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Topic Summary

Posted by: thaiga
« on: April 26, 2020, 11:53:46 AM »

"A Wop Bop a Loo Bop a Lop Bam Boom."

wasn't easy getting recognised or well known if you were a pop group band or whatever. doing the round of playing in the clubs didn't get enough attention, the bbc was so stuffy about what music was played on their stations and by who. after all the bbc had a reputation to think of, which since has dropped.

so the best way to be discovered was the pirate ships, which the teenagers loved as it was, what they called at the time illegal. to be in the top twenty was hip, how did they do the ratings. musical express melody maker and the likes of took their ratings from certain record shops. so if you had the list of them shops and a team of 50, visiting and buying certain records, would help push up the ratings, thats how you got crap in the top charts, big money to be earnt by anyone in the know.

While Beatlemania took over the world, Great Britain's ever so proper BBC filled its air with a melange of news, gardening tips, dramas, plummy announcements and maybe the occasional pop record. At night, the radio dial was almost empty and many stations signed off at nightfall.
with pirate stations the kids had a a party atmosphere and a pop music variety to a country that had never experienced such a sound.

The pirate stations were thrilling to British youth. ram that transistor right up to your ear. With a growing teen market all the signs were their as a nice little earner as arthur dailey would say. the pirate ships were a Boy Scout camp gone mad. everyone loved it apart from the government.

Posted by: thaiga
« on: April 24, 2020, 11:50:08 AM »

the good ship Mi Amigo and RADIO ATLANTA! - Through a merger with Radio Caroline, it's vessel, the MV Mi Amigo' became home of Radio Caroline South later that year. now: going back in time. Way back. 1964, the year the first Pirate Radio Ships appeared off the British coast A unique glimpse of life on board of one of the first Offshore Radio ships (1964): Radio Atlanta. Only few audio recordings and hardly any video is left of Radio Atlanta.

Posted by: thaiga
« on: April 23, 2020, 11:40:27 AM »

Wow! so many pirate radio stations, thanks KC & J/F. T/T the 1916 Easter Rising is so interesting, there is a lot of good stories on that.

The Kiwi Pirates had its problems but they kept going
In 1966 four young New Zealand businessmen took on the government and started a radio station on a boat outside the 3 mile limit. They were fighting for the right to operate private radio broadcasting. At this particular time all radio stations in New Zealand were government controlled. Radio Hauraki was aboard a vessel by the name of "Tiri". After four years at sea with many heartaches they finally were granted a land licence. This changed broadcasting in New Zealand forever.

Posted by: Taman Tun
« on: April 23, 2020, 11:03:45 AM »

Better late than never, there is an obit in The Times today which contains more interesting details. Also, I would like to put on record my own modest contribution to the history of pirate radio.  As a schoolboy I built a short wave transmitter.  When Radio Caroline came on the air, I made a few modifications to the transmitter so that it could operate on the medium wave band.  Unlike Ronan, I did not have a rich daddy who owned a shipyard.  So Radio Fred came on the air from my bedroom.  It was a modest setup with a microphone placed against the loudspeaker of a Dansette record player.  During on-air announcements I said that Radio Fred was operating off the coast of Skegness.  Next week, in the local newspaper there was a story about Radio Fred.  The coast guards had been called out but they could find no trace of a vessel off the coast of Skegness.  Anyway, Radio Fred did not last too long as I was fearful of a knock on the door from the guys from the General Post Office cracking down on illegal transmissions.

Some extracts from Times Obit below:

As other pirate stations took to the air following Caroline’s success, shockwaves rippled through the BBC and the British establishment. With the postmaster-general, Tony Benn, denouncing pirate stations as a “menace”, Harold Wilson’s incoming Labour government decided to legislate and the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act was introduced to outlaw them.

Hours before the act came into effect at midnight on August 14, 1967, the pirate stations made their on-air farewells one by one — except Radio Caroline. With characteristic obstinacy, O’Rahilly continued broadcasting and resolved to go head-to-head with the BBC’s new pop station, Radio One.

When the government tried to jam Caroline’s signal, O’Rahilly visited the Palace of Westminster and accosted the prime minister. “You’re finished, son,” Wilson told O’Rahilly as he prodded him pugnaciously in the chest.

“We’ll see who’s finished,” O’Rahilly shouted back before he was escorted off the premises.

Always one to bear a grudge, he used Caroline to campaign vigorously against the Labour government in the 1970 general election. He plastered marginal seats with posters depicting Wilson as Chairman Mao, mobilised newly-franchised 18 to 21-year-olds and organised supporters to inundate the phone lines at Labour party headquarters with hoax calls.

Labour lost the election and the following day O’Rahilly bumped into the defeated cabinet minister Ted Short by chance on a London street. “It’s you! Why did you do it?”, Short asked him. “Listen, baby, if you hurt Caroline, I hurt you,” O’Rahilly told him.

The role of pirate radio in Labour’s defeat is debatable, but as an Irish republican who was proud to have inherited what he called “the rebel gene”, O’Rahilly made no secret that he regarded it as sweet revenge on a British establishment he detested.

Ronan O’Rahilly was born in Dublin in 1940, the third of five children to Marion (née O’Connor) and Aodogán O’Rahilly, an engineer and businessman who fought against the provisional government in the 1922-23 Irish Civil War. Ronan’s grandfather, Michael O’Rahilly, known reverentially as “The O’Rahilly”, was a co-founder of the Irish Volunteers and one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising. He died after being shot by a British machine gunner during the retreat from the burning General Post Office building.

Something of a youthful tearaway, Ronan O’Rahilly had a complete disregard for the accepted way of doing things. His chutzpah, ambition and sharpness were qualities that proved to be most useful when he arrived in London aged 20 with the intention of making his way in the film business.
Posted by: Johnnie F.
« on: April 23, 2020, 10:19:15 AM »

As the first European pirate broadcaster, Radio Mercur began broadcasting off Denmark in 1958, from a former German fishing vessel, renamed "Cheeta". Radio Veronica then went on the air off the Dutch coast, followed by Radio Nord off Stockholm.

But where I grew up in Germany they couldn't be received: Radio Luxemburg on SW and AFN on AM, later also on FM, had to do for rock music. Pirate radios like Radio Verte Fessenheim (Radio Dreyeckland) in the late 70s and Radio Freies Wendland both originated from the anti-nuclear-movement, around the 80s Radio Isnogud and Radio Luftikus both were left-wing underground radios in Frankfurt/M, mainly committed to the fight against the airport extension (Startbahn West).
Posted by: KiwiCanadian
« on: April 23, 2020, 08:55:03 AM »

In New Zealand we had our version too.

Radio Hauraki
"Radio Hauraki is a New Zealand rock music station that started in 1966. It was the first private commercial radio station of the modern broadcasting era in New Zealand and operated illegally until 1970[1] to break the monopoly held by the state-owned New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation."

Read more Here:
Posted by: thaiga
« on: April 22, 2020, 04:52:20 PM »

Ronan O'Rahilly 21st May 1940 – 20th April 2020
We are deeply sorry to announce the death of our Founder Ronan O'Rahilly.

In a pastime populated by unusual people, Ronan was more unusual than all of them combined. In a world where we all follow rules created by others and imposed on us, Ronan had no rules other than his own. He said he was in the business of "why not?".

Radio Caroline the very first broadcast, Easter 1964 - Christopher Moore introduces the very first track played on Radio Caroline; Rolling Stones' "Not Fade Away" -- Easter 1964

Posted by: thaiga
« on: April 21, 2020, 11:38:12 PM »

Easter Sunday 1964, 51 years ago, this ship sailed out on an unknown voyage that would take her straight to the hearts of millions.

Broadcasting and pop music would never be the same. The very beginning of an era: the roaring Sixties, the epicenter of the British Invasion.

And although later there were many other Pirate Radio Ships, she was the original Pirate Queen: The MV Caroline, the first ship of Britain's legendary Radio Caroline.

Posted by: thaiga
« on: April 21, 2020, 11:23:20 PM »

thanks for that t.t odd how you don't even give some things a thought, till someone mentions it. Radio caroline sure does bring back some memories of the good life we had growing up. pushing against the grain, we liked it because they said it was sort of ilegal, they tried to take it away with silly rules. i had a small transitor radio and had to position it at an angle then the sound would go and comeback.
  R.I.P.  Ronan O’Rahilly.  thanks for the fun.

Posted by: Taman Tun
« on: April 21, 2020, 09:03:48 PM »

General eccentric and founder of Radio Caroline passes away.  Quite a good obit in the Graun. It does have its uses at times.