“It was 50 Years Ago Today” is a special tribute show which looks back to the events of 1964-68 when ‘pirate radio’ stations Radio Caroline and Radio London were declared illegal after the introduction of the Marine Offences Act.
Susy stalwarts Jim Richman, an engineer on Radio Caroline North off the Isle of Man in the 60s and David Jay, an avid teenage listener in Surrey are retelling a well known story – with a run through the history of those years at sea, plus a taste of some of the ‘turntable hits’ of the day and the material which gave the stations their unique sounds: accompanied by some personal memories, which will be the original content in this view of a moment in time which was endlessly thrilling for those who were there, and which changed the faces of radio and of music for ever.
Although Radio Caroline’s North and South services are better remembered, not least because they battled on after being declared illegal, Radio London (‘The Big L’) was by far the biggest and most successful station, and it closed for ever at 3pm on 14 August 1967.
On 4th September, 2003, when SUSY Radio was campaigning for a permanent license, a special programme was broadcast which introduced Eric Martin as a special guest of the “Alan French Afternoon Show”.
Eric was one of the pioneering DJ’s of the pirate radio era of the 1960s, and broadcast on Radio City which was based on an old war-time fort located on Shivering Sands in the Thames Estuary.
Formerly Radio Sutch, the station commenced broadcasting on 27th May, 1964 on 1542kHz (194 metres), and in September, 1964, was taken over by Lord Sutch’s manager, Reginald Calvert who invested in new equipment including a more powerful transmitter, changed frequency to 1003kHz (299 metres), and re-launched as Radio City (“your Tower of Power”).
Eric joined Radio City in 1966 as an 18 year old, often presenting the 6am – 10am breakfast programme, and stayed with the station until a few days before it closed down in 1967. He then followed a completely different career until his retirement, when the opportunity allowed him to return to the airwaves, broadcasting under the name of Richard Lee.
Audio quality isn’t the best as the recording is many years old now, and some of the included archive from the 60s is even older!
Have you ever thought of singing but perhaps have been a little shy?
Then your chance to have a go is coming to the Harlequin theatre, Redhill on Saturday 10th June in the form of a fun-tastic event “Choiroke” where lots of choirs come together to perform songs based on a theme and some numbers where the audience can join in.
Susy Radio is the official broadcast partner for this year`s “Choiroke” and I went along to Rehearsals to find out more and caught up with Musical Director Sean Peters and asked him about the preparations for the big night …..