M • I • N • I
M • E • M • O • R • I • E • S
These pages are devoted to special memories of Big L in the Sixties.
If you have a particular memory of something that happened while listening to Radio London, won a station competition, or have unearthed some rare memorabilia, or have something to add to featured stories, please click on the mail button to the right and let us know!


Rob Brondsema in the Netherlands kindly sent photos of his well-worn, original 1965 Big L teeshirt.

I still have my own 1965 teeshirt. Some years ago, as (like Rob's) it was very much the worse for wear, I had my own replica made. However, it proved difficult to find a printing company to do the job. Most companies at the time did not print designs as large as the Big L that's on the original and most did not print anything on the other side of the shirt. It proved quite expensive for me to have an authentic reproduction made.

A few years after that, a company offered a shirt for sale that was listed as a reproduction, but it was not an authentic replica of the original. The Big L on it was too small and there was no 'rl' logo on the reverse.

I would have loved to have bought all the Big L shirts that the station sold in the Sixties, but I'm afraid I was still at school and I did not have enough money – Mary.


Dave Cash and 'The Swiss Highlife'

In March 2024, we received an email from Erik Friedl, an award-winning filmaker in Los Angeles, who tells us about a long-lost promotional film that he made for Swissair in 1972, voiced by Dave Cash.

"Dear Mary,
I recently came across your wonderful tribute page for the late Dave Cash and thought I would drop you a quick line.

In the summer of 1972, I had the good fortune to work with Dave during production of a film I was making for Swissair, promoting the country of Switzerland in the summer and targeting the U.S. youth market.

Post-production was done in London and Dave had been recommended to us as the perfect mid-Atlantic voice that would appeal to an American audience.

I remember very well first meeting Dave and girlfriend Monica Evans at the Barbican and we recorded the following week at Rank Studios in Acton, West London.

I managed to catch up with Dave in August of 2016 and rang him up in Kent, to let him know our 1972 film was finally available on YouTube. We had a great chat and of course by then, I realized what a legend and pioneer Dave had become in radio history. And I was so sorry to later hear that he had passed away that October of 2016.

Kind regards, Erik"

Below: Stills from 'The Swiss Highlife'. Very few people who knew or worked with Dave will have any idea about his involvement with it.

Martin Thompson recalls a memorable Radio London Club afternoon in the Summer of 1965

(with additional Fab Forty notes by Mary Payne)

On 31st July 1965, I attended the Radio London Club Saturday Afternoon at the Marquee Club in London's Wardour Street. As member 2T. 382, I was proudly wearing my pin club badge, which I still have.

Tony Windsor and Kenny Everett hosted the afternoon and took it in turns on stage, introducing guests who all had new releases to plug. Sonny & Cher had literally just arrived in the UK to promote their single, I Got You Babe, which had entered the Billboard chart that day. The Amercian duo made four UK TV appearances during the first half of August.

At the Marquee, the DJs held a competition for selected audience members to mime to the song. The record's official UK release date had been 16th July. it leapt straight into the Fab Forty at #24 on 8th August and reached the top slot on 22nd August. However, Cher's solo cover of Dylan's All I really Want to Do had beaten it into the Big L chart one week earlier on 1st August. I Got You Babe entered the UK nationals on 12th August and rose to spend 2 weeks at the top of the chart on 24th August. Thus, I Got You Babe topped two charts in the UK very shortly after 14th August, which was the date when it reached the top slot in both Billboard and Cashbox in the US. Kenny and Cash couldn't resist spoofing Sonny and Cher's smash hit with their November release, Knees – which sadly wasn't a smash!

(left) TW, Sue and Carolyn each autographed my Radio London Club Newsletter, which had been sent to me by club secretary Robyn Rogers

I enjoyed dancing with two of the other star guests. Sue Thompson (20 years my senior!) had enjoyed Fab Forty success with Paper Tiger, #21 back in February. Like Sonny and Cher, Sue was in the UK promoting her latest release, It's Breakup Time (released 30th July). She also appeared on Top of the Pops on 29th July, then Thank Your Lucky Stars on 7th August, alongside Sonny & Cher.

My second dance partner was another US visitor, Carolyn Hester, a folk singer whose single Come on Back was released in the UK on 31st July. Folk was very big in 1965, with Dylan, Donovan and Joan Baez all making their marks on the Fab Forty and Kenny and Cash running a 'Dylan vs Donovan' competition.

Carolyn was from Texas and a contemporary of Buddy Holly and Norman Petty. She, Buddy and Norman had collaborated on musical projects. When in England, Norman became good friends with fellow Texan, Big L Programme Director Ben Toney, which invariably resulted in Carolyn's Marquee appearance. Carolyn had headed a UK concert already that week, on 29th July, organised by Portsmouth Folkhouse.

I took my small, portable Philips EL 3586, reel-to-reel tape recorder with me and I went backstage to interview Tony Windsor for my own use. Unfortunately I was inexperienced in microphone recording in such an environment and did not pay enough attention to Tony's advice on optimal positioning. Consequently, the background noise coming from the stage severely spoilt the interview.

Martin Thompson

Webmaster note:
In his memoir, Ben Toney writes, "I've Got You Babe was a very important disc to Radio London. It had been released for several months before we played it."

As the UK record release dates do not tie in with Ben's recollection, he was likely to have been thinking of Baby Don't Go, which had indeed come out months earlier, in February 65. When I Got You Babe became a massive hit, the record companies rushed to cash in by releasing, or rereleasing as many Sonny and Cher tracks as possible, both duo and solo recordings.

In Page 9 of his memoir, Ben also writes about Cher's extreme shyness and his friendship with Norman Petty, who when they met, was managing and promoting Carolyn Hester.

In 1969, an advertisement appeared in Disc and Music Echo, selling a recording that it was claimed would 'reveal the truth' about Radio London.

We asked Mark Roman for his comments about this advertisement and he says:

"It is possible that this happened, I suppose, but it was a long time ago and I have no recollection of a 50-minute interview about Radio London being recorded in my 'luxury' apartment. Luxury is stretching it a bit! In fact, the main selling point of the apartment was a view of Sydney Harbour Bridge. The fact that I don't recall this interview doesn't mean it didn't happen, though. Perhaps people actually bought a copy of the tape and maybe someone still has it? It would be interesting to hear it, but apart from that I can offer you nothing."

Did anyone buy the tape? If so, please get in touch

(With many thanks to Jon Myer for the DAME clip)

All contributions for our scrapbooks will be gratefully received