June 2003
(May 2003 is here...)

BFBS (British Forces' Broadcasting Service) Strikes Silver in New York!

Following our report earlier this month (here) of BFBS's nominations in the prestigious 2003 New York Radio Festival, all three nominees have come through with flying colours!

The Hatch & Duffus Show won the silver award in the Best Comedy/Humour – Network Syndicated category. There was no gold award in this category this year, which means that the Hatch & Duffus Show has been judged by radio professionals around the world as the best of its kind. (Richard Hatch and Lynn Duffus are pictured above)

Neil Carter Breakfast picked up the bronze award in the Best Music/Personality Show category. (Neil is shown above with a fan!)

Huge congratulations to them, and also to Andrew Wright of The Wright Production, who receives a certificate of excellence for his work on the BFBS Radio 1 imaging package for September 2002.

Pictures courtesy of BFBS. More on BFBS's broadcasts and activities are at www.bfbs.com

You can contact The Wright Production at mail@thewrightproduction.com

Johnnie's new fight for freedom

The much-loved Johnnie Walker, renowned as the voice of Radio Caroline's 'Man's Fight For Freedom', has begun a new, personal battle. On June 5th, Johnnie bravely announced to the millions of BBC Radio Two listeners tuned to his afternoon show, that he is about to begin his own fight for freedom from cancer. Revealing that his treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma was scheduled to begin on Friday, June 6th, he dedicated the final record of the show 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' to everyone facing a similar situation.

Johnnie and his wife Tiggy will be very much in our thoughts as they face this cancer battle together with the love and support of many friends and millions of fans.

The original BBC News item here, with links to sites about the disease.

Left: With Mary, enjoying last year's 35th Anniversary Offshore Reunion. (Photo: Pauline Miller) Other photos here.

John the Paper Lad's personal message for Johnnie
OK, there you are, going home in your Transit van after a day at work. You turn on your radio, and there he is. 5 o'clock on the dot, JW takes to the air again.

Now he's not like any other DJ. I've listened to him for over thirty years. Some days he's good, some not so good. But on Thursday there was something not quite right. You could tell, as you would with an old friend. You know something is wrong. Perhaps it was in the voice, or the timing. It was just not right.

You finish at 6.30, turn your radio off, go in, have tea, watch telly, then read the next day that JW is ill. JW can't get ill. He should be on the radio. He is the most naturally gifted broadcaster I have ever listened to – he could have worked on Caroline North, he is that good!

So John, if you read this, know this. Up here in the cold north of England you are beloved. And if your past is any reflection on your future, I will turn on my Ford Transit radio, as do millions of others, and after a time forget just how good you are, because we take your excellence for granted.

You are in my prayers tonight. After all the pleasure you have given the whole country, it is the least I can do.

Warm and tender love, John the Paper Lad

PS When you get better, how about playing that record by Tommy Edwards (can't remember the title but you used to play it on Caroline). Or if you are ever up in the cold north of England I'll buy you a pint.

A Local Station for Local People
For offshore historians Bob Le-Roi's latest 'Scrapbook' update brings part 4 of Radio Sutch and City with recently-discovered material from contributors' lofts, and that infamous box on top of the wardrobe.

'One Subject One Link' has a composite editorial based on mail received on how 'local' radio isn't local enough.

Bob also presents the first batch of "Radio Clips" and says he is keen to receive more for inclusion and not just from offshore stations.

"If you're on independent, BBC, private, overseas or even pirate, let us have some audio."

Abie Nathan: 'very much alive'

Mike Brand writes from Israel:

Last week, I went to visit the founder of the Voice Of Peace, in an old age home 'somewhere in Tel-Aviv'. Contrary to reports and rumours that Abie had died, I can tell you that he is very much alive.

His condition is not good, and he is confined to a wheelchair. His speech is a bit slurred, but his memory is still sharp, and remembers events that happened years ago.

Abie is now 76 years old, and I am sure that we all wish him a long life. If any of you who once knew him, want to pass any messages on to him, you may do it through my e-mail address mike@selasys.com I don't promise any answers from him, but I will pass the message on to him the next time I see him.

Groningen: Capital of Offshore Radio!

Hans Knot has contributed his personal RNI memories for his long-time friend, Paul de Haan, at Marine Broadcasters. However, the article also tells us a great deal about their home town of Groningen, which many Anoraks will not have recognised as the 'capital city' of offshore radio. After reading Hans's article, readers will appreciate that Groningen has a very valid claim to the title! Hans also points out:

Since 1969 here in Groningen, some 20.000 pages with information have been filled on the subjects 'radio and the other media', whereby the main subject was offshore radio. Nowhere in the world so many books on this subject have been written about Marine Broadcasters.

The only disappointing thing about Hans's fascinating feature is that there are no photos of him and Paul together, when they first met as young lads. Probably lost in the mists of time...

Paul and son Mark have also added a new photo-feature of Hans-Joachim Backhus's 1973 and 74 trips to Veronica and RNI. It includes a picture from April 1973, when the Norderney beached at Scheveningen.

Left, Hans poses with an appropriate sign at St Katharine's dock, London. Photo: Martin van der Ven

Memories for Carole
Carole Anderson writes:
Your 'What's Happening' in August 2002 mentions the death of Kenny Page. Does anyone have any memories of Kenny that they can share? I was a listener of Kenny's when he was on Radio Tay, Dundee, and thought he was one of the best radio presenters I had ever heard.

It's All About the Music
Gert van der Winden is familiar to Radio London visitors as a major contributor to the Fab Forties and has also generously supplied numerous scans of picture sleeves to illustrate the Fabs. Gert tells us he has also been instrumental in setting up a new website OldiesForum, the aim of which is to create a comprehensive world-wide meeting place for music collectors. This is the site definition of OldiesForum (which is available both in English and Dutch):
OldiesForum was created and is offered as a communication tool to be used by – and to the benefit of – music collectors world-wide. It is left up to its users to determine the content. Any suggestion to improve or expand the site, within the limits of its original purpose, is welcome.

The site only launched in May 2003, but collectors are already assisting each other in finding elusive items and OldiesForum contains some extremely useful links to databases and chart information which are bound to prove invaluable. We wish Gert and his friends every success.

Suzi's tribute to her 'Substitute Father' – Mickie Most
During her BBC Radio Two programme, Rockin' With Suzi Q, (Tuesdays, 2100 - 2200) Suzi Quatro paid tribute to Mickie Most, who died on May 30th. Suzi said the producer who discovered her in her native Detroit at the age of twenty, had become her substitute father. She dedicated 'Rolling Stone', the first single they made together and became a number one on Portugal, to Mickie. Mickie worked with numerous Fab Forty artistes, including Herman's Hermits, The Animals, Donovan, Jeff Beck and Lulu.

Mickie ignored musical critics when he produced 'House of the Rising Sun' for the Animals. This was the era of the 'three-minutes-might-be-a-bit-on-the-long-side' pop single, and HOTRS was perceived to be an instant commercial flop because of its length of 4 mins 23 secs. But Mickie Most's production of the traditional song stormed to the top of the charts in 1964. The version released in US was edited down to 2 minutes 58 seconds, presumably because anything longer would not have fitted the US radio format of the time.

Suzi's show can be heard via the BBC Radio Two website. (Go to www.bbc.co.uk/radio/. Click on 'Launch BBC Radio Player', click on 'Radio 2' and select 'Rockin' with Suzie Q'. You'll need RealAudio already installed on your computer.)
Dave enjoyed gigs till the last

Sadly, this summer has also seen the loss of one of the many musicians who played on records produced by Mickie Most. Dave Rowberry, who replaced Alan Price in the Animals, has been found dead at his London home. Dave's impressive keyboard skills enhanced many of the band's hits, including 'We've Gotta Get Out Of This Place' and 'It's My Life'. His last gig, on June 2nd, was with the current band line-up, known as Animals and Friends. Drummer John Steel became concerned for Dave's welfare after he failed to answer his phone. He alerted Jim Rodford, who had known Dave since the early Sixties when they had both been members of the Mike Cotton Sound, and Jim made the sad discovery. John Steel said that Dave, who was known to be suffering with heart trouble, had greatly enjoyed his gigs with Animals and Friends and that he was pleased that he been able to do so right up to the last days of his life.

A US site launched a campaign when, in 1994, The Animals were inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, but Dave Rowberry and a fellow band member, Barry Jenkins were not included in the honour. Hopefully, this situation will now be reviewed.
'Shuttering' Schedule
The current issue of Photograph, the Colin Blunstone fanzine edited by Andy Barnes, reveals that Colin and Rod Argent have a 'shuttering' schedule of concerts ahead of them. (Sorry)

The release of the new Colin and Rod album originally scheduled for April, has been delayed, but Andy reveals that it will contain a reworking of Colin's beautiful, 'I Don't Believe In Miracles'. The band, (Colin, Rod, Jim Rodford, Keith Airey and Steve Rodford) has been performing the current tour accompanied by a string quartet. The strings naturally enhance songs like 'Say You Don't Mind' which prominently featured a cello on the original recording. The group continues to play UK dates in June and in August, the busy guys will commence a Stateside tour in Chicago. On his return, Colin is once again planning to guest with The Manfreds' Maximum R 'n' B Tour in the autumn.

When Colin and Rod Argent were invited by the Classic Rock Society to present the society's annual awards in December 2002, they were unaware that they were to be honoured by a Lifetime Achievement Award of their own. And extremely well-deserved it is too!
Kenny welcomes the Irish Canadian from Radio Scotland
Both Kenny Tosh and Ben Healy himself, have written to reveal the good news that during a visit to Belfast this summer, Ben will guest on Kenny's Citybeat Revival Show. Ben broadcast on Radio City before joining Radio Scotland to become Head DJ. He was born in Ballina, County Mayo, on the west coast of Ireland and now lives in Alberta, Canada. Ben will appear on Kenny's show, (available via an Internet feed), on Sunday 27th July, 0900 - 13.00. Previous popular 'Revivals' have been presented by Caroline DJs Mick Luvzit and Graham 'Spider' Webb. Ben says:
I am looking forward to meeting Kenny and doing the show and he actually let me pick the music, which I thought was very kind of him. I met with Lorne King last Saturday and he asked me to pass on his best wishes to you both. I give him copies of all the news from your website which he really enjoys reading. Thank you so much for all your in depth reporting on one of the great loves of our life, Pirate Radio.

We've enjoyed the 'Perfumed Garden Shed' – now it's the 'Perfumed Windowbox'!
More news from Canada. Chris Bent has been in touch from Nova Scotia, to tell us about his Radio Geronimo website. Chris explains:
Geronimo was only on air in 1970 and was a kind of non-stop 'Perfumed Garden'. As well as the website, I sort of keep the spirit of Geronimo going through the programmes I make for Dutch Caroline and Laser Radio. The programme has been likened to John Peel's Radio London programme - one kind soul called my programme 'the perfumed windowbox'. I've obviously got some gardening to do! I was only 12 and living in Peterborough when Big L closed down but I remember it as though it were yesterday - a very sad afternoon. I may have been young but I knew we had just lost something more than just a radio station.
The site contains some great historical artefacts, audio clips and photos, including a pic of the webmaster wearing a wet Geronimo T shirt on Hunstanton beach, circa August 1971! Other site photos reveal that Chris and Kate run a bed and breakfast hotel in an extremely beautiful part of Nova Scotia.
Automated Radio fails disaster-stricken town

In Issue #17 of The Radio Wave, editor Ian MacRae has found new evidence that the world's first DJ was a woman! He also reproduces a chilling true story of what happened when a disaster occurred in North Dakota. The town's alarm system failed and there was no genuine local radio station run by real DJs to warn the populace of what was going on. All the stations were on automatic playout systems.

To enjoy these stories in full (and much more) subscribe to the newsletter by sending a blank email to: radiowave@allaboutradio.net

Many Happy Returns!
Along with many others we are delighted to see that Toby Walker has been able to reinstate the marvellous Soulwalking site, which he was obliged to close down in March following threats of lawsuits. To read Toby's full story of the enforced closure and subsequent comeback, visit 'What Happened in March' on the website.

Philly's rich musical history
George Manney from Geo Sound in Philadelphia invites us to visit his website and take a look at 'Philly's rich musical history'. (As if we needed any convincing that it has!)

The site contains far too much to list here, but covers Philadelphia's underground scene in the 60's and 70's and Philly's Soul and Jazz Artists. It features artists like Bill Haley, Bill Doggett, Grover Washington Jr., Eddie Holman and the Soul Survivors with venues such as the Electric Factory, the Trauma, the 2nd Fret, East Side Club and Sigma Sound studio.

Celebrity interviews are also featured and next month, George plans to add an interview with Billy (Me and Mrs. Jones) Paul.

Open wide and say "Aaaaarrr!"

Radio London is shivering its timbers over a forthcoming seavent which is guaranteed to appeal to all lubbers (land or otherwise) of watery wireless. Mark a giant 'AAAAARRR!' on your calendar for September 19th in red felt-tip quill, because that be the date of International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

This magnificent maritime celebration is the (n)ocean of Oregon hot shots* John 'Ol' Chumbucket' Baur and Mark 'Cap'n Slappy' Summers. These two brass monkeys* claim to be 'reasonably well-adjusted middle-aged guys with productive jobs', in the same manner that Chris and Mary claim to be reasonably well-adjusted Anoraks.

Fortunately, the promotion of ITLAPD has been ably assisted by America's funniest columnist and John Otway fan, Dave Barry (Nautical experience: once sailed from Miami to Bimini to buy some bread.)

The bold buccaneers' philosophy behind International Talk Like A Pirate Day is:

In plain English: "Talking like a pirate is fun. It's really that simple."
In Piratese: "AAAAARRR!"

Right: The latest in pirate accessories: a portable shark that doubles as a water-pistol

Whilst some of us have only ever played at being pirates, our friends in radio circles include many genuine 'Wets' who brought us the music we loved from sea-based radio stations sited on forts and ships. Although situated in International waters, the offshore jocks, engineers and crews had the 'pirate' label cast upon them so frequently by the media that the image stuck like a barnacle on a blue whale's bum (i.e. avast behind).

These guys – plus a few wenches – are the salty dogs who relate the sagas of having to avoid falling and being crushed in the gap** while leaping aboard their ship from a bucking tender, (similar to a buckingneer) and of being brought ashore by breeches buoy when their vessel ran aground; they'll shout shanties of suffering RF burns and having to be strapped into the studio chair to sound like a jolly happy DJ during a force nine; they'll sing ballads about plugging a leak in the hull of the mv Galaxy with a leg of lamb, and of having to subdue inebriated cooks wielding large carving knives; they'll happily talk all night of the ship's ghosts. They can also relate Technicolor tales of seasickness*** which most people would rather not know about.

With that sort of sea cred, all of 'em should know the ropes* about completing Ol' Chumbucket and Cap'n Slappy's TOTLAPP – The Official Talk Like a Pirate Personality Inventory. We eagerly await the arrival of the carrier pigeons with the results.

With a website devoted to radio stations run by seaweed-encrusted scallywags, the Radio London webmasters feel we should offer our strongest support for this amazing venture. We are launching their own branch of the piratical vernacular movement especially for Watery Wireless enthusiasts. Pirate Anoraks Revere Real Offshore Terminology (PARROT). This will assist participants in adding to their basic pairate vocabulary such well-loved phrases as, 'The station with the very loose anchor', 'Oops, sorry, the tender's just banged into the side', 'AAAAAGH! (As opposed to "AAAAARRR!") I've just spilt a cup of Camp Coffee in my lap' and 'Excuse me, I have to throw up.' September 19th will not only be ITLAPD but PARROT day (a deceased Norwegian Blue, naturally. We strongly encourage every offshore lubber to participate and welcome suggestions for additions to the PARROT dictionary.

Whilst the Webmasters appreciate that British Offshore radio is not a hugely familiar subject to the average US citizen, we do feel that the award of Honorary Anorak should rightly be bestowed on Ol' Chumbucket and Cap'n Slappy in the ITLAPD HQ across the briny, for their services to piracy. All we have to do now is explain the meaning of 'Anorak' to them.

* Indicates traditional seafaring terminology
** Non-seafaring traditional London Underground terminology
*** Polite terminology

Foot (or possibly, peg-leg) note:

Aboard the Galaxy on September 19th 1966...
Radio London announced that a new aerial was to be fitted, programmes would be brought forward an hour and new jingles and call signs would be aired.

The Supremes were Number One in the Fab Forty with 'You Can't Hurry Love'.

(Right: Make someone else say "AAAAARRR!)

How to achieve that ship-shape look

The Cap'n accepts his 'An AAAAARRR ak'

Ahoy Mary!

On behalf of the whole talk-like-a-pirate team I humbly and most grovelingly accept this coveted certificate of Honorary Anorak. Although, I will probably pronounce it, "An AAAAARRR ak."

Ol' Chumbucket (John Baur), Saucy Wench (Victoria Baur) and our Web Wench (Pat Kight) are very interested to know exactly what an "Anorak" is. (Honorary or otherwise).

Long Live Radio London! (You have a jolly good site, there!) Celebrate "International Talk Like a Pirate Day" on September 19. Celebrate your "inner pirate" all year long!

Cap'n Slappy

The 'An AAAAARRR ak' Awards will be winging their way across the briny just as soon as the Radio London webmasters can catch the carrier pigeon.

...and talking of Camp Coffee...

Bridget Mcdougall writes from Toronto

I saw on your site the letter from a lady asking for info about Camp Coffee memorabilia. I have a really cute coffee mug bearing the Camp Coffee logo (kilted officer and Indian batman). On the bottom of this mug is stamped into the china, porcelain, clay, or whatever it's made of, "Made in Ireland". Also, printed on the bottom of the mug is "sari fabrics" and a small picture of a female wearing a long, seemingly ornate, dress and with her arms stretched out by her sides.

I've not been able to find out what or who is "sari fabrics" and/or where they might be located if they still exist. If you have any info for me, I would very much appreciate it. It was interesting to read your articles. You write just as you might talk to someone, humorous and friendly.

Thank you.

Bridget, Toronto, Canada.

Thank you, Bridget for your kind comments. If anyone has further info re Camp Coffee or Sari Fabrics, please let us know.
Move Over, Margarita!

Our friend Tanya Baugus has alerted us to a site in New Zealand which features a new challenger to the crown of Margarita Pracatan, called Wing. For those unfamiliar with Margarita, she was made popular by appearances on Clive James's TV chat show. This was partly because of her outrageous clothes and personality but mainly because of Margarita's total refusal to allow her complete lack of musical talent to stand in her way. She became a huge hit with the gay community and performed sell-out tours.

Having visited Wing's site and listened to a few samples of her recordings, we feel someone should arrange a 'singing dual' between Wing and Margarita! It would be a closely-fought contest.
Wayne's World
Jonathan reveals the latest additions to The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame
This month we add some photographs from the original Radio Caroline ship, taken by one of the crew members, more audio and pictures and, from 'stately Wayne Manor', we hear from Swinging Radio England's Bruce Wayne. So far it is only a brief message but he has promised to write again and let us know what he has been up since we last heard him on the air in November 1966.

Wot, no Dave Windsor?

BFBS Radio's General Manager, Marc Tyley, has announced three BFBS nominations in the prestigious 2003 New York Radio Festival.

Neil Carter Breakfast - Best Music/Personality Show
Hatch and Duffus - Best Comedy/Humour - Network Syndicated
BFBS Radio 1 Imaging - Best Station ID
All three entries have reached the finalist status which is a great achievement in itself and will now go on to compete for world medals.

Hot Topics
Alfred Zoer tells us he has recently added a forum to the Alfa Lima website, where enthusiasts can discuss subjects such as pirate radio, short-wave listening and electronics. Any member can suggest a subject that is not a current discussion topic. Alfred says all the forum needs is plenty of contributors to make it work.
John Battles On in the US
John Schneider continues his fight on behalf of independent webcasters. In an open letter to the Recording Artists Coalition, he wrote:

I am the founder of Radiopoly.Com and also the writer of all the information on Radiopoly.Org which details the fledgling independent webcasting industry's struggle against the deep pocketed RIAA and its not so secret desire to monopolize Internet music distribution.

PLEASE – before you denounce us as some pirate organization looking for a free ride on the back of the artist community, you must understand that a webcasting industry where only AOL, Yahoo!, MSN and maybe a few other companies can afford to pay performance royalties will be nothing more than an Internet carbon copy of the corporately controlled, innovation starved, creatively nonexistent, passionless wasteland that is today's terrestrial radio industry. That's not what you really want, is it?
Read the rest of this communication and sign John's petition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
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