for Sunday 6th August 1967
the last-ever Radio London Climber List

In the final DJ pick list, the singles were shared between a current DJ and one who had previously served on Big L. In fact, so many new releases were crammed into the playlist during the final days of broadcasting that there was really no necessity for climbers to have been shared. They could have had several each!

DJ Climbers  
Release date
The Sound Of The Summer Chocolate Watch Band
Chuck Blair & Dave Cash
Good Times Eric Burdon and the Animals
Tony Brandon & Chris Denning
Foolin' Around Chris Montez
Ian Damon & Pete Brady
It's A Happening World Tokens
Pete Drummond & Earl Richmond
Pattern People Glenn Weston
Paul Kaye & Dave Dennis
Forever Dave Berry
Mike Lennox & Kenny Everett
The Burning Of The Midnight Lamp Jimi Hendrix Experience
* see note
John Peel & Norman St John
Happy Sunshine Company
Mark Roman & Duncan Johnson
The World We Knew (Over And Over) Frank Sinatra
Ed Stewart & Tony Windsor
I'll Coat Your Mind With Honey New Christy Minstrels
Tommy Vance & Tony Blackburn
Is It Love Jon
Willy Walker & Keith Skues

* The Jimi Hendrix single was scheduled for release on September 1st, but Kees Brinkerink believes the date was brought forward to August 18th, as a day later, Disc and Music Echo and Record Mirror reviewed it, while New Musical Express carried a front page advertisement. The Burning Of The Midnight Lamp was shown as bubbling under the national chart of August 26th and entering it the following week, September 2nd.

The Burning Of The Midnight Lamp Jimi Hendrix Experience Track 604 007

The story on the left appeared in Record Mirror, dated July 29th 1967. However, The Daughters of the American Revolution played no part in the resignation.

Booking Hendrix on a Monkees' tour was an ill-conceived notion, doomed to failure. Young girls dedicating themselves to worshipping idols who (by the Monkees' own admission) were not even permitted to perform on their own singles, were hardly likely to be impressed by a wild-haired musical maestro. Hendrix soon realised that he was wasting both his time and talents and quit the tour of his own accord.

The 'too erotic' story was written as a spoof by Australian journo Lillian Roxon, a friend of singer Lynne Randell (see FF 160767) who was also appearing on the Monkees' tour. Lynne's biography reveals:

"Roxon concocted a mischievous press release to explain Hendrix's abrupt departure, claiming – with tongue firmly in cheek – that the right-wing group The Daughters of the American Revolution had complained that Hendrix's stage act was "too erotic", that he was "corrupting the morals of America's youth," and the DAR had pressured the promoters to dismiss him from the tour. Few realised that it was simply a leg-pull, and Roxon's report was duly printed as a straight news story, creating a "fact" that would continue to be cited for years to come.

Record Mirror cites DAR pressure as the 'official reason' for Hendrix's departure. It's in the paper, so it must be true.

Read full biographies of Lynne, and Lillian Roxon on, 'The #1 website for Australasian music and popular culture 1964-1975'.

Besides climbers that were played at the time of the broadcast of the Sunday Fab Forty, Alan kept a note of others he heard until August 14th and incorporated them into his list.

Release date
I'll Stay By Your Side Shiralee
Don't Go Out Into The Rain David Garrick / Swinging Blue Jeans
25/08/67 (both)
Just Leave It To Me Tony Brandon
Come Back When You Grow Up Bobby Vee
A Little Bit Of Shangri-La Our Plastic Dream
Portobello Road Spectrum
On Love Skip Bifferty
She Needs Company Helen Shapiro
Radio London Exclusives:    
We Love You /Dandelion Rolling Stones
So Long Dad Manfred Mann #
Big L's Farewell Dedication to the Postmaster General:    
There Must Be A Way Frankie Vaughan
Disc of the Week:    
There I Go Vikki Carr
Album of the Week: (courtesy of Brian Long - see below)  
Piper At The Gates Of Dawn Pink Floyd

(#) So Long Dad was noted by Alan Field, on recordings of Ed Stewart's lunchtime shows on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th August 1967, and on Chuck Blair's evening show on the 13th, announced once by Ed and once by Chuck as a Big L/Radio London "Exclusive".

Kees Brinkerink adds:
So Long Dad was planned for release on 25th August, but according to Disc & Music Echo of 2nd September, the actual date was delayed until 1st September, due to mispressings. The September release date is confirmed by Record Mirror and by an ad in Record Retailer.

Additional Climbers observed by Brian Long
The Great Banana Hoax Electric Prunes
Theodore Silver Eagle
Flowers In Your Hair John Williams

Brian Long lists the last Album of the Week as Piper At the Gates of Dawn by Pink Floyd, but Alan did not hear it announced as such. It was likely there were so many records to get through in the final Fab that the announcement simply got missed. The album was certainly aboard the Galaxy, as John Peel played two tracks from it during the last Perfumed Garden. Brian says:

"I've just looked at the last Field's Fab 40 – fascinating stuff. It illustrates just how difficult it can be to come up with the definitive playlist. Here are a few examples of what I mean.

The last Fab 40 chart issued by the station was a 4-page document. I attach a scan of page 3 which contains the climbers etc. (I hope you can read it, it is rather old and faded in places). You will note that the album of the week is listed as Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Off-hand, apart from John Peel, I can not recall any deejay playing tracks from it, although I suspect Pete Drummond would have done. As the chart was typed up during the week, there is no mention of the Radio London World Exclusive – Dandelion/We Love You – by the Rolling Stones. This only reached the ship on Saturday, the day before the Fab 40 was broadcast. The David Garrick single is listed with the wrong title, Alan has corrected this on his chart.

One climber not included by Alan, but shown on the list, is the Electric Prunes, Great Banana Hoax. This received a surprising amount of airplay from all deejays. During the last 9 days of the station new records were being shipped out all the time to be billed as climbers. This explains why the Helen Shapiro single is correctly recorded by Alan yet is not shown on the official list. Another one was Theodore by Silver Eagle, which Chuck Blair described, on air, as rubbish (you could tell it was nearing the end of term).

I'm afraid the only way to get an accurate number for the records on the playlist is to listen to the whole of the last 9 days broadcasting and count them, but with John Peel playing hardly anything from the Fab 40 on the Perfumed Garden, and the freedom deejays had to choose album tracks, the number of different songs played post the final Fab 40 must have easily reached treble figures."

The producer of the Oldies Project Forty Years Ago programme, Kees Brinkerink and his friend Rob Mesander, had been wondering for a while why Radio London never played The Flowerpot Men's Let's Go to San Francisco or the Herd's From the Underworld, both of which became national Top Ten hits. This led to an investigation of the release dates of some of the records on the final Radio London chart. These are usually obtained from the weekly UK release sheets of the era, issued by Francis Antony. However, by the nature of the music business, the record companies were bound to have amended some of these dates. Like the Fab Forty, there are so many variables - not to mention human error. (The Francis Antony lists do contain disclaimers regarding errors and omissions.) The dates printed on labels of promo copies cannot be regarded as always accurate either, for the same reason.

Dates must have got changed for simple reasons, e.g. because Decca might release a single by artist A, so Pye would bring forward the date of their version by artist B. Minor releases being pressed initially in small quantities (which probably applied to many of the climbers) might get pushed to the back of the queue for available presses if there were big demands at the plant for say, a new Beatles single. We also seem to hear of a lot of cases of lost sales because of industrial action or other problems relating to pressing plants and distribution. Incense by the Anglos and Strong Love by the Spencer Davis Group are good examples of the public wanting to purchase records they had heard played on Big L, but finding them unavailable in the shops.

In Radio London's final few weeks, the record companies were clamouring to have their latest singles played. With most of the offshore stations closing, Caroline's future far from certain and Radio One not opening till September 30th (and in any case, still subject to needle time) airplay of any new releases was bound to be restricted and competition for a few final Radio London plays would have been fierce. As Brian says, records were being shipped out daily. An amazing 73 singles were crammed into the last Big L playlist and we believe that others were aired that were not on the list. Three records that had been high in the previous week's chart were suddenly relegated to the Soul Set and Ballad Box to make way for others to enter the Fab 'Forty'. As Brian has pointed out, it becomes evident that it is virtually impossible to know precisely what was played during Radio London's final days.

Let's Go to San Francisco saw its official release on 04/08/67 and From the Underworld, on 11/08/67, but other singles that came out around the same dates – some of them not on sale till September – did feature on the final Big L playlist. We can but speculate as to why some made the list and some did not, but in a lot of cases, sheer luck must have played its part.

It's possible that the record companies were unable to rush pre-release copies to the ship in time and also possible that the office received them, but failed to send them out there. It must have been a chaotic time, both on the ship and in the Curzon Street offices. With huge sacks of farewell mail arriving daily, the Big L offices (and probably the Galaxy) were undoubtedly swamped with it. Quite a lot of things must have got lost!

Kees says:

"Rob Mesander spotted one instance of The Last Waltz (how appropriate!) by Engelbert Humperdinck being played on Big L, although the song seems not to have been a climber. It was released on Friday, August 18th, the same day and on the same label as We Love You by the Rolling Stones.' (See item below)
"Let's Go to San Francisco and From the Underworld were both played a lot on the Carolines, although they may not appear in the incomplete charts that we have from that time. First evidence is my own memory: after August 14th, I listened to Caroline during the day because for me it was the only station left worth hearing (apart from Veronica, but my very old radio didn’t receive it!). I remember hearing both tracks quite often. Further (and of course better) evidence can be found on several recordings of Caroline South, North and International, of which Rob has made lists of the songs that were played.

Looking at my own notes from some Caroline recordings, I find that Let's Go to San Francisco was a Caroline Sure Shot in the week of August 12th and was at no. 22 on September 2nd."

The dates above highlighted in green are those that Kees now believes to be the actual issue dates, based on evidence other than Francis Antony. In several cases, releases would appear to have been brought forward.

highlighted in green

'Monty's Diary' (See Fab Forty for 010167 Alan Field says: Monty did not transcribe the Fab 40 for 6/8/67, but left some rough jottings on scrap paper tucked inside his notebook. It appears that he heard a Robert Knight song played in the final week. We assume it was Everlasting Love, which was scheduled for release on 11th August 1967, but Monty has not written down the title. He hasn't indicated the record's status either, but we think it's significant that it's not marked in the same way as other records that were known climbers. As Brian has already said, Radio London was airing a number of new releases outside the playlist in the final week, and we haven't listed records that were not officially included. Accordingly, we're leaving Robert Knight (like Engelbert Humperdinck who's mentioned above) as a footnote to the final climber list rather than an entry in it.

Brian has kindly scanned a copy of the original Final Fab list, as typed in the Curzon Street office. To view a larger version, click on the picture.

Album of the Week – Piper at the Gates of Dawn

Frankie Vaughan, doing what listeners wanted to do to the Postmaster General – kick him hard!

Just Leave It To Me Tony Brandon

At least Tony was not allocated his own single as a climber!

Just Leave It To Me is probably the most elusive Fab Forty track of all, as even Tony himself does not own a copy. This is why the only way to include it in the Oldies Project show is to use a 1967 recording edited from an edition of the Pete Drummond Show.

Brian Long reports that although this recording was played during the final days of Radio London, the single was never given a commercial release.

Tony did return to the studios to make other recordings, including Candy Kisses, issued in 1968, and Sleep Little Children released in 1972 (Photo thanks to Hans Knot)

We Love You/Dandelion Rolling Stones Decca F12654

We Love You had been rush-recorded as a 'thank you' to the press and the fans who had supported the Stones following drug-bust arrests of Mick, Keith and (later) Brian. The single starts with 'prison' sound effects of clanking chains and a slamming cell door. Lennon and McCartney sang backing vocals while Brian Jones experimented with a Mellotron.

A promotional film called We Love You had also been made, on July 30th. Depicting Mick as Oscar Wilde, Marianne Faithfull as Lord Alfred 'Bosie' Douglas, and Keith as Bosie's Father, the Marquis of Queensberry, it was shot in a church hall. Additional sequences featured the Stones recording at the Olympic Studios on July 31st.

The official release of the Stones single (August 18th) would have occurred too late for inclusion in the final Big L chart, but an acetate copy had arrived on the ship on August 5th. Acetates were test-pressing copies of singles but were not been manufactured to last for more than a few trial plays. The usual Radio London procedure with acetates was to record them onto cartridges for airplay.

(See also Brian Long's previous comments about the final Fab Forties)

Rolling Stones collector, Maria L Scott, bought a double-sided copy of the single via eBay, from a gentleman in the UK. It is unusual, as acetates were usually recorded on one side only. Maria has kindly scanned the record in question and is anxious to discover a little about the history of her 'treasure' and if it was likely to have been the actual record sent out to the Galaxy. Such provenance would be very difficult to establish, but it seems most unikely in this case, as Maria's record appears to be a US pressing.

I'll Stay By Your Side Shiralee Fontana TF 855

The Shiralee, formerly the Albert Square Group, were Graham Barnes, Kevin Cummings, Peter Rikart, Bernie Clarke, Ken Golding and someone we have been able to identify only as 'Tim'. Bernie Clarke wrote the single's B-side, Penny Wren. A copy sold on eBay in 2013 for over £50.

'Shiralee' is an Australian term for a 'swag bag', and The Shiralee is the title of a Syd James drama made by Ealing Films, released in 1957. Whether the group was named after the bag, or the film, is unknown.

From the now-defunct Danish Sixties Rock and Pop Information site ), we learnt that The Lollipops reached #17 in a monthly TOP-20 chart, which appeared in the magazine HIT, and was compiled and presented by DJ Jorgen De Mylius.

Another now-defunct Danish site Dansk Rock Pigtrad og beat, had a section about the trio called The Lollipops, which says (I apologise for being unable to reproduce the special characters):

"Blev i Sverige lanceret af den svenske piratradio Radio Syd, som pa rekordtid startede et fanhysteri og idoldyrkelse uden lige."

and later

"I 1967 indspillede den engelske gruppe Shiralee en version af Lundgreen-brodrenes 1965-hit I'll Stay By Your Side."

I don't speak a word of Danish, but I have deduced from the above that the Lollipops were given some good early exposure on Sweden's offshore station Radio Syd, and that I'll Stay By Your Side was written by Torben Lundgreen, the band's lead-vocalist and lead guitarist, and his brother Jorgen, (vcls, rthm gtr).

Per Alarud then very kindly sent me the following proper translation, plus a photograph of a Lollipops' picture sleeve:

"The Lollipops were introduced to the Swedish audience by the pirate station Radio Syd. In record time they had received idol worship and fan hysteria never experienced before.

In 1967 the English group Shiralee recorded a version of the Lundgreen brothers' 1965-hit I'll Stay By Your Side."

Per says: "I was living in the southern part of Sweden at that time, but I couldn't pick up Radio Syd at home. But when I visited my Grandmother in the city of Malmo, I always tuned in to Radio Syd. I remember the Lollipops very well and I believe I have one of their singles somewhere."

The band has its own Wikipedia entry (English translation).

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