February 2004
(January 2004 is here...)

Smiling at the Royal Festival Hall

Brian Wilson, Saturday February 21st

Smile was the musical masterpiece that Brian Wilson started composing in 1966, but failed to finish. In 2004, he chose to perform the complex work's World Premiere in the UK because of the warm support he has constantly received from London audiences.

Alan Hardy's full-page review with photos, is here.

Johnnie: "Each day is a gift"
To mark his return to BBC Radio 2, Johnnie Walker has given an exclusive interview to Andrew Duncan for the Radio Times (issue 28th February - 5th March).

Johnnie expresses his heartfelt gratitude to his wife Tiggy, who has remained his 'rock', helping him to win his fight against the cancer which was diagnosed shortly after they returned from their honeymoon.

"The good news is: you can survive," he says. "I'm in remission, guv. Each day is a gift."
279 Longwave: Blocking petition rejected by High Court

Issued 24th February 2004: Rodney Collins, Press & PR Coordinator

The Petition of Doleance challenging the Isle of Man Government's issue of a longwave broadcast licence was rejected by the High Court in Douglas today. Announcing his decision, Acting Deemster Roger Kaye QC said, "There is no conceivable ground on which this court can or should interfere with the decision reached by the Commission to grant the licence to IMIB."

The sole petitioner, Mr L.N. Cussons of Bride made various claims, suggesting that the Government's Communications Commission had acted unlawfully when it issued a Full Broadcast Licence to Isle of Man International Broadcasting plc. He also alleged that planning permission for the studios has not been sought and that IMIB's directors were not fit and proper persons. After documents proving the existence of planning permission were presented to the court and after hearing that full checks had been made by the Communications Commission prior to awarding the licence, the Deemster decided that Mr Cussons had failed to prove any of his claims and dismissed his petition.

The Petitioner had told the Court that he did not object to the proposed programmes but was simply concerned that the noise of generators might keep him awake at night, despite assertions and a detailed report by experts that the noise audible on the coast will be much lower than the background noise on even the quietest night.

"Despite a lengthy planning inquiry and two High Court hearings, all the claims of danger, noise and nuisance have been dismissed. Of all the concerns ever raised, only visual impact has been found to have any substance – all other claims have proven to be unfounded. As ever, we are happy to answer any queries any member of the public may have."

"With this legal obstacle cleared we can now complete our funding arrangements and plan for the launch of the radio station. The economic climate now is much more favourable than it was two years ago, so the delays caused by the objections, while very frustrating and expensive, may well have helped us. We have had a lot more interest from investors in recent months, possibly due to the large upturn in radio advertising in the UK."

The radio station will transmit from an offshore platform for its transmitter in Ramsey Bay, close to the spot where Radio Caroline was anchored. Studios will be in St Paul's Square in Ramsey.

Otway: planning to take on the entire world
Otway: it's art, Jim, but not as we know it

On Saturday, February 14th, two-hit wonder, John Otway appeared on London's first radio art station, Resonance104.4fm, described by the Guardian as "the best radio station in London".

Following a request from Radio London, "the amorphous BLOB that is none other than deXter Bentley"kindly arranged for the hour-long appearance of the Aylesbury superstar on his 'Hello Goodbye' show to be added to the station archive for the benefit of Net listeners.

Patsy Andrews, a chief co-ordinator of the 'Hit Campaign', says:

"A brilliant interview from London's art radio station, and really informative for those who may be new to the 'World of Otway'. A good mix of records and live songs – 'Mass Communication', 'DK 50-80', '24 days', 'Beware of the Flowers', 'Headbutts' etc, and my personal favourite 'Natasha'.

Otway really blossoms when given a whole hour and it was great to hear him talk about his World Tour. Let's hope for more of this type of interview, which would really get the ball rolling with publicity for it! There were the few occasional little distractions, but a small price to pay for the pleasure of a whole hour with Otway!"

Offshore Music Radio salutes Radio Nordsee International
This weekend, 28th and 29th of February, would have been the 34th birthday of Radio Nordsee International. RNI started broadcasting at 1800 on the 28th of February 1970. Although full programmes from Offshore Music Radio are not starting as yet, they are presenting a selection of programmes to mark the RNI anniversary.

Highlights include, at 1800 GMT on Saturday, 28th, a live programme presented by Colin Stevens looking back at RNI. There will also be programmes on Saturday presented by Tom Campbell and Richard Graham.

On Sunday 29th, there'll be live programmes from Colin Stevens and Black Printz. At 1800, Martin Kayne remembers offshore radio advertisements and at 1900 Colin Stevens plays some of the great music heard on RNI from 1970 to 1974

During the live shows listeners can e-mail their requests, dedications and RNI memories to studio@offshoremusicradio.com or fax to the studio on 01709 858229 (Overseas +44 (0)1709 858229.
Ireland Special Part 2
Bob le Roi apologises for his February site update being rather late, but promises the wait has been worthwhile, as he has added Part 2 of his Scrapbook photo-feature on South Coast Radio in Ireland..

Doris Troy, 1937 – 2004
The acclaimed soul singer Doris Troy (b Higginson) passed away in Las Vegas on February 16th.

Doris will of course be remembered for her collaborations with the Beatles, her success on the Northern Soul circuit, and her vocal contribution to the 'Dark Side of the Moon' album. But few will recall Doris Troy as the singer who recorded the Caroline 'Sound of the Nation' jingles with Madeline Bell.

The Soulwalking website tribute to Doris is here.

For anyone who read the obituary in the Independent, which claims the Small Faces recorded their own, successful adaptation of Doris Troy's "What'cha Gonna Do About It" – they did not. These are two completely different songs.
Help Caroline Celebrate
To celebrate Radio Caroline's 40th birthday, a convention/party is being held at the Riga Music Bar in Southend-on-Sea, Essex on Sunday 11th April. Organisers Steve and Dave hope to be joined by as many of the DJs who have worked on Caroline in the past and present as possible. The fun begins at 12 noon and finishes at midnight, with the evening culminating in a concert by The Fortunes.

Tickets, at 15 each, are available through the Riga Music Bar website.
Three Cheers for Johnnie!
On February 12th, Johnnie Walker's friend and Drivetime travel reporter, Sally Boazman, announced on BBC Radio 2 that he is set to return to the Radio 2 microphone on March 1st.

Towards the end of December, Johnnie made his first public appearance since the start of his illness, when he was cheered by everyone present at a dinner hosted by Radio 2 controller Jim Moir.

In a message he posted on the Radio 2 website, Johnnie, who has just returned from a break in Jamaica, thanked listeners for their support, which he said had enormously aided his recovery. Read his message to listeners here.
Casey Kasem finally stops counting
In Volume 24 of Ian MacRae's on-line newsletter The Radio Wave, Ian, as usual reports some of the more bizarre radio stories, included a failed attempt to span a bridge with bras, in aid of charity!

There's more news about satellite radio and how Casey Kasem has 'chucked it in after all these years as host of American Top 40'.

Ian also reports that a device "claimed to be a new invention has been designed to track in-car radio listening habits" and asks, "Am I missing something here? What is the point of this?"


The Grammy-winning documentary film, 'Standing in the Shadows of Motown', told the story of the Funk Brothers, musicians who are the unsung heroes of countless Motown hit records.

Following the huge success of the film, the surviving Funks embarked on an international tour.

Radio London reports on an amazing celebration of the music of Motown at the Royal Festival Hall.

Click here for full report and photos

Once a star, always a star, David!
David Ballantyne, our renowned 'Man with the Discatron' who's featured again in the Fab Forty for January 30th, wrote to say:

Thanks for the link. It's currently giving lots of amusement to a number of people who know nothing of my murky past. Stardom, all over again!

As for the Discatron, I always put it on a par with the Bond. No, no, no! I mean the car of the same name with the fibreglass body.

Luv, DB

In answer to our question about whether David had witnessed Ollie Beak and Fred Barker using any of that alleged 'fowl' language during his Five O'Clock Club appearance, he replied:

I was far too busy thinking how wonderful Muriel Young was.

Did you attend the Radio London motor racing events?
Pink Floyd researcher Chris Leith is looking for any photos (or other memorabilia) from the Radio London Trophy Meeting, which took place at Brands Hatch racing circuit on Sunday, 18th June 1967.
(see advertisement here)

Brian Long does write extensively about the event in 'The London Sound', but does not mention an appearance by the Floyd. Brian records that the DJs in attendance were Mike Lennox, Ed Stewart and Mark Roman and that references to the event were made by Tony Blackburn, broadcasting from the Galaxy. Bands participating in the live show are listed as Chris Farlowe and The Thunderbirds, Shell Shock and Episode Six. Also present were Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky Mick and Titch, David Garrick, The Moody Blues and 'Tristram the Seventh Earl of Cricklewood' who was the vocalist with the New Vaudeville Band.

Thousands of people must have attended the Radio London Trophy Meeting (and the previous one, on June 19th, 1966). So if anyone has photos, souvenirs or simply memories of the event (or of any of the other Radio London motor racing or stock-car racing events), please get in touch. There must be someone out there with a colour photo of Radio London's memorably-painted purple-and-white racing cars. You can email us here.

The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame contains photos of the station racing cars as they look now.

Michael's Trip of a Lifetime
Jonathan's February update to The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame includes
two more pages of photos taken on Radio 390 by senior presenter Edward Cole and a wonderful account from Michael Wickham, who in 1967, was actually given permission by Caroline's Press Officer, Frances Van Staden, to visit the Mi Amigo to interview the DJs for his school magazine. (Hands up all of you who wish you'd thought of that one? Yes, me too!) Michael's story contains photos, autographs and memorabilia. Great stuff!

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