The archived Happenings index is here...

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Site Updates
(Updated Feb 12th) Mac Peters admits to success in the Mecca ballroom, but failure on Radio City. Photo of Mac courtesy of the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame.
(Updated Feb 23rd) a newspaper clipping of the Small Faces filming Dateline Diamonds.
(March 10th) Our new teeshirt glamour model is Rick Randell from Radio England.
(March 10th) Our new page of mini-memories containing the story of the Big L Discotheque has a photo addition.
(March 10th) A new John Peel Column from International Times, courtesy of Hans Knot.

And now, the news....

New Pub named after Big L Pioneer
March 6th 2007 marked forty years since John Robert Parker Ravenscroft adopted the name John Peel and joined Radio London and his birthplace, Heswell, in Merseyside, now has a watering hole named after him. Local residents suggested that the pub, a former post office, should be called The Ravenscroft. John's widow Sheila was happy to agree and the bar is enhanced by a large portrait of the Perfumed Gardener.

Meanwhile, Hans Knot has kindly sent some more scans of John Peel columns from International Times, the first of which has now been added to our collection.

Searching for the Olga Patricia
Svenn Martinsen has updated his website 'The Radio Rose of Texas' devoted to Radio England, Britain Radio and all the stations that broadcast from the Olga Patricia/Laissez-Faire. In the newly-added chapters previously unseen documents throw more light on what happened prior to the demise of Radio England and include the story of attempting to locate the ship in the Chesapeake Bay region of Virginia.

Jean Scyra
Sadly, Jean, who was sub-editor of 'Monitor' magazine, has passed away. Offshore Echoes has a tribute to Jean and to the late editor of Monitor, Buster Pearson.

Who can forget Watery Wireless?

Caroline's Steve Young (living in Victoria, BC) proves that wherever you are in the world, ex-pats will ever forget offshore radio. Writing on 12th February 2007, Steve says:

"I was a radio star for a few minutes last week when our local CBC Radio station invited me to appear on their morning show. I don't think they were quite prepared for the overwhelming listener reaction that their interview with me generated. It was quite hilarious, as the phones almost rang off the hook and e-mails descended on them by the dozens, all coming from ex-pat Brits who live on Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast and the Lower Mainland, all of whom live within the listening area of the station. It was fun being in a studio again after so many years."

Gerry Tedeschi
We are saddened to learn from Gary Tedeschi that his uncle Gerry, who played bass with Glasgow band Studio Six, passed away on January 29th 2007, aged 59.

Studio Six has its own feature in our Radio Scotland section.

Dorothy 'Kitty' Black 1914 - 2006

Offshore Echoes Magazine says:

We are sad to report the death, on 26th December 2006, of Kitty Black, who was aged 92.

Although well known to those in the theatrical business as an agent and translator, there was an episode in Kitty's life that she rarely spoke about. Even in the world of offshore radio her name is seldom mentioned, although her involvement pre-dates the start of Radio Caroline. Kitty Black was a major shareholder in Radio Atlanta, and was a pioneer and one of the unsung heroes (heroines) of offshore radio.

A tribute, and an article written by Kitty about the Radio City boarding incident, is now on our website.

Photo: Kitty in 1939 from 'Upper Circle' by Kitty Black, Methuem Press, kindly supplied by Colin Nichol in Australia.

Cavern Half-Century
While the radio world is preparing to mark a rather poignant 40th anniversary in 2007, Liverpool's Cavern Club is celebrating its 50th birthday.

Fab 40 artists Cilla Black, Beryl Marsden, the Searchers' John McNally and The Merseys' Billy Kinsley (Knees Club member 196), will reminisce about the early days of the Cavern on BBC Radio Four 1030 - 1100, Saturday 13th January (and available for the following week on Listen Again).

Beryl, who will also be appearing at the club's private birthday party on January 16th, has been singing professionally since the age of 15. She has just released a cover of Burt Bacharach's 'Baby It's You', her first single in 40 years. She appeared in the Fab Forties both as a solo artist and as a member of Shotgun Express.

STAX Hits Fifty

Another musical institute celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2007. A press release from Concord Music Group reveals:

In honour of the 50th anniversary of the legendary label Stax – home to many of soul music's most enduring recordings – Concord Music Group is pleased to announce a year of activity that will include deluxe reissues, special events and the reactivation of the label with a slate of new signings.

Stax's contribution to popular music is enormous. Releasing hit after hit from Otis Redding, Booker T. & the MGs, the Bar-Kays, Isaac Hayes, Sam and Dave, the Staple Singers, Eddie Floyd, Johnnie Taylor, William Bell and Rufus and Carla Thomas, among many, many others, the Memphis soul label established itself as a one-of-a-kind brand.

It's a fitting tribute to Stax that not only will its past glories be suitably honoured during 2007, but its future will be assured as well. The first new signings to Stax include soul luminary and Stax patriarch Isaac Hayes and superlative vocalist Angie Stone. Isaac Hayes remains an integral force in Stax and beyond, and Angie Stone is widely regarded as one of her generation's few heirs to the grand tradition of R&B.

"Stax always has been and always will be Soul Music, I was a part of that," said Hayes. "I am coming back to Stax because there is still so much to do. It's like coming home."

In tandem with Soulsville USA, the City of Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Stax Museum of American Soul, Concord will also participate in numerous live, broadcast and other events as part of an extensive year of activity heralding "Memphis Celebrates 50 Years of Soul" including a feature length documentary illustrating the staggering Stax story.

Concord looks forward to a joyous celebration of Stax's 50th anniversary, a productive relationship with Soulsville USA and the City of Memphis, and an exciting new chapter in the story of one of music's all-time greatest labels.

The Recording Academy has also announced the acclaimed Stax house band Booker T and The MGs (Steve Cropper, Donald 'Duck' Dunn, Booker T. Jones, Lewie Steinberg and the late drummer Al Jackson) as recipients of the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award. Also honoured is the late Stax co-founder Estelle Axton, who died in 2004.
News of Phil Mitchell
Phil's' friend Colin Lamb saw him in December and sent a progress report for us to share with site visitors. Colin says Phil is making slow but steady progress. He is beginning to be able to read a few basic words and has even tried a few goes on his PC, with limited success. Phil understands perfectly everything said to him, but has only very limited speech and still hasn't regained the use of his left arm or leg. However, he gets about by using a three-wheel battery-powered scooter. We are very pleased to hear that despite everything, he is in remarkably good spirits. Keep improving, Phil - we haven't forgotten you!

Any takers for an 'unbelievably ugly' country?
In the year of the 40th anniversary of the principality of Sealand the Bates Royal Family is abdicating. The tiny country – the former Rough Towers WWII fort eight miles off Harwich – which suffered severe fire damage in June 2006, is up for sale. Sealand is described in a Times article as 'unbelievably ugly'.

Anyone offering an eight-digit sum could own and rule a unique country, complete with its own monetary system, passports and postage stamps.(Thanks to Mike Terry)

Timesonline article; Sealand website

James Brown 1933 - 2006

There may be some question as to whether James Brown, who died suddenly on Christmas Day 2006, was genuinely aged 73, or was older, but there is no disputing his huge influence on music. The titles 'Godfather of Soul', 'The Hardest Working Man in Show Business', 'Mr. Dynamite', 'Soul Brother Number One' and sometimes 'The Original Disco Man', were bestowed on the flamboyant performer with good reason. Even his funeral ceremonies were showbiz style, with his body lying in state dressed in stage costumes.

Backing band The Soul Generals, who performed at the funeral, are naturally devastated by JB's demise but say they will honour his wish for them to continue touring as a tribute to his music.

JB took a prominent role in the American civil rights movement and his 1968 hit 'Say it Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud' became an anthem for African-Americans. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the first-ever induction dinner in 1984. Other honours included a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 34th annual Grammy Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the fourth annual Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Awards.

As far as the Fab Forties are concerned, there were eight JB appearances during a period when he barely touched the National charts. The first entry, 'Papa's Got a Brand New Bag' made #8 in October 65 to 'Kansas City' in May 67. His biggest Radio London success was 'It's a Man's Man's Man's World', #4 in July 66. Paul Kaye appears to have been a big fan, as he chose five of the JB singles as his climbers.

New York Times obituary; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tribute; Edmonton Sun feature

Popular Christmas Features
John Sales wrote:
"I've just listened to the Paul Kaye Interview. It's really quite fascinating and excellent quality, thank you both and Hans for allowing us all to have access to it. What a wonderful Christmas present!"

Mike Terry said:
"I have just listened to it and it's fascinating, thank you so much. Paul is still missed, a highly intelligent professional and innovator. I shall never forget him."

(The interview is still available further down this page)

The Oldies Project Christmas special The London Sound - the Second Year (where between Dec 21st and 24th, every record played was a single released in 1966) was a huge success. Radio London received several complimentary e-mails about it, which we have passed on to the hard-working Oldies Project team. We can't take any credit for their amazing achievements, only for the Fab Forty listings and for the rest of this thousand-page website!

Ed Reynolds, who lives in Utah, wrote:

"I want to thank you and the Oldies Project for making my Christmas wish come true again this year... You've made a huge impact not just on those who remember the days of Radio London, but you have opened the door to a whole new world of sixties music to fans who missed the fun the first time around. May Radio London, Oldies Project and sixties music never die!"

Read Ed's complete message and two from other contributors, here.

According to the server access log, Oldies Project now has approximately 1000 hits a day and listeners in 60 counties, the latest addition being the United Emirates! In November 06, 24,290 different IP addresses logged on to the stream. The average listening time is expanding each month and currently stands at nearly five hours, which just goes to show how compulsive listening it is!

Who said sixties music was dead?

Click here for a downloadable playlist of The London Sound - the Second Year.

Offshore Echoes Radio Themes Update
Chris Edwards reports that Offshore Echoes' Offshore Radio Themes pages. now has new pages on the first and last records played on the offshore stations. More themes and audio clips have joined the collection, including 'Lightning Bug', believed to be by Brass Ring and used by John Edward on Radio London. There is also record label, catalogue number and release date information, where possible. Chris says that the information on Terry Hounsome's RockRom CD database has proved invaluable.

Chris wants the pages to contain as much information as possible and asks that if anyone can provide missing release details or audio, or have any comments or anything to add, to please let him know.

Dylan's XM Shows include Big L jingle
Bob Dylan's critically acclaimed XM Satellite Radio show, Theme Time Radio Hour, is now being heard in the UK. The weekly programme features an eclectic mix of music hand-selected by Dylan with interviews and commentary on music and other topics.

"A lot of my own songs have been played on the radio, but this is the first time I've ever been on the other side of the mic," said Dylan, who started his broadcasting career with leading US satellite radio broadcaster XM in May 2006.

Themes for the show include weather with a track list that includes A Place In The Sun sung in Italian by Stevie Wonder, The Wind Cries Mary by Jimi Hendrix and Keep On The Sunny Side by The Carter Family. Other show themes have included radio - and a Radio London jingle, no less!

Bob Dylan is one of the world's most popular and acclaimed songwriters, musicians and performers, having sold nearly 100 million albums and performed thousands of shows around the world in a career spanning five decades. His newest album, Modern Times, has already sold more than two million copies, reaching the number one slot in 13 countries. Both Uncut and Mojo magazines recently named Bob Dylan "Man Of The Year".

Both BBC's Radio 2 and 6 Music will air Theme Time Radio Hour throughout 2007. Check their websites for schedules. Radio 2; 6 Music
A Paul Kay treat courtesy of Hans, Tom and Juul
Hans Knot explains how he came to obtain an exclusive interview with Paul Kay and decided to share it with our site visitors.

"It was around 1985 that my dear friend Jelle Boonstra and I went to the former house of Klaas Vaak (aka Tom Mulder), who worked for Veronica in offshore days and who was an avid listener to Radio London in the sixties. Tom had asked me if I was interested to get the tapes he'd recorded through the years, for my historic collection. So Jelle and I travelled twice to the west of Holland and obtained a very exclusive collection. Not only had Tom recorded an enormous amount of Radio London programming, also much exclusive American material and personal interviews. Tom Mulder and Juul Geleick amongst others were the two main people responsible for producing programmes for TROS Radio and one of the series they made was the story of Pop Radio. One of the interviews was recorded early August 1977 at Scheveningen with the late Paul Kaye, the only Radio London deejay who was there from the first day in December 1964 up till the last day in August 1967. I've kept a copy of the interview in my archive ever since.

Earlier this year, Juul Geleick gave me a digital recording that he'd made from the original tape. I decided to send it to Tom Mulder and he responded with: "Today I found the old tape on my computer with this wonderful interview with Paul Kaye. It's unbelievable for me that Paul is no longer amongst us. You have to know that I almost listened to Big L from hour to hour, day in day out. It seems if I knew all the people personally. Even now, almost 40 years later, this feeling has not changed. I honestly can say that Radio London had a very important impact in my personal life. I'm very happy to have the interview back. With a very big thank you to all those guys on the original Big L!"

But it isn't only Tom Mulder who will be happy at the end of 2006. I asked Tom as well as Juul Geleick to give me a yes‚ to publish the interview and the first thing I linked my mind to was Mary and Chris Payne at the Radio London Internet site."

We're very grateful to Hans for sharing the Paul Kay interview with us and to Tom and Juul for giving their permission. On behalf of all our site visitors, thank you all very much.

Listen to the interview here:

1470 Foxy is back
The many fans of the late Roger Scott will be delighted to hear about our friend Marc Denis' new website tribute to Montreal's 1470 CFOX. There are a couple of album sleeves for compilations in a series called '1470 CFOX Good Guys Gold' featuring photos of all the jocks of the time, including Roger, and Marc says he has much more great memorabilia on the way in the New Year. We hope there might be some early charts from the same years as the Big L Fab Forties, so we can do some comparisons. Marc explains:

It's finally online at MarcDenis.Com! Marc Denis' 1470 CFOX Montreal Radio Archive, salutes the little suburban Pointe-Claire Qc station that could…and did, from 1960 to 1977.

This station gave my former Top 40 alma mater 980 CKGM (among others) quite the battle in Montreal during the late-Sixties. 1470 CFOX was the station our good friend Roger Scott appeared on before returning to Britain to join the launch of Capital Radio in the early 70s and following his short stint at North Eastern US powerhouse WPTR in 1966. Rog' entertained brilliantly at 1470 from December 1966 until late 1971, a five-year tenure interrupted only by a brief six-month contract dispute 'exile' in Nova Scotia. Fans of your site might be interested in checking out how Roger sounded on Canadian Top 40 radio back then in the ''Fox Calls'' section of the Archive.

Among other personalities of the era, you might also want to lend an ear to his 1470 CFOX colleague of the time, the wild and wonderful Charles P. Rodney Chandler. Rog' and Chuckie were the two exclusive radio guys to broadcast their respective shows on 1470 CFOX from Room 1742 at Montreal's Queen Elizabeth Hotel during the John Lennon Bed-In of May, 1969.

It's all fun. Enjoy. 1470 Foxy is back!

All you need is... a new video promo

Apple Corp has released a new album of songs from LOVE, the acclaimed Cirque du Soleil show performed exclusively at The Mirage in Las Vegas. The reworking of the Fab Four music has been produced by George Martin and his son Giles, from the Abbey Road masters.

On December 15th, Apple released a video promo for the track 'Within You Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows', available to view at the beatles.com

Fifty thousand people logged in to preview the LOVE album and placed their location on the map for the site's global listening event! On the website's LOVE MAP, just click on a location anywhere on the globe – you can zoom in for a close up view – and it will show you the nearest hundred users who took part.

Click on sleeve photo for details of the limited-edition and regular 26-track CDs.

Radio London Reminds You
When you buy an item from the Radio London Store, PayPal have changed their regulations so that it is no longer necessary for you to already have one of their accounts in order to complete your transaction. You may pay by debit or credit card, and remain protected by the same secure PayPal system.

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