Tony Monson Tony Monson Tony first started in radio while living in Bermuda, on the same station that employed Duncan Johnson and Mike Lennox. He moved up the ladder from librarian and production assistant, to relief presenter, deputising for DJs on leave. Eventually, in 1965, he got his own evening pop and soul music show. In 1967 Tony left Bermuda to move to London and joined the easy-listening Radio 355. It was a popular station but its days were numbered and 355 closed down in August 1967, ten days before the Marine Offences Act became law. Tony and fellow Radio 355 presenter Dave MacKay then started one of the country's first mobile disco businesses and in 1971 opened a record and hi-fi shop in Brighton, Sussex. While living in Brighton Tony also found time to broadcast on BBC Radios Brighton and Medway. A soul music fanatic, he was involved with the London land-based pirates Radio Invicta, JFM, Horizon and Solar Radio. In 1985 Tony went legit when he joined Essex Radio and, later, the Thamesmead station RTM (later renamed Millennium Radio.) He can now be found on the satellite and web reincarnation of Solar Radio. (Photo kindly provided by David Scarff. For more pictures of Tony on Radio 355, see Tom Collins's photo album. We also have a more recent picture of Tony, taken at the Olga Patricia DJs 40th anniversary reunion.)

click to hear audio click to hear audio A short clip of Tony Monson on the 9am-noon show on Radio 355 from 29th July 1967. Recording generously provided by Harm Koenders of The Offshore Radio Archive (duration 49 seconds)
click to hear audio click to hear audio Tony Monson on a 6-7.30pm show on Radio 355 from the summer of 1967. Apologies for the poor quality of the signal. Radio 355 reduced power at night to prevent causing interference to an Italian station on the same frequency and reception suffered as a result. This tape kindly provided by Ray Andrews (duration 2 minutes 16 seconds)

Chris Moore Chris Moore Born in Washington DC in 1941 into an Irish-American family, Chris came to the UK while still a child. He served in the Merchant Navy, a job which was to stand him in good stead later, and then worked in advertising, before going into the music business. A friend of station owner Ronan O'Rahilly's, he was heavily involved in the launch of Radio Caroline. It was Chris who introduced Ronan to Ian Ross, whose father became one of the main financial backers. It was also Chris who organised the purchase of the Caroline ship, the mv.Fredericia. He was the presenter of the very first show on British pirate radio on Easter Saturday 1964. The first record was The Rolling Stones' Not Fade Away, dedicated to Ronan. Chris did not stay on the ship for long but moved ashore to work as Caroline's first Programme Director. Joanna Turner, a correspondent to The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame tells us that Chris lived in Oxfordshire during the late eighties and early nineties employed as a freelance photographer for, amongst others, the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford. Unfortunately she has since lost contact with him but if any one knows where he is now, please get in touch. (Many thanks to Joanna for her help. Photo issued by the Caroline Club.)

click to hear audio click to hear audio Chris Moore from the very early, middle-of-the-road, days of Radio Caroline with interruptions from Simon Dee, an extract from the Offshore Echo's tape Offshore Classics vol.7, used with kind permission (duration 2 minutes 1 second)
Radio Invicta car sticker

Ed Moreno Ed Moreno Born on 19th June 1933 in Wimbourne, Dorset, Ed first worked on radio in America while studying medicine there. Severe diabetes forced him to return home to the UK where he continued DJ-ing at dances held in Wembley Town Hall. In 1962 he was approached by a man called Arnold Swanson. He had made money from inventing a car seat belt and had plans to use it to launch Britain's first offshore station, to be called GBOK. Ed recorded programmes in readiness but GBOK never made it on to the air. (There is more about GBOK here.) Instead in 1964 he joined the fledgling Radio Caroline. Unfortunately Ed became extremely ill and soon had to leave the ship. After a prolonged hospital stay he became Programme Controller on Radio Invicta, the early sweet music station based on Red Sands Fort. Following the death of station owner Tom Pepper, Ed left Invicta. He was out of radio for a few months but appeared on the legendary Saturday evening ITV pop music show, Thank Your Lucky Stars, on 13th February 1965. In August Ed joined Radio City where, because of his continuing poor health, he recorded his What's New and Late Date programmes on land. He stayed with City until September 1966 when he moved to Britain Radio. He left there in February 1967 and, a couple of months later, became joint Programme Director of Radio 270 (with Rusty Allen). Ed stayed with the station almost until its close-down. Ed presented some shows on the BBC (a series called Favourite Film Themes on Radio 2) and was involved in the initial planning for Radio Northsea International. He was heard occasionally in the early days of the station (see The Pirate Radio Hall Of Fame ‘Seventies Supplement’). When regular broadcasting work was not forthcoming, he took up a career in podiatry. We previously reported that he became a GP but, in August 2009, we heard from Jeremy Baskett who wrote: “Just thought I would correct your item on Ed Moreno as I worked closely with him between 1978-1979 in Sussex. Ed was not a GP although he referred to himself as Dr as he had a doctorate from the States. I think it was a Ph.D although I am not sure, but it was not in medicine. He never completed his medical course in the States due to his diabetes. However he became a podiatrist in the UK and worked in a Chiropody and Acupuncture practice in Burgess Hill, Sussex with myself and with an acupuncturist. He was very successful and taught me a lot as a fellow podiatrist as I had only just qualified at that time. Ed told me a lot about his broadcasting career and really missed it. His heart was always really in broadcasting but his diabetes got in the way of him being able to go back to that lifestyle. His patients thought the world of him. Ed became one of the first podiatrists in the UK to be able to give local analgesia and he also pioneered some podiatric surgical techniques which at the time were at the forefront of podiatric practice in the UK. Although I only worked with Ed for 18 months I owe him a lot. He taught me a lot about real life and he was a good friend during that time. I often still think of him as I am sure many of his patients do as they thought the world of him.” In August 1980 Ed was discovered lying in a coma and later died in hospital. The inquest found that he had killed himself with a massive dose of insulin while the balance of his mind was disturbed through depression. He was 47. (Ed had a loyal, largely female, following. Natalie Dwyer has sent us some letters that Ed wrote to her mother, Roma Roach; Grahme Wood has sent some correspondence belonging to his mother Pam; and another fan, Mavis Kemsley has sent us these photos. Many thanks to Jeremy, Natalie, Roma, Grahme and Mavis. There are also pictures of Ed, from 1964 on Radio Invicta, here and from 1966, while he was on Britain Radio, here. This photo from ‘Time & Tide’ magazine.)

click to hear audio click to hear audio Ed Moreno's tribute to Tom Pepper on Radio Invicta. Pepper was the station owner who drowned with two other members of staff, DJ Simon Ashley and engineer Martin Shaw, just before Christmas 1964. This tribute was broadcast while the search for Simon and Martin's bodies was still continuing. The tape was kindly provided by Natalie Dwyer and Roma Roach (duration 3 minutes 58 seconds)
click to hear audio click to hear audio Ed Moreno on two of the many stations for which he worked: introducing What's New on Radio City and reading a weather forecast on “Swinging” Radio England (the news bulletins on Radio England were usually read by presenters from the sister station, Britain Radio). Tapes kindly provided by Martyn Webster (duration 2 minutes 12 seconds)


Thanks to Martin Fokkens.

Spangles Muldoon Spangles Muldoon (sometimes spelt Maldoon) Born in Chester on 5th October 1946, real name Chris Cary, he joined Caroline South just as the Marine Offences Act was about to take effect, on 14th August 1967. Previously a TV maintenance engineer and club DJ, he was initially responsible for playing non-stop music through the night and, during this period, he was known as Chris Anthony. Once he had mastered the studio, he started to make the occasional announcements, changed his name to Spangles Muldoon and then took over the noon-3pm show. It became known as the Lunchtime Loonabout (“with the goon, Muldoon”). Offshore Echos magazine reveals that his theme tune was an instrumental version of Yeh Yeh by the Mark Wirtz Orchestra. For a few weeks he broadcast under the name of Herb Oscar Anderson, having acquired a jingle for an American DJ of that name (from New York's WABC). In late January 1968 (*) he left Caroline South to transfer to the North ship but the station close-down beat him to it. His return to sea came in July 1970 when he joined Radio Northsea International (see The Pirate Radio Hall Of Fame ‘Seventies Supplement’). He later ran the returning Radio Caroline off the Dutch coast and broadcast on Radio Luxembourg, both as Spangles Muldoon and under his real name. At the same time he was getting involved in the early video games market, later expanding into computers. Former Radio Scotland DJ Brian Webb (known as Brian McKenzie on Radio Northsea) told him about the burgeoning Irish land-based pirate scene and, together with former Caroline director Philip Solomon, Chris started Sunshine Radio in Dublin. The station manager was his old Caroline colleague Robbie Dale who later took over the station as Chris moved on to start up another, Radio Nova. This was probably the most professional and successful of all the Irish pirates. In 1986 Nova closed down and Chris moved back to the UK. He now had a company dealing in satellite equipment and for a while ran a satellite-distributed version of Radio Nova in Britain which employed a number of former pirate DJs including Paul Burnett, Mark Wesley and Tony Blackburn. He also owned a Birmingham station Buzz-FM for a time. Chris got into troule with the law over the selling of decoder cards for satellite television stations and spent some time in prison. In 2002 Chris put in a bid to take over the long wave transmitter in the Republic of Ireland previously used by Atlantic 252. Unfortunately RTE, the Irish state broadcaster which owned it, turned him down. Chris continued to run a computer business and re-launched Radio Nova on the internet. He was about to start a version of the station in Tenerife but, while visiting the island in January 2008, he suffered a stroke. He died on 29th February. The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame tribute is here. (* We previously stated that Spangles left Caroline South in March 1968 but correspondent Ian Biggar has provided a recording of him saying his goodbyes on a show dated 24th January so we have amended the above accordingly.) Many thanks to George Morris for providing this photo. There are later ones, taken at Caroline's 40th birthday party, here and, at the Radio Academy's Celebration of Offshore Radio, here.
 
In November 2009 The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame heard from the original Herb Oscar Anderson, the American DJ whose name and jingle Spangles had used in 1968: “I did the morning show on WABC and used to mention I was on the air in New York and England at the same time! I think I was using my HOA jingle with a English accent.... I performed last year for Fred Olsens' Balmoral on its American inaugural cruise. Oh I almost forgot George Martin wrote a song for me to sing in my album, ‘What Would I Be’. I think they now call him Sir George.... I'm 81 and still growing strong.... They were fun times for us all and we both had the largest listenership ever.”

click to hear audio click to hear audio Spangles Muldoon on Radio Caroline South International from 21st December 1967, an extract from Offshore Echo's tape Offshore Classics vol.8, used with kind permission (duration 2 minutes 24 seconds)

The Pirate Radio Hall Of Fame needs your

The site is updated regularly and we are always on the look-out for new material to add. If you have any information, photographs, recordings or contact details for any of the disc-jockeys we haven't been able to trace, please get in touch.

Jim Murphy Jim Murphy Born in Beeville, Texas, on Easter Sunday 24th March 1940, “Murf The Surf” grew up in Tuleta, a small town between San Antonio and Corpus Christi. His hobby was ‘pole squatting’ and once spent 49 days up a pole! He worked on a number of Texan radio stations, including KAML, WAKY, KILT and KIBL before heading for Europe in 1965. Jim was on his way to Spain but stopped off in England and never got any further. After a brief stint on Radio Caroline South, he moved to the North ship and it was there that he made his name, particularly with his Midnight Surf Party and Country & Western Jamboree. This latter show was taken over by Don Allen when Jim returned to the States in 1966. He continued to work in broadcasting but, following his retirement for medical reasons in 1990, lived in Austin, Texas, and operated a fascinating website dedicated to the memory of Radio Caroline North. The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame exchanged a number of emails with him until these suddenly stopped. His website was not updated after September 1998 and some of his former colleagues feared the worst. One of them, David Williams, confirmed these fears when he found a record of Jim's death on the web. David says: “Sadly it would appear that Jim died in June 2000. No further information is available but I know, when I talked to him in 1998, that he was incapacitated with some long standing illness contracted when serving in Vietnam. He was an eccentric (who else can claim a world record for sitting on top of a pole?) and I have fond memories of him and particularly remember being fog bound at Blackpool airport while trying to get back to the Isle Of Man for Mick Luvzit's wedding. We made it with minutes to spare.” Many thanks to David for passing on this sad news. Jim's website has now been retrieved and preserved by Chris and Mary Payne. He was obviously very proud of the time he spent on Radio Caroline. Let's hope that, during the last few years of his life, the feedback he received via the site let him know just how much he was appreciated by the listeners. (Photo issued by the Caroline Club.)

click to hear audio click to hear audio Jim Murphy ending a Midnight Surf Party on Radio Caroline North in October 1965. The “cruise” along the coast, referred to by Jim, never took place because of bad weather (duration 2 minutes 34 seconds)

Zowie 1 concert
Thanks to Colin Nicol for this poster advertising a Caroline Club Ball in New Brighton. What a great line-up.
On the bill was a singer called Ronnie Jones who cut a record produced by Radio Caroline boss Ronan O'Rahilly.
Ronnie is still singing and is now based in Italy. More details can be found on his website www.ronniejones.it.

Mitch Murray Mitch Murray was one of the leading song-writers of the beat boom era. In 1963 alone, he wrote (or co-wrote) I'm Telling You Now and You Were Made For Me, top 3 hits for Freddie and the Dreamers, and How Do You Do It and I Like It, both number 1s for Gerry and the Pacemakers - as well as many more. So it was a surprise to see his name mentioned by Gerry Bishop in his book Offshore Radio as being a DJ on Radio Caroline South. The Pirate Radio Hall of Fame had no recollection of ever hearing him. So we got in touch with Mitch. Had he been a Radio Caroline disc-jockey?: “I was probably the shortest-lived DJ on Radio Caroline and it was a spur of the moment thing. I had gone on board to be interviewed. I can't remember who conducted it, but it definitely wasn't Tony Blackburn. He'd finished his shift and left on the tender on which I arrived. Suddenly I was stranded by stormy weather which prevented the tender from returning that day. As I found myself spending the night on Caroline, someone suggested that I present a show of my own. I came up with The Seasick Show. I'm pretty sure the original presenter was present but I can't recall the balance of contributions. I think the show lasted a half-hour, one hour tops. Then the tender arrived and my Radio Caroline DJ career was over. I hadn't been paid, so frankly, my dear, I didn't give a damn.” So Gerry Bishop was right. Mitch was a DJ, although his offshore broadcasting career lasted only an hour or less. Colin Nicol remembers Mitch's visit: “As ‘Mister Murray’ he had a comedy hit at the time with Down Came The Rain. He came aboard to promote it with me. We had a bit of fun, he sang a bit of it live on air and I got someone to tip a bucket of water over him! I don't remember who. It may have been ‘The Child Scientist’ (engineer Patrick Starling).” Following his visit to Caroline, Mitch continued to write hit songs but has recently concentrated on speech-writing and humour books. One of his books, How To Write A Hit Song, apparently inspired Sting to become a songwriter. (Many thanks to Mitch and Colin for their help. Does anyone have a recording of ‘The Seasick Show’?)


 

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