May 2001

Top Presenter's Exit From Jazz FM Leaves Listeners Dazed and Confused

by Angelina Skye, Skye High Publicity, London and LA

Friends and fans of PETER YOUNG will be dismayed to hear that this popular and key presenter resigned, unexpectedly, from Jazz FM radio on Wednesday, May 2nd.

This turn of events helps to explain the confused – and confusing – programming that is being put out during his vacated Late Night and Soulful Sunday slots, and it's not helped by the fact that, three weeks later, there has still been no official statement forthcoming from station management.

Jazz enthusiasts are understandably confused and dismayed by Peter's departure. PY has been a mainstay of prime time Jazz FM for 11 years and over the last four years, especially, steadfastly helped to create the strongest 'jazz identity' that the station has ever enjoyed. His evening shows have undoubtedly contributed to listener loyalty (his shows attracted an international audience on the Internet) and justified those who have supported the much-criticised Jazz FM's 'jazz' output.

An uncompromising, credible and self-effacing presenter, Peter Young has been a great friend to the music. On air he has played our artists' records, he has given our news items valuable coverage, he has supported our live events, and given backing to many of our new young musical discoveries many of whom haven't been given the time of day by other presenters or indeed, other stations. His programmes consistently displayed an integrity, enthusiasm, flair and a degree of quality and professionalism sadly often lacking elsewhere in radio universally.

As listeners to Jazz FM, we have been very lucky to have him and can only hope that another company, somewhere in the world, will recognise the contribution that PY has made to music and to radio, and utilise his talents.

I know you'll want to join me in wishing Peter Young every success in his new ventures wherever they will be. And wherever that will be, we will be... he can rely on it.


PY responds from a deckchair in his back garden, where he is currently sunning his knees (the holders of 'joint' Knees Club membership number 379):

Just to set the record straight, despite the rumours, I'm not joining Solar Radio on a permanent basis. I'm doing a one-off show on Sunday, May 27th. (Solar can be found on Sky Digital channel 879). The show will be exactly the same format as my Soulful Sunday and in the same midday time slot. What a coincidence!

Whatever Jazz FM chooses to do in the future, I wish them well. There are some great broadcasters there who care about the music they play and work very hard. I felt that after eleven years at the station, three-and-a-half of them on the late night show, it was time for a change.

I've thoroughly enjoyed the last three weeks, having a complete break from the business, but I promise you haven't heard the last of me. Music and broadcasting have been my life since I was a teenager, (When was that? Mind your own business!) and that's never going to change. I will continue to play the 'good groove' whatever it takes!

I'll keep you informed about my next move and thanks to everyone for their kind comments.

All the best, PY.

The following are comments from members of discussion groups on the Soul24-7 and Mediauk sites:

"Peter Young's show was a breath of fresh air and the exception on Jazz FM."

The patellae of The Chairman of the Board of the Happiness Corporation are inducted into the Knees Club by the Club Founder!

"PY is a Jazz FM legend and will be extremely hard to replace."

"A true ambassador of 'The Good Groove'."

"PY you're the man!!! An inspiration to us all!"

"As someone who has listened to you since the Capital 194 days, may I take this opp to wish you the best in the future! And hey, you're still Wonderful!"

"PY you are the porkpie guy!"

"The Boss Jocks still play more music, and don't do star birthdays!"

"A lot of my music CDs have been down to the tunes you've played on the airwaves over the years. I listened to you for many years on Capital Radio too. Enjoy your break, and whoever brings you back to the airwaves, I will certainly tune in."

Both Peter Young AND Radio London are 'still Wonderful', and this site will keep you informed about PY's career moves, but don't forget he'll be broadcasting on Big L 2001 on August Bank Holiday Monday!

Details here!

John Sales Is Our 20,000th Visitor!

Dear Chris and Mary,

Just to put you both out of your misery, the 20,000th visitor to the Radio London Website was ME!!!!

I know that you desperately wanted this information and I'm sorry for the delay in contacting you. This is due to our moving site (again!) here at work and there are lots of things to do.

Having been aware for several weeks that the Radio London Website counter was rapidly approaching the magic 20,000 figure, a splendid achievement I hasten to add, I have been logging in regularly to see how things were going on that front.

On Thursday, May 17th, I logged in and noted that the count was up to about 19,980, so it should have been achieved on that day. In the afternoon I logged in again and it was up to 19995! Should be soon, I thought, so I'll leave it a while to give some other anorak a chance. People might become a bit bored if it's always me! Then my computer locked up, so I had to switch it off.

I went away to do some other things, then went to tea break, and when I came back it was around 3.45pm. I switched the computer on again, logged in and returned to the Radio London website.

It came up bang on 20,000 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh dear, I thought, that wasn't really my intention! I really did believe that the magic figure would have passed by then. But it hadn't, and the 20,000 visitor was, indeed, myself. I printed out your homepage as evidence, tried to store the file but failed, but I'll send you what I obtained, anyway.

Congratulations, once again, on such an excellent and informative website. It's really great that Big L 2001 is shaping up to be wonderful as well!

Kind Regards, John

Well, we might have guessed it would be John, one of our most loyal and regular viewers, right from the start. By a spooky coincidence, John was also visitor number 6,000!

Knees-up Time for Two Pairs of Patellae!

He doesn't look old enough, does he? Big L's Ian Damon (right) is soon to kneetire. Great news for Big L 2001, as this has allowed Ian a little more spare time to present FOUR weekend shows. Maybe he'll even be able to find some more of those terrific Big L photos for us in his loft! Very best wishes to Ian and his lovely wife Janice.

Meanwhile in London, Jonathan from the Pirate Radio Hall of Fame celebrates his Fiftieth over this final weekend of May. Congratulations on your half-centurknee, Jonathan. You've caught up with us at last! Keep up the good work on that terrific site!

All the best for a great celkneebration to both Ian and Jon, from Mary, Chris and all our viewers.

Have You Heard the One About.....

The Executive Vice-Chairman and Programme Controller from a certain FM station who asked permission to use Field's Fab Forties in his own radio programme? After discussion with Alan, it was agreed that we would permit the Fab information to be used for broadcast as it appears on the Radio London site, provided the appropriate credits were given. Unfortunately, the hours of time and effort that Alan and Mary already put into the production of these weekly charts, are not deemed sufficient by said Executive Vice-Chairman and Programme Controller. He wants the Dynamic Duo to spend even more of their time supplying the files to him direct - for free, of course. The unfortunate, overworked man simply can't spare a moment to download the files himself. Guess he'll have to delegate the job to a minion....

It's a Hard Life!

Howie Castle is psyching himself up to record his Big L 2001 show.....

"I have the day off... and the sun is shining and temps will be above normal, so you know what that means: a day at the beach and the Open Bar!"

Chance'd be a fine thing! Sadly, though the sun is shining here for a change, there's NO beach, open bars OR time off, in Stoke Mandeville!

Seeking Deep Purple Rarities

Hi there from the USA.

I am hoping you can help me out. I thought if anyone would have appreciation for a search of a rare item, it would be you.

I am a collector of Deep Purple rarities. I have been able, through trades of tapes and actual purchases of 45s, CDs, etc, to get every Deep Purple rarity (a version different than the LP or never put on LP) with Ritchie Blackmore and Tommy Bolin. except one.

The missing item is the UK promo vinyl single 45 released 1/1970 of Concerto For Group And Orchestra sides A and B, Harvest PSR 325 (any condition).

I have tried the Internet sites such as GEMM and e-mailed over 200 record shops world-wide. I am happy to purchase the item but would gladly take a tape. I have many things from many bands that are of equal value, such as Deep Purple, ELP, Beatles, etc. The item would go to a fanatic!!

Any help in tracking it down would be great. Thank you so much.


Déjà Vu? Oct 6th 2002 – John Otway Back in the Charts!

Aylesbury's hilarious microphone-destroyer, John Otway, bludgeoned his way into the national charts in 1977 with Cor Baby, That's Really Free. Since bemusing the nation with his Top of the Pops performance of the song, he's issued many more singles, but has consistently failed to chart again. Rarely off the road, entertaining his tribe of loyal fans, Otway, has in fact, carved himself a career out of being 'Rock and Roll's greatest failure', as he is titled on the front cover of his 1990 autobiography, Cor Baby, That's Really Me!

In a Radio Four programme, Otway competed with Les Payne, ironically another Buckinghamshire muso, as to which of them was the least successful. It's uncertain as to whether this contest was about who was the greatest failure, or who most excelled at being a failure. Otway had a chart entry, which might be considered a disadvantage over Les in the failure stakes, but it has to be said that Les has never been as spectacularly unsuccessful as the skinny mega-failure.

However, Otway came dangerously close to stardom in 1999. His lyrics for 'Beware of the Flowers', the 'B' side of The Hit, were voted in at number seven in a BBC poll to find the nation's favourite song lyric - above Bob Dylan!

Recently seen on BBC 2's Never Mind The Buzzcocks on the 'pick the former chart-hitting pop star from this bizarre line-up' section, Otway writes:

"Just when I'd started to think that the chances of me having another chart single were receding along with my hairline, the e-mail group that bought me a Theremin for my 47th Birthday decided that for my 50th next year, (October 2nd) they would get me a special present. Another Hit!

A major London venue, probably the London Palladium, is being booked for Sunday October 6th 2002 for a gig starting at 8:00pm, an hour after the chart is announced on Radio 1 - to celebrate the fact that 25 years after my one hit, I now have two.

It is certainly an achievable goal and one that I intend to score. I know what I'm getting for my birthday, I've felt the parcel and, as I've had one before, I know what it feels like. It doesn't in anyway spoil the excitement or the surprise though, because I've no idea how big it's going to be and won't know until my birthday.

It's an 18-month campaign, regular details of the progress will be on the web site If you want to join the Hit Squad and help, Patsy Andrews has organised an e-group to co-ordinate the efforts - email her on for the details."

The knee-mail group has already proved its effectiveness in hoisting Otway up to the number seven position in the Beeb's song-lyrics poll, so all-power to their campaign! Radio London will be assisting and promise to keep you posted on their progress, with a bigger feature appearing soon. Our previous Otway photo-feature can be found here. Meanwhile, John has sent his appreciation:

Hi Mary and Chris, Thanks for that! We're going to need all the help we can get. Love, Otway

Talking About the Future of Radio

Joe writes from the Earthlink website:

In an effort to encourage a dialogue about offshore radio and more about Radio Caroline, I have created a new chat room for that purpose. It's all in a good cause of course - the future of Radio Caroline and the other free radio stations in the UK.

Join in the chat at:

Bob's Update

Bob LeRoi tells us he's in the process of updating the offshore audio slide shows on his site and is now selling a new range of books and a video about the Thames Estuary Forts

I Do Ron Ron Ron, I Do Ron Ron!

Offshore Wedding Bells

Ron O'Quinn got married on May 12th, so on behalf of all his fans from the good 'ol days of Swinging Radio England, Chris and Mary would like to offer warmest congratulations and best wishes for the future to Ron and his new bride, Sarah, in Glenwood, Georgia.

(Friday 11th update: Ron and Sarah have sent a message of thanks for our good wishes)

Howie Stars on Talksport

On Talksport Radio this week, James Whale guest-hosted San Diego's KOGO afternoon show which was simulcast to the UK, and included some of the newscasts read by Howie Castle, who tells us:

"I didn't know beforehand that KOGO and Talksport would be simulcasting as no-one told me. In the last half-hour of the program, after I delivered my bottom of the hour news update, James Whale and I talked live about my having worked on Radio Caroline.

Amazing that after being off the air for over 30 years in Great Britain I should appear numerous times in the last year on Radio 5 Live, Capital FM, and Talksport. And let's not forget last summer's Radio London RSL.

And here's another coincidence - I just happened to be wearing my Radio London shirt!"

Howie will be appearing as his alter ego, Bud Ballou, on Big L 2001.
Click here to send him a dedication!

"And we'll push it in and try again - alright!"

Memory Man Peter Young found the recent review of the Radio Two Stuart Maconie programme sparked up a few grey cells.

I remember Simon Dee's first 'Midday Spin' on the Monday after the start of Radio One, October 2nd 1967. He was playing in his own records, and I remember him saying that he was "frightened to death" and had never seen so many, as he put it, "dials and switches" in his life. In those days he was a big star and had a lot of clout. Simon must have been the only DJ to start off in self-op mode and then insist that somebody else took on the bothersome task of operating the equipment! The following week his show had a very different sound, all the jingles had gone and he just went back to 'introducing' the records in the old Light Programme style. He was replaced a few months later by 'Tatty' Tom Edwards.

On the other hand, when Jimmy Young was told he'd have to learn to self-op, after a shaky start he seemed to embrace it wholeheartedly. Others who eventually ran their own board included Don Moss, Barry Alldis and Alan Freeman. Fluff in particular had a lot of trouble at the beginning, mainly with carts – "And we'll push it in and try again - alright!" Pete Murray was another one who steadfastly refused to do it. But old hands like Roger Moffat and Bruce (Half wind, half ham) Wyndham used to self-op on 'Night Ride'.

Fab, but not Brit

Big L fave, Strawberry Children's Love Years Coming, graced the final Fab of August 6th 1967. It is available on a vinyl compilation from US site Bomp Mailorder

The on-line catalogue entry reads:

RUBBLE 14- MAGIC ROCKING HORSE – 16 rarities from the U.K. psych freakbeat 60's scene. Feat, The Truth, Esprit de Corps, Rupert's People, Nirvana, Strawberry Children, The Syn, Curiosity Shoppe, etc. Ltd edition 180 gram vinyl. Import. $23

I couldn't help but smile at the '16 rarities from the U.K' description, as Strawberry Children is very much a product of the USA – being the debut recording of successful singer/songwriter Jimmy Webb.

Department of Useless Information

The name of the group that reached the Radio Scotland Super Fifty with 'Carol Cartoon' was NOT the Eiffel Tower, but the Eye-Ful Tower. Well, you can't tell unless you see it written down, can you? Raoul's page is duly amended and I'm sure you will all be immensely relieved.

June will be RNI Month

RADIO NORTHSEA INTERNATIONAL – Press Release No. 1 - MAY 1st, 2001

On Sunday June 3, 2001, Radio Northsea International is set to make a third return to the airwaves, on a 28-day RSL, following successful broadcasts in 1999 and 2000.

The broadcast will again be sited on the former Light Vessel No. 18, currently moored alongside the Old Railway Pier in Harwich.

Work commitments will keep Paul Graham, who ran the previous two broadcasts, to a week-end and advisory role. Colin Lamb, in overall charge of this year's broadcast says: "We are back by popular demand. Both the 1999 and 2000 broadcasts proved to be a success with both listeners and advertisers and such was the level of support that last year saw the formation of an RNI Fan Club. We shall again bring back the music of the early seventies and sixties and there will again be no computers running RNI, so it will be the DJs picking the music, not a computer!"

Colin is delighted to report that the project will again be sponsored by Wilkin & Sons, makers of the world-famous Tiptree jams.

RNI will be heard on the AM frequency, 1503 Khz, 199 metres medium wave. The broadcast will also again be carried over the Internet. Last year, the listenership over the Internet proved greater than in the Tendring area, such is the popularity of RNI.

Potential advertisers are now being sought and any companies interested are asked to contact Colin Lamb on 01255 431936 (phone), 01255 421011 (Fax) or by e-mail at

The format of this year's broadcast will see a recreation of 'four windows of time'. Week one will recreate the station as it was on June 3, 1971, with genuine charts, hitbound sounds, smash plays, album tracks, as well as a good mix of 60s hits. Week two will move the station to June 10, 1972, week 3 to June 17, 1973 and week 4 to June 24, 1974, which is in fact just two months before the real RNI closed down.

Colin says: "It has been a real challenge tracking down the actual charts that RNI used in the weeks in question and then finding the records in those charts. However, with the help of contacts in the UK and Netherlands, we have managed it and I have collected around 400 'hitbound' or non-hits for 1971-74 and about 600 albums from the same period. Add in every hit 1971-74, plus a vast collection of music from the 1950s to 1970, and I think the only problem for the DJs is whether they can fit all in the 28 days. You'll have to tune it to find out!"

"I put both Radio London and Radio Scotland on the air!"

Tony Uyttendaele writes:

I am surprised, but also very happy, to learn about the great interest there exists in the pirate stations of the sixties. I remember them well, for it was I that put both Radio London and Radio Scotland on the air, when I was working for RCA in Sunbury-on-Thames.

I forgot how many weeks I spent on getting Radio London to operate at full power. When the Galaxy was equipped in Miami the "station" was never tested according to the Cuban engineer who was present during the installation and who became the first chief engineer. Our biggest problem was with the antenna matching unit. This is the box that converts the antenna impedance to the proper impedance the transmitter likes to operate at. Very high voltages (in excess of 50,000 Volts) are generated across some of the components inside the matching unit when attempting to operate at 50KW. The antenna was a 216ft grounded mast which was shunt fed at about 1/3 its height. We also had problems with the mechanical-type line-voltage regulators. They worked fine on a calm day but when the Galaxy started to roll we would lose the regulators. I seem to remember that there were always shortages of food and water in the early days.

Radio Scotland was fully equipped on Guernsey Island. I even tested the transmitters at very low power, but not in the antenna before the lightship was tugged to Scotland. Our challenge was to get it on the air by midnight of the new year 1965/1966. I had less than two days, since the ship ran into some bad weather before arriving off the coast of Dunbar. We made it!

Besides these two stations I also put TV Noordzee on the air and remained on that platform for about three months. I may still have some memos and notes on these stations in my files.

We were delighted to hear from Tony and hope that those memos and notes will come to light so that we can share them with Radio London's viewers.

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