Saturday, 10 February 2018


In the 60’s many shortwave listeners, myself very much included, were puzzled by a mystery station which broadcast the same song over and over again. It was a badly modulated recording of Shirley Bassey belting out "Kiss me honey, honey, kiss me. Thrill me, honey, honey, thrill me. Don't care even if I blow my top, but honey, honey, don't stop!" The song was on a looped tape which lasted for just over two minutes and was then repeated. This went on for hours and hours on several frequencies and could be heard in most parts of the world. Here in Europe it was especially loud on 11.696 kHz near the edge of the 25 m band. The mysterious broadcast persisted for many years!

In the end it appeared that the endlessly repeated song was a new form of jamming. Usually communist countries trying to prevent their citizens from tuning in to broadcasts from certain Western countries by broadcasting loud oscillating sound waves on the same frequencies. Instead of producing this dreary, wobbly white noise the mystery jammer enlisted the the ‘help’ of Shirley Bassey to irritate would be listeners. First Cuba was blamed, then Iraq. The mystery was never really solved convincingly. Ultimately the most likely culprit proved to be Tehran trying to block communist sponsored broadcasts from Radio Peyk-e-Iran (Radio Free Iran), which were aired from East-Germany and later from Bulgaria. In 2006 the American State Department declassified information according to which Radio Peyk-e-Iran in its broadcasts in the 70’s regularly praised Khomeini for his “struggles” in support of “freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism”.

More of AJ's radio- and other anecdotes.

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