nice colours and very easy to read and use.Well I went to the book signing and John Travolta is great. I took my daughter who is 16 and she got her book signed. (Great book by the way. I finished reading it and it's a terrific story.) People could get their own photo with John and he was very personable. Nice guy. The queue went right through the store, through the doors and out down the street. The posters said he would only be there for an hour so if you didn't get a book signed you got a free poster. I thought that was a nice gesture.
George Saunders mentioned the fact he tried to obtain equipment from the Galaxy.
I visited the Radio Atlantis ship Janine in 1974 and their one and only Spotmaster was one of the three original on board Big L! How it got there, I don't know.
Greetings from Groningen Holland,
Paul de Haan
Maybe Terry Davis, ex Atlantis, RNI and Voice of Peace can throw some light on this?
I have visited your website - congrats on the wealth of information. I was fascinated by the search for Chuck Blair. So sad not to find him alive. I used to love his shows.
I've got some cobweb dust-covered Big L climbers somewhere in the old vinyl collection!
All the best, Terry Davis
From Keith King, ex-Caroline and European Klassick Rock DJ
The website is great fun and full of nostalgia for a long-lost childhood - which must be a few years ago now as most of my hair and teeth have fallen out!.
Thanks again for providing such a well researched and interesting site.
Cheers, Keith King
Juul Geleick writes concerning the ghastly 'ILY' virus. After we had received a warning via the Sea Poodle, we passed it on to everyone on our list. It transpired that the virus did not affect Mac computers.
We are happy people then with our MACs! We have here at the Radio & TV station all MACs so we have no problems!
Keep on the good work for "Big L".
TROS Radio & Television - The Netherlands
From Hans and Diana, also in Holland
Great site you've made. Really !!!
We are collecting all kinds of tapes and so on from the Dutch service of RNI, and Mi Amigo and Radio Veronica.
Have you heard the splendid jingles on www.Pams.Com already ???
Keep up the good work my friend and we will stay tuned on your site okay. We will pass the word about Radio London!!!!!!!
Bye Chris, we are closing down now for today....
Diana and Hans from Purmerend/Holland
Your comments are much appreciated, and we've also added you to the Swop Shop. Many a happy hour can be spent on the Pams site!
From Mike Bailey
I've been spending an incredible amount of time looking around the Big L links - never knew they existed. What wonderful memories and well done!!
Keep up the good work.... the Chuck Blair detective work is just amazing.
Our good friend Pauline Miller has made a discovery with earth-shattering implications!
I've just made a huge discovery: the plural of patella is patellae and all this time I've been saying patellas. Oops.
(I've been doing it since 1966, Pauline, and nobody has ever corrected me! - Mary)
Congratulations on yet another fantastic update, the website really is developing a life of its own and becoming the font of all wisdom in offshore radio, not just Big L. I know how hard you and Chris work on it and you deserve all the praise you get but I'll restrain myself here to just saying thanks for doing it and being there for the rest of us, I'd feel quite lost without it now.
From Brian Mendham and Doctor John
Well Dr John, my mum & I like the Radio London Web Site. It must have taken a lot of time and work, not only to set up, but also to keep well up-dated.
It is indeed a flag-ship to be proud of. Well done to you both.
From Alan Field
Hi Chris & Mary
I was looking at your website tonight, and found it incredibly interesting as I grew up listening to Big L and still remember it with great fondness.
I probably have lots of memories to share, and a great number of other questions to ask, but the first thing that occurred to me reading the list of Big L DJs is who were John Sedd and John York(e)? I'm guessing that they either didn't last very long, or were on the station towards the beginning rather than the end of its time on air. I remember all the other DJ's in the list, and can't think why I don't remember these two. Can you help, please????
By the way, I still have reel to reel tape of Big L jingles (mostly overtaken now by PAMS and Jumbo cassettes and CD's), a few Daily Mirror cuttings of Radio London's final day on air, and maybe very rare these days all but two of the Fab 40s from May 1966 till August 1967, all in my (then) 15-yearold schoolboy handwriting!!
We realise that other viewers might be wondering the same thing, Alan, so what little info is known about these two short-term members of the Big L team is now on 'Who Found Whom'.