A favourite song

I have just seen Jools Holland’s Later Live programme. In it was an excellent performance of Stylo with Bobby Womack.  One of my all time favourites along with Heard It Through the Grapevine by Marvin Gaye.

I thought I would put is online for all to see.



Pictorial Musings

First the world of Fungi !

A short walk yesterday, late afternoon enabled me to find this magnificent cavalcade of colour. Please make people who not aware of the dangers of touching and eating these toadstools – they are poisonous in the main and can cause DEATH!

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The Gates of Friar Park (Henley on Thames) – the Home of George Harrison up until his death. The anniversary of his death is coming up on the 29th November


From the MTV site

George Harrison, lead guitarist for the band that changed the face of rock forever, lost his battle with cancer Thursday in Los Angeles. He was 58. The Associated Press reports that Harrison passed away at 4:30 p.m. ET at a friend’s home. His wife, Olivia Harrison, and 23-year-old son Dhani were with him.

The Beatles, unlike most bands of the early ’60s, both wrote and performed their songs, and led the way for generations of bands and singer/songwriters to come in this regard. Even today, few superstar acts can take credit for penning all their hits, but from writing the lyrics and music to recording in three-part harmony, the Beatles did it all.

As the lead guitarist in a group for which the guitar solos weren’t the most striking aspect, it’s no wonder Harrison was known as “the quiet Beatle.” But along with well-constructed, rockabilly-rooted solos, he also contributed the occasional lead vocal on early Beatles recordings such as “Roll Over Beethoven” and “I’m Happy Just to Dance With You.” And while not as prolific as the legendary songwriting team of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Harrison wrote, and sang, such Beatles classics as “Taxman,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something.”

My favourite George Harrison Track –

Whilst search for the music above I found this performance by his grown up son Dhani (well a short extract then the great man George.  Dhani has some resemblance to Dad!

That’s all for now, thanks for visiting this post!

Manx Radio’s 50th anniversary

I was chuffed when Manx Radio first started to pick the station up on AM, or Medium Wave as it was called then. It was after all the first commercial radio station to get a licence in the UK.

From the British DX Club Yahoo Groups, courtesy of AP

Special programes scheduled to start tomorrow according to the Radio Caroline website (and include overnight relays of Caroline on 1368 kHz next week, so get out the MW loop!):

2014 is the 50th Anniversary of both Radio Caroline and Manx Radio. To celebrate we are collaborating on a series of programmes to go out on both stations between Saturday 15th and Thursday 20th November.

Shortly after commencing broadcasts in March 1964 Radio Caroline sailed its biggest ship North – broadcasting as it went – and dropped anchor in Ramsey Bay off the Isle of Man in order to beam its powerful signal into Ireland, Scotland and the North of England.

Nobody ever expected it to happen … but 50 years on and Manx Radio has forgiven its cheeky competitor, and neighbour, and invited a unique partnership for one week, in order to look back “50 years on”.

  • Saturday 15th November: 8.30-10.30 – Chris Williams’ Carnaby Street programme part-recorded aboard our radio-ship Ross Revenge
  • Monday 17th – Thursday 20th November: 6.30-9pm – Radio Caroline broadcasting special programmes via Manx Radio (FM)
  • Monday 17th – Thursday 20th November: Midnight-6am – Overnight relay of Radio Caroline Programmes on Manx Radio (AM)
  • Simultaneous programmes on Manx Radio and Radio Caroline will include documentaries, archive recordings and specially re-created programming featuring 60’s music and nostalgia. Hear the star DJ’s of the period including Tom Lodge, Roger Gale, Mike Ahearn, and Gord Cruise. Even the “Royal Ruler” himself Tony Prince will return 50 years on with a special programme for Manx and Radio Caroline listeners! Full programme guide herehttp://www.radiocaroline.co.uk/#manx.html
Manx Radio have separate online players for their AM and FM services:


The first attempt at offshore broadcasting in 1928

I cannot claim that this post was an original idea. But I wanted to chronicle on my blog the fact that the Daily Mail did try to start off a radio station in 1928. It was to publicise the newspaper. It did only broadcast over loudspeakers in the end. I expect now they could be prosecuted for disturbing the peace, and possibly playing music without a licence in public?

I have pasted in information from various sites and credit them below each piece:

Early Offshore Days

Daily Mail yacht

Possibly the first plan for an offshore radio station came in the infant years of broadcasting itself when the owners of the London Daily Mail chartered a steam yacht, Ceto, as part of a promotional campaign. The newspaper planned to use the vessel to broadcast, from outside the three mile territorial limit, music and advertising announcements for itself and its sister publications the London Evening News and the Sunday Dispatch. The idea was conceived by the Mail’s Director of Circulation and Publicity, Valentine Smith.

With a transmitter on board, the Ceto sailed from Dundee in Scotland for trials during the early summer of 1928. However, technical difficulties arose when the swell of the sea began to affect the broadcast signal, making reception on land virtually impossible. The slightest movement of the yacht, even in a calm sea, affected the primitive broadcasting equipment and finally the idea of transmitting programmes had to be abandoned.

Undaunted by this setback Valentine Smith then arranged for German sound equipment manufacturers, Siemens Halske, to supply four loudspeakers, each weighing six and a half hundredweight (330Kg), which were mounted on to the Ceto’s superstructure. With this equipment in place the yacht sailed around Britain anchoring off holiday resorts and coastal towns ‘broadcasting’ gramophone records of popular music interspersed with advertisements for the three newspapers. Stephen Williams, who later worked for Radio Normandy and Radio Luxembourg, was in charge of presenting programmes and making the commercial announcements from on board the Daily Mail yacht.

The Ceto planned to leave Dundee on 25th June 1928 with a civic send off by the Lord Provost, Mr William High. However, due to technical adaptations needed to the on-board equipment the vessel did not actually leave port as planned, she simply sailed from the tidal basin to a berth in the harbour. Once the technical problems had been rectified a sample programme was ‘broadcast’ to the residents of Dundee, before the ship eventually left the Scottish port on 3rd July 1928.

On her outward journey the vessel sailed down the east coast of Britain, through the Channel, along the south coast and up the west coast as far as the Isle of Man. The return journey was used for the Ceto to revisit many resorts and towns where her original concerts had been a huge success.

At night the Ceto was illuminated by over 1,500 lightbulbs, spelling out the words DAILY MAIL in red and white, while two 1,000 candlepower searchlights were used to illuminate seaside promenades during concerts ‘broadcast’ from the ship. Local Mayors and other dignitaries also came on board at virtually every town or resort visited by the Ceto to welcome visitors and holiday makers.

One of the local dignitaries was even responsible for the first ‘live’ performance from the Ceto on 19th July 1928. Councillor Robert Stokes (Chairman of Poole Borough Council’s Parks Committee) came on board the vessel with other local councillors and sang two songs during one of the concert programmes.

The Ceto’s role as a broadcasting station ended on 1st September 1928 when, after a final concert broadcast from a position near Tower Bridge on the River Thames, the ship was taken to Purfleet. Here all the broadcasting, studio and generating equipment was dismantled and the yacht returned to her former role as a pleasure vessel. Altogether during her ten week cruise the Ceto covered over 4,000 miles, visited 87 seaside resorts and coastal towns and ‘broadcast’ 300 concerts.

Although originally intended to be a broadcasting station, because of the technical difficulties experienced during the trials off Scotland, the Ceto really only ‘shouted’ programmes and commercial messages to audiences in relatively small areas along the coast.

Valentine Smith’s original concept, however, demonstrated that right from the beginning of radio broadcasting history the theoretical possibility of transmitting programmes, quite legally, from outside a nation’s territorial limit had been identified. Only the lack of sufficiently sophisticated broadcasting equipment at the time prevented this pioneer from succeeding, but the principle Smith had identified was to remain fundamental to the operation of offshore radio stations for the next 63 years.

CREDIT TO http://www.offshoreradiomuseum.co.uk/page496.html

She then introduced me to the then “Zoo Man” at the BBC – he did a kind of Johnny Morris act and his name was Leslie G. Mainland. He was known as “LGM” of the ‘Daily Mail’, a news editor. He heard me, and got me an audition by the BBC during a White City outside broadcast (I was then about 17 or 18). I passed, but they couldn’t give me anything then, and got a bit tired of waiting, but it was he that said to me ‘would you like a bit of experience : if you’d like to spend about 2 months of your school holidays on a yacht around the coast of Britain, I can give you the job of running the show’.

This was the steam yacht “Ceto”, which the Daily Mail had chartered in early 1928. The paper had, in May, 1920, included two columns of news ‘collected by wireless telephone’ and had printed several enthusiastic reports about a ‘Voyage of Wireless Discovery’ which Marconi was planning in his yacht “Electra”.

Although Lord Northcliffe, the paper’s proprietor, was suspicious of these first wireless experiments, he suggested that a special ‘Daily Mail’ broadcast should be planned and on 15th. June, 1920, Dame Nellie Melba broadcast from Chelmsford. The transmission was heard all over Europe and as far away as Newfoundland and the event captured the imagination of the general public; it was a turning point in the history of broadcasting. The Mail’s initiative stemmed from its conviction of the importance of radio as a news and promotion medium.

Stephen Williams was to be the announcer on board “Ceto”, and would be in charge of all its programmes.

“The idea (familiar enough 30 years later when the Radios Caroline and London came along) was to broadcast at sea from just outside the 3-mi!e limit and advertise the ‘Daily Mail’, the ‘Evening News’ and the ‘Sunday Dispatch’. With a small transmitter on board, we set off from Dundee for trials. All seemed to go well until we met a bit of a sea; even a very modest sea was enough to vary the distance between our aerial and the water, which caused our signals to fade severely. Finally, we had to abandon the idea of transmitting, and the German firm of Siemens-Halske came to our rescue with 4 super loudspeakers, each weighing 6′l2 hundredweight (330 kg.). These were capable of being heard clearly for more than 2 miles on a moderately fine day, and were mounted on the yacht’s superstructure.

The yacht cruised round the East, West and South coasts of Britain in the summer of 1928, blasting out gramophone records, plugging the desirability of the 3 sponsoring newspapers and ‘selling’ the Mail’s Free Insurance Scheme. As the “Independent’s” obituary put it : “at one stroke, Williams had introduced off-shore commercial radio and the ghetto-blaster”. To which, I suppose, one could add “the mobile disco”.

The idea of a sponsoring yacht had come from Valentine Smith, who had been the Daily Mail’s Circulation and Publicity Director. Smith had subsequently moved to the ‘Sunday Referee’, which was principally a family and sports paper (owned by Isidore Ostrer of the Gaumont British Picture Corporation), and decided to involve the paper in broadcasting. Stephen Williams joined the ‘Daily Chronicle’ in 1929 and when it was merged with the ‘Daily News’ in 1930, he joined the Referee as its broadcasting correspondent at Smith’s invitation. His brief was to look into the possibilities of closer collaboration between the press and radio, to their mutual advantage.

CREDIT http://www.suttonelms.org.uk/williams02.html

HMY Ceto was owned by Edward Guinness of the Guinness empire.
The 106 ton motor yacht was one of at least 15 yachts and pleasure craft owned by the Guinness family.
Another was the 330 ton Calypso, made famous by Jacques Cousteau.
Lieutenant Commander Tower was the captain of the ship from September 1914 till April 1915, on duty in the Downs anchorage.
The HMY Ceto was Involved in a collision with another ship March 28th 1916.
The captain of the Ceto, later Ceto 11, Lieutenant Commander Mackay RNR (retd.,) drowned on 17th April 1916
The Ceto was involved with salvaging several ships at Scapa Flow after the war.
In 1928 she was used as possibly the first seaborne radio station.
The Daily Mail and other papers chartered the Ceto to sail around the UK playing music and advertising their newspapers.

‘Q’ ships were decoy ships that were well armed.
Their job was to lure enemy warships within range of their guns.
Small coasters, yachts and fishing boats were used for this purpose.
U boats in particular would fire at the craft and order the crew to take to their boats.
Gunfire or a bomb put aboard would sink the craft.
‘Panic’ crews would ‘abandon’ their ship leaving the gun crews standing hidden alongside their guns.
Many U boats were damaged or fought off in this way.
The HMS Celo mentioned, was such a decoy ship.
She, a small coaster, was on patrol near the Goodwin Sands.
The crew attacked a passing a U boat without success.
It is known that 3 U boats were to founder on the Sands, UC 46 on 8/2/17, UC 63 on 1/11/17, U 48 24/11/17.

CREDIT http://www.ramsgatehistory.com/forum/index.php?topic=456.0

Finally Wikipedia


Ceto—The Ceto was a steam yacht reportedly renamed “Broadcasting Yacht” and fitted out for radio broadcasting purposes in 1928. Starting from off the coast of Dundee, Scotland, ‘Daily Mail Radio/Radio Daily Mail’ (reports vary) broadcast easy listening music to various points around the British coast as it cruised around the nation’s coastline. The sole sponsors of this voyage were Britain’s Daily Mail, Evening News, and Sunday Dispatch newspapers, and the intent was not so much to set up an offshore station but rather to publicise the papers. The brain behind this publicity stunt was Valentine Smith, the Daily Mail’s publicity officer.

Canadian Radio Station Closure – mini Radio Newsbeat

Radio Stations are closing down abroad now as well.  First petrol stations, then Pubs – now Radio Stations.

I wonder if Radio London offshore from the sixties would still be broadcasting if it had been legalised?

Another Ottawa radio station has tuned out.

In a terse and anonymous statement on Facebook, 93.9 Bob-FM management announced early Monday evening that the station was signing off after just over a decade of broadcasting “the best of the ’80s, ’90s, and whatever.”

“The last eleven years have been a blast, and we hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have,” management said, explaining only that “market conditions have changed, and it’s time for us to pursue a new opportunity.”

By way of apparent compensation to suddenly deprived listeners, they suggested tuning into the station’s Internet version, http://www.bob.fm.

One station host, Cub Carson, tweeted the consequences as they affected him: “Anyone have a job opening, you know, in radio in Ottawa. I can’t start tomorrow though, I plan on drinking a little tonight.”

Some regular listeners weren’t happy. “First the Bear and now Bob … WTF Ottawa,” listener Mike Lapointe posted on Facebook. Another, Liam McAvoy, shared that sentiment, posting, “It’s annoying me that all the good stations are turning into crappy modern hip hop/r&b, etc.”

Other fans were ticked at the station’s lack of detailed explanation.

“At least have the courtesy (of) telling us why,” said Denise Joly.

Others were outright dismayed. “OMG, i love 93.9 bob fm. i switched from majic to u guys cause of Codi Jeffreys and Melanie Adams-Bobfm and Cub Carson and Darryl Kornicky and Milky,” said Wendy Dickel. “Now who do i wake up to?”

The history of Bob-FM — more formally known as CKKL-FM — goes back to 1947, when it was originally launched in Ottawa as CFRA-FM, broadcasting the same programming as its AM sister station. It subsequently went through a variety of owners, including for many years, CHUM Ltd., which regularly revamped the branding and reconfigured the programming, reincarnating the station as easy listening, hot adult contemporary or contemporary hit radio, depending on the mood of the time.

In 2011, Bell Media snapped up the station after buying CTVglobemedia and its properties.

Some station fans, learning of the station’s shutdown, were not pleased with Bell Media.

“It’s really sad that most of the media companies have forgotten that getting radio listeners to remain loyal to stations actually requires the company to show at least some loyalty to the listeners and staff as well,” Kevin Reid posted on Facebook. “Every time I try to rebuild my faith in ‘traditional’ radio models, the conglomerates (especially Bell) give me yet another reason to switch to iTunes and satellite streaming.”

“This is very sad,” said Leigh Hall. “Bob had the best hosts and clearly the hosts loved their listeners more than Bell Media did.”

In January 2013, Bell Media laid off seven on-air staff at BOB-FM and Majic 100.



You Tube time………………

First as someone who used to work in Sound Effects years ago, recorded not spot effects as shown here, here is how they did it in the USA in the 1930s

Next more up to date a BBC Studio Manager explains how the BBC makes spot effects

Finally a very clever spoof by Alexi Sayle on BBC Sound Effects!

I hope you enjoy this occasional look into the vast world of You Tube.

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