March 2001

Radio London was instrumental in the recent happy kneeunion of friends from Capital Radio, Peter Young and Jon Myer.

Mary first met them both back in August 1983, when she was a competitor two weeks running in PY's 'Champion the Wonder Brain' pop quiz. (The winner was Brain – I mean BRIAN Allwark. Brian, where are you?)

Mary came away with a runners-up prize of an 'I've Been Struck by Peter Young' T-shirt, which she treasures to this day.

Both PY and Jon have been kind enough to share with us happy memories of Kenny Everett for our Tribute Page.

PY has to check the old ticker following the shock of meeting Jon again after so long!

Some very helpful information has arrived from Mike Corrigan, who lives in Keynsham, spelt K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M, near Bristol.

Congratulations on your excellent site, which has already given me hours of very interesting and enjoyable reading. I was particularly interested in your efforts to track down details of Chuck Blair, as this combined two of my great interests: radio and family history. Therefore, I thought I'd combine the two and do a little research of my own.

At the risk of appearing dramatic I'm now able to pass on some information which will, I think, give you and Carleton Penn a major piece in the puzzle about Chuck, and which may also be the key to advancing the search further.

Mike has used his genealogy expertise to pursue various branches of the Chuck Blair mystery and has come up with a lead which we hope will fill in a number of missing pieces. We await the arrival of documentation from the USA, and will report on any new developments as soon as we have them. Meanwhile, we are extremely grateful to Mike for his assistance.

Geoff Hutton writes:

Just a few lines to inform you of my little humble website called RADIO FROM THE NORTH SEA. The pictures on my site, I have borrowed from other websites, this I have clearly stated and put a link to the original site.
I am currently improving and building the site for all radio subjects, especially free radio, with SW and MW logs weekly, also memories of SW pirates of the past. I am trying to make the site as informative as possible, but enjoyable as well.

Sad news of the loss of a Sixties star

John Phillips, co-founder, songwriter and musical architect of the Mamas and the Papas died on Sunday, March 18th, aged sixty-five, having been ill for some months.

He was arranger and writer, (or co-writer), of the group's successful, 'California Dreamin'', 'Monday, Monday', 'I Saw Her Again Last Night', and the autobiographical 'Creeque Alley'. In 1967, John also wrote and produced the Summer of Love anthem and international hit, 'San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)' for Scott MacKenzie. In the early Sixties, John and Scott had been fellow members of folk group, the Journeymen.

There is no doubt that offshore radio was instrumental in the success of the Mamas and the Papas in the UK. 'San Francisco' topped both the Big L Fab Forty and the UK national charts in July 1967. 'Creeque Alley', a former Mark Roman climber, joined 'San Francisco' in the Fab Forty on July 16th.

Peter Young has discovered a website dedicated to the early days of ILR:

Unfortunately and somewhat ironically, the name of Peter Young was missing from the site's Capital Radio presenters' list! The site's webmaster, Sean, was duly informed of this omission, and has now rectified the matter.

Meanwhile, on the Media UK Radio Forum, fans of PY are suggesting that our hero should be given a show on Radio Two. Well, he's been given one on Big L 2001 - that's even better! Follow the path Radio>Radio Forums>Agree To The Terms And Conditions >Chatter>subject: "Peter Young... The BBC should have employed this broadcaster years ago."

(Thanks to Big Al for spotting the actual link was wrong...)

John S Platt reports on LV18 aka the Kneebo III

The studio on LV18 is ready to roll. We have all the equipment, but have had to borrow a mixer as my source could not deliver by the 31st of March. The ship looks magnificent and we are now sorting out how to get her to Ramsgate to have her nether regions cleaned and painted to Trinity House specs. The future of the old girl is secure and we have installed a permanent studio which can be hired out for anyone who wants to have a go at doing an RSL.

The business plan predicts that 27,000 people will view the ship during a full Summer season which should provide a handsome income. We are also considering letting people sleep on board for a small fee, if we can sort out the HSA requirements.

The old girl has two ring mains, one 240 volts and the other 110 volts. We have emergency lighting, hot and cold running water, heating, showers and all the other mod cons.

We will hopefully be moving to a mooring on the Half-penny pier about late Summer and will have an offshore radio museum (rotating over time to reflect different radio stations). A Lightvessel museum, a shop and an educational facility emphasising Harwich's maritime history.

The future is bright, the future is orange (well red actually).

PS Do you know anyone who wants to dispense with 12 channel broadcast mixer?

We'll put the request in the Swop Shop and see what happens...

Knees Club member number 283, Wayne Fontana, braved a guest TV appearance on BBC 2 comedy pop quiz, 'Never Mind the Buzzcocks'. Wayne appeared in the spot where a team has to pick out the past-popster from a police-style line-up of similarly-dressed individuals. Stars from the past frequently find themselves the target of the panel's acid wit, but we understand that insults are all part of the act; off-camera, guests are respectfully treated. Sean Hughes's team of comedian Junior Simpson and Claire from 'Steps', successfully identified Wayne, even though young Claire admitted she had never even heard of him.

Howie Castle has had a busy week!

First, he alerted us to an article in the New York Post, 'Who Killed the DJs?' which finds John Mainelli lamenting the lack of personality DJs. Howie points out that while this feature is targeted at New York, it also applies nationally and maybe, internationally.

Quote from the article:

Dan Ingram, a WABC vet who's now with WCBS-FM, says today's young listeners probably don't even know there's something missing.
"Personality radio is infinitely more complex and challenging to the listener... and much more than just, 'Do the call letters, play the records and shut up.'"

Next, Howie forwarded a news item which he found on the Radio & Records website:

Clear Channel To Bid On Wembley Arena

The U.K.'s Sunday Telegraph newspaper reports that Clear Channel's SFX Entertainment is preparing a 100 million-pound ($143 million) bid for London's Wembley Arena. SFX is also bidding to operate some events at National Stadium, which is due to be built nearby, the paper says, adding that Wembley is looking to sell the arena and adjoining sites in order to focus on other operations.

Finally, Howie took the time to add information about UK offshore radio to the site.

Alan Hardy had alerted us to erroneous info that had surfaced in a Reelradio discussion concerning PAMS Big L jingles, which he felt we would want to correct. We waded in to explain that the news bulletin jingles ("Radio London tells you more, says it better," etc.) and 'If you want to sell in England' were voiced by Big L's original Programme Director, Ben Toney.

Howie followed our comments with his own piece, explaining that the UK's so-called 'pirate' stations weren't actually illegal because the ships were anchored in International waters.

Keefers points us to a feature on the US Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, and the anomalies over who is and who is not chosen to be inducted.

Regarding Bob Price's query, below, Chris recalled modelmaker extraordinaire, John S Platt, telling us that he had asked a friendly diver to measure the mast of Radio Caroline's Mi Amigo for him, 'next time he happened to be passing it'. This was so that John had the precise information he required for building his scale model of the ship. We asked John if he had any underwater photos, and he replied:

The old girl lies on her port side, about half-buried in the sand. The portion remaining above the sand is relatively clean due to the fast-flowing water and the scouring effect of the sand that moves with the water. Another visit is possible in April, when the tide allows about 30 minutes on the site before the water flow becomes dangerous.

By the way the chap who dived on the wreck brought up some object which he is going to mount on a plinth and give to Chris Cary (well, I think it's Chris Cary). Sorry, there are no pictures.

Bob Price from Sunderland says:

Reading through the web site it dawned on me, with all this talk of the Mi Amigo in 1968, has anyone taken any underwater photographs of her in her final resting place? We have recently seen pictures of the tragic Bluebird being raised and various bits and pieces from other sunken wrecks being salvaged or photographed.

I can remember reading that a local diving club did a dive or two in the eighties, but never saw any photos of the Mi Amigo. Has she sunk even deeper in to the sand and has it become too dangerous to go near her? I for one would love to know if the sea life is getting as much enjoyment from her as we did.

Have you seen this week's edition of Nearly ten minutes of Radio London jingles! A great radio web site for lovers of top forty radio, where you can trace the origins of the sixties pirates and hear other American Top Forty Radio recordings through the years. Well worth a visit.

We know that the Mi Amigo is a popular site for scuba divers. If anyone knows of existing pictures of her in her watery grave, we'd love to hear about them.

Ray Anderson received an interesting message from Nancy Camp, Arlington, VA (as Nancy says, across the bridge from Washington, DC)

I found your site while searching for historical information about Camp Coffee. (Look at my name and you'll understand why.) I'm wondering if original radio ads and/or jingles for Camp still exist?

Your web site referred to Camp Coffee as one of the original jingles used in the Radio London broadcast. If so, are they for sale by your organization or by another source you might suggest?

My interest in Camp Coffee is simply because I collect things that carry that name, being of Scottish heritage and having the last name of Camp.

In real life, I work as a professional voiceover performer and actor, so the opportunity to add radio advertising or jingles to my wee Camp collection would be an extra thrill.

On 12/03/01, Ray replied:

Dear Nancy,
Thanks for the e-mail. That is an odd one!

Well, somewhere, I do have a Tony Windsor show where he ad libs about Camp Coffee, saying something like "...Camp Coffee, it tastes the way good coffee should be, and at 2 and 7 pence halfpenny..." etc. It's not a recorded jingle-type ad, probably just an announcer ad from 1966.

See Ray and his bottle of Camp here!
While Ray searches for the recording, does anyone else have any commercials relating to this product? We are all familiar with the brown bottle, but Nancy is also searching for the Camp tin which was once available. If anyone can help, let us know.

Roy Griffith says:

I'm a huge fan of the sixties band The Sorrows and I'm creating an unofficial website dedicated to this awesome band. I was wondering if you might be able to supply me with any additional information about the band, or possibly an email or telephone number of one of the original members.
The website is now online at

Apologies to anyone who was unable to access Roy's site. The correct URL is as above. Unfortunately, we have no info regarding the Sorrows beyond their 1966 Knees Club connection. If anyone can assist us in helping Roy to find Don, Wez, Phil, Pip and Bruce, or maybe their Sorrows Rave Set fan club secretary, Carol Oliver, who came from Hornchurch, please get in touch.

Thanks to Mike Brand for his report from Israel

RIVLIN IN FAVOR OF ARUTZ-7 (From Arutz 7's Daily News update)

Communications Minister Ruby Rivlin told Arutz-7's Haggai Seri in the Knesset today that he supports allowing the completion of Arutz-7's licensing process. "Arutz-7 from its very inception never violated the law," Rivlin said, "and it should be fully licensed in order to respond to the needs of an entire segment of the population."

In February 1999, the Knesset legislated a law granting Arutz-7 broadcasting rights. The law's implementation still awaits final adjudication in the Supreme Court's High Court of Appeals, after two years. In the interim, Arutz-7 continues to avoid violating Israeli law by broadcasting from a ship located outside of Israel's territorial waters.

From the Haaretz English Language Newspaper (Looks familiar, doesn't it?)


The Justice Ministry's plans to penalize pirate radio and television operators were disclosed yesterday to the Knesset's Economics Committee by attorney Shimon Dolan, who heads the economics department in the State Prosecutor's Office. Dolan added that penalties for radio broadcasts which interfere with flight communications will be stiffened.

Economics Committee chairman MK Avraham Poraz (Shinui) said the state has failed utterly to pull the plug on pirate broadcasts. He asked the State Prosecutor to seek lengthy prison terms for serious pirate broadcast transgressions, then called on the Communications Ministry to determine whether Bezeq has been supplying communications services to illegal radio and television broadcasters.

Testimony to the Knesset committee revealed that 150 pirate radio stations are on the air in Israel today and so far this year, 13 cases of disrupted airport communications caused by the pirates have been reported.

Below, Mike translates the relevant part of an article from the Hebrew Daily Newspaper, 'Maariv'


Tenders will be issued for eight 'legal' channels. Shas will propose a bill at the next government meeting, a law that will bring into line broadcasts for the religious community. Within one week, tenders will be issued for eight Ultra-Orthodox radio channels, thus ending years of struggle by Shas to legalize their land-based pirate stations.

In the Coalition agreement between Shas and the Likud, a new Broadcasting Authority will be formed, to bring into line, legally, the stations that broadcast to the religious audience. The new Authority will operate from within the framework of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which is under the control of Shas.

The stations will be national and not local, and non-profit making, but there will be commercials. One of the conditions of the tender will be that there must be a 'Religious council' behind the group contending.

(Note: Here in Israel, most religious parties have a 'Council of Sages' to decide everything to do with the party. Followers obey almost without objection – MB )

This council will be responsible for overseeing broadcasting content and will deal with everyday running of the station, as well as complaints. It is foreseen here that groups with very famous Rabbis behind them, have a greater chance than winning a tender.

Shas also want Government approval of a Body of Nine, that will chose who will be included in the new Broadcasting Authority, decide the details and conditions of the tenders, and chose who will run EIGHT new radio stations dedicated only to religious affairs/music etc.

Minister Ben-Izri emphasized that this is not a legalization of any pirate station, but the formation of eight NEW channels, according to strict guidelines.

Howie Castle has been covering a major news story on a number of stations, including London's Capital Radio. He reports:

I'm sure you heard about the high school shooting on March 5th, in Santee (a suburb of San Diego). A 15-year-old student opened fire with a .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun, killing 2 students and wounding 13 others.

The story attracted international attention. I did updates for a few of the Clear Channel sister stations and others around the country. I even did a 10 minute Q & A live on a talk show in Vancouver, BC (Canada) on CKNW, AM 980. But my best Q & A was 2 or 3 minutes at 8am London time on Capital FM with the news anchor, Howard Hughes. Also spent a couple of minutes talking off-air with the news producer, Pamela, and told her I had been in Leicester Square by their studios last summer and that I spent a few months on the old Radio Caroline years ago. Blew her away!! Small world

Hans Knot already has photos of the radio day in Amsterdam on the Internet, and will be adding more this week. You can find them at

Offshore Echoes magazine has a new site at

Mike Brand reports from Israel on a story which appeared in the Haaretz newspaper, concerning a court case involving Limor Livnat, a woman about to be appointed the country's Minister of Internal Security. The politician, formerly the Communications Minister, is alleged to have leaked information to Aruz 7's owner, Yaakov Katz. Katz is said to have been given warning of an upcoming police raid on the station's offices and ship. Mike had believed this case to be closed, but this is apparently not so.

Mike's second story concerns an unusual method of persuading the Shas, an Ultra-Religious Sephardic Political Party, to form a coalition with the Likud. The Shas have 17 seats in the 120-seat Israeli parliament and are the third largest party after the Labour and Likud parties.

An important feature of the coalition agreement between the Likud and Shas involves the legalisation of the Shas radio stations. The agreement calls for the formation of a separate broadcast authority for religious broadcasts, which will be established for this purpose in the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Arutz-7's Media Correspondent Kobi Sela explained: "The idea is that the Likud feared that a special religious station would not stand the test of an appeal to the Supreme Court - but an authority that is subordinate to a sectorial ministry such as the Ministry of Religious Affairs will be immune to that form of attack. The new authority will be like the Cable Stations Council, where the council sets guidelines for the type of stations it will authorise; different bodies will submit bids and proposals, and the council will select the winners and will supervise them."

Says Mike:
"What other country in the world would set up a new Independent Radio Authority just to get a party to join its coalition? Only in Israel!"

A familiar voice from Big L '97 and the RNI RSLs of 1999 and 2000 can currently be heard on Radio Two. Tony Currie is a contributor to the 6-part documentary series, It'll Never Last...Seventy Years of British Television, which goes out Tuesdays at 21.00. Tony (known to his friends as Falafel Giggletush, for reasons which we shall not disclose) is also the man responsible for the Test Card Classics CDs.

Recently, Mary exchanged knee-mails with Bob Glen, who had been wondering what had happened to his favourite DJ. Bob was duly pointed to the appropriate 'Lost Jocks' section of the Radio London site, where he could read a little about the missing Radio 270's Vince 'Rusty' Allen. As we have, so far, very little about 270 on our site, we asked Bob if he had any memories he would care to share. Bob replied:

Dear Mary,
Thanks for the e-mail, and your kind words. Yes, I probably do have lots of memories which you may or may not be interested in, particularly of Radio 270, the station I found one cold winter's morning in 1966. I remember it quite clearly. It was a Sunday morning and I was tuning up and down the medium wave on my new BENKSON transistor radio, when I discovered something the like I had never heard before; all the latest hits coming out of my tranny like water out of a tap, but even more exciting, the brash-sounding DJs. Better still, something else I had never heard before and I've been hooked ever since, yes the JINGLES! Ever since I've been a jingle junkie. Radio 270 changed my life for ever. I've often said if I knew as much about academic subjects as I do about radio, I would have been a professor.

I would imagine you would agree with me that today's radio is terrible, with too many DJs all sounding the same. If you listen to a station in the north it is a carbon copy of one in the south - very manufactured. Or is it that we are getting old?

After the offshore stations closed, I was lucky enough to live in an area that could receive Manx Radio and it was a perfect replacement for the pirates. At the time, daffy Don Allen, and Paul Burnett were working there and the jingles they were using were brilliant and the sound was so similar to the pirates, it was unbelievable! Then unfortunately, I moved out of the area and never heard it again until recently when I tuned in on the Internet. I was very surprised that it still had a unique sound and may I suggest that you go to the station website where there is a very interesting feature on Radio Caroline North and you can even ring the Caroline bell.

Well, Mary, I could chat forever about this glorious subject, but for now I'd better call it a day but I will continue to see if I have any interesting stories or memorabilia that you could use on your website.

For now though, take care and talk to you soon. Kind Regards, Bob

Getting OLD? Never! Chris and I constantly receive mail from people too young to remember the offshore stations who are nevertheless, fascinated by the subject.

We are always to pleased to hear people's offshore recollections.

Bob LeRoi's new site is now up and running, but at present is only compatible with Internet Explorer. A Netscape-compatible version is on its way.

Hertbeat FM has now launched from studios at Knebworth. Fans of the specialist oldies show that Robbie Owen used to present on High Wycombe's soon-to-be-defunct ElevenSeventy, are hoping it will be back soon and on the Net.

Caroline/RNI's Dave West is trying to track down on-air promotions publicising the Isle of Man on Radio Caroline in the 60s. See the Swop Shop.

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