Monday, 12 February 2018


A month and a half later, immediately after Caroline signed off at 6 p.m., I heard Radio Atlanta go on the air from the Mi Amigo. She too had been equip­ped at Greenore. The vessel had anchored off Frinton-on-Sea and used the same frequency as Caroline, introducing herself as the “ship that rocks the ocean”. To me it felt as if my Christmases had all come at once. For the first time in my life there was an abundance of pop music available at the flick of a switch; sheer luxury. No wonder that whenever the sun was out beach-goers had their transistors blaring up and down the East-Anglian coast. On the Belgian beaches it was no different.

I remember Bob Scott, one of the initial dj’s on the Mi Amigo, announcing between records ‘You are tuned to Radio Atlan(t)a. This is a test format’. The station’s name was often pronoun­ced without the second ‘t’ by some of the Americans on board. Testing on Caroline’s wavelength after it had gone off the air in the early evening, meant that the newcomer could advertise its presence to a ready-made audience. Regular programmes began on May 12th 1964 using 1493 kHz, 201m, the old Uilenspiegel haunt. In the early days transmissions were between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., but were soon extended to 8 p.m. 

The programmes sounded very mid-Atlantic and a number of maritime-related slogans were used. The dj’s referred to the station as ‘the most on the coast’ and a rather corny sounding ‘the music queen of the seven seas’. The music on Radio Atlanta was distinctly different. Probably because the station's boss, Alan Crawford, gave ample air-time to many cover versions by little-known artists on his Cannon and Sabre labels. Indeed he was no stranger to recreating the hits. Crawford even produced a cover of the famous Fortunes hit ‘Caroline’.

More of AJ's radio- and other anecdotes.


  1. Junior school in Leicester and I went to my grandads for lunch tuned in Caroline on his radio got the wrong spot on the dial and it was Atlanta first day of broadcasting.WOW thought all me Xmas had come together.
    Of course grandad listened to the boring broadcasting company (used to hate it)

  2. The signals from Radio Atlanta and Radio Caroline were very weak up here in Birmingham on Dads Radiogram using its internal ferrite rod aerial. I reasoned as a mere young boy that some form of external aerial would help improve reception. So with the aid of several metres of insulated wire attached to a tree at the bottom of dads garden, I erected a 'long wire' aerial. There was no external aerial socket on dads radiogram, my solution, a few turns of wire around the ferrite rod and earthing the free end of the aerial wire. The result, perfect daytime reception of Caroline, Atlanta and all the other offshore stations. It also heralded the beginning of my interest in radio which eventually led to a rewarding career in telecommunications.