Monday, 12 February 2018

15. MID-ATLANTIC

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment