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The archived Happenings index is here...

(23/07) Big L's links to Billy Walker's Upper Cut Club
(04/08) Update to Rey Anton feature

Site Updates
New photos added to Sgt Pepper feature
(08/2011) Mini-memories P11 – two 'Eve of Destruction' Big L promos (additions 26/08 by Chris Edwards)
(08/2011) Holidays With DJs – what the punters were promised for £28.

And now, The News...

Benny's still Top of the Pops
Peter Young has forwarded a link to a brilliant Benny Hill sketch from 1971, where the comedian hilariously-accurately lampoons Top of the Pops, impersonating Tony Blackburn and others.

The Association in Mono
The Association's first album 'And Then Along Comes... The Association' has been reissued with additional tracks. You get the entire original mono album including both album and single mixes of 'Cherish' and 'Along Comes Mary' and other recordings by the band.

The CD contains 24 tracks and a 16-page full-colour booklet with unpublished photos and extensive liner notes written with the participation of original band members. (Thanks to Trevor Bailey)

Earliest Pirate Radio Raid?
In 1934, bored with the BBC's Sunday output (which can't have been a barrel of laughs) teenage brothers Gerald and Wilfred Barker of Norwich launched their own broadcasting system for fun. Unfortunately, these pioneer pirates were both tracked down and closed down. News archive clip here. Vintage Radio and TV discussion.
A someWatt smaller transmitter
The online edition of The Scotsman carries a story about a proposed arts event off the Isle of Skye from a vessel called the Celeste, supposedly inspired by the marine broadcasters of yesteryear.

"On board the Celeste is a radio transmitter," says The Scotsman, "Like those on the ships which first broadcast pop music on pirate stations such as Radio Caroline."

As the Celeste is a yacht measuring 0.4m x 2.3m, we very much doubt that!

Phone Mayfair 5361
John Bennett found an item on knee-bay that he thought might be of interest to our viewers. It's a 1967 London telephone directory, which as John points out, will contain addresses and numbers for all the major offshore stations. However, John Sales points out, "I'm afraid this directory won't 'contain addresses and numbers for all the major offshore stations'. There were four directories covering the London area and this one is A to D. If it was the K to R one, I'd probably agree with Mr. Bennett, since the majority of the station names began with the word 'Radio'!" So the phone book will contain a number of interesting numbers with letter prefixes (remember those?) but no radio stations - unless Caroline and 'Caroline House' are also listed under 'C'.

However, Jon Myer from the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame adds, "Regarding the London phone directory, I seem to remember a story from the dim and distant past that the Post Office refused to list 'Radio Caroline' in the phone book under that name but, after some debate, agreed to list 'Caroline Sales' – so it might be in the volume on eBay. I still don't think it is worth bidding, though!"

Whatever the case, the asking price of £19.99 plus £4.50 p & p is likely to put most people off.

Kenny's Spoof Horror Film
Mark Roman wrote: "Hey guys, thought you might like to know that on SKY 319 Horror Channel there is a movie called 'Bloodbath at the House of Death' with Vincent Price and Kenny Everett. Should be a laugh! I never knew he had made such a movie. Did you?"

We did and unfortunately it's not very good, (however, as Mark points out, "Neither was Dateline Diamonds, but who cares?"). We like the poster, though!

The Roman Emperor's verdict? "Oh woe, thrice woe! Against your advice I watched that Kenny movie. It was more than c**p, and part-written by Barry Cryer as well. Everything took so long. Had it been edited properly, it might have been a little better, but would have only lasted half as long. On reflection, that might have still been too long."

"Was it worse than 'Dateline Diamonds'?", we asked. As far as Mark was concerned, the answer was yes, overwhelmingly so!

Trevor Bailey says: "I saw the Kenny Everett movie on the Horror Channel and I can't believe it. Not just that it was absolutely awful, but I hardly laughed at all. It appeared to lack any sense of pace.The editing seemed disjointed and the script was very poorly written. Worse than 'Dateline Diamonds'? Probably. What saved DD was, I suppose, the historical/nostalgic element. Most of the acting in it, especially Kenneth Cope's villain, was pretty hopeless. Watch Cope on the phone having a conversation with someone without giving the other person any time to reply before he delivers his next line!"

Tom's 'World Radio Day' Campaign
Caroline's Tom Lodge has launched a campaign to have August 14th designated World Radio Day and not solely because of the date's significance to the offshore stations. Although disputed by some historians as the first radio transmission, on that date in 1894, Tom's grandfather, Sir Oliver Lodge, sent radio waves between two buildings in Oxford during a physics lecture. Marconi's better-known transmissions followed over a year later. Naturally, August 14th holds great significance for Tom, who is also raising funds for a film based on his book 'The Ship That Rocked the World'. (Details on The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame.)

Tom is not the first to suggest an annual World Radio Day, however. The Spanish Academy of Radio Arts and Sciences has proposed to UNESCO that the date should be October 30th, when Orson Welles' drama 'War of the Worlds' was first broadcast in 1938, causing mass panic in listeners who believed it was an authentic unfolding news story.

On 'Brainstormin' With Bill Frank' on KKZZ, Tom Lodge gave a 30-minute interview about Radio Caroline and his book.

The book is available in the UK from Amazon.

Were you a Bath Pirate?
No, we don't mean, "Did you play pirates in the bath?" This is Bath has unearthed a story of a fleeting venture into radio piracy by a group of students, who attempted to launch a 'prog rock' station off Torbay in 1971. We'd be very interested to hear from anyone who was involved in the ill-fated 'Radio Deepwater'.

Radio Hauraki: hardly the world's first
This interesting feature Radio Hauraki: 'How a pirate radio station rocked Iran' calls New Zealand's Radio Hauraki (launched 1966) 'the world's first offshore rock station'. That description is somewhat off the mark, considering that the first offshore station, Radio Mercur, was launched in 1958. Many more watery broadcasters had come and gone by 1966, although most would be described more accurately as 'pop' rather than 'rock' stations.

Carnaby Street on Medium Wave and VHF
Keith Milborrow says;

There is an excellent programme called 'Carnaby Street' on Manx Radio from 0830 to 1030 Saturday mornings, which should appeal to Radio London fans. The programme’s presenter Chris Williams provides a feast of Sixties music interspersed with jingles, commercials and other audio memorabilia from the era. Some of the jingles are the original pirate versions (for example “Have you ever been..., have you ever been ...., Well, needless to say, you’re OK with Wonderful Radio London”) and others have been re-sung specially for the programme. Just listen to how Chris Williams comes out of the 0830 news and you will have some idea of what will follow!
The programme is available online and on the usual Manx Radio AM/FM outlets, quaintly referred to during this show as '219 metres Medium Wave and VHF'.

Oldies TV pays tribute to Veronica
Dutch oldies channel 192TV launched on August 31st as a channel specialising in music from the Sixties and Seventies offshore radio era.
The launch date commemorated the day in 1974 that Veronica ceased broadcasting and 192 metres was the original Veronica wavelength.

Two inductees of The Songwriters' Hall of Fame died on August 22nd 2011

Jerry Leiber
April 24, 1933 – August 22, 2011

Jerry Leiber wrote, or co-wrote over 250 songs, mostly in collaboration with Mike Stoller. Many of the duo's earliest hits were in the 1950s, first with the Coasters, then Elvis. Their songs were covered by many British artists, including the Beatles, Stones, Hollies, Freddie and the Dreamers, Searchers and the Dave Clark Five.

Jerry's Fab Forty entries were 'Down in Mexico' (Boston Crabs), 'Jackson' (Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood), 'Kansas City' (James Brown) and 'On the Horizon' (The Syndicats).

Photo: NNDB

Songwriters' Hall of Fame entry

Nickolas Ashford
May 4, 1941 – August 22, 2011

Nick Ashford, and songwriting partner Valerie Simpson, had been married since 1974 and became a family hit-factory. Most of their successes arrived post-Radio London, but their biggest Fab Forty hit and perhaps their best-loved song of all time, was 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' (Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell). They also wrote the Ray Charles climber from June '66, 'Let's Go Get Stoned'.

Photo: New York Times

Songwriters' Hall of Fame entry

Fab Forty tracks chosen in tributes to songwriting legends Ashford and Leiber

In Appreciation: My Eight Essential Tracks from Jerry Leiber and Nick Ashford by Melinda Newman: Both 'Jackson' and 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' feature in the selected songs.

Songwriters Nickolas Ashford and Jerry Lieber remembered
Chicago Tribune contributor Greg Kot lists individual 'ten bests'. Ashford and Simpson's 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' and 'Let's Go Get Stoned' are selected, as are Leiber and Stoller's 'Down In Mexico' and 'Kansas City'.

Sealand Royals in German Documentary

Hans Knot has kindly shared a knee-mail received from Prince Michael Bates, concerning an interesting German documentary (mainly in English with subtitles) featuring the Sealand Royal Family.

"This is really funny and well-made. (They have used a lot of outtakes)," says HRH, "Although the leading man seems to have rather a lot of chins theses days!"

(Right) Mike Barrington stamps the film-makers' passports. In the documentary, his Sealand title is given as 'Head of Homeland Security'.

Mary, Queen of Kneeland

The Royal Family - Prince Liam (left), Prince James (far right) and Princess Charlotte, with Prince Michael.



The Beatles still matter
The Beatles are at the heart of a new bid by the UK music industry to capture the media and public’s imagination about its Music Matters initiative.

The Fab Four are the latest recruits to the campaign, which aims to highlight the emotional value of music via a series of short animated films, each recounting an artist’s career and their musical legacy, while trying to direct fans to legal digital music sites.

Music Matters was launched in March 2010 on the back of an idea by Universal UK chairman and CEO David Joseph. But, despite the best efforts of the business, it has so far failed to be widely embraced.

This new push with The Beatles may finally change that. It also follows a move in May to shift the campaign 'above the line' as the BPI took over financing the campaign with a six-figure sum put behind it.

The Beatles film was premiered at a gathering of senior industry executives in London. It has been animated and directed by Lee Gingold and, via the use of tracks such as Hey Jude and Octopus’s Garden, recounts how Gingold grew up listening to the group and how the band’s music marked various milestones in his life. The film simultaneously debuted on all the official Beatles online channels ahead of being rolled out more widely.

The animation can be viewed at whymusicmatters.org

(Thanks to Alan Hardy)

News continues on Page 2....

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