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, please click on the mail button to the right and let us know!

Photo courtesy of Hans Knot

"On August 15th, 1967, I came home from Canada to find Radio London gone."

Our story about The 98 CKGM Super 70s Tribute Page, which first appeared in Happenings, March 04, sparked bittersweet memories for Keith Milborrow

Montréal, My Home Town!
Canadian radio personality and bilingual voice talent Marc Denis wrote from Québec to tell us about The 98 CKGM Super 70s Tribute Page.
Marc said:

"Although 980 CKGM hit the airwaves in the city in 1959 and still flies today as sports-talk 'Team 990', this page sets out to salute 'CKGM Super 98' in its heyday: January 1, 1970 to December 31, 1979.

I had the immense privilege and pleasure of being part of this radio rocker in Montréal from June 10, 1974 weathering the times and changes until September 5, 1980 as the bilingual Marc 'Mais Oui' Denis, aka 'Marc in the dark'."

Although Marc's excellent site naturally focuses on the decade which means the most to him, he also includes a CKGM General History section. This contains an MP3 of a tune of which will be extremely familiar to Radio London listeners, but with somewhat different lyrics. Yes, it's 'Montréal, My Home Town', credited to the CKGM singers! 'Montréal', having three syllables, doesn't fit the tune quite as well as 'London'. Listening to this version, you can't help thinking that PAMS writer Euel Box, must have been struggling at times to come up with appropriate lyrics to suit so many different cities. Montréal is apparently the place 'where life's so gay' – which meant nothing other than 'happy and carefree' in 1962, when the song premiered on CKGM! The vocalist was Terry Lea Jenkins. Even more surprising is that 'the CKGM singers' had a follow-up, called 'You'll Have a Ball in Montréal'! You can download both 'Montréal' tracks from Marc's website.

Also in Marc's history section is a clip of the late Roger Scott from his CFOX days in 1969, when John and Yoko were staging one of their 'bed-ins' at Montréal's Queen Elizabeth hotel. Roger was one of the CFOX 'live from the bedside' jocks who added his voice to the recording of 'Give Peace A Chance'.

Click the logo to visit The 98 CKGM Super 70s Tribute Page.

The day after the story appeared, Keith wrote:
I was, in equal measures, delighted, amazed and intrigued to read about CKGM Montréal on the Radio London website. The reason? I think I might have been listening to the said radio station at 3.00pm (UK time) on 14th August, 1967!

Let me explain. My parents decided to arrange a family holiday in 1967 to visit relatives in Montréal, to coincide with the international exhibition known as Expo '67. When we left the UK in mid-July, Radio Caroline, Radio 355 and Radio London were all still operating, and I had no reason to believe that they would not be there when I returned home in mid-August.

After landing at Dorval Airport, Montréal and arriving at my Aunt's house in the Southern suburb of St Lambert, I soon commandeered the only transistor radio in the house and was scanning up and down the AM band to see what I could find. The only stations I recall were CFCF-600, CKGM-980 and CFOX-1470, though I seem to remember that my elderly Aunt favoured CJAD-800. This was a radio station more akin to Radio 390 and Radio 355, than the Top 40 stations I wanted to listen to at the time.

CFOX-1470 had a British disc jockey by the name of Roger Scott, whom I assumed (incorrectly) was the same person who had appeared on Radio 270, a station I was unable to receive on the Sussex Coast. I think I wrote a very anoraky letter to this "Roger Scott", never to receive a reply. Only years later did I discover that this was the DJ who later joined London's Capital Radio, and not the offshore radio man who also used the name Greg Bance.

CFOX was at that time using the "It's What's Happening" jingle package, a series later to be used by BBC Radio One. CKGM had the "music" package as used by Radio London after Kenny Everett launched their "New Concept" on 1st October, 1966. I never heard them use the (Montréal) Hometown Song but do recall hearing the jingle we all knew as "Much more music every morning, Radio London, for you and me". The CKGM version went "Much more music with Buddy Gee, CKGM , Ninety-Eight".

I have often wondered whether the CKGM call-letters were the inspiration for the call-sign of the Easy Listening radio station Radio London was said to have been planning to operate from the Radio City towers, UKGM (United Kingdom Good Music). Only one letter different – what do you think?

We flew back from Canada on a VC-10 late in the evening of 14th August, Montréal time. I recall arriving at Heathrow on the 15th and seeing all the newspapers at W H Smith's with their headlines about the previous day's close-downs. In particular, I saw the reports of the thousands of people who had gathered at Liverpool Street station to greet the Radio London broadcasting team. I was amused to see that the Times prefixed every disc-jockey's name by "Mr", Mr Paul Kaye, Mr Peter Drummond, Mr Tommy Vance, etc., etc.

Fortunately, a school-friend of mine had recorded the Final Hour, so I was able to listen to the sad programme a day or two later. And then, some thirty years later, it was quite an emotional experience to witness the closedown of the 1997 Radio London RSL broadcast with the very same programme. However, this time I was not on the other side of the Atlantic, but at the end of Walton Pier!

Many thanks Keith, and we wonder if you visited The CKGM 'Buddy Gee Pavilion' at Expo '67, as mentioned on Marc's site? Meanwhile, Marc sent his own response to the story:

Isn't that Expo '67 story something else! Blows me away... and after only ONE day linked to your site!

It proves how hit radio brings (brought) people together. For example, when I occasionally hear the songs ''Too Shy'' by Kajagoogoo...or...''In A Big Country'' by Big Country on the Gold shows here, it reminds me instantly of those few magical (and far too short) days I spent in London, in September of 1983, covering the Beatles thing at Abbey Road.

Marc then goes on to tell how his career was influenced by the late Roger Scott, whom he met at Capital Radio in 1983. Marc's full story is in our Otherwaves section.


This shot of the Mascots with the 'Save the Pirates' caption was in the second edition of Beatwave magazine. Although different from the newspaper clipping sent by Per Alarud, it is obviously one of a series of photos taken that day.

The picture appears in Beatwave with nothing to indicate the band's name, or the fact that they were from Sweden – which gives the impression that the editor had no idea who these guys were, but liked the photo and decided to use it anyway!

The Mascots – aka the Beatwave 'Save the Pirates' Group
Per Alarud wrote from Sweden:
I enclose an old newspaper cutting of the Swedish pop group Mascots outside the Radio London office.

I asked Brian Long a couple of years ago if he knew anything about this visit, but he had no idea. Maybe the photo is just a publicity shot? Many pop groups at the time made visits to the offshore stations, in order to became famous. The Mascots were very popular in Sweden during the time of Radio Nord.

The text underneath the photo just gives the name of the members of Mascots: Anders Forslund, Roffe Adolfsson, Gunnar Idering and Stefan Ringbom, outside Radio London office on land. The Big L T-shirts that they wear are the Kenny Everett design from 1967, so it can be assumed that the picture was taken in the summer of 1967.

July 2005 update from Håkan Widenstedt in Sweden
(Sadly, Håkan passed away in March 2011)

Hello Chris and Mary,
We met back in 1999 on the Big L reunion in Clacton on Sea.

"I was reading about the Mascots on one of your Mini-memory pages. They were one of the leading bands in Sweden during the 1960s. I got interested after reading about them on your page, so I wrote to Anders Forslund, one of the band members. He is still part of the music scene in Sweden. Here is his answer about their visit to Radio London:

'The Mascots made a so-called package tour together with the Bluesbreakers with Peter Green. Should be around 1967. On that tour was also Earl Richmond, one of the Big L disc jockeys. Later he made us a fantastic strong meat stew in the home of our manager at the time, Lars Dalenius in Sollentuna [Stockholm].

Mascot visited also on one occasion the radio ship in the North Sea. I remember that we were given cigarettes, a whole carton of cigarettes, each one of us and we sat in the stern of the ship and each of us took a drag on a cigarette and then we threw the cigarette into the sea. That's how "Free" we were :) !'

It is possible that Stefan Ringbom remembers more. He is on the web."

Webmaster's note:
hanks to Anders and the late Håkan, we have a first-hand update on the story from a group member, which along with the Big L teeshirt design, would confirm the year as '67. We hope we may eventually hear from Stefan and perhaps other members of the Mascots.

Earl Richmond's involvement with the tour explains how the two Radio London visits were arranged. Earl had left the Galaxy in 1966, but continued to be associated with Big L and the station's School of Broadcasting. We do know that the band appeared at a Big L Night at the Nautilus Club, Lowestoft on March 25th '67, hosted by John Edward. alongside Three Good Reasons and The High Tees. Three Good Reasons had been in the Fab Forty twice in 1966, the first time vying with the Settlers for a hit with their cover of 'Nowhere Man'.

See a clip of the Mascots performing their 1965 release 'Sad Boy', and looking far more Beatlesque than they do in the Curzon Street photos. An English translation of the history of the Mascots, 'the boys who played pop music in the evenings and studied Beethoven and Bach during the day' is here. It reveals how they felt when they played support to their heroes, The Beatles. Anders Forslund has his own website here

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