Friday, 9 February 2018


One of the first broad­casters I was captivated by, when initially roaming the short­wave, was “Happy Sta­­tion”. That was the special Sunday morning program­me broad­cast world­wide by Radio Netherlands. Little did I know that many years later  I would be in more or less the same time slot when presenting “North Sea Goes DX” on RNI. “Happy Station” was in fact the oldest running radio pro­gramme in existence. It was presented by the multi-lingual Eddy Startz (1899-1976), who had started his transmissions for the Dutch company Philips in Eindhoven in 1928. As a young boy in 1960 I was very much taken with Startz’s happy chatter and the mixture of Dutch street organ music and marches by John Philip Souza. Although Souza wrote over a hundred marches, the one that sticks out in my memory is “Stars and Stripes Forever”. On the rare occasions that he was stormbound and at home, my father was also very fond of the programme. In the kitchen, only yards away, my mother was oblivious to it. She seemed to prefer cooking Sunday dinner to any form of entertainment that did not include the then German heartthrob Freddy Quinn. Who were we to complain, when we were about to be treated to succulent chicken in a thick brown sauce! It has to be said, all my mother’s dishes were deliciously Delia, avant la lettre.

More of AJ's radio- and other anecdotes.

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