Dave Cash
18 July 1942 – 21 October 2016

"I loved the porridge smell of the valve-driven studios, the Rock & Roll music,
the attitude of the people. I felt happy inside a radio station.
I felt at home.
" ('He Sounds Much Taller: Memoirs of a Radio Pirate' 2012)

We wish to extend our deepest sympathy to Dave's beloved soulmate, Sara, whom he married in 2011, and his daughter Emma (left) and son Simon. Dave was delighted when Emma gave birth to his first grandchild in 2009.

Personal tribute by Mary Payne (Links to other eulogies and audio tributes are at the bottom of the page.)

It is extremely hard to write a tribute to one of my first radio heroes. In 1965, Radio London, Dave and Kenny's individual programmes, and in particular their combined madness in the Kenny and Cash Show, were so much a part of my life. The music was great but the bits in between were even better! My friends and I would hang on their every word; we laughed at their silly antics and felt we knew them.

(Right) Kenny and Cash - fooling about as usual

In opposition to everything at the time supposedly being 'in, hip and trendy', they launched the Kenny Cash Out Crowd, to which my friends and I could relate very well. Contrary to popular media myths, most of the UK was neither 'swinging' nor 'trendy' and many of Big L's listeners would have felt at ease as members of the Out Crowd.

The guys had fun at the expense of Bob Dylan's lyrics and ran a competition for listeners to decipher 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' (we failed). Dave was convinced that a line in the final verse of 'All I really Want to Do' commenced with the words, 'finkle-dinkle'. The Kenny and Cash habit of sending-up commercials, 'enhancing' certain singles with sound effects and attempting to 'machine-gun' the hated hit, 'Il Silencio' out of the Fab Forty, had us in stitches.

It's no wonder the Kenny and Cash Show is recalled over 50 years later as one of UK radio's greatest innovations, but Dave never ceased to be amazed to be told that by so many people.

Dave became a great friend of the newly-arrived American harmony trio, the Walker Brothers. In March '65, their first UK release, 'Pretty Girls Everywhere' became Dave's Climber and the first of several Fab 40 entries for John, Scott and Gary. When the Kenny and Cash Show launched a month later, the Walkers recorded the jingle, 'Kenny and Cash, on London', which the Dynamic Duo absolutely loved and played frequently.

I have written previously about how, inspired by my two Big L heroes, I came to start the Knees Club. I was thrilled when I finally met Dave at one of the Radio London Marquee Club afternoons, on February 5th 1966. I kissed him and he signed my knee. (I failed to note which one). It's very hard to grasp that it all happened 50 years ago, but especially that Dave is no longer with us to make knee jokes.

It was soon after that, March 18 1966, when Dave left the Galaxy to focus on onshore appearances on behalf of Radio London. Dave had found living on a ship for two weeks at a time was becoming detrimental to his health.

In 1969, Chris and I went to Broadcasting House and conducted interviews with both Stewpot and Dave for Wycombe Radio. I was a terrible interviewer, but Dave was very kind. It was nearly 20 years before the three of us met again, at the dinner celebrating the Big L '97 RSL. I thought I would have been long forgotten, but Dave was genuinely surprised and pleased to see me.

(left) Even dressed as a Flower Child, Dave remembered me

Chris and I also enjoyed listening to Dave on Capital in the 70s and later on European Klassic Rock on satellite. With the advent of the internet and the launch of our Radio London website, our paths crossed more frequently, We enjoyed kneemail exchanges and the knees were always in there! I sometimes feel as if I followed Dave around throughout his radio career, carrying a copy of 'Knees'.

When BBC Essex decided to broadcast the first of its offshore radio tributes at Kneester 2004, Dave was an eager participant. I went to Harwich to be a surprise guest on his show and we talked of the Kenny and Cash Show and the Knees Club. In fact, we indulged in a patellae-rubbing ceremony in the studio! Of course, I took a copy of 'Knees' with me, the record he'd recorded with Kenny in 1965, which he would usually describe as "the most terrible single in the world". We both participated in subsequent Pirate BBC Essex broadcasts in 2007 and 2009 and had been hoping to co-host a Knees Club Special.

Sadly Dave was never able to attend any of the offshore reunions that were held over the years, mainly because he was always on the air. Although he and Sara were unable to make my surprise 60th birthday celebration, he was kind enough to record a special greeting for me. The last time we were in touch was in July of this year, when Dave expressed his sadness to learn of the death of Radio London's Eddie Blackwell.

It is not my intention to attempt to cover all of Dave's amazing broadcasting career, which spanned over 50 years, or his extensive credits as a writer. Others need the space to pay their own tributes. However, I would like to take a little space to include a few quotes from Dave's kneemails to me.

On working with Kenny Everett:
"I loved the Marquee. Kenny loved it too once he realised they weren't going to beat him up! He was shy, but he did a brilliant live show. When we came ashore, Kenny would go straight home to Liverpool. I stayed and nicked all his would-be girlfriends who were waiting at Liverpool Street station."

On the subject of Pirate BBC Essex 2004:
"Who would have thought forty years ago, we'd be doing this?"

On 40th Anniversary celebrations:
"Are you making arrangements for the 40th Knees? If you want anything from me (signed T-Shirts, a chunk of my left arm which has been surgically removed by Ozzy Osbourne) just let me know.

We are decorating the studio on LV18 to look VERY 'Pirate', Darlink! I'm thinking of making a skull-flag made up of website addresses. There's you, Offshore Radio, and who else? If it's just you two, you can have a cross-bone each."

On an item written for the RL site by ex-Capital pal, Peter Young:
"Nice piece from PY. You may like to know that PY had another name in the politically incorrect 70's. We proudly called him the 'Rockin' Rabbi' from which came his famous line, "Welcome to the top 40 - to you 39 and a half" It was short lived on-air, but great fun while it lasted."

On his 65th birthday, July 2007:
"Thank you so much for your birthday greetings on the site. I now have my bus-pass and a £30 state pension... Whooopeeee!"

The Great Radio Station in the Sky has gathered together a very classy DJ contingent and now will boast a celestial Kenny & Cash Show. Rest in Peace, Dave. We shall miss you.

Pirate BBC Essex, 2004: Dave in the LV18 studio with another Big L original, Pete Brady and Mary, after her 'Knees Club' surprise appearance.

Photo credits: Mary Payne, Chris Payne, Jaqui Lasellé, Eddie O'Konnor, Tony O'Neil, John Sales, Roy Sheeran and the late Cari Wilkins

Tributes Received by Radio London (with many thanks to everyone who has kindly contributed)

Mark Roman, Big L DJ

The news came as a big shock. Dave and I had some good times together, but we lost contact after meeting during the '97 broadcast. (Big L '97) Right now I am lost for words.

(Right) Dave in Mark's car at Biggin Hill, Dave and TW on the tender. From archive film shot by Mark, extracted by Chris Payne

Steve Young, Caroline DJ

So sorry to hear this. Dave was a great broadcaster and a good guy. RIP Dave

Kevin Reeks, dedicated listener

Thank you for letting me know about Dave. It's very sad news indeed. A heart attack. I just hope it was very quick and he did not suffer.

John Preston, our Big L correspondent, Australia

Sad news. One of the best and a genuine nice guy. I just read 'Pop Pickers and Music Vendors', an interesting read that brought back lots of memories - and it's great to have those memories.

Stephen Chesney, dedicated listener

The sad passing of Dave Cash deprives us of another of the original team of Radio London DJs leaving Pete Brady the sole survivor. Ironically, Pete was the first to leave Big L and when he did, in October 1965, Dave took over from him on the Breakfast Show. Dave kept that slot until his own departure the following April. He was no stranger to the Breakfast Show, having been Pete`s regular stand-in during his first 7 months on The Galaxy. He was too good to be a relief DJ so it was inevitable that eventually he would have his own regular show. This happened in July 1965 when Tony Windsor moved from afternoons to mornings.

I well remember that summer, lazing around during the long school holiday. One of the joys was listening every afternoon from 3.00pm to Dave Cash who was joined at 5.00pm by Kenny Everett for the legendary Kenny and Cash Show which had been running since April. Although Kenny was the creative genius of the pair, Cash was very entertaining in his own right. He engaged in juvenile antics at the microphone but was at the same time a mature broadcaster. He had gained experience of radio in Canada and sounded professional. I understand he was highly respected by TW. I was very disappointed when he left Radio London but delighted when he returned in August 1966 just for one week, on a double late night slot from 9.00pm to 2.00am.

Dave later took over from Pete Brady a second time. On Radio 1 he was given the weekday afternoon show which Pete vacated. Dave later moved to the Drivetime show. Since then of course he has presented on various commercial and BBC local radio stations. I had the pleasure of speaking to him by telephone off air when he was at Liberty Radio and invited listeners to call him during his show for a chat while the records were playing. Later I met him on the Halfpenny Pier at Harwich during one of the special reunion events. On both occasions I found him to be friendly but modest.

(Above) Stephen with Dave on the Ha'penny Pier. I introduced him to Dave as 'Stephen Ches-KNEE!'

Norm St John, Big L DJ

This is my tribute to one of the great talents of radio – and a really nice guy with it.

Dave Cash was one of the stars of Big L, the Pirate Radio station, Radio London. Dave teamed up with Kenny Everett and together they presented the Kenny and Cash show, which was extremely popular. I worked with them on Big L and their antics off the air were just as funny. They were both dangerously good to be around!

I kept in touch with Dave for over 50 years and always caught up with him and his lovely wife Sara whenever I came to the UK. I did a number of programmes with Dave on BBC Kent. Hearing of his passing was such a great shock, as he was one of the last surviving DJs from the Big L original team. There's not many of us left. I am sure that Kenny and Cash will now be playing on that great station in the sky, reunited. RIP Dave.

I am so saddened to have lost a very good friend. My deepest sympathy to Sara.

Photo: Norm, Dave and Mary on the Ha'penny Pier, Harwich

Pauline and Dave Miller, dedicated listeners

Like many others, we were saddened and shocked to hear of the sudden death of Dave Cash on Friday, 21 October.

We had met Dave several times over the last few years at events and places various and found him to be a really easy chap to get along with, friendly and polite, with a great sense of humour. The last occasion we met up with him in the flesh, so to speak, was in Harwich in 2009 when we gathered to remember Mike Ahern whilst the Harwich Lifeboat went out with his ashes and scattered them in the harbour. We were all upset that Mike had gone and Dave, along with everyone else, treated the occasion with dignity and respect but also with a touch of humour and some special memories of Mike. Now, sadly, it's our turn to remember Dave with our special memories of him.

We were at school back in the days of Radio London when first hearing him on the watery wireless and always looked forward to the Kenny and Cash show as he teamed up with Kenny Everett when they were both on board the Galaxy together, a great uplifting programme if ever there was one and they don't make 'em like that any more. It would be great to think that they've met up again in the great celestial beyond and were once more bouncing off each other and playing music as they did back then - who knows where radio waves end up. Since then, of course, Dave has been a great inspiration to many folk over the years and continued to be a great broadcaster and presenter until his sad and sudden departure. We're sure we speak for many when we say he'll be remembered with much affection and greatly missed.

So it's goodbye Dave and thanks for the memories. We'll all miss you.

Chris Edwards, Offshore Echoes

So sad to hear this. Remember meeting him at Harwich during the BBC Essex broadcast. Did a short interview with him on the quayside, before he went off to buy some fish, that he was going to cook for the crew's dinner.

Geoff Pearson, Radlon Sales (the original Radio London company)

Very sorry to hear about the Cashman, I liked Mid-Atlantic Dave! The best man to send scripts to on the boat, he had that sort of trustworthy delivery that turned average scripts into good ads. Didn't muck about like Kenny!

Dave was always good company when he came to the office or if you travelled to the Galaxy with him. Some of the guys were a little less than helpful from time to time, understandable if the weather had been bad and they just wanted to get home and rest, but not Dave. Always helpful, always professional, always polite. One of life's nice guys.

Gordon J Sheppard, Promotions Manager for Big L

Dave was one of the very best and I liked him a lot. Unlike many from Big L days who seem to have forgotten my very existence, Dave always kept in touch and he was always pleased to see me.

Kenny and Cash at Big L and later at Capital Radio, virtually made my day. Breakfast in the canteen at Capital every morning after they finished performing the Breakfast Show was so hilarious with laughter, it took the breath away.

Sadly, being totally housebound now, I will be unable to attend the funeral or at any celebration of his life.

Goodbye, dear Dave. You will be sorely missed.

Tony O'Neil - LV18 Pharos Trust

Happy happy days Dave, dear friend. We're thinking of you, Sara x (Tony's photos,are below)

Admiring a mod scooter
With wife Emily Kneemail, aboard LV18
A pirate on the Ha'penny Pier

Peter Young - ex Capital Radio

I can't tell you how upset I am. Dave was a kind and generous guy. I worked with him on Capital's 'Help A London Child' for 5 happy years and was initially quite daunted to be working with one of my radio heroes, but he put me at my ease within seconds and I treasure those memories.

I'm very saddened and shocked.

(Right) Dave in the early days of Capital

Keith Milborrow, dedicated listener

As so many others, I was shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Dave Cash last Friday. He was one of the Big L "greats" and had formed part of my radio listening habit for well over half a century. I had followed him from Radio London to Radio One, Radio Monte Carlo International, Capital Radio, Pirate BBC Essex and more recently to BBC Sussex where they relayed his Saturday night programme originating from BBC Radio Kent.
In his usual time slot on Saturday 22nd October, BBC Kent aired an updated version of a 2014 documentary highlighting Dave's "Fifty Years in Radio". It was wonderful to hear excerpts of him on the air from the days of Big L right until (what I think was) his sign-off from his last-ever programme on Radio Kent the previous Sunday, handing over to Roger Day. One rarity played during the documentary was the B-side of "Knees" by Kenny and Cash, amusingly entitled "The B-Side" – what else?
The news of Dave's untimely demise was carried in all the Saturday morning news bulletins, each of which included one of the Wonderful Radio London jingles. The report stated that he left us on Friday afternoon allegedly around 3 o'clock. I recall another radio legend departing at that time of day, back in August 1967.
My condolences to Dave's family and friends.


Chris Payne's extract from Kenny and Cash Show 1965

Radio London's Story of the Knees Club, the 'Knees' single and its writer

David Warren's 60th BD Presentation to Dave, 2002
Pirate BBC Essex
Hans Knot's tribute in Dutch
Dave and Sara's wedding ceremony, Anna Maria Island, Florida, December 4th 2011
The 2-hour 'Dave Cash Countdown' was broadcast on BBC Kent on Saturday, October 22nd
David Lloyd audio tribute
Telegraph obituary
The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame's terrific tribute, with numerous audio clips

Contact us to send your own memories of Dave here:

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