February 2005
(January 2005 is

Archive Happenings index is here....

Here are the most recent updates and amendments to the Radio London website followed by this month's broadcasting and music news. News starts here
(new Jan 05) If you are interested in the stories about the musicians featured in the Fab 40 charts, we have an artists' A-Z
(new Jan 05) Birmingham band the Cheetahs: feature added

You're a winner with... Radio London Fab at 40 competition!
(Feb 05)

Question: The first few notes of a famous Sixties song appear as three bars of music which is used as a graphic throughout the Fab 40 charts.

Can you identify the song, which was a UK hit for a famous solo artist, towards the end of 1964?

Answer: Pretty Woman, by Roy Orbison

Lil, the Radio London parrot*, made a draw on February 12th from correct answers, and the winner, Stephen Chesney (aka ChesKNEE) has already received one of our Fab at 40 teeshirts! Stephen loves the shirt and says he will send us a photo of him wearing his prize.

Take a look at our store page now!

(* If Lil looks familiar it's because a very similar parrot can be seen attending the First North American Offshore Reunion. The bird in question is Lil's sister Caroline, and she now resides in Victoria, BC, with Steve Young and his wife Trish.

Stephen before he received his prize!

New index Page (added Jan 05)
The Radio London website grows and grows! All the time, new visitors continue to discover it, and with over 700 pages, there's a lot to see. Many fantastic reunions have taken place recently, resulting in numerous pages of lovely photos, and we want to make sure that visitors are not missing out on enjoying them. To rectify this, we have now added a Reunions Index Page.

And now, the news....

The great Jimmy Smith
His hands were a blur on and off the keyboard!

This picture was taken with permission at Dingwall's at Camden Lock in London, in March 1988. I have several music heroes, and it's sad that Jimmy's gone. I'm glad I had the chance to get him to sign an EP of mine at the gig.

Jazz Organist Jimmy Smith
A personal tribute by Chris Payne

As a teenager in the Sixties, my weekend radio listening was variously spread between the pirates, Luxie, and the BBC Light Programme's Saturday Club and Jack Jackson's "Record Round Up". The highlight of the whole weekend was that the last track on Jack Jackson's show was always an organ instrumental. The most frustrating part was that the title was never announced!

After a lot of detective work, my favourite turned out to be Jimmy Smith's "Walk On The Wild Side", and it always started from the middle of the track where there is a total change in tempo. I used to hope the engineer wouldn't fade it before the end, so that I could hear it all!

Because of Ronan O'Rahilly's love of jazz organ, an historic musical event took place on Radio Caroline's ship Mi Amigo, when Jimmy and two guys named Tony went aboard with their instruments to give a live performance, introduced by Simon Dee. It's very sad that Jimmy should have died shortly before the 40th anniversary of this event, which as far as can be established, took place in May 1965.

We have now added a sound clip of the broadcast to the site, and is available below and from the page relating the full story. (You can also read more about the event here...)

We extend our grateful thanks to the people concerned in obtaining the recording.



Jimmy Smith died peacefully in his sleep on February 8th. A full obituary is available from Toby Walker's Soulwalking website

Rest in Peace

Radio London was saddened to learn of other recent deaths.

Traffic drummer and Fab 40 artist, Jim Capaldi, died of cancer on January 28th. A photo of Jim from 1968 is here. Jim's official website is here.

Doobie Brothers drummer, Keith Knudsen, died of pneumonia on February 8th. Dobbie Brothers Official website here.

Soul singer Tyrone Davis, died on February 9th. A full obituary is available from Toby Walker's Soulwalking website.

Signed Single and Singed Guitar in Hendrix Sale

The huge collection of Jimi Hendrix memorabilia collected by fan Bob Terry and featured in the 2004 Marquee exhibition, was auctioned on February 16th at London's Hard Rock Cafe. The sale was hosted by auctioneers Cooper Owen, specialists in music and film memorabilia.

A 1965 white Fender Stratocaster went for 100,000, but several other guitars, including the remains of an instrument destroyed on stage at Brown University in 1968, failed to sell.

A copy of the Jimi Hendrix Experience's first single Hey Joe, signed by all the band members, was sold for 2,000. A 1967 personal bank statement and credit receipt (right) from the long-defunct Martins Bank, fetched 850. A photo of the bank statement and other exhibition photos are here.

Full auction results from Cooper Owen here.


Phil Makes Progress with Physio

In Hans Knot's International Newsletter, Colin Lamb reported that former Caroline and Voice of Peace DJ, Phil Mitchell, had suffered a stroke and is now recovering in the stroke unit of Colchester Hospital. Colin now sends a progress report:

Thanks for putting the note on the website about Phil.

I printed a copy off and took it into the hospital to show him today.

I read the contents out to him and his face really lit up. He was very very grateful, so a big "ta" from him. I received about 8 or 9 messages, following Hans's report, all of which I read to him, but yours was the one that put the biggest smile on his face!

Phil is making very slow progress, but at least he is making progress.
He looks great and seems to understand everything you say to him, but he is limited to about 5 words "yes", "no" "but" "so" and "am" and cannot read anything. However, he has speech therapy every day and as I say, each time I see him there is that very small improvement. He can now move his right arm a bit and after I left he was due for some exercise work, which he wasn't looking forward to! But then as I said to him, he always was lazy!

Phil participated in some of the Big L and RNI RSLs and had recently been providing programmes for Radio Seagull and Offshore Music Radio.

Skues on FM in Aylesbury
Aylesbury listeners can now hear Pirate Radio Skues on FM. A new transmitter on 94.7 means people in the Vale of Aylesbury area will be able to tune in to BBC Three Counties Radio on FM instead of having to listen on Medium Wave. The new transmitter complements the service provided to Milton Keynes and North Bucks on 104.5 FM and High Wycombe on 98 FM. Cardboard Shoes's Monday evening Pirate Radio Skues programme 2200 - 0100, is networked via BBC Three Counties (Beds, Herts and Bucks) and is also available via the Internet.
(Thanks to Alan Hardy

Your Car Radio Could Be Hijacked
In Ian MacRae's entertaining on-line newsletter The Radio Wave #35: FM RADIO is not as new as you think * Urgent warning... stock up on toilet paper * Bin Laden promotes radio station * Listeners conned with station contest * Another racist remark loses DJ his job * How to use a door * Your car radio could be hijacked.
News from 'the real' Colin Nichol
In Hans Knot's International Newsletter, there's sad news of the death of RNI technician Rudi Kagon, memories from 'the real' Colin Nicol, on Australia, and a reader sends a list of lesser-known RNI DJs
To sign up for the free emailed newsletter, contact Hans at hknot@home.nl
Death of Radio Atlanta Pioneer Ted
Jonathan from the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame has sent us the sad news of the death of Ted King, in December 2004. Ted joined Radio Atlanta from the station's beginning in 1964 and hosted the Breakfast Club programme six days a week until the takeover of the station and ship by Caroline in July. Ted, who continued to work in radio until his retirement in 1988, had been in poor health for some time. To read about Ted's broadcasting career, visit the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame.
Radio London's 40th Birthday
Audio clips now available!

Mary and Norm


In honour of Radio London's 40th birthday, Mary was interviewed by Graham Barnard at 7.20 on the BBC Norfolk Breakfast Show, 'Today in Norfolk', when she attempted to explain to listeners the huge impact that Radio London had made both on British radio and on its listeners.

Norm St John speaking from Brisbane, represented the Big L DJs and Steve Burnham, calling from Norwich, explained how much Radio London meant to its listeners.

A recording of the interview is now available, by kind permission of David Clayton at BBC Norfolk. It is in three segments and is provided at a data rate accessible to those without broadband facilities. Listen or download three clips from the programme: Mary; Norm St John; Steve Burnham

The Caroline Ships in Amsterdam
In March 1968, the two Caroline ships were unceremoniously towed to Amsterdam, where they remained for several years. This month the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame has some ome great photos which were taken in 1970, some of them aboard the Fredericia. Other updates in the HoF include a Record Retailer summary compiled from the charts of Radios London, Caroline, City, 270 and Scotland, from a week in January 1967.
Heading for the Ross at Easter
Pirate Tim Gillett plundered the Pirate Radio Essex archives to bring listeners three hours of fantastic memories, when he sat in for Cardboard Shoes on Feb 21st. (Cardboard was away visiting his good friend HM Queen Elizabeth). Listeners were treated to a host of well-loved offshore tracks, including Big L anthem, 'Craise F(r)inton Kirk' and clips of jocks Pete Brady and Duncan Johnson, as they appeared on last year's Easter broadcast.

During the programme, fellow pirate Steve Scruton revealed his plans to present a live show from the Caroline ship Ross Revenge on Easter Saturday afternoon, March 26th.

Phone guest, Tony O'Neil, of the Pharos Trust which manages historic lightship LV18, donated a copy of the 'Pirates Waive the Rules' DVD as a competition prize. Tony explained that while the ship was well restored internally, the Trust needs to raise funds for dry-docking and essential hull maintenance. Tony also revealed that Daphne, ship's mascot and only 'female' aboard throughout the Pirate BBC Essex broadcast, was currently alone on the LV18, and feeling somewhat chilly and neglected! Radio London has since received unconfirmed kneeports that Dave Cash has been spotted speeding towards the LV18 in a rowing boat.

Oldies Rule! Wonderful Fab 40 success!
"Our servers had great difficulty coping with the increased demand!"

In collaboration with Radio London, the Oldies Project team presents a very special feature – the Big L Fab 40! Every Sunday at 1100 GMT, you'll be able to enjoy a chart which was first broadcast from the mv Galaxy for the same week 40 years ago and featuring the voices of original Big L DJs John Edward and Mark Roman.

An Oldies Project spokesman says:

Apparently the Radio London "feeling" is very much still alive, even after 40 years, as so many additional listeners logged on during the Fab 40 broadcast that our servers had great difficulty coping with the increased demand.

The announcements by John Edward immediately sparked off responses from our listeners. For example, one wrote to us asking if the voice he heard on the jingles was from "the real Radio London DJ" who had previously played with David Bowie in a band called the Manish boys?

(Yes it was! – Mary)

Don't just tune in on Sundays as the regular Oldies Project feed is pretty impressive too, with at least two songs from the Radio London playlist per hour, preceded by a classic Big L jingle. More info about the project in January Happenings.

"It is great that the Oldies Project is reviving the songs from the Radio London Fab 40, which brings back lots of nice memories." Holger Postelmann, Fab 40 chart contributor, Germany

Kees Geers has a new website Zeezenders. Available in Dutch and English, there are links to offshore radio netcasters and tribute sites, with separate forums for stations. We wish Kees well with his new venture.

Martin's Silver Service Certificate

Stoke Mandeville Hospital Radio held a celebration in honour of Martin Kinch, who had achieved 25 years of service. June Snowdon, President of the national Hospital Broadcasting Association, presented Martin, who has been with the station almost since the beginning, with a commemorative certificate.

Several original members of the charity organisation, which began life on 4th December 1978 as Radio Park Sound, were there to add their congratulations, including Freda Roberts, MBE, JP, who has been Chairman since the start.

The Saga of Twiggy Day
Roger 'Twiggy' Day writes:

I am pleased to reveal that from Monday 31st January, I am presenting the evening show on Saga 105.7 in Birmingham. The times are 1800-2200 Monday – Thursday. As well as this I will continue to host fifties and sixties on Saturdays 9.00-12.00. In case you don't live in the area, it is also available online at Saga1057.co.uk .

No doubt I will still find time for the occasional fling on Radio Caroline (usually Fridays at 10.00) I do hope you will be able to listen sometimes. Don't forget the Sky channel has now changed. Full details on the official Caroline Website.

Fredericia and Mi Amigo
Bob le Roi's recent site updates include memories of Radio Atlantis, the short-lived Belgian-owned station, illustrated with pictures from Steve England's own collection. There's a photo-feature about Caroline and the Mi Amigo, with a map showing the position of the shipwreck and also a history of the original Caroline ship, Fredericia.

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