January 2001

The Isle of Man longwave radio station has suffered a setback, because planning permission for the transmission site has been refused. However, all is not lost, as this press release from Isle of Man International Broadcasting details.

Chris and I were delighted to receive the following message from Dickie Harrell:

Just wanted to wish you and the staff a happy New Year. Very nice web site!

I used to play music a few years back and was in England this past October, where I had a great time. Tell everybody I said "hello"!

Keep rockin',
Dickie Harrell
, drummer with Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps. Remember 'Be-Bop-A-Lula'?

I replied:

How very nice to hear from you, and best wishes for 2001 to you too! We don't have any staff - it's just the two of us and a website that's taken on a life of its own!

Even though Chris wasn't born till 1948 and I didn't arrive till '49, we both enjoy Fifties rock and doo-wop very much, so naturally know about Gene and the Blue caps. I don't think ANYONE who loves rock 'n' roll will ever forget Be-Bop-A-Lula!

If you have reminiscences of your time with the band that you'd like us to put on the site, we'd love to hear them.


Dickie has answered that he would, indeed, like to share some reminiscences, so watch out for another fascinating future feature.

Mentioned recently on Radio Two's Sounds of the Sixties, the My Generation website www.users.zetnet.co.uk/searchers/ contains pages dedicated to several Sixties groups belonging to the Knees Club – the Troggs, Merseys and Swinging Blue Jeans. You can even knee-mail our esteemed Club President, Ray Ennis! Other features of the site are info on current Sixties tours and a link to the UK Collectors' Record Centre database - which could come in handy to Anorak vinyl addicts.

The Arbitron Fall Ratings reveal that news/talk station KOGO is once again top dog in San Diego, California. This is surely connected to the fact that KOGO's weekend early-morning news anchor is one Howard Castle aka Caroline's Bud Ballou and a star of Big L 2000. He can be heard via the Net, 13.00 - 18.00 GMT at www.kogo.com

We are indebted to Colin Lamb for sending us a copy of Issue Three of the RNI Fanclub Magazine, containing news of the RSL taking place aboard LV18, aka Mebo III, from May 13th to June 9th 2001. The RNI Fanclub is the official licence holder. Magazine features include an item on Dutch group Earth and Fire, a 'Where Are They Now' about Spangles Muldoon, Andy Archer and an RNI playlist and chart information. On the front cover, Dick Palmer, Ray Anderson and Kevin Turner are in a mess – sorry, THE mess, with Kevin peering out of the porthole. The RNI website is at www.rni.org.uk and as the RSL licence had to be paid for from membership subscriptions and donations, Colin would be delighted to recruit some new club members.

Looks like it's RNI Week on Radio London! More RNI News...

Hans Knot and Ger Tillekens have expanded the Soundscapes site. Hans writes:

We've opened a new series of articles, called RNI memories. This series will be regularly updated and brings personal memories of Radio Northsea International. In the first episode I look back at my very first visit to the Mebo II in February 1971 and the second episode I will look back at the chartlists of the international as well as the Dutch service. Also the RNI's Smashplay and Treiterschijven have a complete rundown on the site.
Have a look and give your opinion what you think about it and what you want to hear more about RNI.


We were sorry to learn that Tony Allan (Radio Scotland, RNI, Radio Caroline) is very unwell and is awaiting an operation. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Tony.

Big L 2000 star guest, Peter Young, played an unusual request on his Jazz FM soul, blues, jazz and r 'n' b programme recently. Nick Ware, listening via the Net in Canberra, Australia, wrote that he had been a DJ on station H7O in Hobart, Tasmania, back in the Sixties. Nick enjoyed hearing the ancient jingles that PY always incorporates into his show, because he used to play them in his days on H7O. Nick's request? A jingle, of course! "Take a lively companion wherever you go, take a portable radio!" One of our favourites too!

Hi Chris & Mary,

I couldn't believe my eyes when I just visited Radio London. The site looks terrific and I really enjoyed your article on Keith Hampshire, who although in my humble estimation was a very good DJ, was also a great singer. Had David Clayton Thomas (Blood, Sweat & Tears) not been so popular, Keith Hampshire would have been a huge force in the North American music culture, as they sound very alike.

You have raised the bar so high, I don't believe that other sites on pirate radio can even come close.

It's always a treat to revisit Radio London.

All the Best to you both.
Ben Healy

Ben, what can we say, except that we do work hard at the site, and letters like this make it all worthwhile and exciting!

An extremely interesting thought about Blood, Sweat & Tears. What do you think, Keith?

Picture: Ben in his Radio Scotland days. Read his fascinating story of life aboard the Comet here. (Thanks to Raoul Verolleman for the pic.)

Thanks to Peter Young for alerting us to a tribute site devoted to the late Mike Raven, Programme Controller of Radio 390 and R & B pioneer. Many people may not have known that Mike Raven was an artist, and the site, produced by Mike's son Dominic Fairman, contains photographs of his father's sculptures. You can see them along with an obituary which details his radio career at www.bodminmoor.co.uk/churtonfairman.
TTS-Mediapro is pleased to announce . . .


What if . . . The European Union were to offer a pan-European offshore broadcasting licence starting in 2001 to one of the historic offshore stations in recognition of their contribution to the development of European broadcasting?

What if . . . Radio enthusiasts could choose who will get the licence by popular vote? Who would you vote for?

To place your vote go to www.tts-mediapro.co.uk and make your choice!

At the end of 2001 the results will be presented to the EU, with a request for such a licence to be granted.


France Radio Club/Offshore Echoes Magazine has been swift to offer its own response:


LA*, the only way. (*Living At sea)

Ten years ago, when Radio Caroline went silent, France Radio Club/Offshore Echo Magazine contacted a great number of people and organisations connected with the EU.

We asked (as did others from different European countries) two different questions:

The UK has passed a very controversial piece of legislation condemned by international shipping organisations and respected marine lawyers. What is the official EU position?

Radio Caroline is part of European cultural heritage and must be saved as a free radio station at sea. What can the EU do about this?

This campaign was very hard and very long. After four years with hundreds of letters, faxes, meetings with Mister Delors, in charge of the European Commission at that time, finally asked us to stop our mails and had nothing to say on the two subject apart from that he had no power to change UK legislation, and that Radio Caroline was a pirate station, so had no rights.

Nevertheless we received support from individual Euro MPs from many countries and parties. But support is one thing, reality and efficient result is another:

The reality is that the EU had no power to offer a broadcasting licence.

The reality is that EU paid public money to finance an unlicensed offshore station (Radio Brod) and never asked or offered a licence to Radio Brod.

The reality is EU claimed Radio Caroline to be a "pirate" station on one hand, while the other hand of the EU supported and financed their own "pirate" station!

An "historic offshore station with high contribution to the development of European broadcasting": Radio Caroline of course! Everybody in Europe is agreed about Radio Caroline's contribution to freedom of speech and as a charismatic symbol for several generations.

Every country in Europe has it own cultural heritage. But there must be a European cultural heritage and Radio Caroline is part of it. But nothing can be done by EU.

So, Radio Caroline must do the job by herself with help from supporters all around Europe and beyond. She must go back at sea firstly. By returning to the air from international waters as an independent broadcaster, she'll prove to the EU her existence and reality as a live legend.

After that, official support from the EU can be asked for.

What's the only way?
LA*, the only way.

*Living At sea.


A bad joke brings Radio London back for a huge fan! We received the following message:

I was sent a bad joke and I could not help but notice that your e-mail address was on the list of senders, and anything to do with Big L interests me! Is this just a name you use or is there a Big L out there, if so please tell me more. As you can see, I use the 266 (metres in the medium wave) as part of my e-mail address.
I hope you will reply.

Yours (remembering the GOOD old days of radio) Steve or GLO, as I have been called since the 60s

Of course, I replied to GLO and explained about the site and its contents and the fact that Lil has never died and lives on through RSLs. GLO replied:

I do not have a computer, I use the TV E-Mail Service of SKY, but I will go to my mate's and look at the site there.

The day after SHE closed down I got a copy of every newspaper reporting the event, these are sitting in a cupboard still. I have loads of memories as I used to listen to BIG L all the time while living in Hertfordshire.

I once went to Frinton so I could see her, but the fog came down and I sat on the beach looking into the fog and listened to the sounds.

I look forward to visiting your web site. All the best and thank you once again for the reply, yours GLO.

If you're in Florida, look out for this car!

Good friends of Radio London, (they have twice sponsored the Keith Skues Show) Hugo and Di, have purchased a little weekend place in Florida. Instead of buying a gas-guzzler of an American car, they've exported their superb Morris Minor... er... truck. Look carefully, and you'll see that the rear-end is less than standard!

Naturally, it takes them two hours to do the shopping, as people just can't walk past it without hearing the Pink Lady's life story – and they're constantly getting offers from people wanting to buy her!

Head-turners of the highway used to be those enormous gleaming trucks. Not any more!

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